House debates

Monday, 20 August 2018

Questions without Notice

Turnbull Government

3:02 pm

Photo of Bill ShortenBill Shorten (Maribyrnong, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's answer in which he said that his government would not introduce legislation unless it could be carried on its own numbers. Given that the Prime Minister has a majority of one, doesn't every member of his backbench, including the former Prime Minister, now have the same power over government policy as the Prime Minister himself?

3:03 pm

Photo of Malcolm TurnbullMalcolm Turnbull (Wentworth, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the honourable member for his question. It is self-evident that in a parliament or a House of Representatives with a government with a majority of one, individual members who choose not to vote in accordance with the decisions of the majority of the party room have the ability to prevent legislation being carried. That is the practical reality of the situation. That is why, since the party meeting last week, we've been engaging with members to discuss their concerns and ensure that we can deliver support for the government's policies on the floor of the House.