Malcolm Turnbull’s next job

In a couple of weeks the election of a Tony Abbott Government could spell the end of the failed Rudd-Gillard experiment. This should also spell an end of the days of spin. The Labor Government took the Art of Spin and the Lack of Substance to a new level. We shan’t miss the Hawker-Britton era.

The Labor Party would benefit from its defeat. For it would lead inexorably to the expunging of the cancer which has been eating this once-great party. The faceless men and women (mainly men) who dictate policy for Labor will finally meet their match. The recriminations will be intense and bloody. But, like the Phoenix, the Labor Party could emerge anew and offer a strong and principled opposition.

It will be important for Tony Abbott to restore good Cabinet governance principles and to apply a steady hand to Government. He should appoint a Commission of Audit to go through the Budget line by line to eliminate the waste inherited from Labor. And to outline a new direction, where Government is less intrusive; where individuals take responsibility for their own lives and where the direction of taxes is downward not upward.

But a key decision will be the composition of the Cabinet.

Tony Abbott has promised Malcolm Turnbull a senior position in Cabinet.

He should honour that promise.

Positions which Turnbull are qualified include: Treasurer, Attorney-General, Environment Minister and Communications Minister.

Joe Hockey deserves to be appointed Treasurer – he has performed admirably in the position and well during the campaign.

George Brandis has performed well as Shadow Attorney-General and deserves appointment as Attorney-General.

Malcolm Turnbull has been Environment Minister, and should not be re-appointed to that position. Greg Hunt is a strong Shadow Environment Minister and should be appointed Environment Minister.

Tony Smith has made some solid progress as Communications Minister, but Malcolm Turnbull would be a credible and passionate Communications Minister. I believe that Tony Abbott should recommend to the Governor-General that Malcolm Turnbull be appointed as the Minister for Communications. (let’s do away with the Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy which is three levels of tautology). Turnbull is a lover of technology. He is always with the latest piece of technology. He understands communications and technology and his finance background will assist him repair the mistake of the National Broadband Network.

But Smith deserves a job in Cabinet too.

So here is my proposal for the Abbott Cabinet, which I think should be limited to 17 people:

Prime Minister: Tony Abbott
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Trade: Warren Truss
Treasurer and Minister for Higher Living Standards: Joe Hockey
Minister for Finance, Debt Reduction and Efficient, Effective Public Service: Andrew Robb
Minister for Foreign Affairs: Julie Bishop
Minister for Communications: Malcolm Turnbull
Minister for Energy, Resources and Nuclear Power: Ian Macfarlane
Minister for Reform of the Public Service and Cabinet Secretary: Tony Smith
Minister for Low Unemployment: Eric Abetz
Minister for Education: Christopher Pyne
Minister for Defence: David Johnston
Minister for Health: Peter Dutton
Minister for Ageing: Bronwyn Bishop
Minister for Infrastructure: Bruce Billson
Minister for Sensible Environmental Policy: Greg Hunt
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship: Scott Morrison
Attorney-General: George Brandis
Note: Agriculture, industry and so forth do not need a ministerial portfolio (or a Cabinet position).

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37 Responses to Malcolm Turnbull’s next job

  1. C.L. says:

    Minister for Energy, Resources and Nuclear Power.


    It’s an interesting conundrum you raise. Hockey, Brandis, Bishop and Robb deserve Treasury, A-G, Foreign Affairs and Finance, respectively, and they’re the blue ribbon portfolios. Communications is considered a pretty unglamorous gig, though. Malcolm might get stroppy.

    Would he be interested in Yarralumla?

  2. Infidel Tiger says:

    Who will be Minister for Roof Fires and Tin Sheds?

  3. C.L. says:

    Minister for Mass Sackings: Graeme M. Bird.

  4. jtfsoon says:

    Turnbull should really be Premier of NSW

  5. jtfsoon says:

    Minister for Defence: Graeme M Bird

  6. JC says:

    I think that would be an excellent choice for Turnbull, Samuel. I think he’d do a great job in untangling the NBN mess we’re in.

  7. Infidel Tiger says:

    There’s still time if he’s smart.

    Costello for Victorian Premier.

  8. JC says:


    I agree, he should be premier. However he has a huge job to do (of course if it was offered and he took it ) of putting the communications sector back on its feet after the disaster created by these trogs.

    There’s a ton of tangled wires there and it requires a great deal of intricate work and good knowledge of I-banking etc to be able untangle it, so that we finally have a fully fledged and healthy coms industry.

  9. dover_beach says:

    Costello for Victorian Premier.

    Hear! Hear!

  10. JC says:

    There’s still time if he’s smart.

    Oh for god’s sake yes. Baillieu is seriously intellectually handicapped and I don’t mean that in an abusive way.

    He sounds like he’s brain damaged possibly as a result of inter-generational inbreeding that went on with wealthy Melbourne families.

  11. Infidel Tiger says:

    Mal Brough for Queensland Premier!

  12. Julie Bishop as Foreign Minister?

    I guess she could stop the boats by just giving the people smugglers the death-stare.

