01 July 2013

Kevin Rudd appoints new Australian immigration minister

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Recently reinstated Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has unveiled his front bench layout to take his party into the upcoming election, including appointing a new immigration minister for the second time this year.

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Kevin Rudd has unveiled his new front bench following his return to the office of prime minister last week.

Mr Rudd, who became Prime Minister of Australia for the second time last week after ousting predecessor Julia Gillard in a similar fashion to which he himself was originally ousted in 2010, unveiled his front bench today, charging them with the 'core task' of keeping the Australian economy strong.

"The core task of this Australian government is to keep the economy strong," said the prime minister.

"That's why I have assembled today a strong economic team, one with vastly more experience and vastly more competence than those we face opposite."

As part of the changes, Mr Rudd has appointed Tony Burke, the former environmental minister as new immigration minister. The prime minister said Mr Burke's experience as immigration spokesperson during the Labor Party's time in opposition gave him the experience to handle such a 'tough challenge'.

Mr Burke succeeds Brendan O'Connor as immigration minister after Mr O'Connor was shuffled over to the employment, skills and training portfolio, a move the prime minister said Mr O'Connor was 'delighted' over.

Mr O'Connor himself was only appointed to the immigration portfolio in February of this year after his own predecessor Chris Bowen resigned his ministry following a previous attempt to reinstate Mr Rudd.

The prime minister's Cabinet reshuffle also sees Mr Bowen returned to the front bench for the first time since his resignation to the position of Treasurer.

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