New government starts work on key election commitments

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Labor's interim ministry has started work on key election commitments including its planned Budget and the major boost for medical manufacturing.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was sworn in yesterday with deputy prime minister Richard Marles, treasurer Jim Chalmers, finance minister Katy Gallagher and foreign minister Penny Wong.

Mr Albanese said Labor's caucus will meet on 31 May to endorse the government's new ministry. The full ministry will be sworn in on 1 June and meet on the same day. It is expected to include Mark Butler as health minister and Ed Husic in the industry and innovation portfolio.

The $1.5 billion Medical Manufacturing Fund is one of many commitments the incoming federal government will now work to implement.

Labor made the commitment as part of its mammoth $15 billion National Reconstruction Fund that also includes initiatives focused on other advanced manufacturing, including clean energy component manufacturing, as well as artificial intelligence, agriculture and food.

New prime minister Anthony Albanese highlighted the National Reconstruction Fund in his first media conference yesterday.

He previously said the Medical Manufacturing Fund will be legislated as part of the National Reconstruction Fund and governed by an independent board that will work to partner with the private sector.

The fund's administrators will be looking for partners in the biopharmaceutical and medical device sectors to establish new or expand existing manufacturing facilities.

Labor's Medical Manufacturing Fund will replace the former government's $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing Initiative that was announced in the 2020-21 Budget. Unlike Labor's $1.5 billion commitment, which is entirely focused on the medical sector, the Coalition's initiative included it as one of six targeted sectors.