Bill Shorten has been promoted to Cabinet as Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations but he will also retain the portfolio as the Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation.

“I’ve chosen the strongest possible team,” says Prime Minister Julia Gillard speaking at a news conference broadcast by ABC 24 television.

Her new Cabinet will have “new energy and talent” and “focus and firepower,” says Gillard.

Shorten was responsible for steering through the House of Representatives a bill that will increase compulsory superannuation contributions to 12 per cent from 9 per cent.

If the Senate passes the bill, Shorten says “8.5 million Australians” will “have more money to retire on” while bolstering the amount of superannuation money by $500 billion.

There is about $1.4 trillion in superannuation funds under management.

Shorten says the Gillard Government wants to make Australia a “hub for international investment” in the “Australia-Pacific century”.

“In a beauty parade on financial services the other mob are not even on the cakewalk,” says Shorten in remarks broadcast by ABC 24 TV.

Shorten is the member of Maribyrnong, first elected to Parliament just four years ago in November 2007. The national secretary for the Australian Workers Union between 2001 and 2007, he was a solicitor for Maurice Blackburn Cashburn after garnering degrees in arts and law from Monash University.

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