The newly appointed Australian Prime Minister has announced that he plans to go ahead with a public vote on same-sex marriage.
Australian conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott was dramatically ousted yesterday in a snap party vote mounted by challenger Malcolm Turnbull, the country’s fourth leadership change in five years. “A close working team is essential to delivering the good government Australia expects from their elected representatives”, Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss said in a statement.
Turnbull, a multi-millionaire former tech entrepreneur, won a secret party vote by 54 to 44, Liberal Party chief whip Scott Buchholz told reporters after the meeting in Canberra.
The Labour Party has enjoyed a solid lead over the Government since past year, with a Newspoll survey last week finding 63 per cent of voters dissatisfied with Abbott’s performance.
A senior Liberal said Mr Turnbull gave a “nervous” speech to the party room on procedural parliamentary issues and legislation. He has a softer position that Abbot on gay marriage and environmental policies, while wanting to replace the British monarch with an Australian president as head of state. “I’m very humbled by it”, he said.
The leadership overthrow in Australian politics hasn’t been easy – least of all for Jack Turnbull Brown.
Abbott lashed out at the savage nature of modern politics after his sudden toppling by his long-time Liberal Party colleague and rival – who served as communications minister before making Monday’s challenge.
Julia Gillard as Prime Minister had been very engaged with New Zealand – “Kevin Rudd less so, to be blunt”.
A year out from the start of the ACT campaign, Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson could be helped by the removal of Tony Abbott in place of a more popular Liberal leader, while Chief Minister Andrew Barr has called for a reset on Commonwealth funding of health and education.
The snap SMS poll conducted on Tuesday afternoon found that 70% of the 1200 surveyed thought Turnbull was the better prime minister, compared with just 24% who preferred Shorten.
“The Prime Minister has not been capable of providing the economic leadership our nation needs; he has not been capable of providing the economic confidence that business needs”, Turnbull said.
“We stayed focused despite the white-anting”, he said on Tuesday.