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Australia's first female Prime Minster and new cabinet swearing in

posted 14 Sept 2010, 04:44 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 14 Sept 2010, 04:46 ]

Australia's first female Prime Minister and her cabinet are sworn in to office during a ceremony at the Governor General's house.

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA (SEPTEMBER 14, 2010) SKY NEWS AUSTRALIA - Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard and her new cabinet were sworn in on Tuesday (September 14) with Wayne Swan retaining his treasury portfolio and former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd becoming Foreign Minister.

Gillard kept Martin Ferguson in the key resources and energy portfolio, where he will be crucial in pushing through plans for a 30 percent tax on the profits of big iron ore and coal mines.

Former union leader Greg Combet was promoted to a cabinet position as Minister for Climate Change to replace Penny Wong, while Anthony Albanese stays at transport and infrastructure.

Gillard last week secured a second term in office in the aftermath of the close election with the support of three independents and a Green MP.

Hers will be the first minority government since World War II, raising concerns the administration will be unstable and may not run its full term.

Two Labor figures, Mark Arbib and Bill Shorten, key players in the move to dump Rudd in favor of Gillard, were also rewarded.

Arbib moves from the junior employment participation portfolio to become the Minister for Indigenous Employment and Economic Development, while Shorten becomes Assistant Treasurer.

The cabinet reshuffle was made easier by former finance minister Lindsay Tanner retiring from politics and former defense minister John Faulkner announcing before the election that he would stand down from the ministry.

Former foreign minister Stephen Smith was moved to defense, with responsibility for policy on Afghanistan, where Australia has around 1,600 troops.

Former Small Business Minister Craig Emerson will be the new Trade Minister.