World Bulletin/News Desk
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed his new-look cabinet Sunday as his government faces plummeting approval ratings.
Immigration Minister Scott Morrison, who has courted criticism with his tough management of Australia’s “turning back the boats” policy, has been promoted to social services minister, overseeing one of the largest budgets in government.
His predecessor at social services, Kevin Andrews, replaces gaffe-prone Defense Minister David Johnston – who memorably said he would not trust state-owned shipbuilder ASC to "build a canoe.”
Abbott added a second woman to the cabinet after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, appointing Sussan Ley to lead the health ministry. Previous incumbent Peter Dutton has moved to immigration.
Education Minister Christopher Pyne is the new minister for education and training while Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane added science to his portfolio.
“This is a very strong team,” Abbott was quoted as saying in The Australian newspaper Sunday. “It is a very good team and I would be happy to go with this team to the election.”
However, opposition Labor’s Senate leader Penny Wong said the wide-ranging reshuffle indicated a “vote of no confidence” by Abbott in his ministers.
“You don’t need to have this extensive a reshuffle if your cabinet is performing well,” she said. “The reality is the cabinet is not performing well. The government is not performing well because their policies are bad.”
The administration is coming up to its first full year in power and has been beset by economic troubles and strong opposition in the Senate.
At the beginning of December, Newspoll recorded that 33 percent of Australians were satisfied with the government, down three percent, while the dissatisfied rating rose two percent to 57 percent - Abbott's worst ratings since July.
Güncelleme Tarihi: 21 Aralık 2014, 13:45