News National Abbott gets chance NOT to undermine the new PM

Abbott gets chance NOT to undermine the new PM

malcolm turnbull tony abbott
With enemies like these: Malcolm Turnbull is fighting his own backbench
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Tony Abbott will get the chance to keep his promise not to undermine the Turnbull government when parliament sits for the next fortnight.

The former prime minister has not been seen in the House of Representative chamber since he was toppled from the Liberal leadership by Malcolm Turnbull four weeks ago.

Unlike Labor’s Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, who both fronted up to the House hours after being turfed out of the Prime Minister’s office, Mr Abbott has so far avoided the humbling experience of moving abruptly from parliament’s despatch box to the back bench.

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Mr Abbott has said he won’t be making a decision about his political career until after Christmas.

Senior Liberal Andrew Robb doesn’t think Mr Abbott staying in parliament is a problem for the party at this stage.

The new team. Photo: AAP

He said Mr Abbott made a very clear statement after he lost the leadership that he would not be a source of destabilisation in the rundown to the next election.

“Knowing Tony as I do, I think he’ll stick with that,” the trade minister told Sky News on Sunday.

Meanwhile, Mr Turnbull has called an urgent meeting of security chiefs on Thursday to discuss what more can be done to counter the spread of violent extremism in the wake of the fatal shooting of a police accountant in Sydney nine days ago.

It will coincide with the resumption of debate on amendments that aim to strip dual nationals of their Australian citizenship if found to be supporters of terrorism.

The week will kick off with another government “Repeal Day”, with plans to take another $1 billion of red tape off the back of business by removing outdated and unnecessary regulation.

To date, the government has made deregulation decisions it says have saved $2.45 billion.

There will also be further debate on Monday of the legislation to prevent parents from getting childcare benefits if they fail to immunise their children.

Tuesday will see more discussion on the China free trade agreement, a deal Labor wants to include safeguards for Australian jobs.

Mr Robb says he is prepared to listen to the opposition if they offer “something of substance”, but he described previous discussions as ridiculous and nothing but a huge wish list.



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