  13. daddy dave says:

    Note: Agriculture, industry and so forth do not need a ministerial portfolio (or a Cabinet position).

    They do because of the web of subsidies and regulations. Realistically, that’s not going to change overnight. It needs to be unwound over time, and until that happens, agriculture, industry, trade, etc are portfolios.

  14. Michael Fisk says:

    Minister for Outdoor Recreation and Cycle Paths: Phil

  15. Entropy says:

    There needs to be industry ministers to handle the huge conga line of rent seekers that infest those areas, while fantasizing they are the engine drivers of the economy, it just they don’t make any money.

    That and the highly frequent letters from the Beryls from nanango that want the guvmint to instantly protect the local blacksmith from those new dangled automobiles.

  16. JC says:

    The geniuses at LP has a guest poster. Let her tell you who she is.

    Melbourne University has set up an election blog, with commentary from some of its staff and students. Among its contributors is Dr Lauren Rosewarne, a Lecturer in Public Policy in the School of Social and Political Sciences. Some of Lauren’s posts will be republished at LP during the election campaign.

    and what do you get from our Social science Doc.?

    “While I’m still bemused at how someone could watch Tone schlep his daughter around a fish market and think he’d do orright’ as a PM,”

    Dr. Lauren has never gone to a fish market.

  17. JC says:

    Oh damn wrong thread sorry.

  18. C.L. says:

    Minister for Eyeballs and Speedos: Steve from B.

  19. TerjeP says:

    I think Malcolm could be good in communications. He made his fortune in the sector with his early investment in Ozemail (now part of iiNet I believe). Does anybody know his position on the Internet filter?

  20. BirdLab says:

    “This should also spell an end of the days of spin.”

    What are you smoking?

  21. daddy dave says:

    Does anybody know his position on the Internet filter?

    He’s against it.

    Former opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull has also condemned the proposed filtering scheme as a ”white elephant”. ”This system will not be effective,” Mr Turnbull said. ”This policy will run the risk of false impressions [of security], when there should be parental responsibility.”

    He’s also been against the NBN since it was first announced.

  22. bianconieri says:

    I hardly think the nats will settle for 1 cabinet minister.

  23. Adrien says:

    This should also spell an end of the days of spin.
    Good luck there. Each successive government uses more not less spin.

  24. Adrien says:

    Terje – I would be very surprised in Malcolm Turnbull wasn’t dead set aganst the Net Filter.

  25. Adrien says:

    I would also be very surprised if Mr Abbott did not try and use the law to repel the sexual corruption of modern society. He would essentially be of the same mind on this as Conroy. But I doubt he’d put a filter up, screws up the money-go-round.

  26. daddy dave says:

    .I would also be very surprised if Mr Abbott did not try and use the law to repel the sexual corruption of modern society

    I’m pretty sure you’re wrong. There’s no evidence that he even has a problem with the “sexual corruption of modern society.” He played around in his youth; it’s not like he’s an uptight prude.

  27. Adrien says:

    DD – Are you seriously suggesting that Tony Abbott is not the least bit interested in ‘correcting’ the sexual mores or lack thereof of today’s yoof? Nay! Say it ain’t so. The Cath’lic womens association will cut of their Lamington donations if they hear about this.

  28. daddy dave says:

    Yes, that’s exactly what I’m suggesting.

  29. daddy dave says:

    Promiscuity and homosexuality are off the radar as political/social issues for mainstream Australia. The only constituency for that kind of reactionism is in small subsets of religious conservatives who tend to be protestant.
    Catholics, in particular, really don’t give a fuck about that stuff.

  30. Adrien says:

    Catholics, in particular, really don’t give a fuck about that stuff.

    No. But they are pretty consisently concerned about abortion and traditional sex roles. I think Abbott’s paid parental leave scheme is his way of going back. I could be wrong.

    If Turnbull could learn to care about something besides himself he’s make a better PM. IMHO.

  31. daddy dave says:

    Yeah, well abortion’s another matter entirely. That’s not a sexual freedom issue, that’s a “what-is-human” issue. He wouldn’t make it illegal but he may chip away at the edges a bit.

  32. Infidel Tiger says:

    Removing public funding would be nice.

  33. dover_beach says:

    Are you seriously suggesting that Tony Abbott is not the least bit interested in ‘correcting’ the sexual mores or lack thereof of today’s yoof?

    Adrien, on this you are the mirror image of the groups you’re frightened off, and as dd has said, Abbott hasn’t initmated any sort of governmental action against our sexual mores.

  34. Malcolm Turnbull for NSW Premier
    Peter Costello for Vic Premier
    Mal Brough for Qld Premier

    Now *that* would be something to see, and might kick-start a federalist reform agenda in this country.

  35. C.L. says:

    Relax, Adrien. Abbott has no plans to ban your blow-up doll.

  36. Pingback: PM update: Malcolm Turnbull for Communications Minister? The end of network neutrality? | CommsDay

  37. Pingback: Delimiter – Goddamnit, just make Malcolm Turnbull Comms Minister already

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