Australian Politics: PM Scott Morrison hopes to lead government for next 3 years
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison won a new term in office earlier this month. Now he hopes to hold on to that post and shape the policies he plans to promote domestically, and overseas. Greg Navarro has more.
With those 4 words, Scott Morrison began his first elected term as the Australian prime minister, after surprising critics and most polls with an unexpected win and a majority government.
STEWART JACKSON, LECTURER UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY "Scott Morrison has cemented himself as the leader, very much the leader, the person who pulled off the miracle."
Morrison served as immigration minister and as treasurer before wrestling his party's leadership from former Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull last year.
Now the conservative leader and his newly sworn in cabinet will likely focus on Australia's economy, which is showing signs of weakening after decades of uninterrupted growth. That includes slow wage growth and a slumping housing market.
GREG NAVARRO SYDNEY "Scott Morrison is wasting little time in focusing part of his attention beyond Australia's shores. He heads to the Solomon Islands next week, and will participate in the upcoming G20 summit next month."
While the trip is a sign of his willingness to work with Pacific countries, experts say Morrison will also have to focus on Asia, and the relationship with Australia's largest trading partner.
PROFESSOR HANS HENDRISCHKE UNIVERSITY OF SYDNEY "To start to repair the damage that was essentially done by his predecessor, this was the last year by Malcolm Turnbull that did really damage relations with China quite severely."
Despite the increasingly strained diplomatic relationship, James Laurenceson, the acting director of the Australia-China Relations Institute, says that trade between the two nations has never been better.
PROFESSOR JAMES LAURENCESON, ACTING DIRECTOR AUSTRALIA-CHINA RELATIONS INSTITUTE "Last year it increased by 17%, now it is worth more than $210 billion. Now that is an extraordinary trading relationship and it just goes to show that while the countries do have genuine and potentially serious disagreements on the political side of the equation, so far both countries have had the common sense to keep those issues away."
What remains to be seen is how the Morrison government will approach increasing trade and ties across Asia, dealing with the fallout from a US-China trade war, and navigating a sluggish economy back home.