‘Push through the pain’: Coalition MPs urged to show discipline

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has called for party unity ahead of the federal election, urging discipline from coalition MPs.


Feb 15, 2022, updated Feb 15, 2022
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce speaks to the media at Parliament House in Canberra. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce speaks to the media at Parliament House in Canberra. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

After debate on the religious discrimination bill in parliament last week saw five government MPs crossing the floor, the prime minister said party unity would be key for victory.

Speaking to government MPs at a joint partyroom meeting, Mr Morrison said he knew the path to victory at the upcoming poll.

“We have a job to do. I’m going to do mine, I need you to do yours. I need you to focus on your seats and what’s happening in your seats,” he said.

“To win this election will require the most discipline, focus and professionalism from each of us in all our roles. Do that, we win, it’s that simple.”

Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce also told the partyroom meeting the election was winnable if “we push ourselves through the pain barrier”.

“We want to wake up in the morning after the election having passed over the line, having succeeded,” he said.

“There’s only one part of the race that it’s really important that you’re in front, and that is the finish line.”

However, one coalition MP expressed disappointment about the actions of MPs who had crossed the floor on religious discrimination last week.

Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese told a Labor caucus meeting the actions of its members last week showed the “party at its best”.

“We made a collective decision and backed it in … we can represent people of faith and still represent that every child should be free from discrimination,” he said.

“If we win, we will act on discrimination on the basis of faith, including an anti-vilification provision, which is stronger than what the government put forward.”

Mr Albanese blasted scare campaigns from the government in recent weeks, and said each of them had “blown up in their face”.

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