Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet reshuffle: the expected winners and losers

Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet reshuffle: the expected winners and losers

Malcolm Turnbull has flagged a cabinet reshuffle, with the Prime Minister’s new team expected to be announced on Monday.

Cabinet reshuffles almost always occur when a new leader is appointed – the question is how far Turnbull will go to freshen up his front bench.

After all, the new Prime Minister has already indicated there will be more women in cabinet compared to when Tony Abbott was in charge.

Current ministers will retain their portfolios until Friday, with many already vying for promotions or simply wanting to cling on to their existing responsibilities.

So which MPs are likely to face a demotion and which ones can we expect to see landing a promotion?

Losers

Treasurer JoeHockey is expected to be moved to a less plum position due to the way he sold the government’s first budget and a number of high-profile political gaffes, including his comment that poor people don’t drive.

Hockey also publically supported Abbott in the lead-up to the Liberal Party leadership ballot, saying there needs to be an end to destabilisation.

But it appears small business owners won’t be too worried if Hockey was to leave the treasury portfolio, with 200 SmartCompany readers surveyed on Wednesday calling for Turnbull to get rid of Hockey.

Employment minister Eric Abetz could also face a demotion for supporting Abbott and his handling of the Senate crossbenchers.

Turnbull has a far more amicable relationship with the independents and micro-party MPs in the upper house and will want to make sure more legislation is passed in order to score some early victories.

Defence minister Kevin Andrews is also expected to be dropped from his portfolio, according to various reports.

Andrews supported Abbott during the leadership rumblings and also lost his bid for deputy leader of the Liberals to Julie Bishop by 40 votes.

Winners

Scott Morrison has been offered the role of treasurer, according to the ABC.

If Morrison takes up the offer, it will be a step-up from his current role as minister for social services and may be seen as a reward for the way he previously handled the immigration portfolio.

There are also rumours Turnbull could promote those who voted for him on the night of the leadership ballot, including education minister Christopher Pyne and Senator Arthur Sinodinos.

If Pyne is offered the defence portfolio, which is possible according to The Adelaide Advertiser, it could be seen as an opportunity to shore up support in South Australia – particularly because of the government’s woes over submarine-building in that state.

A number of Liberal women are also expected to receive a promotion under Turnbull, including Victorian MP Kelly O’Dwyer and WA Senator Michaelia Cash.

Here’s what small business would like to see happen

Peter Strong, executive director of the Council of Small Business Australia, told SmartCompany this morning he would like to see Small Business Minister Bruce Billson stay in his job.

“It’s essential that he stays,” Strong says.

“But if Bruce wants to move on that’s his call as he’s done a fantastic job. But while he’s done a great job, it’s just a start and he’s said there’s a long way to go.”

While Billson supported Abbott during the spill, the Small Business Minister has since pledged his support to Turnbull and says he is keen to get on with the job.

Strong also says Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Assistant Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham are other MPs he would like to see stay in their current roles because of their work with small business.

“Frydenberg’s done a really good job, particularly around superannuation,” Strong says.

“That’s a really important area. Simon Birmingham’s also really good for small business. So if he got a promotion or continued on in his role in training that would be good.”

Strong says the small business community wants to see more women in parliament in order to reflect the population.

“People like Sussan Ley are doing a very good job,” Strong says.

“Obviously [Julie] Bishop is also doing a good job, but there’s other people. Kelly O’Dwyer is someone I’ve had really good dealings with lately. Sharman Stone as well.”

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