Prime Minister Tony Abbott has secretly entered Communcations Minister Malcolm Turnbull into the final shortlist of 100 people to go on the first manned mission to Mars.
Insiders say that Mr Turnbull wasn’t consulted. “That’s not exactly true,” the prime minister said. “Malcolm knows that I’ve been looking for new challenges for him for some time. He loves travel.”
The PM is hopeful that Mr Turnbull will make the final 20 for the mission and wants the communications minister to consider the journey a time for self-reflection. “Jesus went into the desert for 40 days and for 40 nights. And we all know what happened to him in the end. I’m saving Malcolm that trouble. I’m sending him to a desert planet for 40 million days and 40 million nights.
“Hopefully he will come to his senses in that time. He certainly won’t be able to come back that’s for sure.”
It is expected that Mr Turnbull will remain as communications minister while he is away. “He’s going to take the NBN with him,” said the prime minister. “I’m told it’s long enough and Martians need the internet too.”
Mr Turnbull avoided questions regarding the Mars Mission on ABC’s Q&A on Monday night, only hinting that he was not consulted by the PM regarding the decision. “Look it was clearly another captain’s call,” said Mr Turnbull furiously winking at the camera. “But I respect the prime minister’s decision and as a member of Cabinet, I’m happy to carry out the wishes of the prime minister, I love Martians.”
Mr Turnbull then proceeded to smirk at the camera for the next two days, ending the episode of Q&A by pashing host Tony Jones.
The final 20 for the mission to Mars are expected to be announced before the next Liberal Party spill.