September 15, 2015
by Anne Miller
The office of the Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss has indicated the Deputy PM plans to re-contest the seat at the next Federal poll, despite suggestions to the contrary last night and today by the ABC.
During TV coverage of the Liberal Party leadership vote, a commentator mentioned more than once that this would (or could) be Mr Truss’ last term in Parliament.
And the ABC News website today wrote: “There has been persistent speculation Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss is considering retirement ahead of the next election.”
However, a media adviser to Mr Truss told southburnett.com.au today the Deputy Prime Minister had confirmed in August he would re-stand for Wide Bay.
The speculation was heightened when Nationals deputy leader Barnaby Joyce addressed the media late last night over the Liberal leadership change, rather than Mr Truss.
Mr Joyce is considered Mr Truss’ most likely successor as Nationals leader.
There has been also media speculation over potential conflict between Mr Truss and the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull over social issues, including marriage equality, and over Mr Turnbull’s earlier stated position on carbon pricing.
Mr Joyce repeatedly noted last night that the Coalition agreement was between party leaders, ie Tony Abbott and Warren Truss, and would have to be re-negotiated in the wake of the Liberal leadership change.
However, it appears a new Coalition agreement was negotiated today.
It reportedly contains financial concessions for stay-at-home parents, maintains a plebiscite for same-sex marriage, includes reforms to competition policy, and a pledge for no carbon tax or emissions trading scheme during the life of Mr Turnbull’s Prime Ministership.
Responsibility for water issues has also been transferred from the Minister of Environment to Mr Joyce’s portfolio, Agriculture.
Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss released a statement on Tuesday evening:
Today I paid tribute to my friend and colleague Tony Abbott.
For the past two years Tony and I have led a government that delivered what it said it would deliver.
We abolished Labor’s unfair and counter-productive carbon and mining taxes.
We put a stop to the asylum seeker tragedy at sea.
We put 300,000 Australians into gainful employment and began the task of building the infrastructure for the 21st Century.
For our part, The Nationals have been focussed on delivering the investment and reform to back in the regions’ growth and prosperity, capable of seizing the opportunities of the Asian Century.
Of course, before the election win in September 2013, we did almost four years together in Opposition. Those were important and formative years, where no one can deny Tony’s focus and energy redefined what it is to be an Opposition leader and, in doing so, he brought us back from political oblivion.
Liberal and Nationals owe Tony and Margie a tremendous debt of gratitude.
I congratulate Malcolm Turnbull on becoming the 29th Prime Minister of Australia.
A new Coalition Agreement has been negotiated, which addresses many of the policy issues facing the new government.
The Nationals will work constructively with Malcolm and his Liberal team to ensure regional Australia gets its fair share of government investment and that future policy directions appropriately advance regional people, businesses and communities.
A close working team is essential to delivering the good government Australia expects from their elected representatives.