PROMISE: Tony Abbott.
PROMISE: Tony Abbott.

Abbott won’t harass PUP senators if they toe PM’s line

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott has promised not to hector and lecture Clive Palmer's Senate team when they take to the crossbenches in Canberra next week. But he has demanded his electoral mandate is respected.

The federal government faces an uphill battle to get controversial elements of its budget, such as welfare changes and the GP co-payment, passed by the upper house.

"I say to the new senators, we won't hector you and we won't lecture you," Mr Abbott said during a speech to the Liberal Party's federal council in Melbourne yesterday.

He said he respected the election of the crossbenchers and asked them to respect his.

The new Senate will sit for the first time on July 7 and a Palmer United Party bloc of senators will share the balance of power with an extended crossbench.

Australians were fed up with a policy of economic drift, after six years, Mr Abbott said, and he defended the Federal Budget as purposeful, thoughtful and effective.

Is Abbott's message to PUP MPs a reasonable one?

This poll ended on 29 June 2015.

Current Results

It's a threat, pure and simple.


Abbott's not in a position to be so condescending ...


Abbott's right, we did elect him to call the shots.


I don't think PUP were ever going to say no anyway.


This is not a scientific poll. The results reflect only the opinions of those who chose to participate.

He also outlined a game plan to reform the Federation by winding back the federal government's role in core state responsibilities.

Mr Abbott also released the terms of reference of a white paper on the matter.

The Commonwealth will continue to take a leadership role on issues of genuine national and strategic importance but there should be less Commonwealth intervention in areas where states have primary responsibility.

The white paper was promised during the 2013 election campaign as a way to end waste, duplication and buck-passing between Canberra and the states.

It would ensure state and territory governments were "sovereign in their own sphere".

Senior officials from the Prime Minister's Department will work on the white paper in consultation with the states and territories and representatives of local government.

It is due to be released at the end of 2015. A green paper will be completed in the first half of next year.