It has been six weeks since he replaced Malcolm Turnbull as leader of the Liberal Party and prime minister of Australia and now Scott Morrison has beaten his predecessor once again, stealing the top spot in a new list of the most powerful people in Australia.
The Australian Financial Review (AFR) released its 2018 list on Friday with the current PM taking the number one spot, which was originally set to go to Turnbull before his spectacular fall from grace following the second leadership spill in August, as they revealed that the former Aussie leader had even posed for his headshot before losing his job.
Surprisingly, the top 10 is almost entirely made up of politicians, with the only exceptions being Kenneth Hayne QC, who is currently heading up the royal commission into the Australian banking sector, trade unionist Sally McManus and the Chief Justice of Australia Susan Kiefel.
Hot on Morrison’s heels is leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten who held on to the number two spot for the second year running, while Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is the highest new entry on the list in third place, despite not making an appearance in last year’s top 10 at all.
“When AFR Magazine started doing the Power Lists 18 years ago, John Howard had an iron grip on the top job in the country. Power was about incumbency. Then, over the course of the past decade, power shifted to those with the ability to disrupt,” said AFR Magazine Editor, Matthew Drummond.
Drummond added: “These days, holding high office rarely means you’re held in high regard. The banking royal commission is chomping through the reputation of big business, while weekly opinion polls undermine the foundations of Parliament House.”
In fourth place is Kenneth Hayne QC, who is currently leading the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry, which began in December 2017. He is followed by Senator Mathias Cormann in fifth and political activist Sally McManus in sixth, who currently holds the position of Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions.
Seventh place went to Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton who was originally sitting in fifth, before he lost out on the top job to Morrison after challenging him in the party room in August. And Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen was the only other member of Labor to make the cut, taking eighth place.
Rounding off the top 10 are former Prime Minister Tony Abbott in ninth, no doubt thanks in part to his involvement in the downfall of Turnbull, who succeeded Abbott in 2015, followed by Susan Kiefel in 10th, who is the first woman to ever serve as Chief Justice of Australia, having served on the High Court since 2007.