Gillard under pressure to reveal post-election portfolios


Gillard under pressure to reveal post-election portfolios

Posted 9 minutes ago

The Federal Opposition says Prime Minister Julia Gillard will be taking Australian voters for “mugs” if she does not reveal her preferred candidates for the foreign affairs, defence and finance portfolios before the election.

There is speculation former prime minister Kevin Rudd is keen to take the foreign affairs post if Labor wins another term.

Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner is about to quit politics and Defence Minister John Faulkner is moving to the backbench.

Opposition frontbencher Christopher Pyne says Ms Gillard should end the uncertainty about her senior team.

“We now have a Foreign Minister who can’t confirm if he will continue as Foreign Minister because he has Kevin Rudd looking over his shoulder,” he said.

“We have a Defence Minister who is retiring and we have a Finance Minister who is retiring, so three of the most important jobs in the Government, and the public have no idea who will fill those roles.”

Mr Pyne says voters have a right to know who is in the leadership team.

“Julia Gillard owes it to the Australian public to say who will be Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and Finance Minister in a Gillard Government,” he said.

“And if she doesn’t then she’s basically taking the Australian voters for mugs and assuming she can get reelected on the back of a team that is quite frankly dysfunctional.”

Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith says the decision is in Ms Gillard’s hands.

Mr Smith says she is under no obligation to reveal who will serve in his portfolio if Labor wins the election.

“She has made it perfectly clear that I’ll be the minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade up to the election and after the election it will be a matter for her to allocate portfolios,” he said.

“It is a very important portfolio, which is why I apply myself to assiduously and diligently.”

Tags: government-and-politics, federal-government, australia

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