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PM confirms ministry, housing promoted to cabinet

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has confirmed his government’s first full ministry, while sliding the housing portfolio into cabinet.

On Tuesday night (31 May), Anthony Albanese confirmed his government’s full ministry, following on from the appointment of four ministers last week, including Treasurer Jim Chalmers and Minister for Finance, Women and the Public Service, Katy Gallagher.

The newly named ministers were sworn in on Wednesday morning (1 June), before Mr Albanese convened a full minister meeting in the afternoon.

Julie Collins, the member for Franklin, has become the Minister for Housing, Homelessness and Small Business.

The Labor government has also placed the housing portfolio into cabinet, which the previous government did not do.

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Mr Albanese stated housing will be a priority for his government.

“If you follow my history in politics, housing has been a passion of mine. It’s also a passion of mine that the federal government should be playing a role in areas like housing and urban development and those issues,” he said.

Ms Collins has also returned to the housing and homelessness portfolio after holding it in the previous Labor government, when she had also been minister for community services, indigenous employment and economic development.

Ms Collins had been minister for housing and homelessness in 2013.

More recently, she had been the shadow minister for agriculture, after stints as shadow minister for women, ageing and seniors, ageing and mental health, employment services and regional development and local government.

Meanwhile Stephen Jones, the member for Whitlam, has now been confirmed as Minister for Financial Services and Assistant Treasurer, after being shadow minister for financial services for around three years.

He had also been the shadow assistant treasurer and shadow minister for superannuation when Labor was the opposition.

Previously, he had been shadow minister for regional services, local government and territories; as well as for regional communications; and shadow assistant minister for health.

Mr Albanese noted that Labor had decided to appoint the largest number of women who have ever served in an Australian cabinet, with a total of 10 female members.

There are also 13 women in the ministry and 19 frontbenchers, a record number for female representation across both categories.

“This is an exciting team,” Mr Albanese said on the appointments.

“It’s a team which is overflowing, I think, with talent, with people who are absolutely committed to making a difference as Ministers and Assistant Ministers in my government.”

Further, a number of people, similar to Ms Collins, had previously served in former cabinets, with Mr Albanese calling it the “most experienced incoming Labor government in our history since Federation”.

“I think that will augur well for how the government functions,” the Prime Minister said.

Other new ministers include Tony Burke, who is now Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, as well as for the Arts.

Chris Bowen is Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

Catherine King has been named Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government.

Brendan O'Connor has been confirmed as Minister for Skills and Training, while Jason Clare will now be responsible for the education portfolio.

Meanwhile Andrew Leigh has been named Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, while Anthony Chisholm has become Assistant Minister for Education and Regional Development.

Jones and the broker sector

Prior to the election, Mr Jones told Finance Brokers Association of Australia (FBAA) managing director Peter White that the Labor Party was open to discussing clawback arrangements and that it wanted to ensure that brokers are fairly remunerated.

This had followed him stating the Labor Party would not seek to change broker remuneration, back-pedalling from its previous position following the banking royal commission.

Labor is set to operate as a majority government when Parliament resumes in July.

[Related: Tasmania targets building sector pressures, in bid for housing]

PM confirms ministry, housing promoted to cabinet
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