Tony Abbott has advised his colleagues against rolling Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, instead urging them to adopt the “best possible government”.
The former prime minister used his first appearance on radio’s 2GB – which will be a fortnightly spot – to offer up his latest five-point-plan to reassure disillusioned voters.
“It’s not a matter of who is the prime minister so much as a question of what is the government doing,” Mr Abbott told 2GB.
Mr Abbott said the plan came to him while on Pollie Pedal, a charity bike ride from Albury to Sydney, which he called his own “listening tour”.
The call to arms follows 10 bad opinion polls for Mr Turnbull, who ousted Mr Abbott as prime minister in September 2015 after voters turned against him.
“They want all of us to lift our game and I think what we need to do is focus less on ourselves and focus more on the country,” he said.
Mr Abbott said he had a good chance to talk to “middle Australia” who told him there was an expectation Opposition Leader Bill Shorten would end up in the Lodge at the next election.
“If we don’t do something about Bill Shorten there could very well be a change of government at the next election,” he said.
“We need the best possible government and that’s why I’ve been putting forward, if you like, a five point plan for better government.”
Labor MP Anthony Albanese slammed Tony Abbott’s “forked tongue” and said it was “very clear” the former Prime Minister’s intention was to undermine Malcolm Turnbull.
“It’s quite clear that this government doesn’t seem to have a sense of purpose or a reason for existence beyond keeping Malcolm Turnbull in the Lodge for its own sake,” Mr Albanese said.
Mr Abbott’s plan includes reforming the Senate, ending subsidies for renewable energy, which he said would bring down power prices, de-funding the Human Rights Commission, addressing house prices by halting immigration, and being proud of Australia.
“[Voters] are sick of governments that don’t deliver, they’re sick of oppositions that play politics, they’re sick of minor parties that are all grievance and no solution and they want all of us to lift our game,” he said.
In February, Mr Turnbull and senior ministers branded Mr Abbott as “sad” after he used a Sky News interview and a speech to launch a scathing critique of the government’s direction, saying it had become “Labor lite”.
Tony Abbott’s first interview for his regular spot on Ray Hadley didn’t disappoint. #auspol pic.twitter苏州美甲培训学校按摩论坛,/SqZ05mezTA
— David Sharaz (@DavidSharaz) April 17, 2017
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said in an interview last month that he was “saddened” at the former prime minister’s “self-indulgent” criticism of the Turnbull government.
“Mathias and I had a man to man talk, you might say, about that particular outburst of his,” Mr Abbott told 2GB radio.
“We had a very blunt conversation about it, and look if you don’t like what someone is doing, rather than speak out publicly, at least in the first instance, you should have a man to man discussion.”