Australian PM waters down energy bill to dampen leadership pressure

Lester Mason
August 21, 2018

The prime minister declared the leadership vacant after entering the party room with his deputy Julie Bishop shortly after 9am on Tuesday morning.

"Even with strong support in the party room, if a small number of people are not prepared to vote with the government on a measure, then it won't get passed", Turnbull told reporters.

He's made good on that nearly immediately after the failed coup and resigned from his position as Minister for Home Affairs. "For the prime minister just to trot out, you know, at a press conference, and say 'here we go, here's my latest thought bubble, ' is not really how good policy is designed".

But the Prime Minister faces ongoing leadership pressure, with his authority significantly diminished by the capitulation to Tony Abbott and his band of rebel MPs.

However, those who didn't support it threatened to "cross the floor" - that is, vote against it in Parliament.

A report in The Australian suggests Mr Turnbull had lost confidence of nine Liberal cabinet ministers - half of the Liberal contingent.

That aside, a string of poor public polls aren't making things any easier for Mr Turnbull.

But Treasurer Scott Morrison said was "fully supportive" of the Prime Minister.

'It's become pretty clear, it's been a pretty torrid decade, ' he said.

While Coalition marginal seat holders have publicly supported Mr Turnbull, some privately lobbied in favour of Mr Dutton to improve the party's chances in Queensland.

Dutton put his hand up to challenge Turnbull for the top job after the PM's risky move to take control of the party.

Opposition leader Bill Shorten labelled Mr Turnbull a "white flag Prime Minister" yesterday after the Government shelved any move to implement the 26 per cent reduction in emissions to focus on cutting power prices.

Earlier Mr Abbott said it was not a personality contest.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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