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Australia’s new prime minister Scott Morrison outlines his vision for a stronger nation

Australia’s new prime minister Scott Morrison has outlined his vision for a more compassionate nation and declared he represented ‘generational change’ within the Liberal Party.

The 50-year-old father-of-two, who worships at a Hillsong mega church at Sutherland in Sydney’s south, said he stood on the side of workers, whether they toiled in an office or on a building site.

‘I’m on your side, that’s what matters,’ he said in his first media conference leading the nation.

‘We’re on your side because we share beliefs and values in common.’ 

 

Australia’s new prime minister Scott Morrison has outlined his vision for a more compassionate nation and declared he represented ‘generational change’ within the Liberals

Flanked by new Liberal deputy leader Josh Frydenberg, the father-of-two from Sydney’s Sutherland Shire declared they represented ‘generational change’ within the Liberal Party, less than four hours after Malcolm Turnbull, 63, resigned as prime minister.

Australia’s 30th prime minister, and the fifth to lead the nation in five years, promised to heal the divisions in the Liberal Party.

‘It has been a tough few days,’ he said.

He paid tribute to his immediate predecessor Mr Turnbull and the Liberal Party’s former deputy leader of almost 11 years, Julie Bishop, for their ‘outstanding contribution to the nation and the party’.

Without his brother-in-law Gary Warren, who has multiple sclerosis, he said he had ‘always been a big fan of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

Scott Morrison also paid tribute to his immediate predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, hours after he addressed the nation for the last time

Scott Morrison also paid tribute to his immediate predecessor Malcolm Turnbull, hours after he addressed the nation for the last time

‘I have also been so keen to ensure it is funded,’ he said.

Ironically, it was Labor leader Bill Shorten who was instrumental in setting up the NDIS as a parliamentary secretary for disabilities in the Rudd government.

Just hours after seizing the nation’s top job in an extraordinary three-way leadership ballot, Mr Morrison said Australians were an ‘ambitious and aspirational’ people with a bright future.

‘Our plan, my plan, is for an even stronger Australia,’ he said.

Mr Morrison said he was on the side of everyday Australians working to make a living, care for their families and ‘having a go’.

He said Australia had enjoyed a great run of economic prosperity, and he was determined for that to continue. 

He said his immediate and most urgent priority was tackling the devastating drought that was crippling the country.

But Mr Morrison also said wanted to address soaring electricity prices, bullying in schools and ensure Australia was safe from terrorism.

Scott Morrison (pictured, right, with new Liberals deputy leader Josh Frydenberg) has become the new prime minister of Australia 

Scott Morrison (pictured, right, with new Liberals deputy leader Josh Frydenberg) has become the new prime minister of Australia 

The new prime minister will soon be fighting a new political battle in Mr Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth.

Malcolm Turnbull has left a ticking time bomb for Australia’s new prime minister Scott Morrison that will explode when he leaves Parliament.

Mr Turnbull confirmed he would soon be quitting Parliament for good, forcing a crucial by-election in his Sydney seat of Wentworth and putting at risk the Government’s wafer-thin majority. 

Mr Morrison became Australia’s fifth prime minister in five years after a week of bitter factional infighting within the Liberals which saw Malcolm Turnbull overthrown.

In his first speech as Australia’s 30th prime minister, the former treasurer declared he would be a leader for workers.

‘I’m on your side, that’s what matters,’ he said at his first media conference as PM.

Flanked by new Liberal deputy leader Josh Frydenberg, the father-of-two from Sydney’s Sutherland Shire mentioned the need to fund disability services.

Without mentioning his brother-in-law Gary Warren, who has multiple sclerosis, he said he had ‘always been a big fan of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

‘I have also been so keen to ensure it is funded,’ he said.

Ironically, it was Labor leader Bill Shorten who was instrumental in setting up the NDIS as a parliamentary secretary for disabilities in the Rudd government.

Mr Morrison prevailed in a three-way battle with former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop.

