Malcolm Turnbull forced to pick new team

By Liz Burke

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at the government offices in Sydney. Photo / AP
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull speaks at the government offices in Sydney. Photo / AP

He'd hardly stepped back into the building but returned Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was yesterday already getting an idea of the trouble he is set to face in the tumultuous term ahead.

"Regrettably, several ministers have not been returned and so there will be some changes," Turnbull said as he declared his election win on Sunday.

Reshuffling his front bench and replacing fallen ministers will be the first challenge the reinstalled Prime Minister is likely to face as his Government begins to take shape.

Throughout the election campaign, Turnbull was insistent the "strong, stable" government he pitched would come with a front bench Australians were already familiar with, but, of course, the vote didn't quite go as he had planned.

Though most senior cabinet ministers are expected to hold on to their positions, fallen junior ministers Wyatt Roy and Peter Hendy - both key Turnbull backers who were instrumental in his toppling of former PM Tony Abbott - will have to be replaced.

Tourism Minister Richard Colbeck is also battling to retain his seat in the Senate.

Turnbull yesterday said the new parliament would showcase "many new and younger faces", and there have been suggestions he'll want his front bench to reflect this, with the elevation of rising conservative stars.

The promotions would placate the coalition's Right wing, but leave the leader with a party room leaning less in his favour.

Turnbull will also have a slightly more powerful Nationals leader to deal with as the parties work together in the Coalition Government.

Thanks to the rural party picking up an extra seat while the Liberals lost at least a dozen, the Nationals have some extra bargaining power.

Their leader, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, will use this as leverage in reaching a new coalition agreement, which must be finalised before the Turnbull Government can be sworn in.

Turnbull has time on his side while considering his new cabinet, as Governor-General Peter Cosgrove is on an official visit to France over the next week.

It's expected Liberal and National MPs will meet in Canberra on July 18.

- news.com.au

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