Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Warren Truss will announce his retirement from Australian politics tomorrow, media reports confirmed.
Truss has been preparing to step down earlier than expected to pave way for his current deputy, Barnaby Joyce, The Age reported. According to the Nationals, the retirement of Truss has been an open secret. It has only been delayed because of the tension between Truss and Joyce, who is eyed to be the next leader of the Nationals. Truss will remain in his post until March 17, the last day of the Parliament session.
Although most of the Nationals eyed Joyce to be Truss’s replacement, some of their colleagues would hinder his ambition, The Australian Financial Review said.
Aside from Truss, Trade Minister Andrew Robb will also resign from the ministry tomorrow. Robb has been instrumental in securing Australia’s trade deals with China, Japan, and South Korea. Robb also sealed the Trans-Pacific (TPP) agreement in New Zealand last week, ABC News reported. He also became National Farmers’ Federation head and Liberal Party federal director before being elected to Goldstein’s Victorian seat in 2004. He was considered one of the efficient ministers during the Abbott and Malcolm administrations.
Robb will stay in his portfolio until the election. His replacement is yet to be announced. He told AFR that he is eager to go back in the private sector after battling with depression during his political career. “I’ve never been in better shape, physically or mentally,” he said.
Turnbull must also replace junior ministers Jamie Briggs and Mal Brough who resigned over the summer.
Turnbull to lose Ministers Truss, Robb, and Robert?
News.com reports that the Turnbull government is set to lose two ministers amid the calls of Labor Party to terminate another minister, Stuart Robert. Australia Network News earlier reported that federal opposition leaders want Robert to be terminated from his post after the discovery of his shares in a private company, and a deal he sealed in a private trip in China last 2014.