Australia

Anthony Albanese sworn in as Prime Minister

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Labor leader Anthony Albanese has been sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister.

Mr Albanese was sworn in by Governor General David Hurley along with four other senior Labor figures – Penny Wong, Richard Marles, Katy Gallaher and Jim Chalmers – at a ceremony at Government House in Canberra early on Monday morning.

Mr Marles becomes Employment Minister and Deputy PM. He will be acting prime minister after Mr Albanese leaves for Japan for the Quad meeting later on Monday.

Senator Penny Wong is Minister for Foreign Affairs, and will fly to Tokyo with Mr Albanese.

Dr Chalmers is the new Treasurer and Senator Gallagher is Attorney-General, Minister for Women and Minister for Finance.

Labor has 75 seats in the new federal parliament so far, needing just one more to form majority government. Twelve seats remain in doubt, as counting continues this week.

Earlier, Senator Gallagher was quietly confident of reaching the majority.

“We’re hopeful for a majority government but there’s more votes to be counted. That’s the reality. We’ve got a few more days to go,” she told ABC News Breakfast on Monday.

“There’s certainly a strong and credible path to a majority for us.”

A swathe of incoming independents are expected to make a crossbench of at least 15 members.

Regardless of the make up of parliament, Mr Albanese would work with the crossbench to bring the country together, Senator Gallagher said.

“We’re going to have a bigger crossbench without a doubt and Anthony is exactly the type of prime minister who has the skills and strength to deal with that,” she told ABC Radio National.

“The people of Australia voted for change on the weekend, not just in terms of government, they voted in terms of change about how they want to see the parliament work and Anthony’s just the right guy for the job to deal with that.”

Less than 48 hours after the federal election, work had already started to audit the existing budget and find instances of waste, Dr Chalmers said.

He expects to deliver Labor’s first budget in nine years at the end of October.

“This is probably the trickiest set of economic conditions that a new government and new treasurer has inherited,” he told Sky News.

A third of voters supported a minor party with their first preference, and senior Labor figure Tanya Plibersek said the incoming government would learn from the recent campaign to address voter dissatisfaction.

Ms Plibersek, who is expected to take on the education portfolio, told the Seven Network that once the dust had settled after the election Labor needed to have a close look at why people were turning away from the major parties.

The rest of the Labor ministry will be sworn in at a later date.

-with AAP



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