Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm has accused Malcolm Turnbull of failing to live up to his promise to liaise closely with the Senate crossbenchers.
As the “micro” players react furiously to the government’s proposed Senate voting changes, Leyonhjelm tells Michelle Grattan he has not heard from Turnbull since his call in his first week as prime minister. Despite the “reservoir of goodwill” he enjoyed on taking over, Turnbull did not follow through.
The Coalition government has been appallingly bad at negotiating with the crossbenchers, Leyonhjelm says. Unlike the Gillard government, which negotiated successfully with lower house crossbenchers, the Abbott and Turnbull governments never learnt how to do it.
Leyonhjelm and the other “micro” Senate players have been invited to dinner at The Lodge this week. They are ready to vent their sense of grievance to Turnbull face-to-face.