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(generated from captions) this Prime Minister on issues that he believed were issues of substance. Remember this was the Prime Minister who said he would never lead a part that wasn't as committed to climate change as he is. We have him several days ago spruiking clean coal straight out of the Senator Bernardi manual of conservative politics. Out there spruiking for something that doesn't exist. We have entered fairyland here. On marriage equality, a man who has marched at mardi gras, capitulating to the far right in his own party. Perhaps he was convinced by Senator Bernardi's persuasive arguments around beastiality and the consequences that might flow if we allowed people to marry each other regardless of gender and sexuality. Disgraceful! Does graceful contributions from a man who has not got the courage to put his views to the Australian electorate on the Republic. We have Malcolm Turnbull, the man who led the charge for Australia to become a Republic, now saying we can't do anything...So we have continuous coverage coming to you from the Senate of the defection of Cory Bernardi from the Liberal Party and we do welcome at this point viewers in Queensland on ABC TV. This is a man who has sold out to the likes of Senator Bernardi, Mr Christianson and so many others in his party room. I heard this morning one of the Labor Party members refer to the Prime Minister as being "paraded around like a prize bull at the Easter Show", being paraded through the ring, being led by the nose by those on the far right. This is a prize bull who is now knackered and stands for nothing, incapable of doing anything. This is a man who is so hollow, this is a man who is so lacking in integrity and substance that perhaps he should join Senator Bernardi and they can form their own party, The Hollow Men, because this is a Prime Minister who, when it comes to taking a stand on the issues that matter, on climate change, on whether this country shouldened discrimination in marriage, on becoming a republic, or indeed taking on the dangerous lunatic that is now the President of the United States of America, what we see is appeasement, appeasement. It is time for this Prime Minister to decide what he stands for and to ensure that the Australian community are given the opportunity to vote for somebody who, at the very least, will take a position based on principal rather than a Prime Minister who has sold out on his core beliefs and has capitulated to the likes of Senator Bernardi. I just say to Senator Bernardi, what is the point? How much further can the Coalition go? What do they need to do to satisfy you? Zero taxes? Is that what we want? No public health care or education in this country? Is what what you want? How much further can this government go in tearing up the social safety net, in shredding universal health care in education before the likes of Senator Bernardi and Mr Christianson will be satisfied. The less on here is very, very clear. In sun-Senator Bernardi, 6 and a half foot of ego, not an inch of integrity. Had the guts to do it a year ago he might have got some grudging respect,b but to do it just after you have been given a 6-year term shows the sort of person he is. And as for the Prime Minister, hopefully he will take stock now and recognise that in capituting to the views of the far right, what you are doing is not just selling out the Australian people, but selling your soul and the Australian people know a sell-out when they see it. Senator lynch?Mr President, I stand here and watch as a new senator as well, having been here as long as Senator Bernardi, to hear him talk about principal when he has stood as a Liberal candidate and been elected as such is a joke. 300,000 people in South Australia, I feel sorry for them, they voted for a Liberal line
senator for six years. Below the line sernber nardy got something like 2,000 votes and yet he stands up here and talks about principle. It sounds So crude...Obvious in some of the shots we are are getting from the Senate that Cory Bernardi left some time ago, and that is because he is about to speak to the media here.Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for coming today. Clearly, a significant decision has been taken by me and it will have implications for my representation in the Senate, and of course for the government. My intention in doing this is to offer a safety valve, if you will, a credible principled alternative for those people who don't wish to vote for one of the major parties. There is a growing disconnect between what happens in the Canberra bubble and what happens in the everyday lives of so many Australians. It is incumbent upon us all to reconnect with those citizens, to restore faith in the body politic and to restore faith in politicians. Now, I know there will be groups of people who will be cheering on this decision, there will be those who are heartily disappointed bit by it. But in considering the options available to me in politics and how I could best serve this country, I thought it was foo important to leave any -- too important to leave any stone unturned to get the right comes. That is what Australian Conservatives is all about. I know you will have many questions. We will go to Phil. Inchief criticism being levelled is you should have done it before the last election and not after a 6-year renewal on the back of the Liberal Party. What is your response to that?My response is quite simple. I have reflected Liberal values since I joined the Liberal Party over 30 years ago. My sincere hopes the last eblection would deliver a positive outcome for the people of Australia. But what we saw was a million votes left the conserve party and went to alternatives. Some of them represent the interests and national interests better than others. My ambition was always to bring those people back into the tent. I regret over the last seven months or so we see more of them leaving the tent. That says to me there is a serious problem. Now, I want to give them a principled, credible and stable alternative in which they can vest their