From delivering reprimands to the ABC to taking on ambitious reform of the NBN, Australia Post and media regulation, Malcolm Turnbull had a full agenda as communications minister since 2013.
Never shy of the limelight, Turnbull has also ventured beyond his portfolio to advocate for changes to government policy, having a critical win on amending citizenship laws earlier this year after warning that proposed changes were unconstitutional.
Turnbull also promised to achieve outcomes where other ministers had failed by dragging media laws into the 21st century.
While achieving consensus among rival media players — a condition for reform — was never going to be easy, Turnbull pitted competitors against each other, creating a deep split in the industry by proposing a piecemeal approach that removed some laws while leaving others untouched.
Tony Abbott has been rejected by his own party, although in truth his government was no disaster when compared with the chaotic administration under Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard.
Team Abbott had its achievements, including the reassertion of border control and a clutch of free-trade agreements. In its first year, it over-egged the budget crisis, alienating both voters and crossbenchers. It never really recovered. Its failure lay in its inability to learn from mistakes.
The Age was the only newspaper in Australia to not advocate a vote for the Coalition in 2013. We said at the time that, on the issue of trust, the Coalition’s own actions left us with significant reservations. “It has obfuscated and ducked critical issues, deliberately keeping voters uninformed …” We said then that the role of government was to build a strong, fair nation for future generations.
Tony Abbott has failed to do so. We believe Malcolm Turnbull offers the best chance for a Coalition government to meet those ideals.
Throwing out serving prime ministers should be left to the voters, but is now ignored by politicians of both persuasions. But they do so at the risk of an electoral backlash.
It is a sad and disappointing end to Tony Abbott’s prime ministership. In spite of his lapses, the Herald Sun has largely supported his decisions.
Malcolm Turnbull has replaced Tony Abbott as Prime Minister because the Liberals let his bull weaken their nerve and bury their judgment.
Here’s Turnbull’s challenge in a nutshell: he stole the prime ministership he could not have won in an election.
He stole it by boasting of superior communication skills he does not have.
The media and the Twittersphere have been absolutely feral in savaging Abbott, a man awkward in his own defence, but have been kind to Turnbull.
But the media always favours Labor in any contest, and what the media gives Turnbull today it could withdraw tomorrow.
Australians are desperate for a breath of fresh air on both sides of politics. That was the implicit offer in Malcolm Turnbull’s challenge to Tony Abbott’s leadership. Now we can only hope that Mr Turnbull and re-elected deputy leader Julie Bishop deliver where Mr Abbott could not.