Dutton drops in status
PETER Dutton has fallen down the ranks of the Morrison Government’s order of seniority, following his unsuccessful bid to become prime minister.
Dubbed the Government’s “designated survivor” list by one minister, the ranking reflects the status of each Cabinet minister and is decided by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The list would also be used in an emergency to decide who was the highest-ranking official to lead the country if others were absent, on leave or dead.
The Sunday Times can reveal Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has dropped in status following last month’s spill and is now outranked by WA MP and Attorney-General Christen Porter and Trade Minister Simon Birmingham.
As expected, Mr Morrison tops the list followed by Nationals leader Michael McCormack, deputy Liberal leader Josh Frydenberg and Senate leader Mathias Cormann. If all four men were to leave Australia, Defence Minister Christopher Pyne would get the top job due to his fifth placing.
Nationals deputy Bridget McKenzie is now the most senior woman in Cabinet after Julie Bishop moved to the backbench.
The official “order of precedence” is a closely guarded secret kept with the Governor-General and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. The ranking of all ministers is also stamped on their Cabinet papers and usually determines which seat they take at the Cabinet table.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is third due to his role as deputy Liberal leader, meaning he has jumped 16 places in just three years.