Lead­ing Libs turn on ‘ self­ish’ Ab­bott

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TOM MIN­EAR

A ONE- TIME ally of Tony Ab­bott has de­liv­ered a sting­ing re­buke to the for­mer prime min­is­ter, ac­cus­ing him of putting govern­ment MPs at risk of los­ing their seats.

Se­nior govern­ment min­is­ter Josh Frydenberg, pre­vi­ously a staunch Ab­bott sup­porter, hit out yes­ter­day as the for­mer Lib­eral leader said he had made a “judg­ment” call to keep speak­ing out on con­ser­va­tive is­sues.

Act­ing Prime Min­is­ter Barn­aby Joyce also gave his old boss a clip around the ears, re­mind­ing him of the need to ne­go­ti­ate over key bud­get mea­sures which ex­isted when he was in charge, while Deputy Na­tion­als leader Fiona Nash said it was a shame Mr Ab­bott was not “putting the coun­try first”.

Mr Frydenberg said Mr Ab­bott needed to ask him­self who was ben­e­fit­ing from his “con­stant in­ter­ven­tions”.

“Is it the party mem­bers, who want to see a con­tin­u­a­tion of the Lib­eral govern­ment? The an­swer is no,” he said.

“Is it my par­lia­men­tary col­leagues, who want to see them re­tain their own seats and the govern­ment stay in of­fice? The an­swer is no.

“Or is it Bill Shorten, the al­ter­na­tive prime min­is­ter? He’s the one who’s ben­e­fit­ing most, un­for­tu­nately, from Tony Ab­bott’s con­stant in­ter­ven­tions.”

Mr Frydenberg said that de­spite his “spe­cial sta­tus” within the Lib­eral Party, the for­mer prime min­is­ter needed to “fo­cus on Aus­tralians and de­liv­er­ing what Malcolm Turn­bull has promised”.

Mr Joyce said the Turn­bull Govern­ment was hav­ing more suc­cess than the Ab­bott Govern­ment try­ing to get its bud­getary mea­sures passed in the Sen­ate. “I’ll be quite frank, we’ve had a lot more suc­cess with this one, and more power to the hand of people such as ( Fi­nance Min­is­ter) Mathias Cor­mann and ne­go­ti­a­tions he’s been do­ing in the Sen­ate,” Mr Joyce said.

“And the fact that the Prime Min­is­ter has the ca­pac­ity to ne­go­ti­ate things through the Sen­ate – that’s why we are get­ting de­liv­ery.”

Mr Joyce would not say how long the Coali­tion govern­ment could tol­er­ate Mr Ab­bott evis­cer­at­ing his own side. “That’s a ques­tion for Tony,” he said.

Ms Nash ac­cused Mr Ab­bott of be­ing self­ish.

“No­body par­tic­u­larly cares, who I talk to, whether Tony likes Malcolm,” she told Sky News.

“Malcolm Turn­bull and the Coali­tion govern­ment will con­tinue to put the 24 mil­lion people in this coun­try first.

“It’s a shame Tony Ab­bott doesn’t seem to be do­ing the same.”

QUES­TION TIME: Josh Frydenberg ( left) has ques­tioned why Tony Ab­bott ( in­set) is con­tin­u­ing to speak out on is­sues af­fect­ing the Lib­eral govern­ment.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.