vote in the Senate. I want to aprofen policy in a principleded manner. I want to make sure that we are building stronger families, we are developing the civil society that we so desperately need, that we are going to limit the growth and reach and scope of government and we are going to foster free enterprise. That is the way forward for Australia. It is a better way. We need to reflect that in every policy we take forward.Whatdise it say about - are you making a judgement about Malcolm Turnbull's leadership here? If you could just outline what has changed since Tony Abbott to Malcolm Turnbull? Is there any evidence the party has lurched to the left? Is that your kerch?I want to make this abundantly clear to all of you, personality politics or celebrit left me a long time ago. You know my track record speaks for itself, where there was good policies put forward by a previous Liberal administration I support them. Where they were poor I argued against them. Some of the battles I did win. What we are seeing is a growing disconnect between the Australian public and the main stream parties. I did warn my party what we condemned in Labor with a revolving door of prime ministers was foolish to repeat in our circumstances. There are those among us to say it was virtue in changing leadership. The transaction cost of that is still being felt today. The lack of trust in politicians and the determines they are making on behalf of the Australian people is becoming stronger all the time.I was asking about policy. Are there any policy decisions that Malcolm Turnbull has made that you don't agree with under his leadership that has seen the party go to the left?I can only give you one example. I returned from my secondment to the United States. Upon two -- United Nations. Upon two days, cabinet had organised the investigation of an emissions trading scheme again. We fought that battle in 2009. It came at a huge personal cost. I question why did we reopen the policy debate? I thought why do I need to continually fight within my own party? I can't struggle within the tent all by myself. It is much better if you want to support the broad tent that is the party to stake your tent in the bed rock and make sure the tent doesn't move. That is what I am seeking to do.In the last seven months, you said two answers ago, things haven't gone the way you would like them to go but you are only identifying one policy that has precipitated you doing this today.I was asked for a policy but the voters have rendered their verdict. After the last election I said there was a problem. We need to fix it. When the pollster says the base doesn't matter, when the election campaign is lackluster and we hang on by one seat and trumped it as a great victory and no-one is investigating it, we have got a problem. That problem is getting worse. It is getting worse. The minor parties are growing exponentially because people have lost faith in the major parties. I want to give them a viable, a credible and a principled alternative in which they can vote. Your plan is to make - you say that that problem is getting worse - your plan is to accelerate that process? You are actually saying to voters now, "Do not vote for the Coalition, vote for the alternatives?" .No, Mark, I don't want this to be misconstrued. I believe this move can strengthen the ideological grounding of a centre right government and that is my wish. I am looking to build a movement that will anchor, in principles, anchor those people who are dissatisfied for whatever reason in the major parties. There are plenty that are seeking alternatives, but what they want to know is what they stand for and the principles upon which policies will be considered. If you consider my track record, I have sought at every turn to be consistent. I know some of you don't agree what I have come out with but I have sought to be consistent in applying principles to them. Sometimes it means being in conflict with the party.Have you spoken to any sitting MPs about joining the movement?I certainly haven't spoken to any sitting MPs. I haven't slitsed support nor advice. I have conversations with some of my friends about the conundrums that I was wrestling with and the best way forward. It would be very easy for me to maintain the status quo. It would be very easy for me to resign but the question is what is the best thing for the Australian people and they are desperate for a principled place for their voice.You can't do what you want to do alone, will your run candidates? How will you pay for that?Well, my intention is certainly to build the conservative movement and to strengthen that. There is weight in numbers, absolutely. I am prepared to work in alliance, in a professional manner with anyone who wants to share the value and vision. It doesn't mean all conservatives will agree on everything. It is one of the beauties of the philosophy. We will try to get the best possible outcomes. What we will be doing is seeking at the ex inelection, I hope, to run candidates to give a viable alternative at the next election. How will I fund it? At my last election return I had over 700 donations supporting me, I am hoping to grow that clearly and use that in the most appropriate way.Did you tell the Prime Minister this morning on the phone, that you didn't want to be part of a revolving door?A private conversation is a prive conversation and that where they intend to replain.Did you -- remain. Did you intend to support current policy of the government, do you see yourself still voting along the lines of the Coalition on those sorts of policies?My heart, my ethos is, is steeped in the Liberal Party. It is about lower taxes and living relationship your means and better outcomes for families, fostering enterprise, restricting the scope of government and building society. It is how we build the base. Read into that what they will. If they put forward good policy, I will support them. If they err, I will tell them and try to amend it. Growing Liberal voters who feel short changed. Do you apologise to them? And secondly, will Gina Reinhardt be a big funder of this party?In response