Thu, Sep 19, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Australia’s Abbott takes reins as prime minister

NEW BROOM:The leader and his most senior ministers were sworn in yesterday and got to work, although the upper house of parliament’s makeup is not yet finalized

AFP, CANBERRA

While Abbott has kept a low profile since the polls, he has been criticized for naming just one woman in his 19-person front-bench — new Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop.

He has also attracted criticism, including from his own party, for streamlining his ministry, with key portfolios such as water, climate change, science and aged care wrapped into other portfolios.

“I mean, we’ve got a minister for sport for God’s sake, but we don’t have a minister for science,” said Liberal member of parliament Dennis Jensen, comments seized on by Labor as a “sign of disunity” in the government.

Other ministers sworn in included Joe Hockey as treasurer, George Brandis as attorney-general and Nationals leader Warren Truss as deputy prime minister.

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