Anthony Albanese swears in new cabinet at Government House in Canberra


Anthony Albanese’s new ministry has been sworn in during a ground-breaking ceremony that involved a huge Bible, a pink Quran and noisy children. 

The Prime Minister’s girlfriend Jodie Haydon appeared to laugh and smile as Employment Minster Tony Burke was sworn in with a very large Bible in the ceremony at Government House on Wednesday morning.

Ministers can bring their own scriptures for their swearing in and Mr Burke used the Bible his great-grandfather brought to Australia from Ireland in 1880. 

Ms Haydon was filmed smiling as Mr Burke walked up to the Governor-General holding the enormous book, which sparked a flurry of memes on Twitter. 

Meanwhile, Ed Husic and Anne Aly became the first Muslims to serve as ministers and were both sworn in with a pink Quran.

Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney followed her predecessor Ken Wyatt by wearing a kangaroo-skin cloak at the ceremony.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese poses with his new ministry after a swearing-in ceremony at Government House

Linda Burney was sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians on Wednesday morning

Linda Burney was sworn in as minister for Indigenous Australians on Wednesday morning

Ed Husic and Anne Aly (pictured) became the first Muslims to serve as ministers and were both sworn in with a pink Quran

Ed Husic and Anne Aly (pictured) became the first Muslims to serve as ministers and were both sworn in with a pink Quran

Minister for Education Jason Clare and his family arrive for the swearing-in ceremony at Government House in Canberra

Minister for Education Jason Clare and his family arrive for the swearing-in ceremony at Government House in Canberra

Mr Albanese unveiled his new look frontbench on Tuesday night after claiming a 77-seat majority in the lower house with vote counting almost finished.

A record 10 women are in the 23-person cabinet and the 30-member ministry now comprises 17 men and 13 women.

Mr Albanese demoted Tanya Plibersek in his new ministry – but she insists she is happy with her new job as environment minister.  

Ms Plibersek – who is widely considered Mr Albanese’s closest rival for Labor leadership – has been removed from the education portfolio she held in opposition.

That role has been handed to Jason Clare who was lauded for his expert performances in daily press conferences as Labor’s election campaign spokesman. 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese surrounded by his record number of 13 female ministers after a swearing-in ceremony at Government House

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese surrounded by his record number of 13 female ministers after a swearing-in ceremony at Government House

Mr Burke's unusually large Bible sparked memes on Twitter such as this one

Mr Burke’s unusually large Bible sparked memes on Twitter such as this one

This 1930 image of the largest Bible in the world was also shared on social media in response

This 1930 image of the largest Bible in the world was also shared on social media in response

Tanya Plibersek is pictured today being sworn in as Environment Minister in Canberra

Tanya Plibersek is pictured today being sworn in as Environment Minister in Canberra

Ms Plibersek posted this picture of herself on Facebook on Tuesday night as she insisted she is happy with her new job as environment minister

Ms Plibersek posted this picture of herself on Facebook on Tuesday night as she insisted she is happy with her new job as environment minister 

Jason Clare (pictured with his son today) has been appointed Education Minister in Mr Albanese's new cabinet

Jason Clare (pictured with his son today) has been appointed Education Minister in Mr Albanese’s new cabinet

Despite the demotion, Ms Plibersek revealed on Facebook she was ‘delighted’ to have been given the environment and water portfolios. 

‘I’m delighted to be appointed a Cabinet minister in the new Labor Government with responsibility for environment and water. I look forward to the challenge,’ she wrote on Tuesday night.

‘Australia is lucky to be home to the most beautiful natural environments in the world, which we need to protect and preserve for future generations. Let’s get to work.’   

During the election campaign, Ms Plibersek rarely appeared with Mr Albanese and did not attend Labor’s campaign launch in Perth, leading pundits to say she had been ‘sidelined’.  

Ms Plibersek brushed off those suggestions, insisting she was campaigning all over the country and regularly appearing on radio and TV.

The 52-year-old member for Sydney was deputy Labor leader for six years under Bill Shorten. 

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek shakes hands with Australian Governor-General David Hurley

Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek shakes hands with Australian Governor-General David Hurley

Treasurer Jim Chalmers poses for a photo with Governor-general David Hurley at the swearing in

Treasurer Jim Chalmers poses for a photo with Governor-general David Hurley at the swearing in

Mr Albanese looks on during the swearing-in ceremony at Government House

Mr Albanese looks on during the swearing-in ceremony at Government House 

Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles tried to claim her move from education to environment was not a demotion because Labor is taking the environment more seriously than the previous government. 

Asked if Ms Plibersek’s move was a demotion, he said: ‘That’s the last thing I would see it as. 

‘I mean that might be how the former government viewed that area of policy, but for us, the environment is front and centre – and it always has been in Labor Governments. 

‘And for Tanya it’s been a source of enduring passion, and water as well,’ he told the ABC on Wednesday morning. 

But pundits agree there is no question that education is a more high-profile role. 

Prime Minister Albanese unveiled his full ministry on Tuesday after claiming a 77-seat majority in the lower house.

Ms Plibersek appeared alongside Mr Albanese on May 4 in Melbourne (pictured). But she was mostly campaigning separately from him

Ms Plibersek appeared alongside Mr Albanese on May 4 in Melbourne (pictured). But she was mostly campaigning separately from him 

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured on Tuesday) has unveiled his new ministry, which has a few surprises

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (pictured on Tuesday) has unveiled his new ministry, which has a few surprises

”It’s a mix of people who have served in the cabinet before, it is the most experienced incoming Labor government in our history since Federation,’ Mr Albanese said.

‘This is an exciting team which is overflowing with talent with people absolutely committed to making a difference as ministers and assistant ministers in my government.’

Mr Marles will take on the defence portfolio as well as the role of deputy prime minister while Penny Wong was announced as foreign affairs minister last week. 

Katy Gallagher is responsible for three portfolios – finance, public service and women.

Clare O’Neil will be home affairs minister while Ms Aly is responsible for child education and youth.

The cabinet features 10 women, including new child education and youth minister Anne Aly

The cabinet features 10 women, including new child education and youth minister Anne Aly

Clare O'Neil will be home affairs minister while Ms Aly is responsible for child education and youth

Clare O’Neil will be home affairs minister while Ms Aly is responsible for child education and youth

Don Farrell will be trade and tourism minister as well as special minister of state, while Tony Burke will be employment minister.

Mark Butler will assume health in the cabinet, with Chris Bowen in charge of climate change and energy.

Don Farrell will be trade and tourism minister as well as special minister of state, while Tony Burke will be employment minister.

Catherine King will be in charge of infrastructure, transport and regional development.

Linda Burney will be Indigenous affairs minister, the second Aboriginal person to assume the role.

Former opposition leader Bill Shorten will be minister for NDIS and government services, while Amanda Rishworth will be in charge of social services.

Mark Dreyfus will be the new attorney-general, while Brendan O’Connor will be minister for skills and training.

Julie Collins will be housing and homelessness minister, while Michelle Rowland will be communication minister.

Madeleine King will serve as resources minister, Murray Watt as agriculture minister, while Ed Husic is the new industry and science minister.

Eden-Monaro MP Kristy McBain will take on the portfolio of regional development and local government.

‘This is a record number (of women), this is the most positive group that have ever been put forward in terms of the cabinet, the ministry and the caucus,’ Mr Albanese said

‘I want to see us move towards 50-50 representation across all of the spectrum.’

Anthony Albanese says his new ministry is overflowing with talent

Anthony Albanese says his new ministry is overflowing with talent

Among the surprises in the outer ministry was new face Kristy McBain (pictured) who has only been an MP for two years

Among the surprises in the outer ministry was new face Kristy McBain (pictured) who has only been an MP for two years

Labor claimed a 77th seat on Tuesday with incumbent Labor MP Fiona Phillips expected to retain her seat following a nail-biting contest against Liberal candidate and former NSW minister Andrew Constance.

‘Today Labor has claimed the 77th seat in the House of Representatives,’ Mr Albanese said.

‘It confirms indeed that Labor will be a majority government when Parliament resumes in July.’

‘It means the Coalition failed to claim a single seat from Labor at the election.’

He conceded it’s a ‘difficult day’ for those who missed out on role on the frontbench, including Shayne Neumann, who was demoted to the backbench. 

Australian Industry and Innovation Minister Ed Husic shakes hands with Australian Governor-General David Hurley

Australian Industry and Innovation Minister Ed Husic shakes hands with Australian Governor-General David Hurley

Who’s who in the new Cabinet:

* Anthony Albanese – Prime Minister

* Richard Marles – Deputy Prime Minister, Defence

* Jim Chalmers – Treasurer

* Katy Gallagher – Finance, Public Service, Women

* Penny Wong – Foreign Affairs

* Linda Burney – Indigenous Australians

* Bill Shorten – National Disability Insurance Scheme, Government Services

* Tony Burke – Employment and Workplace Relations, Arts

* Tanya Plibersek – Environment, Water

* Don Farrell – Trade and Tourism, Special Minister of State

* Mark Butler – Health and Aged Care

* Chris Bowen – Climate Change and Energy

* Catherine King – Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, Local Government

* Brendan O’Connor – Skills and Training

* Mark Dreyfus – Attorney-General and Cabinet Secretary

* Michelle Rowland – Communications

* Julie Collins – Housing, Homelessness, Small Business

* Jason Clare – Education

* Clare O’Neil – Home Affairs and Cyber Security

* Amanda Rishworth – Social Services

* Ed Husic – Industry and Science

* Murray Watt – Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry and Emergency Management

* Madeleine King – Resources and Northern Australia

* Matt Keogh – Veterans’ Affairs and Defence Personnel

* Pat Conroy – Defence Industry, International Development and the Pacific

* Stephen Jones – Assistant Treasurer and Financial Services

* Andrew Giles – Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs

* Anne Aly – Early Childhood Education and Youth

* Anika Wells – Aged Care and Sport

* Kristy McBain – Regional Development, Local Government and Territories.



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