to the second question, I have no idea. That conversation has take - has not taken place. Most South Australians knew what they were getting when they voted for me, a principled person steeped in Liberal Party values but held a consistent position that conservatism is the best way forward. I know some people are going to be disappointed. I have been fortunate toenough to have the support of the rank and the file and grass roots for many years in all my endeavours. I have sought to reflect those values as strongly and firmly and positive as I can in this place. The assumption the South Australian epilectors thought they were getting a Liberal Senator and they haven't got it now. How can you instil principles when you have taken the most unprincipled step by ratting on your own party and absconding with one of there seats?I take issue with the way you put it but I haven't changed. My values and principles are the same as they were when I entered this place 10 years ago. No-one can say I am not consistent in my approach. The people of the Liberal Party have enjoyed that. They are concerned about a growing disconnect. I come back to this. There are voters who didn't support the Liberal party in the last election seeking an alternative. Maybe I keep some within the tent because I worked within the system but I realise it didn't work as well as I hoped. So now I leave no stone unturned to turn politics 92 a force for good. Isn't it true only 2,000 voted for you below the line. Haven't you betrayed those voters?Every single Liberal Party voter and those party members knew exact ely what they were supporting. My principles have not changed. My advocacy has not changed. I am seeking to do it in the most effective way and do it in a way with the meep are not comfortable with the major parties have a stable alternative in the Senate so they can vest their votes in me knowing their traditional values and their belief in the enduring principles the Liberal Party was founded on will be upheld at all times.Do you believe that Malcolm Turnbull did enough to keep you within the Liberal tent? Is there anything he could have done? Will you guarantee supply?I will guarantee supply to the government. It is my preference to have are a centre right Coalition government in government but I want them to uphold the principles upon which the party's ethos is founded but that means not jumping ship. If you tram your policies around principles and values then they are predictable and forecastable and it will alleviate a great many of the concerns that people have about the nature of politics now. We have had a revolving door of prime ministers. I come back to this, after ten years, the body politic is held in lower ateam today than ever before. Every single one of the circumstances responsible for that was foreseeable and preventable. The warnings - if you go back to my Press Club speech of 2014, which I advise you all to read, it fell on deaf ears, there is only so much I can do. There is no secret of the fact that what we condemned in Labor about the revolving door of leader somep and knifing first-term prime ministers, it was a folly to do the same and say it is some sort of virtue. I am not interested in that sort of body politic or getting engaged in it. I am interested in policy because the Australian people are not interested in the independenceances of a political class.You talked about making Australia great again, when do you think it was last great isI have given a hat on my birthday because I was in America. I come back to faith in the institutions. People feel disconnected from the political class and there is good reason for it because the political class continues to betray the ethos and values when choosing elected representatives. The number of people who say, "Do you remember the good old days when you had a Prime Minister for more than two or three years?" And they are probably the same people who didn't vote for the last Prime Minister in 2005 and 6 when I came into this place. I think there is a yearning for the stability and sense of predictability that was around during the Coalition governmentCan you nominate if there are any policy areas which you now disagree?I don't want to go to specific policies but what I say is this, there are a range of policies announced as budget measures immediately prior to calling the election. Wi try and do the right thing, I would always see a centre government to be elected. But at the end of the day, it upset a great many people because the predict #b89, the ability to plan for the future, retirement planning, deals with pensions, are long term decisions for individuals. They were up ending. Up ending something like that diminishes faith and confidence in the system, not just in the body politic but in the long-term planning processes. If we apply principle to our budget repair measures, if you apply principle to the difficulties the country faces, people will find it more refreshing because it will be more are predictable.Just going inthe last election, did you have any intention of breaking away at the time? Absolutely not. Immediately following the last election, many would know I said this election result is not good and it needs to be some account held for it. Now, none of the people response for that election result have been held to count. None of the people who said the base doesn't matter, the conservatives have got nowhere to go, have been held to account for that result. I sought, I formed a movement called the Australian Conservatives to harness the disgranted and to get those people who for some reason or other didn't want to vote for the Coalition at the last election and I wanted to work with them to strengthen it to work within the Liberal Party and make it better. I regret that since then an ever increasing number of people have not only contacted me but contacted the minor parties and said we are going with you. It is why we see the primary vote of the two major parties plummeting to such low levels, because their stocks are so low and people are desperately casting around for any alternative. They are