Malcolm Turnbull marks a year as PM on Wednesday – has he done a good job?
After ousting Tony Abbott from the role, Malcolm Turnbull will, on Wednesday, mark a year as Prime Minister. How does he think the year has gone? Quite well, actually.
Despite calling a double dissolution and early election, which he won by the skin of his teeth, Mr Turnbull says his year in the top job has been one of “great achievement”. Speaking from the Pacific Islands Forum, Mr Turnbull said of the past year: “So far so good. But there's a lot more work to do … It has been a year of considerable progress and considerable achievement."
Although many of his critics would question just what he has done in the last 12 months, the PM cites his commitment to clean up the building industry (the very reason for the double dissolution), the Defence White Paper and his innovation statement as achievements. And although yet to be legislated, he also gives a nod to tax reform, business tax cuts, superannuation changes and his marquee youth employment pathway.
"The score is on the scoreboard. We've got strong economic growth, our economy is going well, jobs are being created," he said. "It has been a year of great achievement, of real economic growth that Australians can feel. They can see it, it's palpable.
Read more at TheAge.com.au
Overall, the Prime Minister is quite pleased with himself. Stepping back on Australian soil on Saturday night after a week-long trip, Mr Turnbull may, however, be reconsidering his upbeat mood.
None of the issues he had before he left have been resolved, including having only the slimmest of majorities in Parliament; being yet to pass any meaningful legislation, and supposed inner turmoil within his own party. In fact, the problems have been added to with the news that the Coalition is split on how it will fund the same-sex marriage plebiscite and his Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce seemingly backing a WA plan to impose a $7.2 billion mining tax – the very tax Mr Turnbull believes could harm investment in the state.
And it doesn't end there for the Prime Minister, with elder statesman and former prime minister John Howard urging Mr Turnbull to amend section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, effectively watering it down. And while he’s at it, Mr Howard thinks the PM should reintroduce workplace reforms, even if they are unpopular with the public.
Mr Turnbull may have secured himself the job he has wanted for several years, but he has surely now realised that the title of Prime Minister doesn't automatically give you the support of everyone in your own party.
Bill Shorten must be thinking that being Opposition Leader to Malcolm Turnbull is child’s play. Even his poor handling of the Sam Dastyari Chinese affair caused issues for Mr Turnbull, by highlighting that the rort of political donations is strong on both sides of politics, with little will to do anything to address the issue.
So, is it time for Mr Turnbull to simply draw a line in the sand over his first year in the top job and come out fighting? Or do you agree with the PM that it’s not been a bad performance so far? Will the internal turmoil within the Coalition be his undoing?
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