Prime minister Tony Abbott’s
apparently fragile hold on the prime ministership is troubling some in the
defence industry, with the possibility that a third MP in months could be the
new defence minister.
Yesterday three backbenchers publicly sabotaged Abbott’s leadership, with Dennis Jensen and
Warren Entsch supporting a leadership ballot and Mal Brough declining to express “unequivocal support” for the PM.
Abbott is personally unpopular, with an approval rating of 29 per cent according to a Fairfax/Ipsos poll. He raised new
questions about his judgement from inside and outside the federal Coalition
after last week’s “captain’s call” decision to award Prince Philip a knighthood.
The Australian Financial Review reports today that the instability is worrying those connected to defence,
with the possibility of a third minister in months.
“That might see both the
submarines and a new defence white paper face delays we can ill afford,” an
unnamed senior defence source told The AFR.
Abbott is personally close
to defence minister Kevin Andrews, who has only been in the role since December, replacing David Johnston.
Thousands of defence jobs will be lost this year if new work isn’t awarded by the government.