The first woman to be Australia’s foreign minister says she has heard from some “extraordinary” women and men who could replace her in federal parliament.
Julie Bishop is retiring from parliament at the upcoming election, and now the hunt is on to find someone to replace her.
“I have been contacted by a number of talented, indeed extraordinary people, including women, who have indicated to me that should I not reconsider (contesting) the seat of Curtin, they would seek preselection,” she said on Thursday.
The WA Liberal Party is expected to announce the process for selecting a new candidate in coming days.
Ms Bishop said it was an “immense honour” to serve as Australia’s first female foreign minister and the first woman to be deputy leader of the Liberal party.
Her political future was under question after she decided against remaining in cabinet following Malcolm Turnbull’s resignation as prime minister in August 2018.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison quoted a Bible verse when he thanked Ms Bishop, who had already exited the chamber, for her devotion to the Liberal party.
“‘Well done good and faithful servant’ … this is a phrase that speaks very much to the member for Curtin,” Mr Morrison told parliament.
“Her successor will have big shoes to fill and we all know Julie has the best shoes in the parliament.”
Mr Morrison praised her efforts in dealing with Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 disaster in 2014, when 38 Australians were killed.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also thanked her for fighting for the families of the MH17 victims.
“She did Australia proud that day and in those weeks,” Mr Shorten said.
Ms Bishop’s successor as foreign minister, Marise Payne, choked back tears as she talked about her predecessor’s work in the international community.
Mr Turnbull said Julie Bishop had been Australia’s “finest foreign minister”.
“I think I’ll really miss this,” Ms Bishop told reporters as she left Parliament House.