CANBERRA -- Treasurer Joe Hockey has made a “loyalty” pitch to stay in the job with a new Turnbull ministry expected to be announced and sworn in on Monday.
Less than two days after ousting Tony Abbot -- claiming the then Prime Minister had not been capable of providing the economic leadership Malcolm Turnbull -- has begun forming his ministry and has reportedly started offering positions.
Turnbull said people will not have long to wait.
“I will be making announcements about future ministerial arrangements later,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“I expect the new ministry, with some changes, to be sworn in on Monday.”
The office of Immigration Minister Peter Dutton is refusing to confirm reports that he has offered his resignation to clear the way for someone else.
Several women are expected to be promoted, including Kelly O’Dwyer and Michaelia Cash.
“There is no greater enthusiast than me for seeing more women in positions of power and influence in parliament, in ministries right across the country. I can assure you that,” Turnbull said.
Turnbull has been stressing a new style of leadership and the Treasurer is widely expected to lose his position to Social Services Minister Scott Morrison. On Wednesday, however, Hockey made a pitch to stay on in his role during a portfolio related press conference with the Tax Commissioner.
“I am instinctively a loyal person,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“That is why I am doing my job. It's what I'm here for, to be loyal to the Australian people, to do what is right for them.”
Hockey says he was loyal to Abbott and will be the same with Turnbull.
“I have always been loyal and supportive of leaders. And that is not going to change," he said.
This morning’s press conference was held to note that Hockey had introduced multinational anti-avoidance laws into Parliament, but the Treasurer took many questions on Turnbull’s imminent reshuffle, even though he refused to answer most of them.
“I have a job to do,” he said.
“It's what I swore on the Bible to the Governor-General I would do. I am continuing to do my job to the best of my ability.”
Asked on Wednesday if he wants to stay in his current job, Hockey said: “I have had discussions with the Prime Minister about that and I will leave it to those discussions.”
Then asked if he wants to finish what he started in the Treasury portfolio, he responded: “I want to make a difference for Australia.”
Hockey on Tuesday defended Australia’s economic record in question time, despite Turnbull’s coup pitch that Australia had been taken in the wrong economic direction.
He did so again on Wednesday, but said: “You can always do more to better sell something and you can always do more to strengthen the Australian economy.”
“That is why this is an unfinished task,” Hockey said.