PM faces 'internal' criticism

PM faces 'internal' criticism Source: AAP

SBS World News Radio: A coaltion backbencher has criticised the performance of her own government as wishy washy.

A coaltion backbencher has criticised the performance of her own government as wishy washy.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull brushed off worries about his falling approval ratings by saying MPs should be more upbeat.

Malcolm Turnbull has had a tough time lately as he tries to convince the public he's up to the economic leadership he promised before becoming prime minister six months ago.

Now he's facing critcism from within, as Queensland MP Michelle Landry repeatedly used the media to voice her concerns.

"I just think that we've lost our focus a bit so you know I have said that I thought we were a little wishy-washy and i think that we just need to refocus on the jobs at hand. The Coalition Government is very strong with the economy and people want us to do that and I think everything is getting lost a bit with that 24/7 news cycle."

A Liberal-National MP, Michelle Landry took the Labor-held Queensland seat of Capricornia in the 2013 federal election.

As a first-term government backbencher she's concerned about heading to the polls this year holding her seat with a margin of less than one per cent.

"I think we've had too much of a mixed message out there. There's lots of discussion about things we could do and you know different issues with taxes and changes to medicare and all that sort of thing. So I think we just need to come out, say what we're doing."

Her comments have prompted senior government ministers to publicly defend the government's record.

Industry Minister Christopher Pyne had to do so while battling rival trucking rallies behind him in Adelaide.

"We are getting on with the job of creating jobs and growth, that's an easy message for me to sell because it's true and Michelle Landry should sell that message too."

Mr Turnbull has tried to brush it off the concerns from his own backbench.

His advice to them and to the Australian public: wait for the budget to be delivered on May 3rd.

"I haven't spoken to (Michelle) but if I did I would encourage her to be more upbeat that's for sure. Look we have a robust party, she's entitled to her view but she's like everybody else very keen to see what's in the budget."

While the Prime Minister may not be concerned about being labelled wishy washy, others are.

Nationals party leader Barnaby Joyce passionately addressing the issue head on in a press concernece.

"Michelle is a good mate of mine. We work well together. But I think we are far from wishy washy. We're not wishy washy when we make sure that wee keep our borders strong. We're not wishy washy when we make sure that our defence spending goes up to two percent to protect our nation."

But resources Minister Josh Frydenberg told the ABC Michelle Landry's message shouldn't be dismissed outright.

"Michelle's an important part of the team and she makes an important point that we've had a number of successes as a government and we need to communicate those to the public"

The tightening polls have put a spring the Opposition leaders Bill Shorten's step as he spent another day campaigning on schools funding.

"These little grade ones, we can guarantee that if Labor is elected, that from next year they will have certainty of funding for their education right through to Year 12."

"Here's a numeracy test for Mr Shorten. How are you going to pay for the 51 billion dollars of unfunded promises? Is it higher taxes or more debt or perhaps both?"

Mr Turnbull may not have the benefit of time to get his message back on track.

He's threatened an early election if the Senate crossbenchers don't pass the building and construction commission in this month's special sitting.

As it stands that legislation will not be passed and a July 2 early election is looking all the more likely.



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