Briefing

'WE'RE ON YOUR SIDE': Scott Morrison prepares to become Australia's new Prime Minister

Getty ImagesScott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg

Australia’s 30th Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s first message as he prepares to taks charge of the nation is that “we’re on your side”.

“There has been a lot of talk this week about whose side people are on in this building,” he said.

“And what [new deputy leader] Josh [Frydenberg] and I are here to tell you, as the new generation of Liberal leadership, is that we are on your side.

“That’s what matters. We are on your side. And we are on your side because we share beliefs and values in common, as you go about everything you do each day.”

The treasurer replaced Malcolm Turnbull on Friday following a leadership spill, defeating former Home Affairs minister Peter Dutton 45 votes to 40.

Frydenberg was elected deputy, replacing Julie Bishop, he will also take over the role as Treasurer.

Morrison began setting out his political manifesto as the new national leader.

We believe that Australians should keep more of what they earn.

We believe that those who have come from so many different parts of the world to this country, to create this country, and demonstrated that by their very actions, they have sought that fair go in this country.

We have come to have a go and we will get a fair go. That regardless of our ability or circumstances, we are here to make a contribution, rather than take one.

That in order to you to do better, you don’t think someone else has to do worse. This is important, values and principles that we believe deeply, that our party believes, that our government believes, and will drive us.

We believe that the best form of welfare is a job. That is what releases people out of poverty.

But everyone has to play by the rules in this country. Everyone. Whether you are a big business, setting electricity prices, or loaning money, or you are just someone parking in the street. We’ve all got to live by the rules of this country, the law of our land. These are values we uphold. And it’s important that we do that right across our areas of policy

Drought, he said, “is our most urgent and pressing need right now”.

Morrison plans to review the government’s drought response plans and work with the Nationals, states and territories “to ensure that we do what is necessary to help our regional communities, our farmers, and all those affected”.

As part of a “new generation”, Morrison addressed the issue of trying to reunite the party saying his job, along with the deputy’s “is to ensure that we not only bring our party back together, which has been bruised and battered this week, but that will enable us to ensure we bring the Parliament back together, that we can continue to work to ensure that our country stays close together”.

After the week being “about us” Morrison said “from here on, it is about the Australian people”.

He thanked outgoing prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and his deputy Julie Bishop “for their outstanding contribution to the nation” adding that “it has been a tough few days”.

“Their contribution will stand them in good stead and be remembered fondly for years to come.”

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