News National Shorten announces ‘education dream team’

Shorten announces ‘education dream team’

bill shorten concedes election
The Opposition Leader has a new 32-person front bench. Photo: AAP
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Penny Wong has been appointed Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman as Tanya Plibersek moves to head up the party’s “education dream team”.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced his new 32-person frontbench, which has his deputy, Ms Plibersek, fronting the domestic-focused education portfolio.

“Education … is a first order economic and social priority for Labor in this parliament,” Mr Shorten said.

Kate Ellis, Jacinta Collins, Terri Butler, Doug Cameron and Andrew Giles take on other education-related portfolios.

Plibersek takes on education, a social priority for Labor. Photo: AAP

Mr Shorten described the lineup as Labor’s “education dream team” and said education was “one of the sharpest differences” between Labor and the Turnbull government.

Chris Bowen remains as shadow treasurer, while Queensland MP Jim Chalmers gets promoted to finance spokesman.

Mr Chalmers replaces Tony Burke who returns to environment, while remaining manager of opposition business in the house.

Former ACT chief minister Katy Gallagher moves into shadow cabinet, taking on the small business and financial services.

Catherine King retains the health portfolio.

Richard Marles moves to defence from immigration and border protection, which will be handled by Shayne Neumann.

Mark Butler retains climate change and energy.

Stephen Conroy
Conroy will be shadow special minister of state. Photo: AAP

Stephen Conroy becomes shadow special minister of state, while his former portfolio of communications goes to western Sydney MP Michelle Rowland, who becomes one of eight women in shadow cabinet.

Kim Carr, who was given a lifeline by Mr Shorten after his left faction wanted him dumped from frontbench, stays in shadow cabinet as the spokesman for innovation, industry, science and research.

Mr Shorten said he would personally take on the indigenous affairs portfolio, with the “father of reconciliation” Pat Dodson as his assistant.

He’s described the team as “a positive, alternative, bold government ready to govern”.