Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced on Friday noon the appointment of Bob Carr as Foreign Affairs Minister. He replaced Kevin Rudd who resigned last week and unsuccessfully battled Ms Gillard for the leadership post in the Australian Labor Party.
The announcement of Mr Carr's appointment is part of the third cabinet reshuffle of Ms Gillard in her 18 months term. She said it is part of her move to ensure the cabinet could deliver government's promises.
"I have put together the strongest possible team to do what the nation needs to make up the nation we want to be in the future: a stronger and fairer country," Ms Gillard said.
Mr Carr's appointment was made possible by a vacancy in the Senate after the sudden resignation of Senator Mark Arbib. The law declares that Senate vacancies do not need a by-election to find a replacement which could be filled up by a nominee from the majority party. He will be the nominee which would make him a member of parliament and eligible for a cabinet position.
Mr Carr is the former New South Wales premier. The post he got was reportedly eyed by Defence Minister Stephen Smith, who together with Simon Crean objected to Mr Carr's appointment into the plum portfolio without having to go through an election.
"When the prime minister asked me I said: 'I am enlisting. It's an honour to serve,'.... But in the end when the distinctive voice of Prime Minister Gillard rouses you from your slumber and says will you be foreign minister of Australia, I couldn't have found it in me to have said no," The Australian quoted Mr Carr.
"I am an unbounded admirer of this prime minister, and I suspect the more I see of her the more impressed I will be of her steadfastness under pressure," he added.
Mr Carr said he will seek reelection as senator in the next election and seek the advice of his predecessor.
Ms Gillard also removed Emergency Management Minister Robert McClelland, who supported Mr Rudd in the ALP power struggle, and appointed as his replacement Attorney General Nicole Roxon, who backed the prime minister.
Brendan O'Connor was appointed Small Business, Housing and Homelessness Minister. Kate Lundy was given the sports and multicultural affairs portfolios while David Bradbury was promoted as Assistant Treasurer, which was held by Mr Arbib, and Minister Assisting for Deregulation.
Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare was given the additional responsibility of Defence Materiel, while Trade Minister Craig Emerson got the added role of Competitiveness to focus on increasing Australia's economic clout on the international arena and the crafting of the Asian century white paper.
Kim Carr was retained Minister of Human Services even if he backed Mr Rudd, while Ms Gillard said she expects Mr McClelland to stay in parliament despite his losing the Emergency Management portfolio.
Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey said Ms Gillard's third cabinet revamp in 18 months is an indicator of her lack of control over her official family.
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