Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull survives leadership vote, but threat still remains

21 August, 2018, 04:54 | Author: Bertha Harmon
  • Australian prime minister abandons climate change targets | TheHill

Peter Dutton has resigned as Australia's Immigration Minister after losing a leadership challenge against Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

All leadership positions were declared vacant before the vote, but Julie Bishop also remains as deputy after an uncontested vote.

"He's told me Malcolm Turnbull has his absolute support", Pyne told the Sunrise host.

Turnbull threw all leadership positions in the Liberal Party open early Tuesday, inviting challengers to nominate themselves for party leader.

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Mr Dutton, who was the Home Affairs Minister, has now stepped down from that frontbench role.

However, Mr Turnbull has consistently rated higher than Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister.

While the challenge over the prime ministership was ostensibly about energy policy, the true source of the leadership tensions goes much deeper. But when Hockey refused to oppose a carbon emissions trading scheme, Abbott stood at the December 1 ballot and defeated Turnbull by one vote.

The vote comes a day after Ten News revealed a possible section 44 constitutional cloud over Dutton's business interests which could make him ineligible to sit in parliament. He called a spill in February 2015, but it wasn't until September that Malcolm Turnbull finally moved after Abbott had lost 32 Newspolls in a row.

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"I think there might be a second phase strategy here".

Energy bills rose by up to six times the average wage rise a year ago according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

Mr Turnbull blindsided his Home Affairs Minister when he brought on the vote after days of speculation and pressure on Mr Dutton to challenge.

"That is what people are telling me and that is what the government wants to do", he said.

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Mr Turnbull said he would not proceed with the emissions target - part of his National Energy Guarantee (NEG) - because it had no prospect of passing through the House of Representatives, where he has only a slim majority. "This might be a play to get Peter Dutton out of the way before the election", political reporter Mark Riley told Sunrise.

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