Ab­bott ‘truce’ for Cab­i­net post

Pilbara News - - News - An­drew Probyn

Tony Ab­bott has of­fered a truce with Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull in re­turn for a Cab­i­net post as indige­nous af­fairs min­is­ter.

The ex­tra­or­di­nary ul­ti­ma­tum came via one of the for­mer prime min­is­ter’s close con­fi­dantes, Cather­ine McGregor, who was speak­ing with Mr Ab­bott’s per­mis­sion.

Ms McGregor said Mr Ab­bott would be more con­strained if he was bound by Cab­i­net sol­i­dar­ity.

She said Mr Ab­bott was not go­ing to leave Par­lia­ment be­fore Mr Turn­bull and his “heavy­weight” tal­ent shouldn’t be squan­dered.

“It’s not a threat to wreck. It’s just that if he is a back­bencher, why should he not speak on is­sues that he is in­vited to speak on,” she said.

“One thing that was clear from the chat I had with him — he was very frank with me — I be­lieve he would hon­our any deal to ad­here to the norms of Cab­i­net sol­i­dar­ity.”

She said for­mer Lib­eral PM John Howard, as the party’s elder states­man, “has the weight and the mo­ti­va­tion to get these two men in a room and talk sense to both of them”.

She said Mr Ab­bott would “love” to be indige­nous af­fairs min­is­ter and had the cred­i­bil­ity to quell an “in­sur­gency” among con­ser­va­tives on con­sti­tu­tional indige­nous recog­ni­tion.

Pic­ture: Rourke Walsh

Tony Ab­bott spent time vol­un­teer­ing with Ku­nunurra District High School's Yee­haa Rangers in Ku­nunurra ear­lier this year.

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