Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull forced to pick new team

July 12, 2016 1:30 am

Australian Prime Minister speaks at the government offices in Sydney. Photo / AP

He’d hardly stepped back into the building but returned Prime
Minister Malcolm Turnbull was yesterday already getting an idea of the
trouble he is set to face in the tumultuous term ahead.
“Regrettably,
several ministers have not been returned and so there will be some
changes,” Turnbull said as he declared his election win on Sunday.
Reshuffling
his front bench and replacing fallen ministers will be the first
challenge the reinstalled Prime Minister is likely to face as his
Government begins to take shape.
Throughout the election
campaign, Turnbull was insistent the “strong, stable” government he
pitched would come with a front bench Australians were already familiar
with, but, of course, the vote didn’t quite go as he had planned.
Though
most senior cabinet ministers are expected to hold on to their
positions, fallen junior ministers Wyatt Roy and Peter Hendy – both key
Turnbull backers who were instrumental in his toppling of former PM Tony
Abbott – will have to be replaced.

Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck is also battling to retain his seat in the Senate.
Turnbull
yesterday said the new parliament would showcase “many new and younger
faces”, and there have been suggestions he’ll want his front bench to
reflect this, with the elevation of rising conservative stars.
The promotions would placate the coalition’s Right wing, but leave the leader with a party room leaning less in his favour.
Turnbull
will also have a slightly more powerful Nationals leader to deal with
as the parties work together in the Coalition Government.
Thanks
to the rural party picking up an extra seat while the Liberals lost at
least a dozen, the Nationals have some extra bargaining power.
Their
leader, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, will use this as leverage
in reaching a new coalition agreement, which must be finalised before
the Turnbull Government can be sworn in.
Turnbull has time on his
side while considering his new cabinet, as Governor-General Peter
Cosgrove is on an official visit to France over the next week.
It’s expected Liberal and National MPs will meet in Canberra on July 18.

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