Local federal MP Greg Hunt’s elevation to the Health and Sport portfolios in Malcolm Turnbull’s latest ministerial reshuffle positions him strategically for a further rise as Coalition Government instability continues.
As a low-key, highly competent member of the government’s inner circle, he has avoided becoming too closely associated with either the Abbott ultra-conservatives or the smaller-l liberal group supporting Prime Minister Turnbull.
In any future leadership manoeuvrings he might be (for devotees of ‘Yes, Minister’) the Jim Hacker who gets the call as a compromise candidate and bursts through the pack – that is, if current leadership possibilities Scott Morrison, Julie Bishop and Peter Dutton fail to win enough support to take the top job were it to be up for grabs.
With no major blots on his copybook in his time in the House of Representatives and a clean record in the troublesome Environment portfolio, which he vacated six months ago for Industry, Mr Hunt is now in the top rank of the government.
His assumption of the Sport portfolio might have consequences on the Mornington Peninsula, especially in Dromana, where quiet, intense discussions are going on over an impending shire land purchase for a new sports complex, possibly to house an Australian Rules ground, a soccer pitch, athletics and netball facilities and probably more.
Local movers and shakers involved in the Dromana Football Club favour a site in Collins Rd, close to their home ground. Council staff are believed to be looking at land near Martha Cove, remote from the Tigers tightly squeezed home ground, especially for juniors and other non-drivers.
Mr Hunt is said to favour the Martha Cove site, just a long drop kick from Mt Martha, where a friend of Mr Hunt is president of the Mt Martha Soccer Club. Bandicoot understands both sites would qualify for a federal grant.
No doubt the matter will be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties.