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Scott Morrison will be PM no. 30 of Australia

Dutton pledges loyalty to Morrison

Scott Morrison has defeated Peter Dutton in the leadership spill by 45-40.

Julie Bishop was also in the fray, making it a 3-way contest but was eliminated in the first vote. Having attempted and lost the leadership vote, the position of deputy leadership became vacant. Josh Frydenberg has been elected the deputy leader of the parliamentary Liberal party.

After losing the vote, Peter Dutton said, “My course from here is to provide absolute loyalty to Scott Morrison to make sure that we win the election and that we defeat Bill Shorten.”

Tony Abbott, former PM and seen close to Peter Dutton’s push, spoke briefly after the vote:

“We’ve lost a prime minister but we still have a government to save, that is what we will all do our best to do now … We are the custodians of a great political tradition.”

Some observers find this solution to the Liberal party problems as “uneasy”.
“By electing Scott Morrison as leader, the Liberal party is attempting to bridge the divide with a candidate who began his career as a moderate and morphed into a conservative.

That truce, to me, looks entirely uneasy”, wrote Katherine Murphy in the Guardian Australia.

The Dutton push was seen as rebellion by the right to take control of the party.
“With the Dutton push, conservatives have attempted to impose their authority on the Liberal party, seizing it from moderates with the objective of crushing them and consigning the Turnbull experiment to history”, Ms Murphy added.

Writing in the Aus, Dennis Shanahan opined the “bitterness will continue”.
“Scott Morrison’s narrow victory is a win for “compromise” and Malcolm Turnbull’s desperate attempts to block Peter Dutton… But the margin is so close the bitterness will continue…”

Scott Morrison was born in Sydney and studied at the University of New South Wales. Before entering Parliament he worked in tourism, including as director of New Zealand’s Office of Tourism and Sport from 1998 to 2000 and as managing director of Tourism Australia from 2004 to 2006. He was also state director of the New South Wales Liberals from 2000 to 2004. Morrison was elected to the House of Representatives at the 2007 federal election for the seat of Cook in NSW.

After the Liberal Party was elected to government at the 2013 election, he was appointed to cabinet as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection in the Abbott Government. In that capacity he was responsible for implementing Operation Sovereign Borders. In 2014 he was appointed Minister for Social Services after a cabinet reshuffle. Subsequently, when Malcolm Turnbull replaced Abbott in September 2015, Morrison was appointed Treasurer of Australia.

Once he is sworn-in as PM, Mr Morrison will be working closely with Josh Frydenberg (his deputy) to come up with their team of ministers. Whether Peter Dutton and Tony Abbott will be asked to join that team, for the sake of healing the party wounds, may impact the longevity of this arrangement.

AN experienced treasurer, will he be able to re-write history bringing in the Enterprise Bargain Agreements? It is relevant to quote a small excerpt from Morrison’s maiden speech:

“In this parliament, let us make laws that encourage businesses and their employees to excel. Let us ensure that business is not unreasonably burdened by our efforts but, rather, empowered to grow and create more jobs, especially locally. Let us also make sure there are strong incentives, as well as protections, for all employees—not a one-size-fits-all approach—and ensure we preserve the right of the individual to negotiate their own conditions directly with their employer, should they wish to do so…”.

Will the small businesses get the help John Howard provided in the form of EBAs, only time will tell.

   -DM

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