PM no longer Australia’s most powerful person

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is no longer considered the most powerful person in the country, according to the Australian Financial Review Magazine.

The magazine today releases its annual Power Issue, in which a panel of experts select the Australians who wield the most power to shape our everyday lives.

Traditionally the Prime Minister sits at number one on the list — and in October 2020 Mr Morrison claimed top billing thanks in part to the successful JobKeeper program.

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Scott Morrison, National Cabinet, COVID-19

But this year the AFR Magazine panel elected to combine four state premiers in Gladys Berejiklian (NSW), Daniel Andrews (Victoria), Annastacia Palaszczuk (Queensland) and Mark McGowan (Western Australia) for an equal first place.

It's the first time since the power list began in 2000 that the Prime Minister has not been perceived as the country's most powerful person.

A full list of the top 10 most overtly powerful Australians can be seen below.

Financial Review editor-in-chief Michael Stutchbury said the COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the true power structures as governed by Australia's constitution.

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Former Political Staffer Brittany Higgins speaks to the media after meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison at the CPO in Sydney

"The pandemic has resulted in a real shift in how power is exercised within the federation," Stutchbury said.

"That's based on the extreme risk aversion within the population, which the premiers have responded to."

Despite losing top spot, Mr Morrison was named in second place with Treasurer Josh Frydenberg elected as the third most overtly powerful Australian.

In fourth place were the combined Chief Health Officers of the states and territories, followed by RBA Governor Philip Lowe in fifth and Brittany Higgins in sixth.

The list is created by panels of decision makers who debate at length the extent of a person's power and how public the exercising of their power is in the country.

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Australia's top 10 most overtly powerful people

1. (Combined) State Premiers Gladys Berejiklian, Daniel Andrews, Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mark McGowan

2. Prime Minister Scott Morrison

3. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

4. (Combined) State Chief Health Officers

5. RBA Governor Philip Lowe

6. Brittany Higgins

7. Deputy PM Barnaby Joyce

8. Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn

9. Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese

10. Defence Minister Peter Dutton

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