6 August, 2015. 11:59
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
HE’S THE ONLY Member of Parliament to make the BRW Rich List.
With an estimated net worth of around AU$200 million, Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull may be forced into a political role he never wanted.
The harsh reality that Mr Turnbull is facing right now is that he’s the only representative who can afford to be Speaker of the House.
If Malcolm Turnbull does become Australia’s next prime minister, he’ll be getting the raw prawn if he decides to move into The Lodge.
Like so many Australians, the wealthiest member of federal parliament has much of his money tied up in his castle, which in his case is a waterfront estate in Point Piper on a scale and grandeur similar to the nearby mansion Altona which sold for $52 million.
Compare that with the funnel-web infested hell-hole in Davidson, just a grueling hours drive north, where the prime minister calls home while in Sydney.
Three weeks ago, former Speaker Brownyn Bishop had her political career all but ended by a whopping error in judgement. She spent $5000 of party money on a chartered helicopter ride to a Liberal fundraiser.
For Malcolm Turnbull, he could drop that on lunch and still leave a good tip.
It also emerged that Mrs Bishop spent $90,000 of taxpayer cash on a European trip partly aimed at an attempt to secure her a plum new job abroad – a sum slightly less than what the communications minister spent last year on merlot.
Betoota’s local member Bruce Scott will resume his duties as deputy speaker when parliament resumes on Monday but he’s due to retire at the next election, which couldn’t come a moment too soon for the inner-city socialists who have trouble understanding Mr Scott when he speaks in his raspy western division drawl.
The Roma-born parliamentarian is reported so difficult to understand for some Greens and Labor MPs that a translator from Toowoomba has been called in to act as an interpreter.
But it would be the only way for Tony Abbott to safeguard his position as prime minister because Mr Turnbull is the only viable alternative. Being Speaker would all but end Turnbull’s quest to be the leader of this great Commonwealth.