Australian PM Malcolm Turnbull abandons greenhouse gas target to prevent conservative revolt

The numbers are against Australia's former prime minister Tony Abbott but he has history on his side

Mr Turnbull's U-turn alters a key plank of his signature energy policy, and follows a revolt by conservative MPs within his government. Australians can not reasonably be asked to put their trust in Turnbull at the next election if he can not even claim that from close to half of his own colleagues.

Mr Abbott said: 'It's no way to run a government, making absolute commitments on Tuesday and breaking them on Friday'.

"United we will maintain the strong momentum and the great achievements our government has made".

Malcolm Turnbull entered this morning's Liberal partyroom meeting with a Gillard-like strategy - proactively call on a spill and demand his opponent come out and face him.

"The results of the ballot demonstrate that", he said.

Mr Dutton has now resigned from his Home Affairs portfolio, creating a big gap in Cabinet that Mr Turnbull will have to fill.

If Mr Dutton wins today's spill he will become Australia's sixth prime minister in just eight years. Ousting Turnbull would be a sixth leadership change in less than 11 years.


The prime minister won the vote 48-35, Liberal Party whip Nola Marino told reporters.

Julie Bishop was re-elected unopposed as deputy leader. She claimed government after 17 days of negotiation to win crossbench support.

Asked about leadership speculation, Mr Turnbull said: "I enjoy the confidence of the cabinet and of my party room".

"They want us to know that we should be concentrating on the things that are important to them".

Mr Dutton thanked the back-bench colleagues who backed his leadership challenge, and defended his controversial record as Home Affairs Minister.

"I am proud of the fact that I got children out of detention". We have now moved nearly 400 people off Manus Island and Nauru and that is a significant achievement.

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