Prime Minister Scott Morrison insists Michael McCormack should remain Nationals leader despite a group of rebels trying to tear him down.
"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 told reporters on Thursday.
"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."
His endorsement comes as failed leadership contender Barnaby Joyce said the Nationals are at risk of disappearing altogether.Mr Joyce and co-conspirator Matt Canavan have launched a podcast warning 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."You wouldn't have to worry about the National Party causing problems because the National Party would be no more," Mr Joyce said.Senator Canavan warned other MPs could follow suit, creating massive problems for the Liberal National Party in Queensland."The big issue here is effectively Llew has created a new partyroom," he said.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 told Sky News."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."