The Country Labor Riverina candidate from last month’s federal election says the Prime Minister’s decision to derail Kevin Rudd’s bid to become the United Nations leader diminishes Malcolm Turnbull’s credentials.
Tim Kurylowicz said Mr Turnbull was letting “petty people play games”, rather than acting with authority.
“Kevin Rudd is a great ambassador and an excellent diplomat,” Mr Kurylowicz said.
“If (Mr Turnbull) is that petty over a job now, how will he be when negotiating major policies for regional Australia?”
Mr Kurylowicz said when Mr Rudd was in the top job, he put politics aside to appoint former Liberal treasurer Peter Costello to the board of the Future Fund in 2009.
The move created controversy among Labor diehards, with former Labor prime minister Paul Keating saying that the selection of Mr Costello showed Mr Rudd had no respect for his colleagues, or the Future Fund.
Mr Rudd also gave the first resident Australian ambassador to the Holy See to another Liberal – Tim Fischer.
However, a Charles Sturt University (CSU) politics academic said the decision to not endorse Mr Rudd from the UN Secretary-General position was correct.
Associate Professor in political science in the CSU School of Humanities and Social Sciences Dominic O'Sullivan is not surprised by the Prime Minister's decision not to nominate Mr Rudd.
He said it was an early test for the new government.
“Perhaps Mr Turnbull has made the decision with a view to consolidate his support within the Cabinet rather than alienate Coalition members,” Professor O’Sullivan said.
“Given the turnover of Australian prime ministers in recent times, it's better for Mr Turnbull to annoy the Labor opposition by this decision than to risk further fracturing his own Coalition.
“This issue will quickly pass from political and public consideration and will not jeopardise Mr Turnbull's long-term standing...”