Is this move by Bill Shorten his most tactical one yet?

After Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced his reshuffled and newly-expanded 23-member Cabinet of ministers, Bill Shorten is ready to announce his

After Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced his reshuffled and newly-expanded 23-member Cabinet of ministers, Bill Shorten is ready to announce his shadow ministry today – with a bigger reshuffle to an expanded 32-member lineup.

Labor has defended the expanded size of the shadow ministry, saying Mark Latham and Kim Beazley had 32 or more.

But Mr Shorten appears intent on maintaining his criticism of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s enlarged cabinet and his handling of Parliament. He said, “Mr Turnbull has announced the biggest cabinet since Whitlam but he’s given us a parliamentary calendar worthy of Billy McMahon. During the election, he showed he was afraid of the Australian people. It’s clear now that he’s also afraid of the Parliament. Most of all he’s afraid of having all his good friends, his loyal colleagues and his enemies all in the same place at the same time.”

The expanded shadow ministry will include the first female indigenous MP, Linda Burney, and the first two Muslim shadow ministers in Ed Husic and Sam Dastyari. Among other likely winners are Queenslander Jim Chalmers, who could enter shadow cabinet via the finance portfolio, allowing Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke to take a more frontline role, perhaps as environment spokesman.

However, one of the more surprising moves is that of shifting deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek to the education portfolio, moving her from foreign affairs. Mr Shorten said handing Ms Plibersek the education portfolio was “about putting a great policy thinker on the political frontline”.

“I am determined to keep the issues important to Australians at the top of our agenda – better schools and education, Australian jobs and protecting Medicare,” he said. “There are few issues as critical to our nation’s future prosperity than education, which is why I am giving it such a priority.”

Adelaide MP Kate Ellis who has been shadow education minister for three years, is set to focus on vocational and early childhood education under the changes.

Labor will also seek to gain a tactical advantage over the government by elevating the small business portfolio to shadow cabinet, which Malcolm Turnbull relegated to the outer ministry in his post-election reshuffle.


The expansion to 32 members in the shadow ministry was seen as a move by Mr Shorten to save Senator Kim Carr from being dumped by the Left faction from its frontbench line up. Mr Shorten is hoping the deal will allow him to keep Senator Carr on side without infuriating senior members of the Left faction.

Senator Carr blocked the push by splintering off into a separate faction and, with the support of Victorian Socialist Left allies Gavin Marshall, Maria Vamnakinou and Lisa Chesters, claimed one frontbench seat in his own right.

What do you think about Labor’s shadow ministry? Do you think that Bill Shorten will be able to oust Mr Turnbull’s government eventually with his array of ministers?

  1. ken goodman  

    All ready talking about ousting Turnbull. How about talking about helping this country get back on it,s feet. It,s all about keeping the job and all it,s over generous perks. The only thing they always agree on are there pay rises. To them it,s a game and the tax payer pays.

  2. Judy Wilkins  

    Australians have to put aside the politics of envy & understand that “perks” are necessary to do the job as long as they are not abused & salaries continue to be set by an independent tribunal .. Am delighted Education have 2 great performers in Tanya Plibersek and Kate Ellis .. in particular early & vocational education where so much damage has been done .. Kate Ellis will be perfect in this role. With Murdoch controlling most media outlets Labor has mammoth task ahead .. Labor’s values on health, education & putting people first won’t change but winning the next election has to be number one priority .. thereby having the ability to make the structural changes needed to put our economy back on the right path .. the Liberals will continue to protect big business at the expense of the taxpayer.

  3. Terry Brennan  

    Yes Judy Wilkins we do really need Labor running the country again. They never once assisted the government in getting out of the debt that Rudd/Gillard/Rudd ran Australia into and yet all they do is talk about the debt the Libs have put the country in. Oh yeah they have great values and policies, we really need them to put our economy back on the right path like they did under the previous Labor government. Get real!

    • Joy Anne Bourke  

      Get real. Were u one of those in Rudd govt that got $900 to keep the country out of recession when the rest of the world was in recession. We stayed out of recession because of that money so we would spend and keep economy going. As for liberals they have increased the debt threefold since taking over. We need to stop all foreign aid, retirement pensions and perks until we have our own house in order. No homeless people and pensioners low income to live not in poverty.

    • Mareela  

      Terry Brennan you obviously allow your rightoid ideology to get in the way of the truth. PM Gillard left Tis country in good shape then along came the lying LNP and the non existent budget emergency. Abbott/Turnbull simply want to help corporations and the coal industry as that is what they pay them for. Abbott’s coal is good for humanity statement was a direct result of him being paid to say that. What a bunch of corrupt ineffective morons who have no idea how to run this country let alone the economy. Left to their own devices that will probably bankrupt the country. Of course that includes the obscene amounts of tax payer money that they donate to themselves.
      Terry Brennan you need to face facts and admit this government for the next 3 years will, thanks to Turnbull, find it almost impossible to get any legislation through the upper house. So much for jobs and growth which not one LNP politician could explain how jobs were to be created. And that’s because none will eventuate. They still think trickle down will work. THEY HAVE NO PLAN Terry. God help Australia.

  4. Truth 13  

    With the enlarged Cabinet & the Shadow cabinet, comes an enlarged staff too. I am sure it will help to bring down the unemployment figures in Canberra, and home & rentals prices will go up. Country is almost bankrupt, and now rob from the retirees, who worked & paid all taxes for over 40 years. The government deny a pension, and very soon they will be asked to pay for Medicare and will ask to Reverse Mortgage their house too, in order to live & pay for their medicare & living, if they have no other savings. Currently 65 years or older people started working in a time there was no Superannuation or Medicare. They were ROBBED of the earnings, by over 60 different taxes, They built the country & economy, brought up children & educated them. It is sad to note, now they are “hung to dry” like discarded rag dolls. If anyone doesn’t know what is a Reverse Mortgage is, what it means is, you have to mortgage your house, whether it is $500,000 or $5 million, to a Bank, which will give you about $200,000 to $500,000, on a high interest rate, and after few years, if you are unable to pay the interest, they will send you bankrupt, and posses the house. By the time you die, you will have nothing & die like a beggar. So, get ready to fight for your rights, and start a political party to dictate terms to these lousy politicians, who build their wealth & pension benefits, while showing their _______ (other word for donkey) to the people who voted for them.

  5. Wayne Grant  

    The Whitlam government started the downfall of Australia…The Hawk Keating Governments all but finished us off….A Shorten government will finish the job they set out to do…..

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