NSW Nationals' leader John Barilaro has stirred the pot by saying a Nat should fill the Senate spot soon to be vacated by departing Liberal Arthur Sinodinos.
NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro has urged his party to consider pushing the federal Liberals to relinquish an upcoming Senate vacancy, a move which could inflame lingering tensions between the coalition partners.
Arthur Sinodinos is quitting politics later in the year to be the next ambassador to Washington, creating a spot almost certain to be filled by a Liberal.
But some Nationals believe the party is owed a NSW seat because former deputy leader Fiona Nash was replaced by Liberal Jim Molan after she was disqualified over dual citizenship.
"The Liberal Party will have to make its decisions, but the National Party shouldn't take off the table the idea that maybe that spot should be returned to the Nationals," Mr Barilaro told Sky News on Wednesday.
Mr Molan, a former army major general, is vying to fill the vacancy after the conservative Liberal failed to win his upper house seat back at the election.
Failed lower house candidate Warren Mundine is also weighing up a bid for the seat, while ex-RSL president and Malcolm Turnbull's son-in-law James Brown has been touted as a potential candidate.
Mr Barilaro said he doesn't see any reason why federal Nationals leader Michael McCormack shouldn't make the case for the junior coalition partner to fill the vacancy.
"I think there is an opportunity here," the NSW state leader said.
Mr Molan won significant below-the-line support after being relegated to an unwinnable spot on the coalition's Senate ticket at the May election, but fell short.
While the campaign angered Nationals during the election, Perin Davey prevailed from third spot on the coalition ticket, meaning the party narrowly avoided being without any NSW senators.