Ms Bishop was eliminated first after getting the lowest vote, and Mr Morrison then defeated Mr Dutton in the next round by five votes, 45 to 40.

Government Whip Nola Marino announced the results and revealed the deputy position was won ‘overwhelmingly’ by Josh Frydenberg with an absolute majority.

Mr Dutton congratulated Mr Morrison and Mr Frydenberg.

‘I thank Malcolm Turnbull very much for his service as prime minister of this country and Julie Bishop who’s been an amazing Foreign Affairs Minister and deputy leader of our party,’ he said.

‘My course from here is to provide absolute loyalty to Scott Morrison, to make sure we that we win the election and defeat Bill Shorten and make sure he’s never prime minister.’

Mr Morrison, a known moderate, takes charge of a severely divided party after a week of ugly infighting.

His first job will be to try to bring the warring factions together and present a united front to voters ahead of an election due before May 2019.

Mr Morrison also faces the challenge of maintaining the Government’s majority ahead of a crucial by-election in the Sydney seat of Wentworth. 

Mr Turnbull went on to slam what he called an 'insurgency by a number of people, both in the party room and backed by powerful voices in the media' determined to destroy his prime ministership

Mr Turnbull went on to slam what he called an ‘insurgency by a number of people, both in the party room and backed by powerful voices in the media’ determined to destroy his prime ministership

Ms Bishop (pictured with Mr Turnbull) was eliminated first after getting the lowest vote, and Mr Morrison then defeated Mr Dutton in the next round by five votes, 45 to 40

Ms Bishop (pictured with Mr Turnbull) was eliminated first after getting the lowest vote, and Mr Morrison then defeated Mr Dutton in the next round by five votes, 45 to 40

Mr Morrison (pictured) prevailed in a three-way battle with former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

Mr Morrison (pictured) prevailed in a three-way battle with former Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop

Senator Mathias Cormann  and former Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton arrive for the Liberal Party room meeting

Senator Mathias Cormann and former Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton arrive for the Liberal Party room meeting

Malcolm Turnbull held a press conference after the leadership spill in which he congratulated Scott Morrison and thanked Julie Bishop

Malcolm Turnbull held a press conference after the leadership spill in which he congratulated Scott Morrison and thanked Julie Bishop

WHO IS SCOTT MORRISON? 

* Born May 13, 1968 in Sydney

* Married to Jenny and has two daughters

* Often referred to as ScoMo

* Studied an economics and geography degree at the University of NSW

* General Manager of Tourism Council between 1996-1998, then Director of the New Zealand Office of Tourism and Sport 1998-2000.

* State Director of the NSW Liberal Party 2000-2004

* As director of Tourism Australia 2004-2006 he presided over the campaign featuring the slogan ‘Where The Bloody Hell Are You?

* Elected as the Federal Member for Cook in 2007 after first losing the preselection to Michael Towke, who was disendorsed over reported branch stacking

* Appointed to the front bench by federal Opposition Leader Malcolm Turnbull in 2008

* Took on shadow minister for immigration and citizenship in 2009 following Tony Abbott’s leadership spill

* Appointed by Tony Abbott as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection from September 2013, then Minister for Social Services from December 2014

* After Malcolm Turnbull replaced Tony Abbott as prime minister he was made Treasurer from September 2015

* Holds the safe seat of Cook in southern Sydney with a margin of 15.4 per cent.

Mr Morrison will be sworn in by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove on Friday afternoon.

The rebellion against Mr Turnbull was sparked by the conservative wing of the party, which feared the Government’s drift to the left was hurting its electoral chances.

SCOTT MORRISON’S VICTORY: WHAT THEY SAID 

* ‘My course from here is to provide absolute loyalty to Scott Morrison, to make sure we that we win the election and that we defeat Bill Shorten to make sure he’s never prime pinister.’ – Liberal leadership ballot runner-up Peter Dutton

* ‘The people who chose – Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott and others who chose – to deliberately attack the government from within, they did so because they wanted to bring the government down. They wanted to bring my prime ministership down.’ – Outgoing prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

* ‘I think what we have now is a new generation, a next generation of leadership’ – Greg Hunt, who failed in his bid to be deputy leader.

