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Hockey \’second choice after Costello\’ in treasury role

Posted on 07/30/2019 | in 深圳桑拿网 | by

Mr Hockey is taking over from Deputy Opposition leader Julie Bishop, who stepped down yesterday after five months as shadow treasurer to stop a destabilisation campaign against her within the Liberal party.

南宁桑拿

She becomes shadow foreign minister and will stay deputy.

But there has been speculation that the treasury job was first offered to Mr Costello, who served as treasurer under former Prime Minister John Howard.

Costello camp denies shadow offer

While well-placed sources insisted the offer had been made, others close to Mr Costello strongly denied this, Fairfax reported.

The former treasurer made it clear this month he was not interested in the shadow treasurer\’s job.

Mr Costello, who has been the subject of repeated speculation about a possible move for the Liberal leadership, has still not said whether he intends to contest the next election.

Liberal frontbencher Tony Abbott said speculation that Costello was approached to take up a front bench position was nothing but “feverish gossip”.

Nelson to quit politics

Meanwhile, former opposition leader and defence and education minister Brendan Nelson says he will not be re-contesting his Sydney seat of Bradfield at the next election.

It is believed Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Costello spoke on Sunday about the pressure on Ms Bishop to quit, and again yesterday after it was reported Mr Turnbull had made the offer to Mr Costello.

Mr Costello is believed to have told people that Ms Bishop had done nothing wrong, Fairfax reports.

Coonan new opposition finance spokesperson

Economic minister Senator Helen Coonan will replace Joe Hockey as opposition finance spokesperson.

In the minor reshuffle following Ms Bishop\’s announcement, Mr Turnbull said education spokesman Chris Pyne would take over Mr Hockey\’s tactically important role of manager of opposition business in the House of Representatives.

Tasmanian Senator Stephen Parry will become manager of opposition business in the Senate, lightening the load for Senator Coonan, in addition to his role as Senate opposition whip.

Mr Turnbull said both Mr Hockey and Senator Coonan, who was assistant treasurer and minister for revenue in the Howard government, would make “a formidable team to take on the Rudd government”.

Three shadow treasurers in 15 months

But Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner said that in 15 months of government, the opposition had appointed three different shadow treasurers and finance spokesmen.

“The Liberal Party\’s changed the jockey but it\’s still the same horse, they\’ve voted against jobs, voted against nation building in the parliament last week and is hysterically exaggerating the government debt,” Mr Tanner said.

“Yeah, Joe\’s a nice bloke, he seems to present pretty well, he\’s also the same bloke who a week or two ago was saying the last people you\’d want to listen to in a global economic crisis is economists.”

Mr Hockey praised his predecessor in a statement saying Ms Bishop had “done a very good job” in laying the foundation for the party\’s economic policy for the next election.

Neither Mr Turnbull\’s office nor that of former treasurer and now backbencher Peter Costello would confirm speculation that Mr Costello was offered a frontbench spot only to decline the role.

Australian Industry Group chief executive Heather Ridout appeared to favour the change, saying the role of shadow treasurer was a big task in the current economic times “but Joe Hockey hasn\’t shied away from big challenges in the past”.

“We have a lot of respect for Julie Bishop having worked closely with her in a number of roles,” Ms Ridout added.

An Essential Research poll, asking whether Mr Turnbull or Mr Costello would make a better Opposition leader, found 37 per cent favoured Mr Costello and 26 per cent Mr Turnbull.

Coalition voters favoured Mr Costello over Mr Turnbull 46-36 per cent; Labor voters preferred Mr Costello to Mr Turnbull 37-22 per cent, Fairfax reported.

Ms Bishop rejected suggestions she\’d been pushed after a series of leaks to the media in the past week that suggested she was not up to the job.

“I formed the opinion, I have made the judgment, it is my call,” Ms Bishop told reporters in Perth.

“While I believe I have carried out my duties as shadow treasurer diligently and competently, I have formed the opinion that the ongoing commentary on my role has been a distraction from the scrutiny that should have been applied to the government\’s reckless economic performance.”

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