ACT Liberal senator Zed Seselja has emerged from the rubble of last week's federal government implosion with a more prestigious assistant ministry pitting him against local political rival and Canberra-based Labor MP Andrew Leigh.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has handed Senator Seselja the assistant ministry for treasury and finance as he extended the olive branch to backers of Peter Dutton's failed tilt at the leadership but left some on the backbench.
Senator Seselja joined several pro-Dutton MPs in accepting Mr Morrison's invitation back into the Coalition government's senior ranks despite resigning from his portfolio last week in building momentum for the second spill that removed Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister.
While other core backers of Mr Dutton's leadership tilt remain without portfolios, including Michael Sukkar, Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and James McGrath, the ACT Liberal senator's ministerial career appears unscathed along with those of Michael Keenan, Angus Taylor, Steven Ciobo and others who supported the challenger.
Senator Seselja played a crucial role in the conservative insurgency that split the Liberal party, detonated Mr Turnbull's leadership, but disastrously backfired by failing to elevate Mr Dutton to the Prime Minister's office after two spills.
Mr Turnbull promoted the ACT senator to the assistant ministry in 2016, when he took on social services and multicultural affairs, before moving him to science, jobs and innovation assisting Michaelia Cash late last year.
Senator Seselja's new task in the Morrison government will put him in policy debates against Dr Leigh, the shadow assistant treasurer and Labor MP for Fenner, as he works under incoming treasurer Josh Frydenberg and assistant treasurer Stuart Robert.
His portfolios also bring him into orbit with new public service minister Mathias Cormann, who will also return as the government's finance spokesman overseeing administration and spending in the federal bureaucracy, Canberra's largest employer.
Senator Seselja was unavailable for comment on Sunday.
He emerged as a national public face of the pro-Dutton camp last week and said replacing Mr Turnbull with the Home Affairs Minister would return conservative voters to the Coalition from minor parties.
Senator Seselja said last week right-wing voters were increasingly deserting the government, a situation brought on by the government's indecisiveness on energy policy and its Catholic and independent schools funding model, which he criticised last year.
In an appearance on the ABC's 7.30 program on Thursday, Senator Seselja dismissed questions about the former Home Affairs minister's eligibility to sit in parliament as a "red herring".
The same night, before the second attempt to install Mr Dutton as Prime Minister, he joined fellow conservatives Mr Sukkar, Mr Taylor, Andrew Hastie and Tony Pasin toasting a job almost done at Kagawa Japanese restaurant in Dickson.