CANBERRA -- One of Malcolm Turnbull’s first tasks as Prime Minister is to form his new ministry, with a wholesale reshuffle expected.
Turnbull has said his team will be announced after parliament rises on Thursday, but the jockeying, bartering and speculation are already underway.
Among the names expected for Turnbull promotion are Assistant Education Minister Simon Birmingham, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Kelly O’Dwyer and Assistant Social Services Minister Mitch Fifield.
Those marked for demotion include Joe Hockey, whose fate has been tied to that of Abbott’s. He is expected to lose the crucial Treasury portfolio, mostly likely to Social Services Minister Scott Morrison
Others also likely to lose out include Employment Minister Eric Abetz, Immigration Minister Peter Dutton and veteran Defence Minister Kevin Andrews.
Andrews made the case for him to retain the ministry on the ABC today.
"I think on all accounts people would say that I've been doing a pretty good job in settling down Defence. We are in the midst of a White Paper that is just about to come out. We are in the midst of the submarines, these are complex, significant issues but ultimately that's a matter for Malcolm. There needs to be a broad church. If there is not, our base will be disappointed."
Birmingham told Sky News he has had no conversation yet with Turnbull about a new role.
"I have no expectations; I love my current role. What this is about is a better government, an even better government for the Australian people and that’s what matters, not what role I have, Kevin Andrews has or anybody else," he said.
As well, any Turnbull reshuffle would have to consider what to do with good government performers who declared support for Abbott, such as Finance Minister Mathias Cormann and Assistant Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
One role is a definite. Reconfirmed deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop will stay as Foreign Minister, a position she is widely viewed as shining in.
Everything else is up for grabs, not just because of the new leader. The Abbott ministry was well overdue for a replenishing reshuffle.
The well-regarded Small Business Minister Bruce Billson, who walked in with Tony Abbott to the ballot, has told the ABC News Breakfast he is available.
“Happy to serve in any way I can. That is for the Prime Minister,” he said.
"All I know is every day (I) bounce out of bed doing what needs to be done to support those enterprising men and women of small business who are creating the jobs."
Turnbull has gone into his term as Australia’s 29th Prime Minister promising a “thoroughly Liberal” and consultative government that will go full term.
The Opposition is also preparing for a "minor" reshuffle.
Two veteran MPs, who had already announced they were not contesting the next election, have revealed they will step down from their shadow portfolios.
Bernie Ripoll will stand down as Shadow Minister for Sport and Shadow Minister for Financial Services and Superannuation.
Jan McLucas will leave her roles as Shadow Minister for Mental Health and Shadow Minister for Housing and Homelessness.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has thanked the two Queenslanders and their families for their service and dedication.