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political renewal? « Previous | |Next »
January 20, 2006

So Senator Robert Hill, the current Defence Minister and resolute social liberal, has finally been pushed out of Cabinet and is to quit politics. The appearance is that he has been promoted to become Australia's ambassador to the UN, that it's a great job, Robert Hill is very capable, he's done a great job etc etc:

Paul Zanetti

That leaves Hill's right wing enemies (Downer and "Minchin) more firmly in control of the SA Liberals.

This retirement also opens the way for a Cabinet reshuffle. Does that mean the fourth Howard Government will have a substantial new look - one that encourages new ideas and policy directions?

Dennis Shanahan in today's Australian says that next weeks reshuffle will go along these lines:
Unless either of them asks for a change, and it is unlikely they will, Costello and Downer will remain in their portfolios. Therefore the real changes will occur with the other senior ministers: Abbott, Kevin Andrews, Nick Minchin and Brendan Nelson.

These are big changes. How do they play out? Shanahan has some ideas on this. Abbott, he says:

...could fill the Defence portfolio and crack down on the bureaucracy of Defence, which is its weakness. Workplace Minister Andrews, a Victorian, could take over Welfare and Family Services. Nelson, who like Abbott is energetic, driven and prepared to philosophise about his portfolio, could go from Education to Health.

There are a lot of could's there, isn't there? Where does that scenarrio lead Nick MInchin, who is likely to take over Hill's post as Senate leader? Here's me thinking that Minchin was considered to be the frontrunner for Senator Hill's vacated defence portfolio. But then how would I know?

IWhat I do know is that I do not see these kind of changes in the senior LIberal ranks as a fostering of new ideas or new policy directions. It's Malcom Turnball, a mere backbencher, who is tossing ou the ideas, and these are evidenced based. He would give the Howard Government a new look.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:09 AM | | Comments (0)