Tony Abbott reveals his final moments as PM and what’s next in first interview 634



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In his first in-depth interview since he was ousted as PM, Tony Abbott has spoken about his legacy, retirement and how it all went down.

Speaking to The Weekend Australian, Mr Abbott has defended his time as leader and believes he gave Malcolm Turnbull a very strong foundation.

“Whatever else the changes of last week were about, they plainly weren’t about policy,” he said.

“The fact that the new Prime Minister and the new Treas­urer are saying exactly the same thing today that the former prime minister and former treas­urer were saying only a fortnight ago shows that we got it right.

“Interestingly, just as nothing has changed on economic policy in the last fortnight, nothing’s changed on climate change policy in the last fortnight, nothing’s changed in respect of same-sex marriage in the last fortnight and nothing’s changed in respect of border protection in the last fortnight, and I don’t imagine anything will change in national security policy more broadly.

The former PM now has an office next to forme­r Speaker Bronwyn Bishop and stopped himself before displaying his true feelings about his unceremonious ousting 13 days ago.

“It is absolutely in our interest as a nation and certainly in our interest­ as a Coalition that this Prime Minister get re-elected,” he said. “So having had five prime ministers in five years we can’t find ourselves in the appalling situation of having six prime ministers in the last six years. That really would be out-Greecing Greece”.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Abbott said his biggest achievement in office was stopping the boats.

“We got rid of Labor’s bad taxes, a really important achievement. We’ve kick-started a lot of infrastructure … which governments have procrastinated about for many, many years.

“It was a government that didn’t get the credit it deserved but nevertheless it was a government that got on with things with an eye for the future”.

In an interview with The Saturday Telegraph he spoke of that fateful day almost a fortnight ago – he was waiting to meet a group of Girl Guides when Julie Bishop entered his office to tell him he had lost the support of his Cabinet, followed by a message from ‘our friend’ Malcolm Turnbull.

“Our friend was in the office giving me his assessment of the government and telling me what he was about to do.

“It was a conversation with Malcolm that had to be a little more than 30 seconds. Nevertheless (the Girl Guides) had to wait five or 10 minutes.

“Whatever might have been going through my mind, the fact is you still have a job to do. Every moment you are in that job you have a job to do and it’s important to do it with dignity and grace”, he said.

On the subject of what’s next for the 57-year-old, he said, “I think I’m far too young to retire”.

“Obviously I still think I have quite a lot to contribute in public life”.

He enthused just how important it is for Turnbull to be our PM for a while.

“The commentariat have now got the PM they want but the public have lost the PM they voted for, this is a real issue for our country”. Would you agree?


Do you think Tony Abbott left a lasting impression? Good or bad?


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  1. oh, he left an impression alright. he was the single worst PM world wide bar none, what an oaf.

    3 REPLY
    • You had better think back to what Rudd did, ….total disaster. The Labour followers hsve a very short memory.

    • I’m a dedicated liberal. and Rudd was merely incompetent and arrogant, there is no comparison.

    • I’m a dedicated liberal. and Rudd was merely incompetent and arrogant, there is no comparison.

  2. Felt sad for Kevin Rudd n Julia Gillard n Tony Abbott when they were ousted. Politics is a nasty business no matter what party you are in

  3. No point getting deep and meaningful now Tony. We have heard very little of you that was meaningful since your instigation. Enjoy your retirement many of us won’t. !!

  4. we require stability, we need an economic plan to grow this country and provide support for our children, our people, our business and enable us all to thrive in this lucky country .. we also need to acknowledge our indigenous owners and acknowledge our growth as immigrants and allow us to grow with immigration .. good luck everyone .. and love each other

    1 REPLY
  5. I just read the statistics that showed the boats surged in numbers when Tony Abbott and his cronies in opposition blocked Labor’s Malaysian Solution, the boats slowed significantly when Kevin Rudd announced those arriving by boat would not be resettled in Australia. So even ‘I Stopped the Boats’ appears to be an exaggeration considering the encouragement the LNPs behaviour in opposition gave to people smugglers. The secrecy around stopping the boats has been ridiculous and an attempt to hide the illegality of some of our Governments actions, for example the return of Sri Lankan refugees to Sri Lanka. Tony Abbott will certainly be recorded as the worst PM ever.

    25 REPLY
  6. He may have his big pension but I think the dip will end up a lonely old man. On can only hope he needs one of the many services that he destroyed over his time as PM and feels the full impact on how inefficient they have become.

    10 REPLY
    • Will have a lot less than many others, saying T A will get more money than others is wrong

    • Really Dawn I think even his wife will leave him now this man has always lived a lie it will come back to haunt him I hope

    • Dont understand what you mean, lived a lie !! but I can’t see Margie leaving him, they have such a full life away from politics, ,too many community projects will keep him busy, No doubt he can get a job paying good money using his talents

    • Dawn it is a waste of time trying to rationalise with irrational people. How can you even reply to a dolt like Bea Litttle? As for Merran whatis …. heaven forbid.

    • Yvonne Day no doubt a Murdoch press reader your garbage gables says it all about your intelligence. As for not understanding Abbotts lies that is all he has done throughout his political career Dawn and as for Maggie she never smiles always looks depressed I always thought the poor woman looked like a battered housewife myself and now he has lost the final public figure of PM she can leave without having to endure his bulling and his full of himself importance fantasy.

