Morrison faces threats from all sides in chaotic final weeks of Parliament

It’s not just the opposition that has it in for the PM – his own side, not to mention outsiders and fringe players, threaten to disrupt things even further.

(Image: Private Media/Tom Red)

It’s hard to remember the last time Scott Morrison had a “good” day. But back in Parliament this week, where he can’t hide under a hard-hat and hi-viz, the threats to the prime minister have circled even closer. On the one hand, there’s a Labor opposition increasingly focused on Morrison’s problems with honesty. Morrison’s weak question time performances suggests those attacks are landing. 

Arguably more troubling for Morrison right now, though, is the opposition from his own side of the ideological divide, threatening to disrupt the government’s already meagre legislative agenda in the final sitting weeks of the year, and possibly the term. Rather than wedge Labor, Morrison’s long-promised religious discrimination bill has only exposed division within the government. And the issue of vaccine mandates continues to anger the conservative rump, and embolden far-right minor parties. 

The rebels

The week began with two Senators, Gerard Rennick and Alex Antic threatening to withhold their votes unless the government acted on vaccine mandates and introduced more compensation for people with alleged adverse reactions to immunisation. The government won Rennick’s support for procedural motions by lowering the vaccine compensation loss threshold from $5000 to $1000. It’s still not enough for Antic.

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