* ‘We have lost the prime minister but there is still a government to save.’ – former prime minister Tony Abbott.

* ‘My sincere congratulations to Scott Morrison on his election as leader of the Liberal Party. We must now all unite and move forward together working hard for the Australian people.’ – Key Dutton supporter Mathias Cormann.

* ‘I am certain that he will lead a more consultative parliamentary party, be more responsive to issues raised with him and actively seek to bring back together our broad church.’ – Conservative Liberal Eric Abetz.

* ‘Scott Morrison is someone I know well and I feel that in terms of competence and experience, he will be an excellent Prime Minister.’ – Dutton supporter and Liberal senator Jim Molan.

* ‘I congratulate @ScottMorrisonMP and @JoshFrydenberg on their election as Leader and Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party of Australia.’ – Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

* ‘Sadly the result of this vote means the Liberals will remain divided and intent on payback and revenge. They have no climate policy, no energy policy and no economic policy and the paralysis is likely to continue. They are unfit to govern.’ – Greens leader Richard Di Natale.

* ‘I look forward to building a really strong relationship with him.’ – NZ PM Jacinda Ardern, after getting off the phone with Morrison.

Mr Morrison has served as Treasurer for the past three years and was previously the Minister for Immigration.

He entered Parliament in 2007 after a successful business career, where he was managing director of Tourism Australia and the man behind the controversial ‘So where the bloody hell are you’ advertising campaign. 

The spill took place in a partyroom meeting at 12.20pm, after 45 members voted in favour of spilling and 40 against, resulting in the Liberal leadership being declared vacant when Mr Turnbull resigned, as he promised on Thursday. 

Mr Turnbull, who has not said exactly when he will retire from Parliament, addressed the media shortly after the spill. 

An immediate retirement would trigger a by-election in the New South Wales seat of Wentworth. 

‘It may surprise you on a day like this but I remain very optimistic and positive about our nation’s future, and I want to thank the Australian people,’ he said.

He congratulated new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, praising him as a ‘very loyal and effective Treasurer’ and thanked Julie Bishop, who he called a ‘dear friend’.

‘In the party room meeting today I was impressed by how many of my colleagues spoke or voted for loyalty above disloyalty,’ he said.

‘How the insurgents were not rewarded by electing Mr Dutton, for example.’

Mr Turnbull went on to slam what he called an ‘insurgency by a number of people, both in the party room and backed by powerful voices in the media’ determined to destroy his prime ministership.

‘The people who chose Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott, who chose to deliberately attack the Government from within, they did so because they wanted to bring the Government down,’ he said.

‘Insofar as there has been chaos this week, it has been created by the wreckers. I have done everything I can to maintain the stability of government and the stability of the party. 

‘But, of course, if people are determined to wreck then they will continue to do so.’  

Former prime minister Tony Abbott, who lost the leadership to Mr Turnbull in 2015, looked shocked as he said the party now faced the task of saving the government.

‘We’ve lost a prime minister but there is still a government to save. That is what we will all try our best to do now,’ he said.

Mr Turnbull congratulated new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, praising him as a 'very loyal and effective Treasurer' and thanked Julie Bishop, who he called a 'dear friend'

Mr Turnbull congratulated new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, praising him as a ‘very loyal and effective Treasurer’ and thanked Julie Bishop, who he called a ‘dear friend’

Government Whip Nola Marino said the deputy position was won by Josh Frydenberg (pictured) with an absolute majority

Government Whip Nola Marino said the deputy position was won by Josh Frydenberg (pictured) with an absolute majority

Treasurer Scott Morrison (pictured, right, with Mr Turnbull) prevailed against Mr Dutton and Ms Bishop in Friday's spill

Treasurer Scott Morrison (pictured, right, with Mr Turnbull) prevailed against Mr Dutton and Ms Bishop in Friday’s spill

THE REVOLVING LEADERSHIP DOOR IN AUSTRALIAN POLITICS SINCE 2007 

OPPOSITION LEADER BRENDAN NELSON, 2008

After Peter Costello declined to stand for the Liberal leadership after the 2007 election defeat, Brendan Nelson tried to fill the giant shoes of John Howard and failed. Malcolm Turnbull took over in 2008 for his first iteration as Liberal leader.