concerned for the country, they are concerned for themselves but most of all, they are concerned for their children and their children's future.How will you be different to Pauline Hannan's One Nation, despite her protectioniststance?I have the utmost respect for her, she is tenacious. This is about Australian Conservatives though, this is about applying principles which will be enshrined in all our documents and asking people if you want to come and join us because we will take a principled approach to all policy, rather than just chasing any manner of headline, assess policy what is in the best term for the national interests. That is my goal. Difference on immigration, trade all-acy?I don't want to get bogged down in specifics but working to Australia's cultural, economic interests. I have never advocated a ban on any particular person coming to this country. It needs to work in our national interests. You need to make sure the assessment processes are good. There is a very good strong economic case that currently the immigration level is far too high. It might be growing GDP figures but it is not benefitting individual Australians and the evidence suggests that. Yes, there are differences but there are always differences in conservatives, there are always ditcherances in politics -- differences in politics. You need to work in a professional and productive manner with those you have on the issues you Talked have...About being a bit of a struggle, a lone voice in the Coalition, are you disappointed your conservative colleagues haven't arcticulated your views? Do you rule out rejoining itI make no judgement on my colleagues, we go about this in the manner we think most effective. Some have been more effective. For me it is about getting the right outcomes for the country. I don't know anyone out there in the community that thinks Australia is achieving all it can be and is on the right trajectory. People are hurting about electricity prices and they are a direct product of government decisions, they are hurting with taxes. And yet we hear in this place euphemisms the tax increases are savings for citizens. They cannot afford it. The government is living out of its mean and the community and our children are paying the price. I am not prepared to do nng nothing or maintain the stassing wro while we rack up billions in debt. It is the wrong approach and we need a better way.Candidates...your decision to the party room first. Was this announcement today designed to cause maximum damage to that party room? The answer to the second part of your question is no. What I seek to do over the longer term is to actually strengthen a coalition government by giving them an anchor in the Senate that the Australian people can rely on as being principled. The first part of the question, it was my intention to go to the Senate party room in particular, because I feel a great comradery to my friends and colleagues there and will be serving there for a long time. However, this morning after a conversation with the Prime Minister, I considered my resignation to the Liberal Party had been effective at that time. It is why I left it until today. The second part of this, it is my intention to work as constructive and positively with as many colleagues as I can in the years to come. No ayou had one. Who hasn't had one?Colleagues have complained in the Liberal Party room meeting, senators David Leyonhjelm said you confided in him with advice how to set up your own Sam party..., I take the point that some people would be upset because I wasn't in the party room but this morning I wasn't eligible. I wasn't eligible to participate in the party room discussions because I was no longer a Liberal Party member. The second aspect is why did I speak to David Leyonhjelm about this? I wrestled with my conscience. It comes down to once a determination and decision is made you have to get through the practicalities of what you are about to undertake. I confined in some people. David Leyonhjelm was one who respected the trust.Did Tony Abbott not respect the trusts FirstErt... Thing, the state elections, I have no intention to branch outside of what my mission is, to restore a strong is and principled and stable voice in the Senate, a centre right conservative voice that is bound by principles, we will cross the other hurdles when we come to A it... Fair bit still happening here. We will continue to bring it to you on ABC News. But at this point, we will say goodbye to our South Australian viewers on ABC TV: Some of the statements that are being made are emotional and driven by the political class in defending their self-interest. I come back to this. The people of Australia and the people of South Australia in particular, and those within the Liberal Party knew exactly who I was and what I stood for. That has not changed. I will still be advocating for the same principles and policies and the same values that I did when I was first elects and when I first joined the Liberal Party over 30 years ago.(Inaudible question) There are troo many people in the political class who have forgotten the grass roots upon which their party was built.Can you shed some light on your relationship with Tony Abbott. Is it true Tony Abbott breached your confidence?I have no intention of getting into that. Stick to matters of principles. Have a go at whatever decisions I have made.Been stewing on this for several months with servelge flash points along the way. At what point did you break that and why didn't you jump ship there then?The great challenge, of course, is the best way in which to do it, is there a straw that broke the camel's back? I can't say that. It is an amalgam of circumstances Irectioninise battling within the party is no long -- I recognise battling within the party is no longer as as productive as it should be. That's the body I am collecting South Australia in and it would be absolutely appropriate for me to have a conversation with the media or with the public without informing them first.