Deputy PM is Australia's new communications minister

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has picked up the communications and broadband portfolio in the lead-up to the election.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

New Australian Deputy Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will also be the minister for communications in the new government led by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, following Stephen Conroy's snap resignation last week.

In announcing the new-look ministry this morning, Rudd said that Albanese will pick up the communications and broadband portfolio in addition to his existing portfolios of transport and infrastructure.

Albanese, who became deputy prime minister following Rudd's return to the Labor leadership last week, has been responsible for answering questions on the communications portfolio in the House of Representatives on Conroy's behalf for the past few years.


"This is a large set of responsibilities for a man with a prodigious work ethic and a heart for all Australia. He will do the job well. He will help keep the nation's arteries going," Rudd said.

"Without properly functioning national infrastructure, the roads, rails and ports which have served us well in the past and which we must continue to invest in the future. The new infrastructure; our National Broadband Network, NBN."

Albanese will now be in charge of advocating the National Broadband Network (NBN) policy against shadow communications minister Malcolm Turnbull in the lead-up to the election. While former Prime Minister Julia Gillard had set the election date for September 14, Rudd has indicated that he may not stick to that date.

High-profile backbencher Ed Husic did not get a ministry role as part of the reshuffle, but today picked up the roles of parliamentary secretary to the prime minister and parliamentary secretary for broadband.

Cunningham MP Sharon Bird will become the minister for regional communications.

Kim Carr has returned to the Cabinet as the minister for industry, innovation, science, and higher education.

Kate Lundy has been shifted out of the sport portfolio and will be the minister for multicultural affairs, and will pick up the roles of the minister assisting for industry and innovation and for the digital economy.

While many ministers resigned in the wake of Rudd's return as prime minister, those who remained largely retain the same portfolios, with Mark Dreyfus staying on as attorney-general, and Penny Wong remaining as finance minister under new treasurer Chris Bowen.

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