Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Record number of women in Rudd's cabinet

01 July 2013, 11:00

Canberra - Australia's new cabinet was sworn in on Monday with Prime Minister Kevin Rudd naming a record number of six women and switching focus to the economy ahead of upcoming elections.

With Labour trailing badly in the polls Rudd ruthlessly seized the leadership on Wednesday, ousting the country's first woman prime minister Julia Gillard three years after she had overthrown him.

The Labour Party, which is counting on Rudd's vaunted campaigning skills, has seen an immediate bounce in popularity.

"I am delighted that in this cabinet of ours we will have the largest number of women in any cabinet in Australian history," Rudd said.

Victoria senator Jacinta Collins enters the cabinet as minister for mental health, Catherine King will be minister for regional Australia and Julie Collins takes the portfolios of housing, homeless and the status of women.

They join finance minister Penny Wong, health minister Tanya Plibersek and families minister Jenny Macklin in the 20-member cabinet.

Appointments on merit

The total number of women ministers rises from nine out of 30 under Gillard to 11.

West Australian MP Melissa Parke was also appointed as the country's first minister for international development, a non-cabinet job.

Rudd said the appointments were made purely on merit, not gender, and pledged to boost the economy, but made no mention of an election date.

"The core task of this Australian government is to keep the economy strong," he said.

Rudd pledged to work for a "stronger, fairer Australia ... and never ever, ever allow the fair-go to be thrown out the backdoor".

The top jobs of foreign affairs, defence and the home ministry did not change hands.

Men likely to dominate big issues

New Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will take over the communications portfolio and responsibility for the rollout of the $32.8bn high speed National Broadband Network. He keeps his transport and infrastructure portfolios.

Tony Burke was shifted from environment to the politically explosive immigration role.

Bill Shorten, who dumped Gillard and backed Rudd at the last minute during the leadership tussle, added school education to his workplace relations portfolio.

Rudd brought key allies Joel Fitzgibbon and Kim Carr back to the front bench as agriculture minister and industry and innovation minister respectively.

Despite the increase in female ministers, analysts noted men would likely dominate the big issues with Gillard gone.

"A more objective analysis... paying attention to the jobs allocated, reveals it will be a close coterie of men who will be running the big arguments, and handling the major problem areas between now and polling day," said ABC television's chief political correspondent Mark Kenny.

Closing the gap

Governor-General Quentin Bryce swore in the ministers on Monday afternoon before a first cabinet meeting in Canberra.

Opinion polls suggest Labour has dramatically closed the gap on the conservative Liberal-led opposition, which today has just two women shadow cabinet members.

A Galaxy poll published on Sunday by News Limited put the Liberals ahead with 51% against 49% in a race between the two major parties.

The survey of 1 002 voters also revealed that 51% of those polled believe Rudd would make a better prime minister than opposition leader Tony Abbott (34%). Fifteen percent were uncommitted.

Rudd's failure to fix a new election date after he last week ruled out Gillard's choice of 14 September has angered the opposition.

"It is incumbent on the prime minister to end the uncertainty and name the date," Abbott said.

"I suspect that despite the advice he is getting he wants to keep this parliament going on and on and on."



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Cyril Mike Odhiz
Kenyans furious on young lady aft...

A young Kenyan woman is the talk of town after she posted a photo with her elderly lover after a round of steamy sex, or so the photo suggested.  Read more...

Submitted by
Kiplangat langat
Uhuru could be a one term Presid...

Bomet governor Isaac Ruto has said that President Uhuru Kenyatta could be a one term President if he fails to increase allocations to the counties. Read more...

Submitted by
Mody Sammy
35 year old farmer a new milliona...

A 35 year old farmer from Mpeketoni Lamu county has become the latest millionaire in town as she became winner in the ongoing ‘Shinda Mamili na Story Ibambe’. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Leave your past relationship bagg...

Leave your past relationship baggage at the door when you start a new relationship. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Advice from a young married Kenya...

I was just going to get water in the office kitchen and thought a simple hi was fine until I ended up in an hour long conversation with someone. Read more...

Submitted by
Shakila Alivitsa
Helping you find the type of man ...

To put it simply, you can’t go looking for fish in a meat market; you have to go to a fish market. Read more...