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Is it Andrew Leigh’s turn in Cabinet?

By Gungahlin Al - 23 March 2013 21
English: Prime Minister of Australia Julia Gil...

Prime Minister Julia Gillard at Rooty Hill, NSW (Photo: Wikipedia)

PM Julia Gillard has some pretty big holes to fill in her front bench after this week’s #nospill. And it probably isn’t just the ACT printers who are relishing the opportunities this presents.

With so many long-standing names names jumping before they are pushed, and probably a few more to join them after getting pushed, there’s a real (and way overdue) opportunity for the Federal ALP to install some fresh faces up front.

During the big day, ABC drew up the battlelines thus:

Gillard:

Swan
Feeney
Shorten
Bradbury
Combet
Perrett
Mitchell
Ludwig
Conroy
Danby
D’Ath
Dreyfus
Emerson
Evans
Farrell
L Ferguson
Garrett
Gray
Leigh
O’Neill
Plibersek
Rishworth
Ripoll
Roxon
Lundy
Grierson
Wong

Rudd:

Marles
Albanese
Jones
Stevens
Furner
Hall
Saffin
Griffin
Byrne
Fitzgibbon
Smyth
Bowen
Brodtmann
Cameron
K Carr
Champion
Crean
Crossin
Elliott
Faulkner
M Ferguson
Husic
Kelly
McClelland

Bob Carr and Dick Adams were both away from Canberra, but I believe in the Gillard camp. Quite a lot of others were missing from the ABC’s tally—there were a lot of people burnt last time who kept mum this time around…

From a Canberra perspective, this looks like Gai Brodtmann has dealt herself out of any short-term advancement. But Andrew Leigh is there in Camp PM. And no matter one’s politics, you’d have to admit that Leigh could bring a lot of credibility, sanity and critical analysis to a ministry role.

English: Candidate for Canberra Gai Brodtmann ...

Gai Brodtmann following the Federal Election 2010 ACT Declaration of Nominations. (Photo: Wikipedia)

The big question of course is would the PM appoint two ACT reps to the front bench, assuming Kate Lundy’s support (and, I believe, solid recent performance as Sports Minister) continues to be rewarded?

So what say you, RA? Will Leigh get his chance? And if so, what portfolio do you think would benefit most from his skill-set? (That’s assuming skill-sets get a look-in over factional dealing and squeaky wheel/state greasing…admittedly an audacious assumption when it comes to the ALP!)

Other prognostications? For mine, how about Penny Wong for Leader of the Government in the Senate?

What’s Your opinion?


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21 Responses to
Is it Andrew Leigh’s turn in Cabinet?
p1 12:10 pm 25 Mar 13

Leigh is now Parl Sec to the PM…

caf 9:30 am 25 Mar 13

It makes sense to give Ministerial experience to a few of the newer MPs who are likely to stick around through a couple of terms of Opposition.

miz 9:28 am 25 Mar 13

I just wish the Fed Govt would start communicating the good things they have done – even the ones in KRudd’s term, such as saving us all from the GFC, radically improving school IT resources etc. They seem to treat him as ‘he who must not be named’, which is very foolish given the positives they could brag about.

This govt’s failure to communicate to the general public seems to be their biggest problem since JG got in. They just seem to crumble when the Opposition says boo, and let them have a free kick. Unfortunately this leaves a possible Steven Bradbury situation for Mr Rabbit (so long as his cronies gag him well for the next few months). Personally I can’t think of anything worse than Mr Rabbit.

Perhaps JG should spend more time with Alan Jones? He seems to have an inordinate amount of sway with voters, despite his rather unconventional predelictions?

So OK, let’s have a fresh start with new faces, sure, but also a bit of good communication a la (and it hurts me to say it) John Howard, who somehow was able to ‘change his mind’ (choke) and get away with it so many times I’ve lost count.

Thumper 9:22 am 25 Mar 13

Given his economic knowledge and relative youth and energy, in time he could make a fine reforming treasurer in the mould of Paul Keating.

Without doubt. He’s been one of the more sensible members of the current government.

However, he needs to wary that he doesn’t fall under hate Abbott at all costs spell that seems to have paralysed and blinded most of the government.

