Turnbull takes swipe at Dutton back on home soil
MALCOLM Turnbull took a subtle swipe at Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton - the man who led the 2018 spill that eventually cost him his prime ministership - as he congratulated Scott Morrison on his miraculous election victory.
After flying in from the US on Monday evening, a candid Mr Turnbull told reporters he congratulated "Scott on a very outstanding personal victory".
"I'm very glad that in that dreadful time in August he succeeded to the Prime Ministership rather than Peter Dutton," he told Channel 7 news.
He also praised Liberal candidate Dave Sharma, who won the seat that Mr Turnbull left vacant after his resignation last year.
"(It's) the best part of the best country in the world," Mr Turnbull said. "Good luck in the years ahead. And thank you Kerryn Phelps for the great courage and character you showed as our MP."
The former PM's son Alex was less gracious, bragging in a Nine interview that he helped oust Tony Abbott, who he labelled a "terrorist".
"I think not having Tony (Abbott) there helps," the younger Turnbull told reporters from Singapore.
"I am very happy I got rid of Tony … Tony was very much a terrorist."
Alex Turnbull waged a campaign against Mr Abbott in Warringah by robo-calling the electorate.
BACKFLIP ON HASTIE MEETING
Far-right activist Neil Erikson has admitted he lied about meeting Liberal MP Andrew Hastie as payback against the media and the Coalition.
Mr Hastie said during the election campaign he was confident he had never met Mr Erikson after he claimed online he had a "secret meeting" with the Western Australia MP.
Mr Hastie's colleague Ian Goodenough said at the time the two MPs had a "brief" encounter with Mr Erikson, a co-founder of the United Patriots Front, but there was no meeting.
Mr Erikson posted a YouTube video saying he lied to protect outgoing right-wing Queensland senator Fraser Anning.
"I wanted to clear the way for Fraser Anning … I didn't want the media using me to attack him," he said.
"I made up that I met Andrew Hastie and Ian Goodenough at the South African rally in Perth," he said.
"Now Andrew Hastie is a top bloke, got nothing against him, but he is a member of the Liberal Party and that fit my narrative so I had to do it."
Mr Hastie said Mr Erikson's admission was not the end of the matter. "I knew it was blatantly false and the matter is now with my lawyers," he said.
SHARMA VOWS TO FIGHT FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
Dave Sharma has promised to fight for the environment in his first victory speech since winning the battle for Wentworth.
The Liberal candidate, who narrowly secured the seat from independent MP Kerryn Phelps yesterday, also thanked Malcolm Turnbull, saying the former prime minister had been a great supporter of his campaign.
"I want to reflect and acknowledge my predecessor … Malcolm Turnbull. He held the seat for 14 years, a very popular and liked local member," Mr Sharma said.
"Malcolm and Lucy are known to me and my family, they have been great supporters and great friends through this period."
Earlier Dr Phelps had conceded the race after the small margin between the two candidates grew during the postal vote count.
When asked whether she believed her policies had hurt her, Dr Phelps, after congratulating Mr Sharma and the Liberals on their victories, said she still believed the electorate had an appetite for a "sensible centre".
- Jack Houghton
NSW ON TRACK TO SEAL $7.3B SUPPORT
NSW will reap the benefits of the Coalition's win, with a $7.3 billion injection into new road and rail projects over the next decade.
Construction is soon expected to begin on a raft of congestion-busting projects funded in the Budget handed down by PM Scott Morrison in April.
Travel times across the state would be slashed under plans to invest $95 million to reduce travel times on The Horsley Dve and $50 million for King Georges Rd.
A further $500 million has been put aside for commuter carparks in NSW and Victoria, which Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has said will take thousands of cars off the road.
Of the total infrastructure spend in NSW, $3.5 billion will go towards the North South Rail Line and $1.6 billion has been put aside for a critical Newcastle bypass - the M1 Pacific Motorway Extension to Raymond Terrace.
"NSW citizens have now, on two occasions, backed the Liberals and Nationals' positive agenda to deliver more opportunities for all," Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
- Clare Armstrong
IT'S PARTY TIME FOR THE ALP
Nominations for the election of a new state Labor leader will not be delayed despite the federal ALP being in turmoil after its shock election defeat and Bill Shorten's exit.
Labor sources said candidate nominations for the party's NSW leader are expected to open either today or tomorrow and close by the end of the week. This means the state and federal leadership ballots will have to run concurrently - both will be decided in a 50-50 vote split between the party's rank-and-file members and the caucus.
Eight weeks ago, NSW Labor announced it would delay the leadership vote until after the federal election and MPs have been anxious to fill the vacancy.
It is understood Opposition transport spokeswoman Jodi McKay will throw her hat into the ring to face-off against fellow frontbencher Chris Minns. The Kogarah MP and water spokesman is expected to officially announce his candidacy this week after signalling his intention to run.
Mr Minns ran against former Labor leader Michael Daley in a leadership ballot last year following the resignation of Luke Foley.
Senior Labor figures wanted treasury spokesman Ryan Park to take on the role but it is understood he will not put his name forward.
- Danielle Le Messurier