(INAUDIBLE).It was interesting to observe American politics up close, but I don't want you to confuse the personalities of the individuals involved with the policy outcomes. What the Republican candidate took to their election was the fact that they wanted to cut taxes, deregulate the economy, make sure their borders were secure and that their trade policy would be acting in their interests, not in anyone else's. They are mainstream concerns and added to why they are so demonised by those who chose not to get past his personality and look at what he was putting forward. Donald Trump is an economic populist. Will you be shifting towards becoming a big government Conservative, or will you be including both?I don't want to disappoint you, but I won't be changing. I will still be advocating for governments to live within their means. That may disappoint some of you, but it is the policy approach that have always advocated and I think is quite frankly lacking in some of the choices available to people today. The other thing is that no-one in the history of this place can accuse me of being a populist. If I have been a populist it hasn't been successful with all of you.Don't you need to appeal to people outside of your narrow far right constituency?There is a pejorative sort of characterisation. This is the difficulty that we have. We have a case where the political class is held in very low regard because of what they say, what they failed to do and what they do do. We don't need that to be compounded in elements of the media. Just because someone has different views doesn't mean they are extreme or far right or far left. It is accepted there a difference in policy that will take place in this space. It is incumbent on all of us to respect those differences. Not in pejorative terms but to celebrate them and say, this is a way of negotiating a way forward.You referred twice before to the Liberal Party policy, saying the change doesn't matter. How much do you blame them for the result?I won't get into a personally but you cannot dismiss it just that you can't stay a Member of Parliament has no place in politics, without there being consequences. (INAUDIBLE)... Should there be more protection of Australian interest? The greatest way to protect Australian industry is cut taxes, cut regulations, cut the bureaucracy and the bird -- burden of that. Nowhere is that more focused than South Australia, the government decision that the state and federal levels have resulted in unpredictable power supplies, the most expensive in the nation, that no person can confidently rely on in dealing with their business. That's why we are seeing individuals who I've spoken to invest in their own power generation plants because they've lost confidence in the ability of government to deal with that. That is my mantra. The greatest impediment to jobs in this country are taxes, regulation and government bureaucracy.Do you have any issues with... (INAUDIBLE).It is like any contract. I came from the commercial world and contracts are not eternal, with one or two exceptions. We need to revisit them on a regular basis, whether it be every decade or whatever, to make sure they are still working to our advantage, to make sure the conditions that we agreed to at certain points in time are still valid today. Some of them will be working to our advantage now and some should be revisited. We revisit contracts on a regular basis in the commercial sector and we should do the same in the government sector. Cory Bernadi did promise to go until journalists had exhausted their questions. In the meantime the special minister of state Scott Ryan is holding a media conference in the blue room at Parliament House and we will pull apart some of the Cory Bernadi statements shortly. We have further interviews on that. Let's now go to the blue room.It has taken less than one month from the announcement of the Prime Minister to legislation being introduced into Parliament this week. We will also introduce the bill to abolish the life gold pass for former parliamentarians, apart from former parliamentarians and their spouses. This has been affected to the moment it becomes active rather than the previous proposal which would have seen in phased out for up to six years. We have the opportunity and we are seizing it, to show Australians that the current generation of politicians is determined to subject themselves to higher standards than ever before. ... I understand there are former and current MPs who are outgoing? Without going into discussions in the party room I have received nothing but strong support from colleagues.Will this include all of the recommendations that need to be legislated and is there further legislation required for those announcements that Malcolm Turnbull has made?Over the last three weeks we have prioritised legislation to set up independent authority. As we implement changes that came out of the review, having the authority, with its setup at the same time, we will make sure we have an independent voice do that. Further legislation will come forward about which I am consulting other parties at the moment, to fully implement the changes recommended. That's a matter of weeks away.How long did it the process will take? Do you accept most of the recommendations put forward last March? Using all of the changes being flagged by the government will be bent passed through law within six months or less?I would hope that if the parliament supports the legislation of the session that new authority would be independent, established and running by the start of the financial year, the 1 July. I will let other parties and other spokespeople speak for themselves, but I will say that in the that over the past week, with respect to the life all parts, but there has been support from across the parliament. Obviously other parties will go through their processes, but I would hope that we can progress the legislation around the authority and the legislation implementing the reforms in the coming weeks the session.