Friday, November 30, 2007

Aussies Rudd unveils cabinet

Australia's Prime Minister-elect, Kevin Rudd, has announced the make-up of his new Labor government.

He appointed Julia Gillard as deputy PM and education minister, and a former rock star, Midnight Oil singer Peter Garrett, as environment minister.

Penny Wong becomes the country's first Asian-born minister, with responsibility for climate change.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Party has elected a new leader to replace John Howard, defeated in last week's vote.

Brendan Nelson, the outgoing defence minister, beat the outgoing environment minister Malcolm Turnbull for the job.

Rock on

Kevin Rudd has not yet been sworn in as Australia's next prime minister, but he is impatient to tackle what he describes as the challenges of the future.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Education and Workplace Relations: Julia Gillard
Treasurer: Wayne Swan
Foreign Minister: Stephen Smith
Environment, Heritage and Arts Minister: Peter Garrett
Climate Change and Water Minister: Penny Wong
Minister of Defence: Joel Fitzgibbon
Attorney-General: Robert McClelland

In naming his ministers, it is clear that the "three Es" are his main priority - the economy, education and the environment, says the BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney.

By far the most eye-catching appointment is that of Peter Garrett as environment minister, our correspondent says.

Mr Garrett, who has been an MP since 2004, is best known as the former front man of rock group Midnight Oil, who had an international hit with the song Beds Are Burning.

Penny Wong, a Malaysian immigrant, has been named Australia's first minister specifically dedicated to climate change and water conservation.

Opposition changes

At the same time as Mr Rudd announced his new ministry, the Liberal Party has elected a new leader to replace John Howard.

Peter Garrett
Mr Garrett was first elected to parliament in 2004

With the party's former deputy leader Peter Costello signalling his desire to pursue a career in the commercial sector, the Liberals opted for Brendan Nelson, the outgoing defence minister.

He beat the expected favourite, outgoing environment minister Malcolm Turnbull, by a narrow vote of 45 to 42 .

Mr Nelson likes electric guitars, fast motorbikes and used to wear an earring. But his political persona is nowhere near as racy.

He is a medical doctor, and the beleaguered Liberal Party will need all of his recuperative powers, our correspondent says.

well there's nothing here except.PENNY WONG just recently became the first asian and malaysian to attend parliment and now she has become a cabinet minister!!
wow from malaysia she went at the age of ten to aussie's haven was even an extraordinary event itself because of the usual aussie's acceptance about we asians..
congrats and may you do us proud Malaysian.i don't mean anything but patriotic la..
no harm readers..well this is a story that can make a movie itself.what do u think?


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