It has been a rough couple of months for the Liberal Party, following the ousting of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the devastating loss in the Wentworth by-election last week.
Now, speaking to The Australian, Tony Abbott is urging Liberal voters to get behind Scott Morrison in a bid to unite the party before the next federal election.
“We can yearn for ‘what was’ but we have to choose ‘what is’ and a Scott Morrison-led Coalition over a Bill Shorten-led Labor government is a no-brainer,” the former prime minister told The Weekend Australian.
“My message to people wringing their hands about the state of the country and the polity is that there is a choice and the clearly better choice is Scott Morrison.”
He added: “There is no doubt in my mind and there should be no doubt in the minds of people who supported me as prime minister and who supported Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister that the better choice is Scott Morrison.”
Abbott almost got a taste of the same medicine last month as colleagues held a protest vote over his endorsement as the Liberal candidate for Warringah.
“The disappointing aspect wasn’t the numbers but the fact a number of people chose to engage in anonymous character assassinations afterwards,” he said.
“The problem in politics is not so much the budget deficit but the trust deficit and people who aren’t straight to your face, who lie behind your back are not who we want in public life.”
The news comes Morrison announced a new funding allocation of $5 billion which he says will help rural workers through “non-rainy days in the future”.
The prime minister confirmed that the Federal government will initially commit a sum of $3.9 billion dollars, which is set to increase to $5 billion by within 10 years, however just $100 million will be released each year from July 1, 2020.