(INAUDIBLE)...I understand the saving is approximate the $5 million.Why were you speeding that up? Surely the problem is that people in the Parliament are in the system, rather than people who have retired?In the announcement made in 2014, there was a phased elimination. My view and that of the government is that the proposal to allow it to run for another six years for those who are eligible and retired at the conclusion of this parliament was to move swiftly, if we are abolishing a lifelong pass, to abolish it from the time that the legislation takes effect.Why has it taken almost three years to follow through on this?I can't speak to that. I can only speak to my six months in this role and in the last couple of weeks in Parliament we had a very easy schedule and the government prioritised the Australian building construction commission bill. The fact that we have wrought this forward in the first week of this year shows a priority and commitment to this measure. One more question. Thank you for your observation!Was there any discussion given to taking it away from former prime ministers?I will let them speak for themselves. I expect a report from the joint standing committee on electoral matters in the first week of March and I understand there will be hearings and donations made in the coming weeks. Excuse me, I can't afford to miss a red Bell Thursday back!That read Dell is calling Scott Ryan into the Senate chamber. -- red bell. To further explain what it was he was announcing, it is the establishment of a new authority to monitor, report and advise on politicians' entitlements. How much they claim and spend and to try and I suppose the fuse some of the issues that have dogged governments and what they now call the body politics around entitlements for many years. That does relate to what it was when we watched the Australian conservative movement senator. Cory Bernadi, rebranded under that banner. No longer a Liberal as of this morning. To analyse that announcement and its implications for the Turnbull government we are joined by our political editor. A variety of reasons laid out by Cory Bernadi. It seems to me there's a bit of a jewel path he is walking. Still traditional and still adhering to so many Liberal values and yet needing to strike out.How do you reconcile those? Is -- there is disjointed mat. If you are going to live up to the Conservative values you have to stay put in the institution which brought into place. I think there is a fair criticism of Cory Bernadi, that he is at odds with that. For a long time he has been very aware of this movement away from the major political party. Cena breach of trust that perhaps others are prepared to ignore. -- seen the breach. Looking at entitlements and passed entitlements of parliamentarians, they all speak to the same thing. The theme of today is that everyone is now deeply aware that there is a shocking loss of trust in the political class. Cory Bernadi sees a political opportunity in that and the loser is Malcolm Turnbull.That latter point you made goes to the issue of timing. The Turnbull government had a gesture or response of its own to do with falling levels of support for politicians and that was that Scott Ryan bill. Clearly Cory Bernadi, it is too little too late as none of that was ever going to placate him. None of it was going to delay this decision that he has made. It looks like he rolled the dice sometime ago.And I did it was amended in that day that he had in Washington, or New York. Just after the election, where he saw all of the things that were predicted in Australia come to pass in the US. His ambitions are much smaller at the moment. He is just talking about the Senate. He isn't talking about state -based elections, trying to build around himself and he has six years to do it. As he was let it as a Liberal in the last election, he got six years. 2022 is when he will have to pull up stumps, quite a long time to build others into this movement.Of course you can try and put early candidates to the test at the next half Senate election in three years, what you would wonder where literally he would be best placed to run those candidates, or to succeed most around the country, if it is not his home state of South Australia I wonder where this conservative movement will allocate its efforts for electoral reward in the Senate? As you said, he made it clear that this is a Senate only strategy.Absolutely. You would then Queensland, WA are obvious places. But it is now a crowded field. The biggest rand is Pauline Hanson and her staff will have to waned considerably for Cory Bernadi to find enough space. Whatever it is will eat away at the base of the Coalition. He says he wants to strengthen centre-right government, it wouldn't seem to be the case that this will be the outcome of his policy or what his program is. One thing he is right about is you cannot accuse him of not at least being consistent in his world view and that's the thing I think that is... The stronger statements are the true statements and in the end of the staffie says about what he sees happening in Australian politics at the moment is true and it is on both sides of politics. When you have the primary vote of both parties stuck about 35%, you know there's a serious problem for major political parties.Those numbers are real and they are the figures we are seeing in each election, a falling of support. Obviously he said growth in the Senate and in a media conference, changing leaders, the revolving door of prime ministers if the transaction cost that we are still feeling today. And yet the contradiction to that is that in taking the action he has inadvertently or deliberately he adds to the pressure on Prime Minister absolutely.He weakens Malcolm Turnbull's grip on the prime ministership. Again, let's face it, we had a change of government in 2007 and spent two years where a Prime Minister felt unassailable. The great destabilisation of Australian politics begins and Tony Abbott has a different kind of politics that he brings to bear. Relentlessly negative. The Prime Minister cuts and runs on a key message on climate change, loses the cost of the community and from then on, from 2010, how many years have we begun talking about exactly this sort of thing?In February or January. I think last year might have been