PM refuses to let ministers, including Steve Ciobo quit, while challenger calls for royal commission on fuel prices. Follow all the developments live
Peter Dutton has already made migration a central issue to his leadership, were he to successfully challenge.
Just to add some spice to that, Tony Abbott is planning a speech on migration to the centre of independent studies on Monday. The spiel for the speech reads pretty much as you’d expect it to. We’re not racist, but:
The overwhelming consensus is that immigration has been one of the pillars of Australia’s economic prosperity. It has also led to our nation’s cultural richness: half of us were either born overseas or have at least one parent who was born abroad.
However, we should be able to debate the level and composition of the increasingly controversial annual 190,000 intake without being accused of racism or bigotry.
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The Victorian Nationals MP Darren Chester has warned that any potential challenger to Turnbull’s leadership – that is, Peter Dutton – should not assume that everyone in the Coalition will simply fall into line behind them.
He didn’t say so in so many words, but it’s a veiled threat that he and some of his Nationals colleagues could join the crossbench if Dutton becomes PM.
I had many conversations yesterday, and certainly a cohort of my colleagues who are worried about what direction this is taking and they’re serving their options and all options are on the table.
The point that I made yesterday in a media interview is that there’s no reason why any potential challenger, whoever that may be, should assume that they can command numbers on the floor of the house of representatives, given we have a one-seat majority. Sorry it’s not a straight answer but all offers on the table in a volatile environment.