UPDATE: Prime Minister elect Tony Abbott has announced his new cabinet.
It is as follows:
Warren Truss, Deputy Prime Minister
Matthias Cormann, Finance Minister
Julie Bishop, Minister for Foreign Affairs (Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party)
George Brandis, Attorney-General and Minister for the Arts
Joe Hockey, Treasurer
Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Agriculture
Eric Abetz, Minister for Employment and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service
David Johnston, Defence Minister
Christopher Pyne, Minister for Education.
Nigel Scullion, Minister for Indigenous Affairs
Malcolm Turnbull, Minister for Communications
Peter Dutton, Minister for Health and Minister for Sport
Andrew Robb, Minister for Trade and Defence
Greg Hunt, Minister for the Environment
Scott Morrison, Minister for Immigration and Border Protection
Kevin Andrews, Minister for Social Services
Phillip Ruddock, Chief Government Whip
1. Tony Abbott is expected to reveal his leadership team today, but he’s already announced that Ian Macdonald and Sophie Mirabella will be gone from the front bench. After the election, Macdonald was reportedly told by the Prime Minister-elect, “he has no room for me in the new ministry”.
Mirabella has bowed out, given that it seems likely she will lose her seat in Indi to independent Cathy McGowan. Bronwyn Bishop will be the next Parliamentary Speaker.
It’s likely they’ll only be one woman on the front bench – Julie Bishop who is expected to be named as Foreign Minister.
2. The soon-to-be sworn-in Abbott government has indicted they’ll support a US/Russia deal to rid Syria of its chemical weapons. Julie Bishop – the Foreign Minister in waiting – has said she welcomes the US and Russia deal to destroy all of the chemical weapons in Syria by mid-2014. Julie Bishop said of the agreement, “It is as a result, I believe, of the United States making it quite clear that they would use military force if need be.”
The United States and Russia have agreed on a deal to combat Syria’s chemical weapons, aiming to have it complete by the middle of next year. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov have given Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a week to hand over details of the weapons. The deal has been welcomed by the West, but members of the Free Syrian Army are less than impressed, saying that mid-2014 is too far away.