Australia PM Albanese adds record number of women to new cabinet

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese swore in Australia’s new federal government on Wednesday, naming a record number of women to a diverse cabinet team that includes religious minorities and Indigenous Aboriginals.

Albanese’s 23-member cabinet includes ten women, compared to seven in the previous Liberal-National coalition administration led by Scott Morrison.

At a ceremony in the national capital, Canberra, Industry Minister Ed Husic and Youth Minister Anne Aly became Australia’s first Muslim federal ministers, while Indigenous Australians Minister Linda Burney, dressed in a kangaroo-skin robe, became the first Aboriginal woman to occupy the position.

Two days after the election, Albanese organized an interim cabinet with four other important members so he could attend a Quad group meeting in Tokyo with US President Joe Biden and the presidents of Japan and India.

The defence portfolio has been handed to Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, who was part of the temporary cabinet alongside Penny Wong in foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers in treasury, and Katy Gallagher in finance.

Don Farrell is the new trade minister, Tanya Plibersek is the new environment minister, Clare O’Neil is the new home affairs minister, and Chris Bowen is the new energy minister.

Bill Shorten, the former Labor Party leader, will be the next Minister for Government Services.

Albanese said on Tuesday that Labor will establish a majority government without the assistance of climate-focused independents and Greens, claiming 77 seats in the 151-seat lower house.

With a majority, Labor will be less likely to have to negotiate with 16 crossbenchers to enact legislation, though it will still need to earn more support in parliament’s upper house.

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