SYDNEY – Australian Labor leader Anthony Albanese was sworn in as the country’s 31st prime minister on Monday, vowing a “journey of change” as he pledged to tackle climate change, rising living costs and inequality.
Labor returned to power after nine years of opposition as a wave of unprecedented support for Greens and climate-independent liberals, mostly women, to end nearly a decade of Conservative rule in Saturday’s general election.
Although the votes are still being counted and the government’s makeup has not yet been finalized, Albanese has vowed to attend an important meeting of the “quad” security group in Tokyo on Tuesday.
Governor-General David Hurley was sworn in at a ceremony in the national capital, Canberra, by Albanese, who grew up in public housing by a single mother on a disability pension.
“It’s a big day in my life but a big day for the country, when we change governments,” Albany told reporters outside his Sydney suburban home before the ceremony. “I want to channel the opportunity that we need to shape change so that we can bring people with us on the journey of change. I want to unite the country. “
Australian financial markets have offered a muted response to Monday’s election results, with results already set and no radical change in economic direction expected.
“Our economic forecast and the (Reserve Bank of Australia’s) national leadership remain unchanged,” said economists at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
Wang will be joined by Deputy Labor leader Richard Marles and three prime ministers – Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Treasurer Jim Chalmer and Katie Gallagher – who will join Albanese on a quad trip.
Albanese said he had spoken with US President Joe Biden on Sunday night and was looking forward to meeting with the prime ministers of Japan and India on Tuesday. He will return to Australia on Wednesday.
The visit is in line with what the Albanian government sees as three pillars of Australia’s foreign policy: our alliance with the United States, our engagement with the region, and our support for the multilateral forum, Albanese said in a statement.
The Labor campaign has widely illustrated Albany’s image as a working-class credential and a realist integrator.
The center-left Labor still has four seats less than the 76-seat majority in the 151-seat lower house, which is very close to a dozen races, according to television channels. Some have predicted that Labor could get enough seats to govern itself.
Official results could be a few days away, with a record 2.7 million postal votes counted on Sunday.
(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Lincoln Feast and Gary Doyle)