Labor open to Bishop diplomatic posting

Labor has not ruled out giving retiring Liberal MP Julie Bishop a diplomatic posting.
Labor has not ruled out giving retiring Liberal MP Julie Bishop a diplomatic posting.

Labor has not ruled out giving former foreign minister Julie Bishop a diplomatic posting if it wins the next federal election.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said people of Ms Bishop's calibre had more to give public life, but he wants to let the Liberal MP catch her breath after announcing her retirement on Thursday.

"In terms of public life she brings experience on the international stage. I think she has some good relationships with people overseas," Mr Shorten told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

"I think she presents Australia in a pretty positive and sophisticated way."

The WA Liberals are hunting for a replacement for Ms Bishop in her ultra-safe Perth seat of Curtin.

She said extraordinary people, including women, had told her they would seek preselection if she decided to go.

Cabinet minister Kelly O'Dwyer, who is also quitting politics, backed women candidates to fill both vacancies.

"There are incredible women in the field running for both of our seats to get preselection," Ms O'Dwyer told the Nine Network.

"I suspect that one of those women in Curtin and in Higgins will be very successful and will make a wonderful contribution here in the parliament."

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 future was in doubt after she decided against remaining in cabinet following Malcolm Turnbull's knifing as prime minister in August 2018.

Mr Morrison and Mr Shorten praised Ms Bishop's efforts in dealing with the MH17 disaster in 2014, when 38 Australians were killed.

Australian Associated Press