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Labor leader Bill Shorten announces new shado -

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STEVE CANNANE, PRESENTER: Nearly six weeks after its election defeat, Labor finally has a new-look frontbench. Bill Shorten says his shadow ministry is a break from the past and he's trying to sell his team as one of the most youthful ever.

James Glenday reports from Canberra.

JAMES GLENDAY, REPORTER: Since the election, Labor's been coming...

MATT THISTLEWAITE, LABOR MP: This has been a win for the process.

JAMES GLENDAY: ...and going.

ANTHONY ALBANESE, LABOR MP: I keep private discussions private.

JAMES GLENDAY: The party got a leader Sunday, a Cabinet Monday and finally, on a Friday, Shorten's shadows are ready to take on Abbott's so-called A team.

BILL SHORTEN, OPPOSITION LEADER: There's more Gen X in this shadow line-up than has existed before and I believe this shadow executive is a break from the past. More women than ever before, younger than ever before.

JAMES GLENDAY: As part of the start of Labor's next generation, Tanya Plibersek swaps health for foreign affairs, Stephen Conroy, broadband for Defence, Penny Wong takes Trade, Tony Burke will manage Opposition business and financial while Richard Marles has picked up immigration and Catherine King health. There are nine fresh faces among the 15 shadow parliamentary secretary including Wayne Swan's former Chief of Staff, Jim Chalmers, who was only elected in September.

CHRIS BOWEN, SHADOW TREASURER: Parliamentary secretaries in Opposition are a very valuable thing and I'm glad we've got so many people able to fill these roles.

JAMES GLENDAY: There's experience too. Anthony Albanese's kept transport, Jenny Macklin the families portfolio, Mark Dreyfus is shadow Attorney-General and Mark Butler, climate change spokesman.

After taking weeks to choose a new leader, Labor's new team now has to pick its policies. It meets on Monday to decide, among other things, whether or not it will help axe the carbon tax.

Allegations of dodgy costings were a major part of this year's election campaign but the independent Parliamentary Budget Office has run the ruler over the party's policies and promises and the bottom line is there are no black holes.

The Coalition's policies would boost the Budget by $7 billion over the next four years, Labor's by a relatively modest $9 million.

JOE HOCKEY, TREASURER: The Fin is wrong. The Financial Review...

CHRIS BOWEN: Did they make them up?

JAMES GLENDAY: So after a lot of noise, neither side has much to crow about.

Today's weekly briefing on the Government's stop the boats plan raised more questions than answers.

SCOTT MORRISON, IMMIGRATION MINISTER: I don't have those details in front of me. It is a fairly recent event.

JAMES GLENDAY: There were reports staff were removed from Manus Island detention centre this morning but despite being repeatedly questioned, Scott Morrison would only say they were taken to a navy boat.

SCOTT MORRISON: To the Choules which is the naval vessel that is there currently providing accommodation.

JAMES GLENDAY: And that small snippet of information wasn't actually correct. A press release this afternoon stated that no staff were transferred to the navy ship and the incident was a matter for PNG.

Three boats were stopped this week carrying 173 asylum seekers. The Government says its border protection operation is making a difference.

James Glenday, Lateline.