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Meet The Woman Chosen To Replace Sam Dastyari

Katy Gallagher, come on down.

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Labor has tapped ACT senator Katy Gallagher to replace senator Sam Dastyari as leader of opposition business in the senate after he stepped down from Labor's frontbench over donations from a Chinese company.

The former chief minister of the ACT joined federal parliament in March 2015, filling the Labor Senate seat left vacant by former government minister Kate Lundy.

As well as managing opposition business in the Senate, the 46-year-old will keep her two portfolios, as shadow minister for small business and financial services.

"Taking on this role was very unexpected," Gallagher told BuzzFeed News.

"But when Penny Wong asked me to take on job I agreed to step up and fill the vacancy left by Senator Dastyari's resignation."

Tim Hammond, Labor's member for the seat of Perth, has been appointed to fill Dastyari's other vacant portfolio as shadow minister for consumer affairs.

"I also acknowledge that I will be building upon the hard work of my predecessor Senator Sam Dastyari," Hammond told the caucus on Tuesday.

Gallagher's appointment has been declared a victory for the gender wars in politics, as it means Labor now has women in both its Senate leadership positions. The government has two men.

Senate / Via

This isn't the first time Labor has had two women in its most senior Senate positions - Penny Wong and Jacinta Collins held the top roles in 2013.

There are just 21 women out of 85 Liberal/National MPs, meaning women make up 19.8% of the parliamentary party.

Labor has the most women in parliament with 42 to 53 men and the Greens have parity - five and five.

In her new role Gallagher will be pitted against manager of government business Mitch Fifield. The pair sparked a ~spicy~ gender debate last year when she accused him of "mansplaining".

Gallagher told BuzzFeed she is looking forward to "work constructively" and "professionally" with her mansplaining opposite number.

Alice Workman is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Canberra.

Contact Alice Workman at

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