Peter Dutton returns to Brisbane after losing his challenge for Prime Minister. (AAP Image/Richard Waugh
Peter Dutton returns to Brisbane after losing his challenge for Prime Minister. (AAP Image/Richard Waugh

Another day of chaos and uncertainty in Australian politics

SCOTT Morrison became the new prime minster of Australia on Friday but the turmoil has continued into the weekend.

Dutton's subtle dig at Turnbull

Peter Dutton has denied he's a "wrecker" a day after losing the Liberal leadership battle, but he's choosing his words carefully.

Seven News reporter Simon Love tracked Mr Dutton down in Brisbane on Saturday and asked him directly if he was responsible for taking down the former PM.

"Malcolm Turnbull yesterday was referring to some of the 'wreckers'. Are you one of them?" he asked.

"No," Mr Dutton responded. "I'm very proud of the actions that we've taken."

Then he took a stab at Mr Turnbull, saying "we were on our way to an anihilation" at the next election and, significantly, Australia now has a man that's "honourable" and who "will do well for our country".

Mr Turnbull's outgoing speech on Friday referred to wreckers who had tried to undermine him and "if not bring down the Government, then bring down my prime ministership".

"I was impressed by how many of my colleagues spoke or voted for loyalty above disloyalty, how the insurgents were not rewarded," he said, moments after Mr Dutton had not been rewarded.

Mr Dutton told the ABC on Friday that he doesn't regret his decision to run for PM "at all".

Dutton backer meets ScoMo

Senator Mathias Cormann backed Peter Dutton in yesterday's leadership battle, helping to force Malcolm Turnbull out as prime minister.

But today, he sat down with the new Liberal Leader Scott Morrison in Canberra.

The PM posted a picture of the pair meeting in Parliament House, on a busy first day in the top job.

Mr Morrison is expected to finalise the make-up of his cabinet this weekend, but speculation is firming that Mr Cormann will retain the finance portfolio.

He has invited Mr Dutton to remain in the Home Affairs portfolio, he said yesterday, and in a bid to smooth over relations with conservatives, the PM is expected to elevate Alan Tudge or Angus Taylor to the frontbench.

Liberals face cash shortage

During the last Federal Election, Malcolm Turnbull poured $1 million of his own money into the Liberal Party's coffers.

It was running out of cash and needed more to continue waging war against Labor, in one of the longest campaigns in history.

Now that he's out as prime minister, that kind of generosity probably won't be seen again.

But also, Fairfax Media reports that a string of lucrative fundraisers, which were to have been headlined by Mr Turnbull, have been cancelled after yesterday's leadership challenge.

It revealed that a number of MPs had raised very little ahead of the next poll.

Those two combined put the Liberals at risk of running short on cash again.

ScoMo's connection to Lara Bingle

It was the controversial advertising campaign that introduced the world to a young model named Lara Bingle back in 2006.

The then 19-year-old from Cronulla starred in Tourism Australia's massive push to lure foreigners to our shores.

But the ads, which cost a whopping $180 million dollars, were banned in the United Kingdom and Canada, and had to be redubbed in Singapore, thanks to Ms Bingle's now-iconic catchcry: "So where the bloody hell are you?"

And Scott Morrison was the boss of Tourism Australia who signed off on the campaign.

There was intense scrutiny of the campaign and claims that distracted it from the ultimate goal of presenting the country as a desirable destination.

It sparked endless parodies and didn't lead to an uptick in visitor numbers, but it propelled Ms Bingle to stardom.

She became an in-demand model, graced the covers of countless magazines, starred in her own reality series and married Hollywood star Sam Worthington.

The ad that gave her a start didn't fare nearly as well.

Within months of it hitting screens around the globe, Mr Morrison was out of a job thanks in part to a bitter falling out with the Tourism Minister Fran Bailey.

The following year he was preselected for the Liberal Party in the Sydney seat of Cook.

And a few years after, tourism officials dumped the "Where the bloody hell are you?" tagline for the much safer "There's nothing like Australia".

Morrison to focus on drought response

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has met with the National Drought Co-ordinator, Major General Stephen Day, in Canberra.

It came with a pledge that "all of the resources of government at all levels" would be directed to assisting communities across Australia's east battling with the ongoing drought.

Mr Morrison's first official trip as PM will be to Queensland next week to visit farmers doing it tough.

"I'm from the city. I'm not pretending to know one end of a sheep from the other, but I do know that people are hurting," Mr Morrison said.

"We've got a job here to do to co-ordinate our response to the drought."

Major General Day was appointed a week ago by then-Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

Earlier today, Mr Morrison also met with General Angus Campbell, the Chief of the Defence Force, at Parliament House.

'Bring back Tony Abbott'

Scott Morrison should give Tony Abbott a senior position in his cabinet, former Prime Minister John Howard has said.

Mr Abbott has been on the backbench since he was toppled as leader by Malcolm Turnbull three years ago.

