Demoted ministers turn heat on PM
RESHUFFLE losers Kim Carr and Robert McClelland have bluntly declared they did not want to be turfed out of their jobs, as Prime Minister Julia Gillard reacted tetchily to questioning about her controversial reshuffle, which gave big promotions to key backers.
As leadership aspirant Kevin Rudd bought into the debate by defending Senator Carr's performance as industry minister, the demoted ministers put the heat on Ms Gillard.
Senator Carr said his move - out of cabinet to the junior portfolio of Manufacturing and Defence Materiel - ''was not of my choosing''. Thanking those who had worked with him, he said the reshuffle was ''not a reflection of our efforts or our achievements''.
Mr Rudd, who is overseas, said the reshuffle was a matter for Ms Gillard but ''Minister Carr has been, in my experience, a very good minister for industry.
''He was largely responsible during the global financial crisis for ensuring that none of the Australian car companies fell over … I have much respect for his work on that count.''