Scott Morrison to become Australia’s 30th PM

Scott Morrison to become Australia’s 30th PM

24 August 2018

Scott Morrison has been elected the new leader of the Liberal Party and will become Australia’s 30th Prime Minister, in a remarkable end to an unprecedented week in Australian politics. Josh Frydenberg has replaced Julie Bishop as deputy leader of the party, while Malcolm Turnbull has resigned and confirmed he will exit parliament “not before too long”.

Mr Morrison defeated former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton 45 votes to 40 in the leadership ballot this afternoon after Foreign Minister Julie Bishop was eliminated in the first round of the ballot. A separate ballot for the deputy leadership saw Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg elected by an “overwhelming” majority over contenders Greg Hunt and Steve Ciobo.

Speaking at a media conference this afternoon, Prime Minister-designate Morrison said that after a week of bruising internal turmoil, the “new generation” Liberal Party leadership will return its focus to the Australian public. Mr Morrison and Mr Frydenberg will visit the Governor General this evening to be sworn in and will take the weekend to consider the makeup of the new Cabinet and Ministry, both of which are likely to be announced next week. In his press conference this afternoon, PM-designate Morrison indicated Mr Frydenberg will assume the role of Treasurer.

Mr Morrison outlined some of his first priorities as PM, indicating his government will prioritise action on the drought. He also highlighted electricity prices and healthcare as areas of concern. Mr Morrison said he had no plans for an early election, saying “I don’t think anybody should be making any plans for any elections any time soon”.

In his parting press conference this afternoon, Malcolm Turnbull said Australians will be “dumbstruck and appalled” by the events of this week, while also recapping a list of his achievements as leader, saying it has been a “challenging time” to be PM. Mr Turnbull has since visited the Governor General to formally resign as PM.


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