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Turnbull’s first words after taking the leadership

AAP
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This has been a very important day in the life of the nation, the government, and of course, our party.

As you know, the party room a little while ago, elected me as the leader of the party and re-elected Julie as the deputy leader of the party.

I want to say what a great debt the country owes to Tony Abbott.

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The burden of leadership is a very heavy one. The achievements that the government he has led have been formidable.

Restoring the security on our borders has been an extraordinarily important step.

I want to thank Tony, very much indeed for that.

Can I just say, briefly…This has been a very important, sobering, experience today. I’m very humbled.

I’m very humbled by the great honour and responsibility that has been given to me today.

We need to have, and we will have now, economic vision, a leadership that explains the great challenges and opportunities that we face, describes the way in which we can handle those challenges and seize those opportunities.

Mr Turnbull was all smiles after leaving the party meeting. Photo: AAP
Mr Turnbull was all smiles after leaving the party meeting. Photo: AAP

We are seeking to persuade, rather than seeking to lecture.

This will be a thoroughly Liberal government committed to freedom, opportunity and the market.

In the years ahead, as the world becomes more and more competitive, and as greater opportunity arises, [I hope] we are able to take advantage of that.

The Australia of the future has to be agile, creative…innovative.

There has never been a more exciting time to be alive than today and there has never been a more exciting time to be an Australian.

We will ensure that all Australians understand that their government recognises the opportunities of the future.

Deputy Liberal Party leader Julie Bishop, who flanked Turnbull at the press conference, added:

First, I want to congratulate my very dear friend for many years, Malcolm.

He will become the Prime Minister of this country and I’m confident he has the passion and energy to lead this country.

I thank Tony Abbott for his service as the leader of this party and the effort he put in at the 2013 election when the Australian public knew they could not afford another minute under the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government.

I am excited about continuing to serve as the deputy under Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership and I am thrilled at the prospect of continuing to serve the Australian people as Foreign Minister.

I believe in the values of the Liberal Party. As a believer in the Liberal party that was created by Robert Menzies, I am firmly of the view that the values of the Liberal Party are as they were when this great party was formed 70 years ago.

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