Australia news live update: Anthony Albanese says his cabinet has more women than any other in history

Albanese says the fact Labor lost two cabinet ministers (Keneally, Terri Butler) was the reason for more substantial reshuffle.

Says Plibersek was “very happy to take up environment” (though doesn’t say it was her choice).

— Paul Karp (@Paul_Karp) May 31, 2022

That’s it from Albanese, we will bring you that ministry in full when we have it to hand.

What was the thinking behind Plibersek’s swap from education to environment, Albanese is asked. He says Plibersek has a long-term interest in the environment, and having lost the shadow minister, Terri Butler, he needed a replacement. He says Plibersek knows how to get things done, and will have a focus on the Murray-Darling Basin plan.

Updated at 04.19 EDT

Albanese is asked specifically about Kristy McBain, and why she has been included in the ministry ahead of seemingly more experienced candidates.

He says he personally approached her to run for Eden-Monaro, and he then, somewhat confusingly, quotes a Billy Bragg song “one step forward, two steps back”.

Katharine Murphy

Katharine Murphy

I’ve covered every transition/change of government at the federal level since 1996. This one is certainly running at a clip.

Earlier today, Anthony Albanese (who scampered to Tokyo shortly after last Saturday’s election and will scamper to Jakarta this weekend) urged his colleagues not to waste a moment of being in government. Now, following an afternoon of calls to colleagues, the prime minister has unveiled his first cabinet and ministry.

It’s late in the day for a major announcement but it needed to be done, given the governor general is expecting Albanese and his colleagues at 9.30am tomorrow for a swearing in ceremony.

In broad terms the line-up is largely what we expected – Richard Marles gets defence, which was long mooted. Penny Wong of course foreign affairs, Jim Chalmers treasury, Bill Shorten gets the NDIS.

A few surprises here though – Tanya Plibersek getting the environment portfolio – I’d assumed she’d get education. Also Clare O’Neil, the Victorian rightwinger gets home affairs. She’s super smart, so this is a big opportunity for her. The South Australian rightwinger Don Farrell will be deputy Senate leader and gets trade, tourism and special minister of state. Another SA right winger Amanda Rishworth gets social services, which is a huge portfolio. The former shadow defence minister Brendan O’Connor will get skills and training (I thought it was possible he’d get home affairs). The Queenslander Murray Watt also gets a promotion to cabinet with agriculture.

Updated at 04.17 EDT

Albanese says it’s a “difficult day” for those who haven’t been included, and is specifically asked about Shayne Neumann, who he described as an outstanding shadow minister.

“We have a rule of affirmative action and that meant that some people who were there … were impacted by that.”

Updated at 04.14 EDT

Albanese says his cabinet has more women than any other in history

But he says he wants to work towards 50-50 representation more broadly.

The ministry will be sworn in tomorrow, and key committee meetings will be held Thursday, as Albanese says the government is hitting the ground running.

Updated at 04.08 EDT

“We have an overflow of talent on our side of the parliament,” Albanese says.

Albanese Labor ministry announce:
– Marles: defence
– Farrell: trade, deputy senate leader
– Gallagher: minister for women
– Plibersek: environment, water
– O’Neil: home affairs
– Rishworth: social services
– Shorten: NDIS, Govt services
– Clare: education
– Collins: housing

— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) May 31, 2022

OK, there’s a lot here as expected but a few portfolios jumping out:

Clare O’Neil will be home affairs minister (Brendan O’Connor had been mentioned but he’s skills and training), Richard Marles is minister for defence, Anne Aly minister for child education and youth, and Tanya Plibersek is minister for environment and water.

Labor member for Hotham, Clare O’Neil, has been named home affairs minister.
Labor member for Hotham, Clare O’Neil, has been named home affairs minister. Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

Updated at 04.13 EDT