Changes for Labor frontbench?

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As the new Coalition ministry gets down to work Labor is now going through its own process of finalising its frontbench and sorting portfolio responsibilities.

Speculation shadow industry minister Senator Kim Carr will be dropped from the frontbench with reports the long-time supporter of the biopharmaceutical industry has lost the support of colleagues from his Left faction.

Senator Carr served as industry minister in the former Labor government, and shadow minister during the first term of the current Coalition government.

He has been a strong and outspoken advocate for the life sciences sector over many years, with a specific interest in advanced manufacturing and R&D, and criticised the current government for abolishing the Pharmaceutical Industry Working Group.

In a debate with former industry and innovation minister Christopher Pyne during the recent election campaign, Senator Carr said Labor would not "smash" an industry it was also trying to build.

The loss of Senator Carr from the Labor frontbench, as one of the few politicians with a strong and well-developed interest in life sciences, would be a blow for the  biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.

There is also speculation about the future of health spokesperson Catherine King, with the suggestion Labor leader Bill Shorten could seek to elevate the portfolio by appointing a more senior and high profile member of his frontbench, including former health minister Tanya Plibersek.

While it appears unlikely, it would be a remarkable outcome for Ms King to lose health while Sussan Ley retained the portfolio given the impact and success of Labor's Medicare focussed election campaign.