FARRER MP Sussan Ley will spend coming days trying to convince Liberal supporters in her electorate the Coalition can win the next election despite the latest leadership meltdown which has resulted in Scott Morrison replacing Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.
The chances of Ms Ley returning to the ministry appear remote after backing a second spill in which Mr Morrison beat Peter Dutton and Julie Bishop for the top job on Friday.
Ms Ley will return to Farrer for this weekend’s Wentworth Show and is a confirmed attendee at a water crisis rally at Deniliquin RSL Club on Monday.
“Like most of my constituents I am very glad a week of leadership instability is now at an end,” she said.
“As a Liberal colleague of Scott Morrison in NSW I know him well, as far back as his appearance at my Farrer preselection in 2001.
“I have worked closely with our new PM, in various roles
“He has a good understanding of the needs of rural Australia, particularly in difficult times.
“An example from the last drought was his establishment of an ‘exchange’ for country children so they could take time out for a beach holiday.
“He understands small business, he gets the needs of families, and I believe he will be receptive to the ideas I have for new drought relief measures and ensuring water for our farmers.”
In his first media conference as Prime Minister, Mr Morrison said his “immediate priority” was the drought and would consult the Nationals and national drought co-ordinator Major General Stephen Day on measures already in place.
“Our farmers and all those affected, we will do what is necessary and co-ordinate with the states and territories,” Mr Morrison said.
“It will be my first focus, but there are many others.”
Ms Ley is facing an unlikely challenge from Coalition partner, the Nationals, who have opened preselection in the electorate she has held since winning the 2001 election.
“For me, the next two weeks is about getting out in the electorate,” she said.
“I believe we can win the next election and am sure every single member of my party and the Coalition will get behind the new leadership team.”
He was supporting Liberal candidate Sophie Mirabella, who was beaten for a second time by independent Cathy McGowan.
A year earlier he was a guest at a Liberal Party fundraiser held at Mrs Mirabella’s family home where she declared: "This man will be the next conservative prime minister of Australia after a long Abbott government reign".
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