Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has hit back on the attempt made by Tony Abbott to take sole credit for the Coalition’s election agenda.
He rejected Abbott’s claims including “stopping the boats, finalising the free trade agreements, our strong national security policy and now, of course, our workplace relations policy.”
On Monday night, Abbott said that Turnbull was opting for election on the basis of policies made by the Abbott government.
Abbott appreciated Turnbull’s “intelligent brinkmanship” for calling a double dissolution election.
Abbott and government were elected on the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), which is used to trigger possible double dissolution.
On Tuesday, he said Abbott was “not right.” “The bottom line is there is continuity and there is change,” Turnbull said.
“There are many policies that have been announced and many initiatives that have been undertaken that were either not policies or not being pursued by Mr Abbott.”
He also said that there is a constant innovation in his government, like there was in Abbott’s.
He praised Abbott for stopping the boats but noted that had involved restoring the Howard government policy.
Turnbull also mentioned the changes in Senate voting, media law reform and the focus on innovation. He said that these are changes not invented by Abbott, and termed them to be “continuum.”
Employment Minister Michaelia Cash also referred to “continuity and change” when she was questioned about Abbott’s claims. However, she said that being a part of the government, Abbott is entitled to his opinion.
However, according to Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, “clear bitterness” between Turnbull and his predecessor can be clearly seen. He described the event as a party at war with itself, says ABC News.