United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer. Picture: AAP
United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer. Picture: AAP

What’s next for Australia’s departed MPs

AUSTRALIA saw an exodus of MPs before the election, and many who ran for a seat during the campaign lost. Speculation is rife about what Julie Bishop, Clive Palmer, Tony Abbott and others could do next.

So what's on the cards for the key figures who won't be returning to politics?

TONY ABBOTT

Tony Abbott will be supplementing his retirement pension - set to be $307,542 a year - on the global speakers circuit after losing his seat of Warringah to independent Zali Steggall.

The former prime minister has been represented since 2015 by the Washington Speakers Bureau, which also lists former prime minister John Howard, former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo among its clients.

Tony Abbott arriving at his Election party at Manly Leagues Club tonight after being defeated by Independent Zali Steggall for the seat of Warringah. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Tony Abbott arriving at his Election party at Manly Leagues Club tonight after being defeated by Independent Zali Steggall for the seat of Warringah. Picture: Tim Hunter.

Mr Abbott's speaking fees are no longer listed but his bio previously noted that he would appear for "over $40,000" or for "travel and expenses only".

In his concession speech on Saturday night, Mr Abbott also said he would continue to play a role in public life.

It is not clear what that role might be, but former deputy prime minister Tim Fischer said this week he should be posted to work as Australia's envoy to the Vatican.

JULIE BISHOP

Speculation is still rife that Julie Bishop could be offered a plum diplomatic posting.

Australia's Ambassador to the US Joe Hockey announced in the final week of the election campaign that he would leave the role when his term was up in January.

It opens up a key role, which the US has already indicated it would be happy for Ms Bishop to fill.

"While this is a decision entirely for the Government of Australia, we can say that the United States is highly appreciative of Ms Bishop's significant contributions to the US-Australia Alliance over the years," a spokesman for US Ambassador to Australia Arthur Culvahouse told Seven West Media last week.

Julie Bishop and Kerri-Anne Kennerley at the Mercedes Benz fashion week. Picture: Matrix Media Group
Julie Bishop and Kerri-Anne Kennerley at the Mercedes Benz fashion week. Picture: Matrix Media Group

Before Mr Hockey's announcement, Ms Bishop had told Seven West in April she wanted to go into the private sector rather than a diplomatic posting.

"I have had a number of very attractive offers, and many people have contacted me," she said, adding: "I will return to the private sector, maybe do some work in academia, and obviously continue with some charitable and philanthropic work."

WAYNE SWAN

Former Labor Treasurer Wayne Swan will be staying in politics despite stepping down as the federal Member for Lilley.

Mr Swan was elected last year the new National President of the Australian Labor Party and also serves as a Commissioner on the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation.

Wayne Swan will remain in politics as national Labor president. Picture Kym Smith
Wayne Swan will remain in politics as national Labor president. Picture Kym Smith

He will also be on the speakers circuit where he is represented by Saxton Speakers.

CLIVE PALMER

Businessman Clive Palmer failed to win a Senate spot despite splashing $60 million on an advertising campaign to re-enter politics.

But the billionaire has plenty of other plans that will keep him in the headlines, including his project to build an exact replica of the Titanic cruise ship.

Mr Palmer's Blue Star Line company announced late last year it was resuming building Titanic II for an initial voyage in 2022.

United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer. Picture: AAP
United Australia Party leader Clive Palmer. Picture: AAP

He also promised last year to reopen his Queensland Nickel refinery in Townsville and pledged during the election campaign to repay workers who were left without entitlements when the refinery initially collapsed three years ago.

Palmer also faces ongoing legal action over Queensland Nickel's liquidation.

DERRYN HINCH

Derryn Hinch looks unlikely to return to the Senate with less than 3 per cent of the vote before preferences.

Derryn Hinch in the senate chamber. Picture Gary Ramage
Derryn Hinch in the senate chamber. Picture Gary Ramage

The 75-year-old has yet to speak to media following Saturday's election but could return to his media roots on radio or television or could continue his advocacy for tougher criminal justice measures for sex offenders.

KERRYN PHELPS

Dr Kerryn Phelps has two other jobs to fall back on after losing the seat of Wentworth to Liberal candidate Dave Sharma.

Independent MP Kerryn Phelps has conceded defeat to Dave Sharma. Picture: Jonathan Ng
Independent MP Kerryn Phelps has conceded defeat to Dave Sharma. Picture: Jonathan Ng

The independent always maintained her position as a GP at the Cooper Street Clinic in Sydney and her position on the City of Sydney Council while she was in parliament.

JULIA BANKS

Independent Julia Banks was unsuccessful in her tilt at Greg Hunt's seat of Flinders on Saturday.

Banks was a lawyer and worked in the business sector before entering politics in 2016 as the Liberal Member for Chisholm.

She has yet to reveal her career intentions post politics but could head back to the private sector.

 

Independent candidate for Flinders Julia Banks. Picture: Mark Stewart
Independent candidate for Flinders Julia Banks. Picture: Mark Stewart

 

FRASER ANNING

Fraser Anning won't be returning to parliament after his party secured just 1.3 per cent of the vote in Queensland.

Anning could potentially return to the hotel industry in Queensland, where he worked before entering politics as a Senator for One Nation in 2017.

He also forged ties with extreme right wing figures, including United Patriots Front founder Blair Cottrell, while in parliament.

BRIAN BURSTON

Brian Burston, Clive Palmer's only man in parliament, who infamously got into a fight with Pauline Hanson's staffer James Ashby in February, lost his NSW Senate seat on Saturday.

Brian Burston in the Senate chamber in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage
Brian Burston in the Senate chamber in Parliament House in Canberra. Picture Gary Ramage

The 71-year-old was a draftsman before entering parliament as a One Nation Senator in 2016.

He dramatically split from Pauline Hanson's party in 2018 and joined Clive Palmer's United Australia Party.

It's unlikely he will continue in politics so Burston may return to his former profession or retire.