Tony Abbott sworn in as Australian PM
Governor-general Quentin Bryce has officially sworn in Tony Abbott as the 28th prime minister of Australia during a ceremony held at Government House in Canberra.
After swearing the oath of office the new PM said he would govern the country fairly “for all Australians, including those who didn’t vote for us”.
“We won’t forget those who are often marginalised, people with disabilities, indigenous people and women struggling to combine career and family,” Abbot declared.
“We will do our best not to leave anyone behind,” he added.
A fierce opponent in opposition, who readily criticised the former Labour government during their six-year tenure and effectively ended the Rudd-Gillard era, Abbott is now the one in the crosshairs.
And it hasn’t taken long for him to come under fire. The unveiling of the new cabinet, which consists of 18 male ministers and only one female, foreign affairs minister Julie Bishop, was not well received in many quarters.
Australia’s new prime minister has also met disapproval from within his own party. Liberal backbencher Dennis Jensen criticised Abbott’s rearranging of portfolios which has left Australia without a clear cut minister for science.
“I’m somewhat confused about what’s happened with the science portfolio. It’s not just completely with the industry portfolio, there are parts of it within education which will make it a somewhat schizophrenic policy area,” Jensen told ABC.
“I mean we’ve got a minister for sport for God’s sake, but we don’t have a minister for science,” he continued.
The newly elected government also cut A$300 million from its Direct Action climate policy just days before the federal election, which Abbott plans to implement if his party are successful in scrapping Australia’s current carbon tax.
Proposed cuts to Foreign Aid and the merging of AusAID with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade have also raised concerns; in addition speculation over the protection of the Great Barrier Reef against mining industry development under the coalition, and a massive online petition against the new Government’s alternative scheme for Australia’s national broadband network, means there will be no easing into the job for Abbott.