Shorten for key role on Gonski as Rudd unveils his team

Kevin Rudd has unveiled a new ministry, as more Labor MPs announce their retirement from politics. AAP/Jon Reid

Bill Shorten will take over the Education portfolio, with its challenge of securing the Gonski school funding reforms, and Tony Burke gets the poison chalice of Immigration, in Kevin Rudd’s extensive reshuffle.

In other major changes Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese adds Broadband and Communications to his responsibilities for Infrastructure and Transport, while Mark Butler assumes responsibility for Climate Change as well as Environment.

Announcing his new line up this morning, Rudd emphasised the need to drive productivity, end the days of the “so-called class welfare” and bring labour and business together.

He said that Shorten, a former union leader who retains Workplace Relations, would have responsibility for driving the productivity agenda, but he was not there as a spokesman for the union movement.

His task would be to bring employers and employees together. Rudd said that Shorten would bring a good mind and the ability to communicate to his education role.

Burke, a Gillard loyalist, goes to the Immigration job with policy changing under Rudd to a much harder line. Rudd said it was a tough challenge and “to meet a tough challenge you appoint a tough man,” although he made the point that Burke was a man with a heart.

Simon Crean, a former leader who sparked the abortive leadership move in March, announced today he will retire from parliament at the election. Crean said that after 40 years in the labour movement and ALP politics it was time to move on.

He offered some advice to Rudd on election timing; “I would go later - to build up an agenda, not to buy time.”

Rudd was coy when he was asked at his press conference in Newcastle about election timing.

Those who drove the Rudd coup have been rewarded. In the reshuffle, Kim Carr gets back his old job of Industry and is returned to cabinet. He also becomes Minister for Higher Education. Joel Fitzgibbon becomes Minister for Agriculture, also in cabinet; Richard Marles takes the cabinet job of Trade.

Alan Griffin, a long time Rudd backer, becomes a parliamentary secretary and secretary to cabinet. Ed Husic, another supporter, from Western Sydney also is elevated to be a parliamentary secretary, as is left convenor Doug Cameron.

Penny Wong stays in Finance; Chris Bowen became Treasurer last week immediately after the change of leader. Brendan O'Connor takes the portfolios of Employment and Skills and Training. Rudd said that O'Connor, previously Immigration minister, was “delighted” with his new job.

While the cabinet has been extensively reshuffled following the departure of seven ministers, the outer ministry has minimal change. Melissa Parke has been promoted to the outer ministry as Minister for International Development.

Rudd has moved to try to neutralise criticism of his removal of Australia’s first female prime minister by having a record number of women in his ministry - 11. There is also a record number of women in cabinet - six - with the promotion of Jacinta Collins (Mental Health and Ageing), Julie Collins (Housing and Homelessness), and Catherine King (Regional Australia).

Asked about the resurrection of Fitzgibbon, who had to quit as defence minister because of issues of impropriety when Rudd was PM, Rudd said that “four years in Coventry has given him plenty of time to reflect”.

The ministry will be sworn in this afternoon, and then cabinet will meet, with issues including asylum seeker policy and carbon pricing looming for discussion.

Today’s Newspoll shows Labor’s primary vote has risen by six points to 35% after the leadership switch, taking the two party vote from 43% to 49%. Rudd has lifted the better PM vote by 16 points – he leads Tony Abbott by 49 to 35.

Here is the full list:

The Hon Kevin Rudd MP - Prime Minister

The Hon Anthony Albanese MP - Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Leader of the House

Senator the Hon Penny Wong - Minister for Finance and Deregulation, Leader of the Government in the Senate

Senator the Hon Jacinta Collins - Minister for Mental Health and Ageing, Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate, Manager of Government Business in the Senate

The Hon Chris Bowen MP - Treasurer

The Hon Stephen Smith MP - Minister for Defence

The Hon Jenny Macklin MP - Minister for Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, Minister for Disability Reform

Senator the Hon Bob Carr - Minister for Foreign Affairs

The Hon Tony Burke MP - Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship, Minister for the Arts, Vice-President of the Executive Council

The Hon Bill Shorten MP - Minister for Education, Minister for Workplace Relations

The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP - Minister for Health and Medical Research

The Hon Mark Butler MP - Minister for Climate Change, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Water

The Hon Brendan O’Connor MP - Minister for Employment, Minister for Skills and Training

The Hon Mark Dreyfus MP - Attorney-General, Special Minister of State, Minister for Emergency Management, Minister for the Public Service And Integrity

The Hon Gary Gray MP - Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism, Minister for Small Business

Senator the Hon Kim Carr - Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Minister for Higher Education

The Hon Julie Collins MP - Minister for Housing and Homelessness, Minister for Community Services, Minister for the Status of Women, Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development

The Hon Catherine King MP - Minister for Regional Australia, Local Government and Territories

The Hon Joel Fitzgibbon MP - Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The Hon Richard Marles MP - Minister for Trade

The Hon Jason Clare MP - Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Justice

The Hon Kate Ellis MP - Minister for Early Childhood, Childcare and Youth, Minister for Employment Participation

The Hon Warren Snowdon MP - Minister for Indigenous Health, Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Minister for Veterans’ Affairs, Minister assisting the Prime Minister on the Centenary of ANZAC

The Hon David Bradbury MP - Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, Minister Assisting for Deregulation, Minister Assisting for Financial Services and Superannuation

Senator the Hon Kate Lundy - Minister for Multicultural Affairs Minister Assisting for Innovation and Industry Minister Assisting for the Digital Economy

The Hon Mike Kelly MP - Minister for Defence Materiel

Senator the Hon Jan McLucas - Minister for Human Services

Senator the Hon Don Farrell - Minister for Sport, Minister Assisting on Tourism

The Hon Sharon Bird MP - Minister for Regional Development, Minister for Regional Communications, Minister for Road Safety

The Hon Melissa Parke MP - Minister for International Development


Senator the Hon David Feeney - Parliamentary Secretary for Defence

The Hon Sid Sidebottom MP - Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry

The Hon Bernie Ripoll MP - Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Parliamentary Secretary for Small Business

The Hon Yvette D’Ath MP - Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change, Innovation and Industry

The Hon Kelvin Thomson MP - Parliamentary Secretary for Schools

The Hon Amanda Rishworth MP - Parliamentary Secretary for Environment and Urban Water, Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers

The Hon Shayne Neumann MP - Parliamentary Secretary to the Attorney-General, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Ageing

The Hon Michael Danby MP - Parliamentary Secretary for the Arts

The Hon Alan Griffin MP - Cabinet Secretary, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister

Mr Ed Husic MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, Parliamentary Secretary for Broadband

Senator the Hon Matt Thistlethwaite Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary for Multicultural Affairs, Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport

Senator Doug Cameron Parliamentary Secretary for Housing and Homelessness