Female figures to double in Cabinet

By @Shayani92 on
Malcolm Turnbull (L) poses with deputy party leader Julie Bishop
Malcolm Turnbull (L) poses with deputy party leader Julie Bishop after Turnbull sworn-in as Australia's 29th prime minister at Government House in Canberra, September 15, 2015. Turnbull, the former communications minister, was sworn in on Tuesday as Australia's fourth leader in two years, replacing Tony Abbott. Reuters/Lukas Coch

As the Australian parliament eagerly waits for the announcement of a new ministry on Monday, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is reportedly all set to double female figures in the federal Cabinet. Pressure has been mounting on him to shape a strong new team after last week's coup.

While he has to consider many interests in forming the new frontbench, it's has been reported that he’s keen on prioritising the promotion of women. According to Fairfax Media, Human Services Minister Marise Payne and Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash will secure a positions in the cabinet from the outer ministry. Mr Turnbull is also considering Kelly O'Dwyer and the conservative Concetta Fierravanti-Wells for higher positions in the outer ministry.

The initiative has been unlike Abbott’s government, which had to face severe criticism for only including Julie Bishop as the foreign minister. As a result, he had to incorporate Sussan Ley as the head of the health portfolio in the Cabinet later. However, in Mr Turnbull’s shuffling, Julie Bishop will continue to retain her position as a foreign minister and Ley will stay in cabinet but may be given responsibility of a new portfolio.

“In Malcolm Turnbull, we have a leader who will be true to those Menzian values and beliefs and I'll be honoured to serve this party and this country in my current role,” said Bishop.

The health portfolio may be given to Liberal National MP Mal Brough, who has been backing Mr Turnbull for a long time, reported Fairfax Media. Treasurer Joe Hockey is to lose his position to Scott Morrison but going by the senior sources, he will stay in the cabinet leading defence or communications.

Meanwhile, Kevin Andrews and Eric Abetz, who have been loyal supporters of Abbott, are to be removed from the frontbench. Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is also likely to go. However, there wouldn’t be a complete reshuffling of the ministers. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Environment Minister Greg Hunt, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, Trade Minister Andrew Robb and Small Business Minister Bruce Billson are likely to remain under the same portfolios.

Regarding the Nationals, no one is likely to bag any superior position. Warren Truss and Barnaby Joyce will keep infrastructure and agriculture respectively. With an expected win of the Liberal candidate Andrew Hastie in Western Australia’s canning, the government is to get further strengthened, reported Skynews.

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