PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has defended his government’s first days in office, saying his ministers are “hard at work” but not rushing decisions.
A media appearance in Melbourne on Thursday was only the second time Mr Abbott has fronted journalists since his government was sworn in on 18 September.
The government has yet to set a date for the first sitting of parliament and given no firm indication when the next major economic statement – the mid-year economic and fiscal outlook – will be released.
Mr Abbott told reporters Australia was “open for business” and confidence was returning to the economy.
“We are moving swiftly to abolish the carbon tax, to get the budget back under control, to stop the boats and build the roads of the 21st century,” Mr Abbott said.
“I do want to assure the people of … Australia that the new government is hard at work for them.
“We are not rushing things, but we are getting things done.”
Mr Abbott confirmed reports he had asked ministers to clear all their media appearances with his office – an arrangement which he said worked well in opposition.
“We will be a consultative and collegial government … internally as well as externally,” he said.
“It’s very important that the government speaks with a united voice.”
Mr Abbott said his ministers were “active in their portfolios”, naming Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison and Environment Minister Greg Hunt as having put their “stamp on the affairs of the nation”.
A date for parliament’s first sitting would be announced shortly, he said. – AAP