Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop quits in fallout of PM's ouster

Glen Norman
August 28, 2018

Following the PM's declaration that he would not be a candidate if the meeting passed a spill motion, Scott Morrison, the party's treasurer, and Julie Bishop, who served as both foreign minister and deputy Liberal leader, declared that they would be candidates if that happened.

"I will be resigning from my cabinet position as Minister for Foreign Affairs", Bishop said in a statement, signalling her intention to remain on the backbench.

"The age of bitterness has come to a close, and the age of working together and focusing on the future has come", Morrison said on his visit to Quilpie, a small outback town about 1,000 km (620 miles) west of Brisbane, capital of Queensland state.

Julie Bishop resigned as Australia's foreign minister on Sunday after losing a leadership battle to become the next prime minister.

"Your support has enabled me to be a Minister and, for the past three years, Prime Minister", he said.

She received only 11 votes in the first round, including from ousted prime minister Malcolm Turnbull.

That decision could have serious implications for Morrison's government, which has a parliamentary majority of only one seat.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann admitted the leadership crisis had taken a toll on the government's stocks. Under the new ministry, immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs was spun off from home affairs and handed to David Coleman, while Linda Reynolds took on the role of assistant minister for home affairs.

Ms Bishop said she wants her successor Marise Payne to pursue justice for the families of the 38 Australians killed when Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 was shot down over Ukraine.

"I will work hard every day to restore stability to the government and bring fresh ideas to help tackle the big road and transport challenges facing Australia", Mr Buchholz said.

UK-based paper The Guardian said that Australia has had five prime ministers in the last five years, adding that four of them were "torn down by their own parties, earning Canberra the unhappy appellation the coup capital of the Pacific".

The announcement comes as Morrison looks to quickly move the government away from a hellish week for the government which ultimately saw Malcolm Turnbull from power. The new minister for Defence Industry will be Steven Ciobo.

The Labor leader has also wasted no time in labelling new Prime Minister Scott Morrison as "the architect, the author and the creator" of bad policies. Morrison, who Turnbull described as a loyal treasurer, excluded Abbott from his first Cabinet but has offered him a newly created role of special envoy for indigenous affairs.

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