Australia's foreign minister resigns amid Cabinet revamp

Aaron Brown
August 27, 2018

The appointments come after Curtin MP Julie Bishop resigned as Foreign Minister to go to the back bench, one of only five women in the former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's 25-minister Cabinet.

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

Former Minister for Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Angus Taylor has been moved to the Energy portfolio, after earlier this month praising the role of DHA and previously saying that he considers the Australian government's approach to cybersecurity "world leading", with no cybersecurity portfolio named by the prime minister on Sunday.

Bishop ran against Morrison, and home affairs minister Peter Dutton in Friday's leadership spill, but garnered only 11 votes in the party room.

Abbott said the portfolio of Indigenous affairs "requires prime ministerial authority to get things doesn't need people running around at the margins; it needs someone at the very top to cut through".

"They should have supported a Western Australian candidate, it's not as though she didn't have enough experience". Abbott also declared the "era of the political assassin" is over, after Malcolm Turnbull was ousted and replaced by Morrison on Friday.

British High Commissioner to Australia Menna Rawlings she was sad to hear of Ms Bishop's resignation.

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The possibility that Ms Bishop could leave Parliament before the next election will be a major concern for Mr Morrison, Mr Turnbull's former treasurer, because it opens the possibility of another by-election being held for her seat.

Former premier Richard Court said she had been an extraordinary foreign minister and an exemplary local member of Parliament.

Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong described her role as Australia's minister of Foreign Affairs as "trailblazing". The following year she played a key role in the global response to Russia's shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine.

Asked in 2013 if she could withstand several terms of government as foreign minister, the reportedly indefatigable Bishop was unwavering.

Her departure has raised questions about whether she fell victim to party politics and to a perceived glass ceiling for women in Canberra.

The male colleagues would suggest "exactly my idea, exactly my initiative... and the others would say, 'brilliant, what a genius idea!'" she said, putting down the behavior to an "unconscious bias".

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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