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‘I think we’ve got a good fighting chance’: Abbott responds to latest opinion poll

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As parliament resumes today for the first time since Scott Morrison became Prime Minister, Tony Abbott is given free reign to embrace his new role of Special Envoy on Indigenous Affairs.

Mr Abbott tells Ray Hadley Scott Morrison “wants me to look at school attendance and school performance for remote schools” and that he won’t be restrained by the usual limitations imposed on ministers.

The former prime minister will be advocating for remote communities and investigating potential “game-changers” to improve educational outcomes for indigenous children.

Mr Abbott has allayed previous concerns about treading on the toes of current ministers surrounding the issue, telling Ray “Nigel Scullion is a good bloke, we’ve worked well together before and I’m sure we’ll work together in this”.

When faced with questions around the latest disastrous Newspoll which shows Labor maintaining its 12 point lead over the Coalition after preferences, Mr Abbott says we shouldn’t “worry too much about polls, what I think we should focus on is performance”.

“Already I’m quite encouraged by what I’m seeing from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

“I think we’ve got a good fighting chance of winning the next election.”

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In regards to the Liberal loss in the Wagga Wagga by-election, Mr Abbott tells Ray he believes the “New South Wales Government has done a fine job”, however “from time to time they do these crazy things that belong to the Greens, not the Liberals”.

“For instance, the greyhound racing ban was insane.

“Refusing to extend the shark meshing from metropolitan beaches to the north coast, that’s crazy and they’re still stuffing around over that.

“Let’s face it, you’ve got to put people before sharks for god sake.”