Anthony Albanese. Photo: Shipping Australia

Albanese announces picks for shadow cabinet

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has announced Labor’s new Shadow Ministry, which meets for the first time in Brisbane on Tuesday.

Albanese on June 3 referred to the surprise Liberal-National election victory on May 18 as a “wake-up call” for Labor, and stated that his team would be “more than a match for the Morrison Government’s frontbench”.

“In the days and weeks that follow that meeting, Shadow Ministers will disperse into communities across the nation to listen to Australians about why only one in three voters gave Labor their first preference at the election on May 18,” Albanese said in a statement.

Notable among Albanese’s picks are Richard Marles as his deputy and shadow minister for defence; Penny Wong as shadow minister for foreign affairs, home affairs and immigration and citizenship; Jim Chalmers as shadow treasurer; and Chris Bowen as shadow minister for health.

Albanese’s choice to replace his previous position of shadow minister for infrastructure, transport and regional development went to Catherine King, who has been federal member for Ballarat since 2001.

King served as Labor’s shadow health minister for six years, a role that will now be filled by Chris Bowen, the previous shadow treasurer.

“It was a great honour to serve as Labor’s shadow health minister for six years and I’ll always be proud of the ambitious health agenda we took to last month’s election,” King said on her Twitter feed. “I wish my friend [Chris Bowen] all the very best in the role.”

Albanese stated that his ministry included an even distribution of men and women (including the Shadow Cabinet Secretary) and a mix of new and experienced ministers.

Former Labor leader Bill Shorten, who stood down after the election, retained a place in the cabinet in a dual role as shadow minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme and for government services.

“The shadow cabinet announcement, I think person for person, is far superior than those who sit on the government benches,” Albanese told press at a conference in Launceston, Tasmania.

“The recognition of that is the mass exodus that has happened on the government benches. They will suffer from the loss of Malcolm Turnbull, Julie Bishop, Christopher Pyne, Kelly O’Dwyer they’ve lost some of their best people.”