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Shadow ministers

Image of Shadow ministers

Catalogue no: 0106

Source/Credit line: Parliamentary Education Office (


This diagram is about shadow ministers.

Shadow ministers are members of the opposition and track or 'shadow' the work of ministers.

For example, the Shadow Minister for Finance shadows the work of the Minister for Finance and the Shadow Minister for Defence shadows the work of the Minister for Defence.

Shadow ministers sit on the frontbench of the opposition side in both the House of Representatives and the Senate.


  • Scrutinise (examine) the work of the government and individual ministers
  • Explain what they would do about specific issues if they were in government.