'Wind at our backs': Morrison warns against complacency in party room meeting

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is aiming to put the government's $158 billion income tax cut to the new Parliament in the first week of July, as he urges his ministers to perform and warns his backbench against complacency.

Mr Morrison set out the timeline at a Coalition meeting on Tuesday morning, where he hailed the government's success at winning seats from Labor and declared his confidence in doing more of the same at the next election.

While the Prime Minister did not set a hard date for the meeting of the 46th Parliament, he told the gathering that he “expected” to see everyone back in Canberra in the first week of July.

The date will depend in part on whether the Australian Electoral Office can complete its count from the May 18 election so the writs can be returned in the last week of June.


While the opening days of Parliament would be largely ceremonial, with Tuesday, July 2 as one likely date, the rest of the week could be used to pass the tax package through the lower house.

The intention appears to be to sit for one week and then allow a two-week break in the middle of July when school holidays are on in several states and both territories.

The Prime Minister told the MPs there were many other areas of Australia where the Liberals and Nationals could build their vote and secure future victories.

While there were conflicting accounts of whether Mr Morrison named specific seats, those where the Coalition came close to defeating Labor included Cowan in Western Australia, Dobell on the NSW Central Coast and Solomon in the Northern Territory.

The remarks came in a gathering of Liberal and Nationals MPs in Canberra where 28 new members joined the party room, each of them standing to receive applause from their colleagues.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said "the wind is at our backs" and told the room that Mr Morrison had the potential to be one of the great prime ministers of modern times.

Mr Morrison reprised his message from the election campaign that the government would “burn” for Australian voters, but he also warned his MPs against being too confident after their victory.

He pointedly told the group that 67 members of the Coalition party room did not know what it was to serve in Opposition, and he stressed that they should never wish to be in that “wasteland” where they could not get things done.

In a warning to the ministry, he noted that the party room had many others with the talent to serve on the frontbench and this meant there was “pressure to perform” on everyone.

The chief government whip in the lower house will be Bert van Manen, one of the whips in the last Parliament and a Queensland Liberal who is close to Mr Morrison. He will be supported by two whips, Rowan Ramsey and Nicolle Flint.

The Nationals whips will be Damian Drum and Ken O'Dowd.

The Speaker in the last House of Representatives, Tony Smith, was confirmed as the government's nominee for the position in the next Parliament. This was done at a Liberal Party meeting earlier on Tuesday with nobody standing against him.

Nationals MP Kevin Hogan, who left the party room to sit on the crossbench after the leadership spill that removed Malcolm Turnbull as prime minister last August, appears to have rejoined the joint party room and is his party's nominee for deputy Speaker.

The president of the Senate, Scott Ryan, is expected to retain the position once the new Senate meets in July, the point at which Coalition senators will agree on their nominee.

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