The new PM should assemble "the very" team he can, Mr Howard told The Australian.

"I have been of the view for quite a long time that Tony ­(Abbott) should be back in the ministry and I would be a hypocrite if I didn't repeat it, but that is entirely a matter for Scott,'' Mr Howard said.

Mr Morrison is expected to finalise his cabinet this weekend.

It's not yet known if Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop, who also threw their hats in the ring to be leader, will return.

Weird impact of leadership change

The dumping of Malcolm Turnbull yesterday has had an unusual consequence.

Madame Tussauds wax museum in Sydney has halted the creation of a figure of Mr Turnbull and said it may stop making likenesses of Australian PMs all together.

"Malcolm Turnbull was set to be the next figure to take the stage in our World Leaders room but, in light of the current situation in Canberra, we have advised the studio team to stop work on the figure immediately," general manager Mark Connolly told Fairfax.

It's the third time figures of Australian leaders have been scrapped, with Kevin Rudd and Tony Abbott creations underway when they were knifed.

Dutton's seat in danger

Peter Dutton failed in his bid to replace Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister, and now the Queensland MP is at risk of losing his seat at the next election.

A Newspoll conducted on Wednesday and Thursday when Mr Dutton and his supporters were angling for a second challenge showed support in his seat of Dickson has slumped.

His primary vote dropped to 37 per cent, down 7.6 per cent since the last election, while Labor's has risen to equal the Liberals.

But on a two-party preferred basis, the Opposition's candidate Ali France would comfortably win, 52 to 48 per cent.

Mr Dutton currently holds the seat on a paper-thin margin of 1.6 per cent.

What Trump said to ScoMo

US President Donald Trump phoned Scott Morrison this morning to congratulate him on becoming Australia's new prime minister.

A spokesperson for the prime minister said both leaders used Saturday's call to reaffirm the strong bond between the US and Australia, and Mr Morrison invited the president to visit.

"Both underlined the strength and depth of our alliance and the unbreakable friendship between Australia and the United States," the spokesperson said.

"Both leaders agreed to stay in contact and to meet at an early opportunity."

Ousted Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull famously had a very frosty first phone call with Mr Trump, which was cut short when the president apparently hung up on him.

Mr Trump was angry over a deal to resettle asylum seekers in the US and the call was said to be very tense.

Earlier, Mr Trump took to Twitter to congratulate Mr Morrison on his new job.

"Congratulations to new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. There are no greater friends than the United States and Australia!" Mr Trump wrote.

The PM has also Tweeted, describing his phone call with Mr Trump as "a great discussion".

"We affirmed the strength of the relationship between the US and Australia," Mr Morrison wrote.

"I shared the story of Leslie "Bull" Allen, an ANZAC hero who is a symbol of our 100 years of mateship."

Bull Allen was a World War II hero who carried 12 wounded American soldiers to safety during the Wau-Salamaua campaign.

What next for Bishop?

She lost out on the top job but there's speculation building that Julie Bishop could nab a new role just as high-profile.

The Foreign Minister was a contender for Liberal Leader yesterday but was knocked out in the first round of voting, which ultimately saw Scott Morrison become the new prime minister.

Political commentator Niki Savva has tipped that Ms Bishop could become Australia's next Governor-General.

"Bishop's stellar career also has ended, but it is unlikely this is the last we will hear or see of her," Ms Savva wrote in The Australian today.

"There are already whispers that with Sir Peter Cosgrove notching up five years as Governor-General in March, she would make a fine replacement."

Turnbull to quit within days

Malcolm Turnbull is expected to step down in coming days and will not return to parliament, Sky News has reported.

The ousted prime minister had vowed to quit politics if he was replaced as Liberal Leader.

"Former prime ministers are best out of the parliament," he told reporters on Thursday. "I don't think there's much evidence to suggest that conclusion is not correct."

The move will force a by-election in his inner-eastern seat of Wentworth, and a familiar face is strongly tipped to run.

Christine Forster, a Liberal City of Sydney Councillor and sister of Tony Abbott, has been encouraged to put her hand up for preselection.

'Same party, new leader'

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has called on Scott Morrison to call an election and let the Australian people decide who should be prime minister.

The events of the past week have shown the government is in chaos, he said during a press conference in Melbourne.

"This government is bitterly divided," Mr Shorten said.

"This is the same old government with the same old division and chaos. It doesn't sit easily with the Australian people."

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen addressed the media in Sydney earlier and vowed the Labor Party would fight the government on policy.

"The Turnbull Government was unpopular because they had the wrong policies for Australia," Mr Bowen said.

"Call an election. Labor's ready for an election, we welcome an election anytime the prime minister chooses to call it. An election will give the Australian public the chance to throw this mob out once and for all.

"This government is broken."

The new PM had presided over stagnated wage growth, an attempt to drive through corporate tax cuts and a resistance to the Royal Commission into the banks.

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