Former high-profile frontbencher Julie Bishop has passed judgment on a list of Australia’s most powerful people, including her ex-colleague Peter Dutton and the Prime Minister.
The Australian Financial Review magazine’s annual “Power” issue names the 10 people it considers the most influential people in the country, selected by a panel of the publication’s journalists, along with business people, academics, political operatives, marketers, researchers and former Foreign Minister Ms Bishop.
Anthony Albanese, prime minister since Labour’s stunning victory in May’s federal election, predictably tops the list with his treasurer Jim Chalmers second and his foreign secretary Penny Wong third.
Anthony Albanese, prime minister since Labor’s stunning May federal election win, predictably tops the list in Australian Financial Review magazine’s annual “Power” issue, which names the 10 people it considers the most powerful in the country
Former Secretary of State Ms Bishop was part of the selection panel for the 10 people named in the annual shortlist
The “green-green” independents – the group of female candidates who swept high-profile Liberal MPs from office and promise firmer action on climate change and political accountability – collectively claim fourth place on the list.
Deputy Prime Minister Richard Marles, ACTU leader Sally McManus, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe, Greens leader Adam Bandt, billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes and opposition leader Peter Dutton round out the list.
Along with other panellists, Ms Bishop is invited to give her verdict on each of the choices.
‘He won from the opposition and is one of the most experienced people ever to reach the position of Prime Minister,’ she writes of Mr Albanese’s accession to the highest office in the land.
‘After a couple of recent Labor leaders it’s a welcome change.’
Albanese had been the member for Grayndler in Sydney’s inner west since 1996 and was a senior minister and leader of the house in the Rudd and Gillard governments before becoming leader of the Labor Party in 2019.
He became Australia’s 31st prime minister in May when the ALP secured 77 seats in the federal election, returning the party to power for the first time since 2013.
Liberal leader Peter Dutton made a deceptively bland but telling comment from Ms Bishop: ‘He is the leader of the opposition and essentially the success of an opposition lives and dies by the leader’s performance’.
Ms Bishop said Penny Wong, who takes up the position she once held as foreign minister, ‘hasn’t put a foot wrong since she took on the role’
Ms Bishop notes Mr Chalmers’ performance – No 2 on the ‘power’ list – will be crucial as Australia battles rising inflation and cost of living rises on several fronts
Former frontbench colleague and now Liberal leader Peter Dutton draws a misleadingly bland but telling comment from Ms Bishop.
‘He is the leader of the opposition and essentially the success of an opposition lives and dies by the leader’s performance,’ she writes.
Ms Bishop once suggested Mr Dutton refer himself to the High Court when the validity of his election to Parliament came into question in 2018 due to his business interests.
She also famously lost out – and eventually retired from politics – after the leadership spill against Malcolm Turnbull launched by Mr Dutton in August 2018.
Despite her electoral appeal, Ms Bishop was knocked out in the first round of leadership votes, leaving the contest between Mr. Dutton and the eventual winner, Scott Morrison.
Ms Bishop notes that Mr Chalmers’ performance will be crucial as Australia battles rising inflation and cost-of-living increases on multiple fronts, but reserves her most interesting comments for Penny Wong and the Teal MPs.
Of the woman taking up the position she once held as Foreign Secretary, she says: ‘She hasn’t put a foot wrong since she took on the role.
‘Penny built the networks, did the work, developed the policies and the relations from the opposition, certainly when I was a minister.’
Ms Bishop said the “Green Green” female independents elected in May, who helped end the Morrison government – who together occupy position No 4 on the AFR list – are “absolutely the kind of women that the Liberal Party should have wanted to preselect”
In a return to the party she represented in Parliament for almost 21 years, Ms Bishop said the female independents who helped to end the Morrison government in May are “absolutely the kind of women the Liberal Party should have wanted to preselect”.
‘If I had known Kate Chaney wanted to run for Curtin, I would have moved heaven and earth to get someone with her business background to follow me,’ Ms Bishop writes of the woman who now represents her old West Australian seat as self employed.
These days Ms Bishop is chancellor of the Australian National University in Canberra and does consultancy and board work.
Julie Bishop weighs in…
Anthony Albanese: ‘He won from the opposition and is one of the most experienced people ever to come to the position of prime minister. After a couple of recent Labor leaders it’s a welcome change.’
Peter Dutton: ‘He is the leader of the opposition and essentially the success of an opposition lives and dies by the leader’s performance.’
Penny Wong: ‘She hasn’t put a foot wrong since taking on the role. Penny built the networks, did the work, developed the policies and the relations from the opposition, certainly when I was a minister.’
Teal independent: ‘If I had known Kate Chaney was going to run for Curtin, I would have moved heaven and earth to have someone with her business background follow me. Same with Kylea Tink and Allegra Spender.
‘These are definitely the kind of women that the Liberal Party should have wanted to pre-select.’
Jim Chalmers: “If there is an ongoing global situation with China that will affect our economy, and whatever it looks like, it will come right back to Jim Chalmers.
“Whatever the Reserve Bank does about inflation, cost of living and the like, the focus is as always on the hip pocket and that comes down to Jim’s performance.”