the exception because we were talking about an election rather than a change in a recently installed leader.That's right. Will the Prime Minister make it to the end of the year? That conversation is being had again. That's not to suggest that there is any movement at the moment that has any credibility against the PM, it rises in people's minds when they wash -- watch this. Conversation is being had? It is, about how the PM is performing, how long he gets, what this budget means. This year of politics there is a very thin agenda. It doesn't have much to talk about, so it will be a hostage circumstance. Once it runs out of the tax cut for big reasons, once it gets beyond the argument is that it will have over energy security in Australia, that's a situation of circumstantial rather than the one it set out at the beginning of the term to deal with, what does a talk about?Other people will then fill the void. That's certainly true on the program as it is laid out for the Parliament today and this week. Finally, the way it deals with Senator Cory Bernadi of the conservative movement, we got signs of it from George Brandis, who at one point said he was perplexed by his defection, at other points he was a bit more critical. How hard do they get?By the standards of -- it was an ordinary performance. Mal Colston was called the quizzing Quasimodo from Queensland. The Labor Party knows how to deal with them. They are struck from the role of membership, then a is blackened and for evermore and are never allowed to return. The other thing is unfortunately circumstantial means that they need Cory Bernadi's vote, so they will have to be more polite. It is all mathematics. Thanks so much. We might have more from him throughout the afternoon and further reporting by him tonight as well. We have to speak to South and education minister Simon Birmingham shortly. Just to recap, Cory Bernadi split with the Liberal Party and this has been an unusual start of the year. In many ways the institution of Parliament has tried to follow its time-honoured traditions, meaning those who prey to a Christian God gather for a parliamentary church service on the morning of Parliament's return. Today it was held at a Catholic cathedral, St Christopher's. There, the name of the very religious Cory Bernadi was on everybody's tongues.

How damaging the B?Thank you very much.-- damaging Will it be? ? Lovely Jimmy Choo. Is your party divided?Good morning.When the Liberal Party members and sought their endorsement of the Liberal candidate, a Liberal Member of Parliament and today I am thinking about those Liberal Party members, the ones he made the promise to.

Who may live on your holy mountain, the one who's walked is blameless but does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from the heart, who keeps an oath, even when it hurts, and does not change their mind.

When will you tell the Australian people what is happening?Better for all Liberals to remain inside the tent so that we can take the fight up to the Labor Party.

How are you?He is a friend of mine and I would certainly prefer that he was staying and fighting within The Coalition.I hope if he goes to the crossbench that he exercises his vote on the crossbench and the bears in mind that he was elected on a Liberal platform.If Cory Bernadi wants to put a policy that's good for South Australia and the nation then good luck to him. But trying to mimic what another foreign politician is doing is not what Australians want.What an absolute rabble of a government. They are disintegrating in front of the public's eye.Easy rash?I won't say that about Cory. He is a mate of mine.You know there's something going wrong when even Cory Bernadi is leading a sinking ship.Welcome, colleagues, back to Canberra. 2017, another year in which we deliver for hard-working Australian families. We deliver the security that is the foundation of the opportunities we are building for the day and for generations to come. It is great to be back and we have a lot of work to do.

That was the leader to where we are now and Liberal Party members are all wondering when, how and if fractures between their moderate and conservative bases might be repaired, now that Cory Bernadi has stumbled he has done and left Liberal ranks. The education minister Simon Birmingham shared the Liberal Party south Australian ticket with Cory Bernadi and he joins me now in the studio. Welcome, Iniesta. Over the years he has been something of an ideological rival. -- minister. And a party running mate as well.What is your response? This is something of a dog act for the hundreds of thousands of South Australia two voted for the Liberal Party at the last election, dutifully electing four Liberal senators. Labour expected them to serve it out.A dog act is the king in claim to I suppose what Labor would call a rat?People put their own words about this. It is deeply disappointing for party members a party voters and party supporters. The blood the last election had a vote to either go for the Labor Party, the Greens, all one Nation, but 345,000 plus South Australia and voted for the Liberal Party and they rightly expect that people will serve as the Liberals when elected. Just seven months after that election this is terribly disappointing for those voters and of course we can only hope, if Cory Bernadi isn't, as he has indicated, going to do the decent thing and vacate the Senate seat and contest under this new umbrella that he will at least co-operate as much as possible with the Liberal Party in the future.It was obviously there's limited number of things you can do. You won't be able to convince him to come back for one, so how do you treat him now? There's the disappointment that you are expressing, but you seem to be acknowledging at the same time that you've got to go after his vote? Like we've always said in relation to the Senate, we will work with the Senate we have and the Turnbull government has had great success to date with the Senate, in getting through the registered organisations, you'll think the construction of -- commission reforms, which Malcolm Turnbull has delivered