That awkward moment when someone delivers a speech then asks for questions, and there are none: it apparently happened at the end of the first meeting of Cabinet chaired by Malcolm Turnbull.
Environment Minister Greg Hunt, famed for his graphic presentations and multi-pointed arguments, suggested Mr Turnbull take some comments from those around the cabinet table. Mr Turnbull listened to the minister’s first point but closed discussion before he got to points two and three.
He did not seek further comments from around the table and called in the outer ministry members. Mr Turnbull then addressed the full ministry and called for any questions. There were none and the meeting ended.
A Galaxy poll out today shows Turnbull with a thumping lead over Bill Shorten as preferred prime minister. Turnbull has clearly restored the Coalition’s fortunes with the electorate.
The smell of cordite is still thick in the Canberra air, though. The SMH reports today that Tony Abbott’s staff have yet to vacate the prime ministerial offices, meaning Turnbull can’t get access to the prime minister’s diary.
The manoeuvring for senior cabinet positions continues, with some sniping about Christopher Pyne’s apparent ambition to land the Defence portfolio and oversee contract allocations to South Australian industry.
Conservatives are furious and this was reflected in an editorial by The Spectator Australia which described the coup as “one of the most destructive and arrogant acts of political bastardry this nation has yet seen”.
And as Shanahan makes clear, Abbott’s promise not to snipe is not being seen as an order by his devotees.
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