Scott Morrison has only had the top job for a few weeks but he’s already topped a list of the most overtly powerful people in Australia.
His opposite number Bill Shorten, who the polls say will replace him as prime minister at the next election, is number two in the Australian Financial Review’s 2018 Overt Power list.
In the covert list, Treasury secretary Philip Gaetjens is number one, in part because he served as chief-of-staff to Mr Morrison when he was treasurer.
Last year’s most powerful Australian Malcolm Turnbull was left off the list after the August 23 leadership spill, although he had already posed for photos for the AFR.
The two lists operate together, with the covert list chosen for how much influence the people on it have over the people on the overt list.
‘When AFR Magazine started doing the power lists 18 years ago, John Howard had an iron grip on the top job in the country. Power was about incumbency,’ AFR Magazine editor Matthew Drummond said.
‘Then, over the course of the past decade, power shifted to those with the ability to disrupt.
‘These days, holding high office rarely means you’re held in high regard.
‘The banking royal commission is chomping through the reputation of big business, while weekly opinion polls undermine the foundations of Parliament House.’
Banking royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne is fourth on the overt list, in recognition of his power to reshape the banking industry.
Mr Morrison’s friends and Liberal allies David Gazard, Stuart Robert, Alex Hawke, Ben Morton and Scott Briggs are listed joint-second on the covert list.
The collective ‘right wing media’ is ranked fourth, including Fairfax broadcasters Ray Hadley and Alan Jones, News Corp owner Rupert Murdoch and the Sky After Dark team of commentators.
AFR OVERT POWER LIST 2018
1. Scott Morrison – Prime Minister
2. Bill Shorten – Opposition Leader
3. Josh Frydenberg – Treasurer
4. Kenneth Hayne – Banking royal commissioner
5. Mathias Cormann – Finance Minister
6. Sally McManus – ACTU secretary
7. Peter Dutton – Home Affairs Minister
8. Chris Bowen – shadow treasurer
9. Tony Abbott – former prime minister
10. Susan Kiefel – First woman Chief Justice
AFR COVERT POWER LIST 2018
1. Philip Gaetjens – Treasury Secretary
2. David Gazard, Stuart Robert, Alex Hawke, Ben Morton, Scott Briggs – Friends of Scott Morrison
3. Martin Parkinson – Secretary of Prime Minister and Cabinet
4. Ray Hadley, Alan Jones, Rupert Murdoch and Sky After Dark commentators – Right-wing media
5. Michael O’Connor- CFMMEU national secretary
6. Nick Warner – Intelligence chief
7. John Howard – former prime minister
8. Rod Sims – ACCC chairman
9. Ian Silk – Australian Super CEO
10. Ben Oquist and Richard Dennis – The Australia Institute