Rudd names Australia cabinet

Line-up includes first woman deputy PM and minister to tackle climate change.

    Julia Gillard, chosen as Rudd's deputy PM, becomes Australia's most senior female politician ever [AFP]
    Rudd said Wong - a Malaysia-born immigrant – would lead negotiations relating to the Kyoto Protocol, which he plans to ratify quickly, leaving the US as the only major Western country not to do so.

    "Penny will have responsibility for our international negotiations on Kyoto and Kyoto plus, she will have responsibility for the negotiations of our domestic emissions trading regime," Rudd said.
     
    The separate role of environment minister was given to Peter Garrett, a former conservation activist and singer with the rock band Midnight Oil.
     
    Climate conference
     

    Peter Garrett, a former rock star,
    becomes environment minister [AFP]

    Garrett and Wong will accompany Rudd to a UN-backed climate change conference in Bali, Indonesia, next week, the prime minister-elect said.
     
    Stephen Smith, a lawyer and Labor strategist, was named foreign minister while Maxine McKew, a former television journalist, was named parliamentary secretary to the prime minister. 
     
    McKew is widely thought to have defeated John Howard, the former prime minister, in his Sydney seat of Bennelong.
     
    Howard's coalition government was beaten by Labor at general elections on Saturday after 11 years in power.
     
    With more than 80 per cent of the votes counted on Thursday, Labour has already won more than the 76 seats required for victory and is expected to win 85 seats when counting is done.
     
    Rudd said he and his team would be formally sworn in on Monday.
     
    Opposition leader
     
    As the new Rudd cabinet was announced in Canberra, Howard's losing conservative Liberal party announced it had chosen Brendan Nelson, the former defence minister, to be opposition leader in the new parliament.
     
    Nelson defeated Malcolm Turnbull to become the new head of the conservative Liberal party by 45 votes to 42 – a margin that reflected deep division in the party after its election loss.
     
    Nelson, a medical doctor, was a member of the Labor party before he was elected to parliament in 1996.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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