And equally reject the faux class warfare that Gillard and Swan seem hellbent on introducing.

Leading a country is about being inclusive and not dividing by hate.

davo101 8:27 am 25 Mar 13

2604 said :

enriching unions and endless pork-barrelling of the middle classes

I, for one, look forward to our new political master so we can get back to enriching businesses and endless pork-barrelling of the middle classes.

2604 10:32 am 24 Mar 13

Clearly Leigh has a giant brain. Given his economic knowledge and relative youth and energy, in time he could make a fine reforming treasurer in the mould of Paul Keating.

Unfortunately, Labor’s current economic priorities – enriching unions and endless pork-barrelling of the middle classes – are about as far away from the sensible policies of the Hawke/Keating era as can be. No one in his right mind would want to be a part of this cabinet, let alone someone with Leigh’s talents. So I agree that Leigh would be better off biding his time and waiting until Labor’s current appetite for divisive, class warfare politics has subsided in favour of more inclusive and sensible policies.

chewy14 11:28 pm 23 Mar 13

Something, something… Deck chairs……titanic.

HiddenDragon 10:44 pm 23 Mar 13

Madam Cholet said :

I was under the impression that BCarr had made his feelings known about Gillard and he increasingly bad numbers and would have jumped sides if he had been around. Probably better that he wasn’t given how things turned out.

If Gai Brodtmann gets a gurnsey I’d be pretty pee’d. She’s barely done anything for this end of town and has a profile lower than a snakes’ belly, hence why most people never understood why Zed didn’t save himself for this seat (premature nomination problem obviously).

Andrew Leigh – nice guy, or so it seems, but needs a bit more experience.

If it was me, I wouldn’t be putting my hand up to be rocketed into oblivion in 6 months time. 6 months in the cabinet over 10 years in opposition?

Understandable sentiment (about being rocketed into oblivion), but Paul Keating recovered fairly well from being appointed Minister for Northern Australia on 21 October 1975 – but he, aside from his many other talents, at least knew how to organise a coup.

astrojax 9:07 pm 23 Mar 13

parl sec as richard marles’ replacement?

though agree with jb – unlikely and best all round…

54-11 9:06 pm 23 Mar 13

Add Senator Helen Polley to the list of Gillard’s supporters – she is right behind the PM’s right shoulder in one of the pics.

EvanJames 8:48 pm 23 Mar 13

Leigh is one of the really impressive hidden talents in the Labor party. You see these jaded old hacks with their heads in the media, mouthing platitudes, and think the whole party’s like that. But then you see the likes of Andrew Leigh, Mellissa Parke and Kelvin Thomson, and realise there’s a whole ‘nother party out there, of bright people with ideas and ideals, working hard for what they believe in.

The ones we see have largely traded in their ideals for power.

bigfeet 6:01 pm 23 Mar 13

It could be a useful reward for some of her supporters.

A lame duck ministry for 6 months, no actual work required or expected and the recipient gets the title of “The Hon.” for life and a jump in their superannuation. As ex-ministers, their post parliamentary privileges and entitlements are increased as well.

Why not give everyone a turn!

Madam Cholet 5:30 pm 23 Mar 13

I was under the impression that BCarr had made his feelings known about Gillard and he increasingly bad numbers and would have jumped sides if he had been around. Probably better that he wasn’t given how things turned out.

If Gai Brodtmann gets a gurnsey I’d be pretty pee’d. She’s barely done anything for this end of town and has a profile lower than a snakes’ belly, hence why most people never understood why Zed didn’t save himself for this seat (premature nomination problem obviously).

Andrew Leigh – nice guy, or so it seems, but needs a bit more experience.

If it was me, I wouldn’t be putting my hand up to be rocketed into oblivion in 6 months time. 6 months in the cabinet over 10 years in opposition?

PantsMan 5:22 pm 23 Mar 13

Oh, for the love of god, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

johnboy 5:11 pm 23 Mar 13

Straight into cabinet for Leigh would do him no favours in the long run.

And his knowledge in the economic portfolio would make relations in treasury edgy (the best treasurers historically have not tried to argue with treasury).

The other problem is that his big brain won’t really have time to develop policy properly in the time left before the election tsunami comes in.

Minister for Territories would be fun though!

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