The next Deputy Prime Minister of Australia does not know whether he will also be the Minister of Defense, indicating that some positions in the Cabinet may be announced as early as Sunday afternoon.
Richard Marles will be sworn in as Deputy Prime Minister along with Prime Minister-elect Anthony Albanese on Monday before Mr Albanese and future Foreign Minister Penny Wong board a plane bound for Tokyo for a Quad meeting.
Mr Marles says he will not be on the plane, but has already had a conversation with Mr Albanese about what his next portfolio will be.
“I think I got the wrong foot with my leader if I was going to get ahead of what is obviously his statement and so I will leave it to him in due course,” Mr Marles told ABC Insiders.
“I had (talked to Mr. Albanese about my portfolio), but I’m not going to reveal it now.
“I think it’s right for Anthony to make this announcement during the day.”
Responding to a request from presenter David Spears to openly indicate whether he would stay at home while Mr Albanese travels to Japan, Mr Marles said: “Indeed”.
Mr Marles said Labor was confident he could still get a majority and the number of seats was still too close to call them on Sunday morning.
But Labor still rules out any “deal” with the Greens – who have taken at least one seat and could get two more – along with a number of independent “circus”.
He is confident in Mr. Albanese’s “highly qualified” ability to unite people, and added that his party is confident it can get its agenda through parliament.
“We are not going to pass the strong laws we have seen from Scott Morrison over the last decade that … have divided the country,” Mr Marles said.
“Anthony wants to unite the country, and that will be reflected in the way we approach parliament, and we are confident we can get the agenda through parliament.”
On a national swing against Labor and low votes for first benefits, Mr Marles said Labor was ready to unpack “this very difficult election” and make sure the party could “learn everything there is to learn from”.
“I think we need to look at that in great detail,” Mr Marles said.
“From my experience, you learn a lot in elections when you have the time and space to work out all the details.