Is New South Wales Transport Minister David Elliott sending out signals that he wants to be the next Liberal Prime Minister of Australia?
That’s the scuttlebutt raging around Macquarie Street in Sydney after the minister put in what one state Cabinet colleague called “the perfect audition” yesterday over the Sydney rail lockout on Monday.
After Mr Elliott’s performance, the suggestions are rife that he will switch to a federal seat – possibly parachuted straight into Hughes, currently held by former Liberal member and now United Australia Party parliamentary leader Craig Kelly.
He will become the outside-of-Parliament defacto leader of the Liberal Party and be sworn in as Prime Minister in late May if he wins the seat and the LNP are returned to power.
One federal Liberal MP with a razor-thin margin in western Sydney praised Mr Elliott’s performance yesterday and added he would have a much greater chance of reelection if voters in his electorate knew of the plan to install Elliott in The Lodge.
On Monday, Elliott told Ben Fordham on 2GB: “They [the unions] cannot use the city’s transport system for some sort of terrorist-like activity.”
At a media call yesterday when a female reporter reminded the minister of using that comment, Elliott replied: “No I didn’t. I’ll tell you what I said. Do your research before you ask your questions,” he snarled.
The marginal seat holder said: “To be able to lie so effortlessly and so fluently like that makes Elliott perfect Liberal prime minister material in my view.”
“And it’s one shared by many of my colleagues as well. Elliott is as good at telling bare-faced porkies as the current PM but without the baggage that four years of incumbency brings with it.
“He’s our only hope for survival.”