Australian Parliament Opens with New Leader

By Mario Damasceno,
International News Writer

Following Malcolm Turnbull’s 54-44 victory over Tony Abbott for Australian Prime Minister, Parliament has re-opened, and with an entirely new landscape.

For the first time since 1995, Mr. Abbott will be viewing the cabinet from the “back benches,” which indicates that a Member of Parliament is neither a party leader, minister, nor shadow minister, as stated by a BBC article.

In a report by Sky News, Turnbull’s victory marks a dramatic shift for  Mr. Abbott, who was considered “the most socially conservative Australian prime minister in decades.”

Mr. Turnbull has cultivated a reputation as a less conservative politician, and maintains his image due to his support for carbon trading schemes, gay marriage, and an Australian republic.

According to News.com, a poll of 1,631 voters was conducted, showing 62% were in favor of Parliament’s decision to replace Mr. Abbott with Mr. Turnbull, whereas 27 percent disagreed, and 11 percent were indifferent.

As reported by Sky News, former banker and multimillionaire Malcolm Turnbull, and former Prime Minister Tony Abbott have been significant political rivals since 2009, when Abbott defeated Turnbull as opposition leader by a single vote.

As Parliamentary discussions commence, Tony Abbott takes his place next to his former treasurer Joe Hockey and former defense minister Kevin Andrews.

The Guardian reports that  Mr. Turnbull has already taken initiative on certain events and dilemmas, such as attending the National Day of Unity organized by the Lebanese Muslim Association, speaking about the expansion of the Australian Childhood Immunization Register, and making remarks about the expansion of the National Human Papillomavirus Vaccination Program Register.

The Australian has also reported on Mr. Turnbull’s decision to call for an immediate meeting of security chiefs in order to discuss possible actions to counter the spread of violent extremism following the fatal shooting of a police accountant in Sydney nine days ago.

As a new Prime Minister took the Parliamentary stage for the first time since 2009, many Parliamentarians opened up the floor for questions.

As reported by BBC, opposition leader Bill Shorten questioned Turnbull’s authority in replacing former Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Anthony Albanese, also known as Albo, also questioned Turnbull on, “his government’s commitment to funding public transport,” according to the Guardian.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, October 20th print edition.

Contact Mario at
mario.damasceno@student.shu.edu

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