    • Yvonne Day no doubt a Murdoch press reader your garbage gables says it all about your intelligence. As for not understanding Abbotts lies that is all he has done throughout his political career Dawn and as for Maggie she never smiles always looks depressed I always thought the poor woman looked like a battered housewife myself and now he has lost the final public figure of PM she can leave without having to endure his bulling and his full of himself importance fantasy.

  7. I couldnt bear to listen to anything Tony Abbott had to say when he was PM, why would I listen to anything he has to say now? That aside, the only real difference between the government he lead and the Malcolm Turnbull government is that the current government looks and sounds less like some kind of macabre comedy, they are otherwise of the same political ilk.

    5 REPLY
    • Ok I am a Kiwi reading your comments, so what was wrong with Julia Gillard, was she the same?

    • Julia Gillard was a far more honest person the Abbott couldonly dream of being. The trouble with Julia was that people fell for the Abbott lies

    • People just tuned out when she spoke , she always spoke down to people, promised so much ,but never delivered ,all talk

    • Dawn – I wake up and listen intently when Julia Gillard speaks. What a wonderful woman. I turned the TV off or muted it when TA spoke.

  8. I am impressed with the fact that he is supportive of the new PM. He is right about stability. Without stability you can forget about anything good happening. Nothing good happens without stability. He is giving Mr Turnbull his best opportunity to kick some goals for this country. If Mr Turnbull fails he now cannot blame Mr Abbott.

    16 REPLY
    • If he really wants to help Turnbull – he should leave the Parliament. Otherwise he will be a lightning rod for the Conservatives who still think they are RIGHT and they will undermine Turnbull and the hope now in the community…

    • He is only saying that as he is still in parliament – if he was out I doubt very much if he would say that. Actually I don’t believe anything TA says or said. Let’s face it they have been, and still are behind closed doors, adversaries and TA, I believe, will attempt to ‘white ant’ Turnbull, sneakily of course.

    • Debbie I don’t think TA supports MT in any way deep down, but he has to be seen and heard giving his support because he knows – and so do all of us – that having another PM would kill the Libs off. MT also knows this too. Going to be an interesting few months ahead!

    • Christa Caldecott I would go further than that. You may not agree but I think at this stage of our history that the future of our nation is tied to the future of the Liberal Party. I would be saying the same thing if Labour were in power. To have a change of government at the next election would be terrible. Once again I would be saying this if Labour were in power. We need stability, we need clear direction, even if the direction is not what some of us want. I am praying that Mr. Turnbull is a success for the sake of our great nation. I am enjoying all of the comments on this thread. Nice to have an intelligent, non abusive exchange of views.

    • They were elected on lies and broken promises Debbie Bryant and even though they have had a change of leader, they have the same policies

    • Debbie, I think that any government should do what they can during their elected term; however, if not performing to the satisfaction of the hoi polloi then it is the right of the hoi polloi to vote them out. All parties go back on some their promises, but they should be up front and explain why, then people would respect them more. I just want a fair government for all.

    • Debbie Bryant Turnbull will have a bigger problem with those from the right of the Liberal Party, they are the ones calling him names

    • Christa Caldecott Thanks for your interesting comment. I certainly agree about a fair government. I suppose with me it is a bit of the devil you know. I get the sense that the uncertainty of the present political situation is getting everyone on edge. I just hope that the powers that be start putting the good of the country before their own selfish ends. I do wonder whether a change of government at the next election will help. If we do get a change I hope that we are not here in 2 or 3 years saying the same things.

    • Rozzy Battles Not good for him to be sabotaged from within. I am willing to give him a chance to prove himself. But I guess that is the dirty game of politics. I just wish they would all put their self interest aside and work together for the good of the country. I am an optimist and I live in hope.

    • I was Secretary to a Liberal branch so I know how things work. My friend worked for the Labor Party. It sure is a dirty game on both sides of the fence. No government gets it totally right in everyone’s eyes. I am now a floating voter and just try and make a fair assessment…..and I love all your comments and do learn from them too. Always try to see or consider the other point of view, then stick to your guns if you disagree.

    • Christa Caldecott I am also a ‘floating voter’ . I vote for who I think will do the best job. I have voted Liberal and Labour in my day and I probably will again.

    • Same here. All my family vote Liberal and call me brainless if I vote Labor. I just laugh at them. I did meet Tony Abbott years ago and was not impressed. I also attended Forums at Parliament House in Sydney…..very interesting. Bronwyn Bishop was an excellent speaker (not in Canberra) and advocated equal rights and pay for women; alas we are still way behind. I found many of them had a big ego…..but this is on both sides. Marie Ficarra was a “hoot” and spoke her mind…..pity she came unstuck. I liked her can do attitude. I think the Labor Party has “had it” with BS as Leader…too much political damage. The trouble is they dare not
      change Leaders now, but if the Libs get back in, then they will have no choice. Interesting times!!! Right, I will “float” off now and go food shopping……boring!

    • Christa Caldecott Thank for for that insight. Unfortunately in the bush we do not get such access to our political leaders. I agree about Bill Shorten. I think both political parties are in trouble leadership wise.

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