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Shorten reveals team to take on Abbott govern -

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SCOTT BEVAN: Bill Shorten has just announced the shadow portfolios that he's allocated to his frontbenchers.

Since caucus elected the members of the frontbench on Monday, he's been consulting about which jobs to hand to each member of his team.

Louise Yaxley joins us from Canberra with more on this. Louise, who will have the key jobs in Opposition?

LOUISE YAXLEY: Well, immigration is one of the sensitive and high profile portfolios up against, of course, the Immigration Minister Scott Morrison who promises to turn back boats. That job's gone to Victorian Richard Marles as immigration and border protection shadow minister.

Environment, of course, is the other critical portfolio with the battle over the Government's carbon tax repeal - the first item on the parliamentary agenda - and environment stayed with Mark Butler who had it in government. And the economy of course always key, Chris Bowen will be shadow treasurer to Joe Hockey.

An interesting one is defence, and that's been given to long-serving senator Stephen Conroy, where Bill Shorten has highlighted Senator Conroy's experience in giving him that portfolio.

The other one, the tussle over the National Broadband Network, and that will be fascinating with Malcolm Turnbull on the Government side, and Labor's Jason Clare up against him. And Mr Clare will be backed up Michelle Rowland, who boosted her profile by holding her marginal seat.

He's also taken some safe options, if you like, keeping some experienced hands all in the portfolios they had in government. Gary Gray keeps resources; Anthony Albanese, transport and infrastructure; Kim Carr in industry; and Joel Fitzgibbon in agriculture.

So overall, Mr Shorten's highlighting of course that the strength of the team he's chosen or the Caucus chose for him on Monday. He says this is a diverse and experienced team.

BILL SHORTEN: Almost half of the shadow executive will be women. There'll be more working parents than ever before in the shadow executive, or indeed the executive of Australian politics.

In fact in our leadership group all of us have a child six or under as we perform our tasks at work. There's generational change. There's more Gen X in this shadow line-up than has existed before in Australian politics - but this is balanced, I'm pleased to say with both experience in government and in opposition.

SCOTT BEVAN: That is the Labor Leader Bill Shorten speaking a little earlier and Louise Yaxley joins me form our Canberra studio. Louise, were any of the decisions or allocations seen as controversial?

LOUISE YAXLEY: No great controversy but a couple of potential risks. Foreign affairs is usually a bit of a lower priority in opposition and it's gone to the deputy Labor leader, Tanya Plibersek. Now that means that she's not able to use her relative high profile as deputy in a domestic portfolio like health - although of course Ms Plibersek has said already that's she keen to take on this international portfolio, and it's certainly one that she sought. But has it damaged Labor's chances to use one of its strengths in a domestic portfolio is an interesting question.

And also there's a strong performer Penny Wong with an international focus because she's been given the shadow trade and investment portfolio.

Interesting choice there and also there's some ongoing controversy over the choice of the right faction Senator Don Farrell. Caucus picked him on Monday to stay on the frontbench despite the fact that he missed out on holding his seat. And he's due to leave the Upper House next July so Senator Farrell has been given the veterans affairs portfolio, and that is something that is continuing to niggle away at the Opposition as the internal discussions over factions.

SCOTT BEVAN: So Louise, broadly, what does all of this say about Labor's priorities?

LOUISE YAXLEY: Look, it tells us that obviously he's picked the positions he thinks will be strongest for those that Caucus gave him on Monday.

One of the interesting things he's done is appoint some shadow parliamentary secretaries, compensating those who missed out on a frontbench job, and that will include Ed Husic and Gai Brodtmann.

Also Warren Snowden, long-serving MP from the Northern Territory seat of Lingiari who also missed out, and Mr Shorten's able to reward those people as a way of keeping morale high, if you like, keeping the team, giving plenty of people a little reward.

And he can allocate those jobs at his own discretion because while they are a good opportunity for people to develop their experience or to keep getting... raising their profile, they don't come with any extra pay or any extra staff, so an interesting way to keep the team happy, if you like, Scott.

SCOTT BEVAN: Political correspondent, Louise Yaxley in Canberra, thanks very much.