Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull called on his government to unite behind him after he survived an internal leadership challenge Tuesday, defeating a senior minister in a ballot that is unlikely to settle questions about whether he's the right person to lead the party into elections due next year.
Turnbull also confirmed he offered Dutton the opportunity to stay on in the position but Dutton felt he could not stay on after challenging for the leadership.
The former Home Affairs minister has resigned to sit on the backbench, but has not ruled out another challenge.
Mr Turnbull said the climate policy was not supported by all of his colleagues.
Dutton jigged around offering any direct answer about whether a new challenge was in the wind. "We are seeing the strongest economic growth we have had for a long time, and previous year was the strongest jobs growth in the history of the country". I am proud of the fact that I got children out of detention.
We've seen resignations from International Development and the Pacific Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells; Law Enforcement and Cyber Security Minister Angus Taylor; Assistant Minister for Science, Jobs and Innovation Zed Seselja; Assistant Minister to the Treasurer Michael Sukkar; Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister James McGrath; and, reportedly, Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Steve Ciobo.
"We closed the detention centres and we kept the boats stopped", he said.
Outgoing prime minister Bob Hawke waves goodbye to the media after being defeated by Paul Keating in a leadership challenge in December 1991.
He said he respected the outcome of the ballot and fully supported Turnbull.
But the result is so narrow it is set to create ongoing problems for the government. That's certainly the case across the Tasman where the smarmy Malcolm Turnbull will now be reading between the lines - and there have been plenty of them in the lead up to the caucus spill on his leadership.
"We need to invest more in water to get farmers out of drought so they do not go through what they go through at the moment".
"I want to contribute to public debates", he said.
The government has trailed Labor in most opinion polls since the last election in 2016.
"The silent majority, the forgotten people - or the aspirational voters of our generation, as some like to term them - are fed up with bodies like the Civil Liberties Council and the Refugee Action Collective, and certainly the dictatorship of the trade union movement", he said.
When he was asked whether he would make another tilt for the leadership, Dutton wouldn't rule it out.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull arrives for a party room meeting at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia, August 21, 2018.
"I will make sure that I can do all I can to make certain that the Coalition wins the next election and that Bill Shorten never ever becomes prime minister", Dutton kept repeating.
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