Opposition leader Tony Abbott arrives for a press conference with deputy Julie Bishop and Nationals leader Warren Truss in Canberra, Thursday, March 21, 2013. Mr Abbott commented on the ALP caucus spill result. (AAP Image/Alan Porritt)
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott says the civil war within the Labor Party will continue despite the leadership showdown on Thursday.
“Nothing is resolved,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“The civil war will continue as long as Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard are in the parliament.”
He described the events as a remarkable and bizarre day.
“I want to reassure people that it doesn’t have to be this way,” he said.
“We are currently let down by a bad government getting worse.
“But that will change.”
Mr Abbott said the coalition was ready to deliver its plans for Australia “as soon as we can”.
What Australia needed “right now at a difficult time in the life of our nation” was an immediate election.
“We cannot wait until 14 September,” Mr Abbott said.
“If the prime minister was concerned about the party, if she was concerned about the country, if she was less concerned about herself and her own survival, there would be an election now.”
Mr Abbott said Australia’s experiment with minority government had failed.
“How long must this circus last?” he asked.
He said Australia was facing budget deficits but Labor continues to focus on itself, even as the next budget was due to be handed down in May.
“This isn’t about me,” he added.
Australians needed strong and stable government to prosper and flourish, Mr Abbot said.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand and that is plainly the case with the current government.”
Mr Abbott was asked if he would continue to govern with a minority government should he manage to win a no confidence motion.
He said minority government was an experiment that had failed.
“What the Australian public need right now, deserve right now, is a strong and stable government,” he said.
He called for the prime ministership to be taken away from “behind-closed-doors, smoke-filled-room negotiations” and brought out into the light of day.
“It’s absolutely obvious that we have seen a stand-off not a resolution,” he said. –AAP