OPPOSITION LEADER MALCOLM TURNBULL, 2009

Climate change was to be the undoing of Turnbull the first time around. Kevin Andrews moved a spill on November 26, 2009 and lost. The next day Tony Abbott challenged but then declared he would back Joe Hockey. But when Hockey refused to oppose a carbon emissions trading scheme, Abbott stood at the December 1 ballot and defeated Turnbull by one vote.

PRIME MINISTER KEVIN RUDD, 2010

Labor’s Kevin Rudd became one of the few Australian prime ministers to be dumped while in office when Julia Gillard rolled him in 2010 just before an election. She claimed government after 17 days of negotiation to win crossbench support.

PRIME MINISTER JULIA GILLARD, 2013

Three years later, Australia’s first woman prime minister was gone when Rudd finally took his revenge after a failed 2012 coup attempt. In March 2013, Gillard called a spill but no-one challenged. Four months later on June 26, Gillard called Rudd’s bluff again at 4pm and was gone in a caucus vote a couple of hours later. Rudd and Labor lost the election as expected.

PRIME MINISTER TONY ABBOTT, 2015

Abbott led the Liberal-National coalition to a storming victory over Rudd’s Labor in 2013. He called a spill in February 2015, but it wasn’t until September that Malcolm Turnbull finally moved after Abbott had lost 32 Newspolls in a row.

PRIME MINISTER MALCOLM TURNBULL, 2018

Turnbull won a vote on his leadership 48-35 against Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton on August 21. Although he survived, the result wasn’t considered strong enough and the Dutton camp muscled its way to a more dramatic showdown at high noon on Friday August 24. Turnbull spilled the leadership and quit. But Dutton’s campaign backfired when he lost the second contest to Turnbull’s treasurer Scott Morrison by five votes.

 Source: AAP

The meeting followed a tense morning in Canberra during which the Solicitor-General said challenger Peter Dutton was likely clear to sit in Parliament.

Attorney-General Christian Porter on Friday said he had received advice from Solicitor-General Stephen Donoghue QC about Mr Dutton’s eligibility over his financial interests in Commonwealth-funded childcare centres.

Mr Donaghue found there is ‘some risk’ the High Court would find Mr Dutton has a conflict of interest over federal payments to the childcare centres, but Mr Dutton was likely ‘not incapable’ of sitting.

The advice was given to both Mr Dutton and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, before the 43 signatures needed to force the leadership spill were secured. 

Mr Dutton defeated deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop (pictured) and Treasurer Scott Morrison in a three-way battle for the prime ministership

Mr Dutton defeated deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop (pictured) and Treasurer Scott Morrison in a three-way battle for the prime ministership

Mr Turnbull resigned from the Liberal party leadership after 45 members voted in favour of a spill motion 

Mr Turnbull resigned from the Liberal party leadership after 45 members voted in favour of a spill motion 

Mr Dutton released a statement saying the SG’s finding’s were consistent with his previous legal advice on the matter.

‘The consistent and strong advice which I have received puts to rest the false, unsubstantiated and malicious claims regarding my eligibility to sit as a Member of Parliament,’ he said. 

Section 44 of the Constitution bans from parliament persons who have ‘any direct or indirect pecuniary interest with the public service of the Commonwealth’.

Mr Donaghue said it was not possible to reach a definitive conclusion without more detailed information. 

