National

Morrison dismisses fear of coalition split

By AAP Newswire

Scott Morrison has played down the prospect of the Liberal and National parties dividing in Queensland, which could bring his government to its knees.

Failed mutineer Barnaby Joyce has warned the Nationals are at risk of disappearing altogether if his backers desert the party.

Mr Morrison dismissed the idea, and said Nationals leader Michael McCormack has the full support of his party colleagues.

A small group of rebels are desperately trying to tear down the deputy prime minister.

"He has the full support of his colleagues, he has my full support as the prime minister, and we've got a lot of work to do," Mr Morrison said.

"We've got dams to build, we've got roads to build, we've got an economy to continue to build in rural and regional Australia."

Mr Joyce and co-conspirator Matt Canavan claim more colleagues could follow Queensland defector Llew O'Brien out the door.

Mr O'Brien quit the Nationals after the coup but will remain in the Morrison government.

"The big issue here is effectively Llew has created a new partyroom," Senator Canavan said.

The former resources minister has not ruled out joining such a breakaway group, but is not agitating for it to happen.

"I'll never rule out anything," he said.

"I am an LNP senator, I get elected on the LNP ticket, I have loyalty to the LNP as a party room."

Senator Canavan warned he would be in a "very difficult position" if the coalition parties split in Queensland.

"I wouldn't be seeking to join (a new party room) and I've spoken to the LNP in the past couple of days, that is not on the cards."

Mr Joyce warned of dire consequences if more Nationals walked away.

"You wouldn't have to worry about the National Party causing problems because the National Party would be no more," he said.

Nationals backbencher David Gillespie remains less than effusive in his praise for Mr McCormack.

"At the moment and going forward I am supporting our leader," Dr Gillespie told Sky News.

Nationals president Larry Anthony pleaded with party rebels to stop destabilising Mr McCormack.

"It's not sustainable and people have seen this movie before," he said.

"This is not something we do in the National Party ... our base and Australians expect better of our members.

"The National Party always performs best when we hunt as a pack and are united."