Prime Minister Tony Abbott has warned his cabinet about leaking information, saying there would be “personal and professional consequences” for those involved.
The Australian reports that during a party room meeting the PM said the “bad leaks” were “very disappointing”.
Abbott said the leaks impaired the government’s plans to push its budget reforms but said they meant little in “voter land”.
However, Nationals MP Mark Coulton reportedly told Abbott the leaks had damaged the government’s reputation in his electorate in western NSW.
The SMH last week reported leaks of Monday’s Cabinet meeting where a few high profile ministers were vocal in their objection to Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s proposal that he should have the discretionary power to strip an Australian national of his or her citizenship.
Barnaby Joyce, Christopher Pyne, George Brandis, Julie Bishop, Kevin Andrews and Malcolm Turnbull were believed to be the ministers who spoke out against cancelling sole citizenship.
“A person’s citizenship is of enormous importance, intrinsic to themselves. Take me. The only people who’ve lived in Australia longer than my family are Aboriginal. I have no other identity,” Turnbull reportedly said in the meeting.
“Are we seriously saying some minister could take my citizenship?”
Despite the objections, Dutton has the backing of the PM and on Sunday Abbott dismissed the leaks as “false reports” stating that the proposal had been “overwhelmingly endorsed” by the cabinet.
The proposal is part of a discussion paper on citizenship being led by Philip Ruddock.
As Business Insider’s editor Paul Colgan pointed out last week, just a fortnight after putting out a largely successful budget that looked set to turn around the Coalition’s fortunes, there’s still a discipline problem in government ranks.
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