Why Dominic Perrottet Just Signed His Own Political Death Sentence As He Elects A Representative Hated By His OWN Liberal Party: ‘So Far Left, Awake And Green’
- Matt Kean, 40, has been unopposed as deputy Liberal leader in NSW
- Prime Minister Perrottet made sure by telling challenger David Elliott to resign
- Mr Kean is a climate champion and will call on the midfield
- But there are fears that the right-wing liberal base will be knocked out by him
NSW Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet risks losing support from the Liberal Party’s traditionally conservative base by choosing Matt Kean, the leading crusader for moderate and climate change, as his deputy.
Kean was elected deputy Liberal leader unopposed on Tuesday after right-wing David Elliott withdrew from the race, saying the prime minister did not want him.
The position had become vacant after Stuart Ayres resigned last week over allegations that he was improperly involved in recruiting John Barilaro for a lucrative trade position in the US, allegations he denies.
As treasurer and a leading moderate, Mr Kean may have seemed like the obvious choice to join Mr Perrottet, who comes from the right faction of the Liberals.
However, there is widespread distaste for Kean in the party’s largely conservative base, many of whom view the 40-year-old treasurer and MP for Hornsby’s upper north coast as being too left-wing.
Kean is close to ex-Prime Minister Malcom Turnbull, who also hates the party’s grassroots.
The prime minister wanted to end internal divisions and avoid a vote that so effectively ordered Mr Elliott, who is a centre-right, to step out of the race.
Leading moderate and climate champion Matt Kean has been unopposed as Liberal delegate in NSW
Mr Kean’s election will be sold to the electorate as a tool to appeal to the center – particularly the climate-conscious voters who helped take the Morrison government out of the way in May’s federal election by recruiting green-blue independents. elect in previously safe Liberal seats.
The treasurer was a strong critic of the Morrison administration on integrity and climate, stating: “Having no solutions to the major challenges facing our country, such as climate change, is not acceptable.”
And he has even embraced a vision of “new capitalism” to map the “environmental and social benefits of the decisions we make, not just the financial benefits.”
However, some fear that his election as deputy Liberal leader will repel the die-hard liberals on the party’s right and push them toward right-wing minor parties like One Nation.
Certainly NSW One Nation leader Mark Latham hopes this will be the case, describing Mr Kean as a ‘vote loser’ for the Liberals.
Prime Minister (right with Queensland leader Annastacia Palaszczuk) wanted to end internal divisions and avoid a vote
“All the feedback I get is that Matt Kean is a huge loser for the Liberal Party. He’s gone so far to the left, so far awake and so green,” Mr. Latham told 2GB Radio.
The veteran politician believes the Perrottet government will likely lose to Chris Minns’ Labor in March.
“I think it’s another sign of a dying government. They have no idea where the electorate should be. They have lost the sense of their party voting base,” he said.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Elliott explained that Prime Minister Perrottet had effectively told him to step down from the race for deputy leadership.
“He certainly didn’t tell me to back off, but he sure did say he didn’t want a vote. And I respect that,” the front bencher tells 2GB.
“I have told him that I respect his wish to choose his own deputy. I had to eat Humble Pie today.’
Under treasurer Kean, NSW will spend an additional $38 million this year on its electric car strategy, bringing the total investment to $633 million to drive the slow introduction of electric cars in Australia.
As treasurer, Mr. Kean has championed the green transition of NSW.
In the state budget in June, he announced an additional $38 million for NSW’s electric car strategy, bringing the total investment to more than half a billion dollars.
The money will be spent on rolling out more charging points in streets, apartment buildings and designated charging points.
Mr Kean said rolling out more chargers “will enable more EV drivers to take advantage of their lower running costs and a cleaner, quieter and more sustainable road network”.
He added: “You will never be far from a charger on our major highways, at regional destinations, at apartment buildings and at curbs in metropolitan areas with limited on-street parking.”