When Joe Hockey was dumped as treasurer in 2015 by newly-appointed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, he was quick to announce his retirement from Parliament.
He wasn’t out a job long, however.
Less than two months after his departure, Hockey was publically confirmed as Australia’s new US Ambassador – a role he has held since.
As Australia gets ready to head to the polls in May to vote in the federal election, it’s been speculated that if Labor was to take office, Bill Shorten would review a string of Coalition appointments including Hockey’s position.
His removal could be a little too hasty, American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham) CEO April Palmerlee told TICKY.
“He’s been there two and a half years and I think he’s done a tremendous job. I think he’s exactly the right person for the right job at the right time,” Palmerlee said.
Part of Hockey’s success is no doubt a product of Hockey’s apparent friendly relationship with US President Donald Trump.
“He’s gone golfing with him, he has the president’s ear. the president knows him by name, it’s a very good relationship,” Palmerlee explained.
“He says ‘yes’ to Australia more than he says ‘yes’ to most other countries. We have an exemption on the steel tariffs, we have a trade deal.”
If Hockey was replaced, it may only be by another outgoing Liberal MP.
With former foreign minister Julie Bishop to leave Parliament at the next election, Shorten could consider appointing her as Ambassador.
— The Australian (@australian) February 22, 2019
Despite Bishop’s insistence just last week that she intends to return to the private sector, she would not rule out a return to an ambassadorial role.
“I think that would be a very interesting appointment. She was a tremendous foreign minister and I think she has a lot to give to the country and to the public,” Palmerlee said.
Watch the wide-ranging interview above as Palmerlee weighs in on the trade war, China and the 2020 US election.