through the Senate, along with tax cuts for middle income Australians, protection for volunteer fire fighters. We will build on the protection of this year, starting with things like reforms to protect and support hard-working Australian families through a more fair and better child-care system, complete tax reforms to help small businesses. These are all Liberal beings and I hope Cory Bernadi will support us in this things.It had limited time with us before your own commitments, so I will ask you about childcare which is in your portfolio. Is anything open to the Liberal Party in South Australia? I know they've looked at it before with early resignations and forced by-elections, about seeking to recover costs and investments that were made in Cory Bernadi? Or is that just insignificant now?They are matters for the party organisation. I heard Cory's arguments before and there is something illogical about going out there and saying you were motivated because there were more people voting for minor parties at the centre solution is to start up another minor party. All do say that you think is a breakdown in trust and you have to break the bond of trust with more than 345,000 people who helped put you hear Liberal senator.So in that sense you think it might have written his... Or you are hoping he has written his political death warrant at the beginning?I am confident that the Liberal Party will maintain its place as the central, core, right of centre but mainstream party that Robert Menzies founded to bring together Liberal and Conservative traditions and values, which aims to Cobram eyes and requires us to work together across the broad. -- compromise.That's what we are committed to doing. We went others in the south Australian commission split over this? Clearly some public signals were laid down by Cory Bernadi through the second half of last year, after the election and throughout his time in the United States. And yet he has gone ahead and done it in early February. Were there not things you could have done to try to peg him down to the ground in the Liberal tent, as it were, before we got to the day?I think our failure was in taking Cory at his word. He said repeatedly that he thought the right of centre politics was strongly together, more united, that he was not intending to leave the Liberal Party and was committed to working for the good of the Liberal Party and sadly those are commitments that he has broken today.Is that always wise in politics, to cap people at their word? Sometimes you don't.-- to take people. We've learnt not to take Bill Shorten at his word and in this regard it is disappointing that Cory Bernadi has broken that fate and bond with party members in South Australia, but importantly with more than 345,000 South Australia is devoted for the Liberal Party ahead of all of the other choices they had, including others on the right of centre, like one nation, the anti-Muslim party, or the like. Childcare. You've been promising a bill which now combines the welfare cuts and the childcare benefit increases, in many cases increases. Will that be introduced into the Parliament tomorrow?It will be introduced this week and that's an important bill because firstly it delivers a commitment to benefiting Australian families, the better direct childcare support to those only the least amount of money. So more support for the hard-working, lowest earning Australians. We will remove the cliff many Australians fall off, where they no longer get support. So low income families will no longer face that cap. It is combined with this package so that we can clearly demonstrate how it is being paid for as part of our responsible budget measures.And it is that second element which Labor will stand and fight on, which means in the Senate you have to do it the hard way. I'll be right in assuming you do this without the numbers? You are either there or within sight of getting those numbers?We believe we can work this package through the Senate. As we said before we have had many wins over the last month of last year. We are confident we can work it through, what it

values, trying to keep them alive
from this conservative movement, which then raises the question, and it is why liberals are struggling, which is why that couldn't have been best done within the Liberal Party camp. Well, Cory Bernadi thinks he has a duty to bed down

The idea of what has happened in the past is the best guide to equip you with what is going to happen in the future. That is the one that he hopes to work on as a now conservative Independent almost Senator on the cross bench for five and a half years, that is how long the remainder of Cory Bernardi's term lasts for. I dare say we might hear some questions about him and developments in the Senate when we get to the House of Representatives because this is the first Question Time of the year coming up and Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek and others on the Labor side of the chamber have been satisfied, I think, with the way the year has begun. Unexpectedly Cory Bernardi's defects, something of a gift to Labor. It is a theme they were setting in some remarks they made at parliamentary church service in Manuka this morning. Around the doors of Parliament House at the arrival time between 7.30 and 8.30 this morning, so really everything is set up now for Question Time to explore that theme from his perspective and from the Government for Malcolm Turnbull to lay down policy markers for the year. Tony Smith, the Speaker, is asking everyone to take their seat. There is a bit of movement around the chamber. Shortly, once he is satisfied that there are enough people in place, Tony Smith with ask for Question Time to begin. Let's go to him now.The Prime Minister.I seek the house's indulgence to speak about the tragic events of 20 January in the Bourke Street Mall in Melbourne. On behalf of our parliament and the Australian people, I send our heartfelt condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones. Our prayers for a speedy recovery to those who were injured and our thoughts, sympathies to all of those