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Australia: Tony Abbott unveils new cabinet


Australia’s newly elected Prime Minister Tony Abbott has unveiled his new cabinet, calling it a highly experienced line-up.

The appointments broadly followed the line up while in opposition, but included a major promotion for finance.

As expected Julie Bishop became foreign minister – the only woman to be named to Tony Abbott’s frontbench.

Tony Abbott defeated outgoing Labor leader Kevin Rudd in a decisive election on September 7.

The prime minister-elect made the announcement on Monday, in his first news conference since the poll.

Tony Abbott has unveiled his new cabinet, calling it a highly experienced line-up

Tony Abbott has unveiled his new cabinet, calling it a highly experienced line-up

“It is, I believe, one of the most experienced incoming ministries in our history, and I think it’s important to have experience as you move from opposition to government,” Tony Abbott said.

West Australian Senator Mathias Cormann was named finance minister over Liberal Senator Arthur Sinodinos, a move seen as a major endorsement from Tony Abbott.

Mathias Cormann, who was born in Belgium and migrated to Australia in 1994, has been the Liberal-National coalition’s spokesman on treasury and financial services.

Asked about the lack of female appointees, Tony Abbott said he envisaged that changing.

“I think you can expect to see as time goes by more women in the cabinet and the ministry,” he said.

Tony Abbott nominated Bronwyn Bishop, another Liberal Party politician, to became speaker of parliament. Several women also received appointments to junior ministries.

Other appointments include Andrew Robb, the coalition’s spokesman for finance in opposition, who was named trade minister, and Joe Hockney, the coalition’s shadow treasurer, as treasurer.

Tony Abbott is expected to be formally sworn in on Wednesday.

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