One of the Turnbull government's most senior ministers, Christopher Pyne, has waded into the US presidential contest, saying the popularity of Republican frontrunner Donald Trump is "terrifying" and is making American democracy look "kind of weird".
It is unusual for Australian politicians to criticise US presidential candidates during a campaign.
Pyne: Trump's rise 'terrifying'
Christopher Pyne on The Morning Show sharing his feelings on Donald Trump's push for the White House. Vision: The Morning Show, Seven Network.
Mr Trump - a businessman who has made vitriolic attacks on immigrants, threatening mass deportations and proposing to build a wall on the Mexican border - is far ahead of his nearest rival, Ted Cruz, in the race for the Republican nomination. This week the businessman added Florida, Illinois and North Carolina to his primary tally.
Protests outside Mr Trump's rallies have sparked violence in recent days.
Asked by Channel Seven's The Morning Show what he thought of the gathering speed of Trump's campaign, Mr Pyne replied: "Well, it's terrifying."
The Industry, Innovation and Science Minister added: "And we are seeing in America these terrible rallies occurring where the people are becoming violent.
"Now, democracy should be robust but it certainly shouldn't be violent. And I think the Donald Trump phenomenon is a real problem for the United States, making their democracy look kind of weird.
"And I think for the Republican party, if they choose Donald Trump, will find themselves in the wilderness for a very long time.
Liberal senator Cory Berardi, however, said that Mr Trump's success reflected a "global disenchantment with mainstream politics".
"I have been warning about this for some time. Unless the major parties respond to the concerns of mainstream people, the public will look elsewhere and a more formidable force will emerge."
Last month, Mr Pyne's cabinet colleague Steve Ciobo also entered the fray by criticising Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
Mr Ciobo suggested that Mrs Clinton was running a union-backed campaign of misinformation against the TPP like the labour movement in Australia.
He was swiftly criticised by opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek, who said his "training wheels" had fallen off.
"Mr Ciobo seems to think it's okay to risk Australia's incredibly important relationship with the United States to score a cheap political point," Ms Plibersek said.