Julia Gillard reshuffles cabinet

2011-12-12 15:25
Sydney - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard on Monday reshuffled her cabinet to bring in "fresh blood" after a bruising year in which her government has languished in opinion polls.

In a ministerial shake-up, Gillard kept key players and potential leadership challengers Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd and Defence Minister Stephen Smith in their current roles.

But she promoted two men credited with helping her remove ex-leader Rudd in a Labour Party coup in mid-2010, naming Bill Shorten to cabinet as minister for employment and workplace relations and making Mark Arbib assistant treasurer.

Gillard denied she was rewarding her supporters, saying "anybody making that assertion was incapable of logical thought".

The prime minister said the changes were designed to help secure jobs at a time of "profound economic change" and to help spread the benefits of Australia's mining boom.

"I believe it's the right mix of experience and new blood," she said.

Labour has weathered a turbulent time since Gillard narrowly won an election in August 2010, with support for the government languishing at 29%, a Nielsen poll published in The Sydney Morning Herald on Monday said.

Gillard, Australia's first female leader, also appointed the country's first female attorney general in Nicola Roxon, while Tanya Plibersek takes over from Roxon as health minister.

The new team is expected to be sworn in on Wednesday.
Read more on:    julia gillard  |  australia

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