Legal advice confirming Peter Dutton's eligibility to sit in Parliament was handed to Malcolm Turnbull ahead of the spill which saw Scott Morrison become Prime Minister

Legal advice confirming Peter Dutton’s eligibility to sit in Parliament was handed to Malcolm Turnbull ahead of the spill which saw Scott Morrison become Prime Minister

THE FULL LIST OF AUSTRALIA’S PRIME MINISTERS SINCE 1901 

* Edmund Barton

* Alfred Deakin (three times: 1903-04;1905-08;1909-10)

* Chris Watson

* George Reid

* Andrew Fisher (three times: 1908-09;1910-13;1914-15)

* Joseph Cook

* Billy Hughes

* Stanley Bruce

* James Scullin

* Joseph Lyons

* Earle Page

* Robert Menzies (twice: 1939-41;1949-66)

* Arthur Fadden

* John Curtin

* Francis Forde

* Ben Chifley

* Harold Holt

* John McEwen

* John Gorton

* William McMahon

* Gough Whitlam

* Malcolm Fraser

* Bob Hawke

* Paul Keating

* John Howard

* Kevin Rudd (twice: 2007-10; 2013)

* Julia Gillard

* Tony Abbott

* Malcolm Turnbull

* Scott Morrison 

Source: Nationals Archives of Australia website

The legal advice came after one of Mr Turnbull’s most loyal supporters, former Finance Minister Mathia Cormann, declared his support for Mr Dutton.

Mr Cormann said the Member for Dickson in outer Brisbane is the man to win back John Howard’s battlers and unite the fractured party.

‘Peter Dutton connects very well to hard-working, aspirational Australians,’ Mr Cormann told Sky News on Friday.

‘I believe he will be able to reconnect with the Howard battlers – bring them back in the Liberal fold.

‘He knows what it takes to connect to families around Australia wanting to get ahead.’

Mr Cormann, who is a close friend of Mr Dutton, said the former home affairs minister was best equipped to unite the Liberals and win the next federal election. 

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop arrives for a vote to adjourn the House of Representatives

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop arrives for a vote to adjourn the House of Representatives

PETER DUTTON’S ELIGIBILITY TO SIT IN PARLIAMENT 

* Advice has been provided by Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue to the prime minister and Peter Dutton following concerns about a possible breach of section 44 of the Constitution.

* At issue was the Camelia Avenue Child Care Centre in Brisbane, operated by RHT Investments in its capacity as trustee for RHT Family Trust of which Mr Dutton is a beneficiary.

* ‘On the facts set out below, in my opinion, the better view is that Mr Dutton is not incapable of sitting as a member of the House of Representatives by reasons of s 44(v) of the Constitution.’

* Donaghue found there was no ‘agreement with the public service of the Commonwealth’ involved in the dealings between RHT Investments and the federal government ‘therefore no agreement in which Mr Dutton could have an indirect pecuniary interest by virtue of his status as a beneficiary of the RHT Family Trust’.

* However, there were two possible bases on which such an agreement ‘could be argued to exist’.

* The first of these is whether the process by which RHT Investments applied to become, and was approved as, a provider of child care services, constituted an ‘agreement’ under s44(v) of the Constitution. But Donaghue argues it’s not an agreement when one party (the government) is legally required to grant the approval if the proper conditions are met.

* The second is the process by which the child care subsidy is paid by the federal government into a bank account nominated and managed by RHT Investments. It could be considered an ‘agreement’ but Donaghue says the child care provider is merely a ‘conduit’ to pass on the money to the parent who applied for it.

* Donaghue says it is ‘impossible to state the position with certainty’.

* He gives three reasons: the facts are unlike anything the High Court has previously assessed; there may be ‘further facts’ of which he was unaware; there remains ‘significant division of opinion’ in the High Court as to how s 44 (v) operates.

* The Solicitor-General was not provided with any information on the amount of money received by the child care centre or whether it was paid directly into the RHT Investments account.

Source: Advice from Solicitor-General Stephen Donaghue

 

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