Foreign Minister’s departure leaves voters disappointed

Curtin MHR Julie Bishop. Picture: Jon Bassett.
Curtin MHR Julie Bishop. Picture: Jon Bassett.

CURTIN electorate voters this morning appeared disappointed their MHR Julie Bishop is leaving her foreign ministry to decide if she stays in politics after a failed coup by Queenslander Peter Dutton for the Liberal Party’s leadership last week.

“I was surprised, but I could see she was just as annoyed as the rest of us about last week,” voter Murray Wills said.

In City Beach on Sunday, Ms Bishop confirmed she would leave her successful five-year role as Foreign Minister to “think long and hard” about her future, adding whichever choice she made would be in the interests of the nation.

The announcement followed her decision not to contest the party’s deputy leadership she held for 11 years, and her nomination for the prime ministership failing.

“That she got zero support from her WA colleagues is just outstanding, and I would have though that would have been one of the reasons she’s gone,” voter Anthony Short said.

Ms Bishop was elected in 1998 to ultra-safe Curtin, comprising Perth’s wealthiest but also mortgage belt and inner-city suburbs, and has an 18.2 per cent margin from 2016.

However, her career has not been without incident, including annoying teachers across the country in 2006 when she suggested performance-based pay.

There was also the Firetrade political donations scandal of the same year and stumbling when opposition treasury spokeswoman in 2008.

Her move to the Foreign Ministry resulted in praise for her ability to represent the nation on the world stage.

Challenges in the portfolio now include bolstering the Chinese relationship, an Indonesia trade deal, new links with Malaysia and cementing South Pacific ties.

“Julie should have stayed on as Foreign Minister because she’s heavily respected overseas,” voter John Paterson said.

A United Nations role or an ambassadorship are some mooted futures for Ms Bishop if the Opposition Labor Party win the next Federal Election on the back of public anger with leadership wrangles.