Penny Wong becomes Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister

‘We have a plane to catch’: Penny Wong becomes Australia’s Foreign Affairs Minister

Penny Wong Foreign Affairs Minister

Freshly-minted Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong has left Australia for her first international summit in the position, attending the Quad Leaders’ Summit in Tokyo with new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.

They took flight shortly after being sworn in, a process that was expedited to ensure the pair could get to the meeting.

Also sworn into the interim ministry was Richard Marles as Deputy Prime Minister, Jim Chalmers as Treasurer and Katy Gallagher as Minister for Finance.

The full ministry will be sworn in next Wednesday.

Albanese also appointed Stephanie Foster as the acting head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, saying there will be another announcement following more formal procedures.

During a press conference today, Albanese noted that Australians have “conflict fatigue”, a message that came through in the results on Saturday.

“They want to work with people and I will work with people, whether it’s the crossbenchers or the opposition, to try to, wherever possible, get agreement.”

“Australians have voted for change. My government intends to implement that change in an orderly way.”

Meeting with the leaders of Japan, India and the United States, Albanese and Wong are expected to discuss climate change, the Russia/Ukraine conflict, and the rising dominance of China.

They will return to Australia on Wednesday, to start “implementing our agenda.”

That agenda includes acting on climate change, implementing the [email protected] report recommendations, addressing affordable childcare, fixing the aged care crisis and strengthening Medicare. Earlier today, incoming Indigenous affairs minister Linda Burney said the Uluru Statement from the Heart will be prioritised and “change the face of this country.”

Penny Wong was first elected to the senate in 2001, becoming the first Asian-born member of an Australian Cabinet when she took on the climate change portfolio during the Rudd Government.

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