22 August 2018
E & OE
Is the Coalition in crisis?
We had a Party Room meeting on Tuesday where colleagues as a collective reindorsed Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister. What we all want to do is make sure that Bill Shorten doesn’t become Prime Minister. We have got a good track record of policy achievements to put to the Australian people.
What’s the best way to ensure Bill Shorten doesn’t become Prime Minister?
I think the best way is to talk about the things we have achieved. We have systematically ticked off the items on our policy and legislative agenda.
On our freedom agenda. We have re-established the Australian Building and Construction Commission. We’ve established a Registered Organisations Commission. We’ve outlawed corrupting benefit payments between unions and business. We have put in place protections for CFA and other emergency service workers. We have outlawed something called the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal, which wasn’t about road safety but was all about driving owner operators off the road. And we have reformed the processes of the Human Rights Commission. That’s on our freedom agenda.
On our social policy agenda. We have reformed childcare. We have reformed the school education funding system. In my own area of media reform we have been successful. And with economic policy we have got the budget back on a path to surplus. We have legislated personal income tax cuts. And we’ve legislated the first tranche of company tax cuts. So that’s what we will be saying to the Australian people. Bill Shorten wants to undo all of that. And we don’t want that to happen.
Nine frontbenchers have offered their resignation overnight how can the Malcolm Turnbull survive this?
I always have the practice of being open about what I do in ballots. And I think it is to the credit of those colleagues that they have also been open. They have offered their resignations. But whether those are proceeded with is really a matter between those individuals and the Prime Minister, but I certainly hope that they can continue to make a contribution.
Has Scott Morrison approached you to see if you would support him in another leadership challenge?
No he hasn’t.
Do you believe Malcolm Turnbull could survive another challenge?
We had a Party Room meeting, on Tuesday, where the colleagues, as a collective, determined that Malcolm Turnbull is the person to lead the party.
He narrowly won that, he won by seven votes. That shows that more than a third of his party room doesn’t support him. How damaging is that for him?
We have the Party Room as a forum where different perspectives on policy and personnel can be resolved. And that’s what occurred.
Thanks very much.
Authorised by Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield, Liberal Party of Australia, Parliament House, Canberra.