Now Gillard has to decide who gets what job

11:17 am on 9 September 2010

The Liberal and Labor parties are gathering in Canberra on Thursday for the first time since the Australian election on 21 August, with senior figures angling for jobs on the frontbenches.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard is picking her ministry, the ABC reports, but will consult more widely with senior party figures than did her predecessor Kevin Rudd, who is reportedly in line for the Foreign Affairs portfolio.

The Government has three ministries up for grabs - Finance, Defence, and Veterans Affairs - thanks to the departure of Lindsay Tanner and the decisions by John Faulkner and Alan Griffin to go to the backbench.

Ms Gillard faces a difficult balancing act as she balances the left and right factions of the party.

She has already offered a position to independent Rob Oakeshott and promised another portfolio to Mr Rudd.

One of the remaining spots could go to Bill Shorten, the man who helped unseat Mr Rudd.

On the other side, 17 newly-elected Liberals will be welcomed to their party meeting, with MPs expected to endorse Tony Abbott as leader and Julie Bishop as deputy.

Mr Abbott has promised former Liberal leader Malcolm Turnbull a spot on the frontbench, where he has been suggested as a contender for the communications portfolio.