The Federal Election Dust Has Settled, So What Does Our Parliament Look Like Now?
We finally have a federal arts minister again.
It has just been confirmed that the Australian Labor Party (ALP) officially have enough seats to form a majority government, after winning at least 76 seats in the House of Representatives.
So what exactly will an Albanese Government look like, and how will it differ from the Morrison Government?
What Does A Majority Government Mean, And Is It Good?
More than a week after Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the Prime Minister, Labor has finally won enough seats to form a majority government — which means things will be pretty different to how they’d be if we had a Labor minority government.
Basically, they’ve got enough seats that they can pass bills without needing to pander to the Greens and the independents for support, which is a good thing for Labor — but not such a good thing for the influence of minor parties.
A minority government would have meant that Labor would need the support of the Greens, the independents and other minor parties to form government and pass legislation. In practice, this would’ve meant the Greens — now the third-largest party in Parliament — would have more of an influence in what does, and doesn’t, get passed.
While many politicians and news outlets would have you believe that minority governments are bad for Australia’s progress, this is actually far from the truth. In fact, Julia Gillard’s minority government was quite literally the most productive government in Australia’s history — passing more legislation than even Bob Hawke.
It’s still worth noting that sources tell the ABC that the Albanese Government is keen to strike deals with the Greens, teals and other independents to strengthen their bill passing ability.
“I think also more broadly that Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister, has said that he is looking forward to working with the crossbench,” Independent MP Rebekha Sharkie told the ABC.
“He recognises he has had a long-standing relationship with a number of us, Andrew Wilkie, myself, so I am just always optimistic, looking forward to seeing good governance in the next parliament.”
The difference now is that they don’t need to strike these deals.
We already know some of the major figures in Albanese’s cabinet, who were sworn in last week before Albo and Penny Wong flew off to Tokyo for the Quad meeting.
Albanese gave his first address to senators and MPs on Tuesday morning, before getting down to the nitty-gritty of actually deciding who will form his Cabinet ministry.
“I want to remind you that you shouldn’t waste a day in government. We don’t intend to,” Albanese told senators and MPs. “Australians have placed their trust in us and that brings with it an enormous responsibility.
“An enormous responsibility to deliver on the commitments that we made, the commitments for which we have a clear mandate as part of a majority Labor government… and deliver we will.”
Albanese’s new front bench looks like this:
Richard Marles — Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence
Penny Wong — Senate Leader and Foreign Minister
Don Farrell — Deputy Senate Leader, Minister for Tourism and Travel and Special Minister of State
Jim Chalmers — Treasurer
Katy Gallagher — Minister for Finance, Minister for Public Service and Minister for Women
Tony Burke — Leader of the House, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Arts
Mark Butler — Deputy Leader of the House and Minister of Health and Aged Care
Chris Bowen — Minister for Climate Change and Minister for Energy
Tanya Plibersek — Minister for Environment and Water
Catherine King — Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government
Linda Burney — Minister for Indigenous Australians
Amanda Rishworth — Minister for Social Services
Bill Shorten — Minister for the NDIS and Minister for Government Services
Mark Dreyfus — Attorney General and Cabinet Secretary
Brendan O’Connor — Minister for Skills and Training
Jason Clare — Minister for Education
Julie Collins — Minister for Housing, Minister for Homelessness and Minister for Small Business
Michelle Rowland — Minister for Communications
Madeleine King — Minister for Resources and Minister for Northern Australia
Murray Watt — Minister for Agriculture, Minister for Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Emergency Management
Ed Husic — Minister for Industry and Science
Clare O’Neil — Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Cyber Security
And these are the faces you’ll see in Labor’s new outer ministry:
Matt Keogh — Minister for Veterans Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel
Pat Conroy — Minister for Defence Industry and Minister for International Development and the Pacific
Stephen Jones — Assistant Treasurer and Minister for Financial Services
Andrew Giles — Minister for Immigration, Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
Anne Aly — Minister for Early Childhood Education and Minister for Youth
Anika Wells — Minister for Aged Care and Minister for Sport
Kristy McBain — Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories