Sunday, April 10, 2011

Jumping at Shadows

In the lead-up the election there was a great deal of joking about the number of seats that Labor would win.  

When polls came out that suggested Labor's total seat count being in the low teens, many people wondered aloud whether Labor would even have a backbench once their shadow ministry was announced.

On Friday Robertson announced his new shadow cabinet that, we were assured, boasted "a mix of new faces and experience."

Almost every shadow cabinet member has more than one posting, although that is not unusual.  Unsurprisingly, the shadow minister for Education and Training (Tebbutt) and the shadow minister for Transport (Sharpe) are the only two with only one shadow ministry - clearly, these roles are more than enough for any one person to handle.

The full list can be seen here

The list is for the most part unremarkable.  Rees has made a comeback to the front bench in the not insubstantial role of police and emergency services as well as the arts.  Burney was, as expected, confirmed as deputy leader.

Robertson's statement that there is a mix of new and old is evident when their experience in the Lower or upper house s reviewed:

Robertson - LA, 2 years
Burney - LA, 8 years
Daley - LA, 6 years
Kelly - LC, 14 years
Tebbutt - LA, 6 years
McDonald - LA, 4 years
Sharpe - LC, 6 years
Lynch - LA, 16 years
Rees - LA, 4 years 
Foley - LC, 1 year
Perry - LA, 10 years
Furolo - LA, 3 years
Veitch - LC, 4 years
Cotsis - LC, 1 year

That said, none of the new appointees are taking their seats for the very first time.

Something I hadn't seen reported that I was interested to find out was who had missed out on appointment, so I've spent a little time trawling the internet trying to work out who is left.

I came up with the following list, which I think is interesting:

Tania Mihailuk - LA, newbie, member for Bankstown.
Nick Lalich - LA, 3 years, member for Cabramatta.  
Clayton Barr - LA, newbie, member for Cessnock
Gaetano Zangari - LA, newbie, member for Fairfield
Keneally - LA, former premier, 8 years, member for Heffron
Ryan Park - LA, newbie, member for Keira
Richard Amery - LA, 18 years, 8 years as a minister (but not since 2003), member for Mount Druitt
Anna Watson - LA, newbie, member for Shellharbour
Sonia Hornery - LA, 4 years, member for Wallsend
Greg Donnelly - LC, 6 years
Amanda Fazio - LC, 11 years
Luke Foley - LC, 1 year
John Hatzistergos - LC but just announced retirement, 12 years, multiple previous ministries
Shaoquett Moselmane, LC, 1 year
Eddie Obeid - LC, 10 years, 4 years as a minister (but not since 2003)
Peter Primrose - LC, 15 years, multiple previous ministries
Eric Roozendaal - LC, 7 years, multiple previous ministries
Lynda Voltz - LC, 4 years
Helen Westwood - LC, 4 years

First of all, all the brand new LA members didn't get a ministry, which was expected given that Labor managed enough seats to be a little bit picky.

There are, by my count, 8 LA members who don't have a ministry. Contrary to the jokes doing the rounds, Keneally will have plenty company.

Keneally announces when she resigned that she wished to serve from the backbench, and that is the job she will have.

The names Obeid and Roozendaal are poison for Labor, so no surprise that they missed out.  Hatzistergos is going so was never a factor.

Amanda Fazio has served as President of the LC for the last year and a half, and will most likely have a leadership role of sorts there.

As for the rest - well, I suppose some people had to miss out.  Amery and Primrose have been around for so long it may be that they are not figured to be a factor for long.

The rest have 3 to 6 years experience each, and may well be disappointed to see people with far less experience getting a guernsey.

It will be fascinating to see Robertson try to keep this group, unaccustomed as they will be to opposition, focussed on the difficult task they have ahead.

PS I've probably made an error or two in the above summary, what with being human and all.  Plus, I'm writing this after midnight on a saturday night.  Cut me some slack?


  1. So I presume that the suspension of Fazio from the ALP has been forgotten then?

  2. As far as I am concerned, clearly yes. Thanks for the reminder.