Look, at least no one can accuse Australian politics of being boring.
Dutton, who is gunning to replace Turnbull as prime minister, has been facing questions over his interest in two Brisbane centres through his family’s RHT Family Trust.
Turnbull said if the solicitor-general’s advice cleared Dutton on Friday morning, there could be a partyroom meeting and a spill motion, but he also wants to see the letter purportedly signed by 43 Liberal MPs calling for the meeting – to be held at noon.
“You can imagine the consequences of having a prime minister whose actions and decisions are questionable because of the issue of eligibility,” the prime minister told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.
From July this year, childcare centres receive a direct subsidy from the federal government, raising questions as to whether Dutton could be under a constitutional cloud.
Dutton queried why the story came out as he was challenging the prime minister.
“The timing on the eve of current events in Australian politics is curious,” he said in a statement.
“There has never been any doubt about my eligibility to sit in the parliament and I attach the unequivocal legal advice I obtained in 2017 to that effect.”
The business interest raises questions over whether government support to the centres is a constitutional problem for Dutton and whether he was involved in cabinet decisions on the childcare sector.
This could put him in breach of section 44 of the constitution, which bans people from parliament who have “any direct or indirect pecuniary interest with the public service of the commonwealth”.
Here’s what led to the current situation:
I’m confused… WTF happened?
Australia does not have a new prime minister. Yet.
On Tuesday Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull survived a leadership spill, which saw Peter Dutton contest the leadership of the Liberal Party of Australia.
Turnbull survived, but only just. In fact, this is the worst result by a prime minister surviving a leadership ballot.
He declared a Liberal leadership spill on Tuesday morning and Dutton put up his hand to challenge.
Turnbull emerged victorious, with party whip Nola Marino confirming Turnbull won 48 votes to 35 for Dutton.
It all happened very quickly, and Dutton has since resigned from the ministry. One positive for him is that he can now hang out on the backbench with his pal, Tony Abbott.