National

Nats leader, rebel in Valentine’s embrace

By AAP Newswire

Days after a break-up in the Nationals party room, Michael McCormack has engaged in some Valentine's Day making up.

The deputy prime minister on Friday opened the Sunshine Beach Surf Club's new facility on Queensland's Sunshine Coast alongside local MP Llew O'Brien who this week called a spill against Mr McCormack.

The club secured $2.5 million in federal funding in March 2019 to demolish its aged clubhouse dating back to 1983, paving the way for a new structure.

Mr O'Brien left the Nationals this week, having backed the ill-fated tilt at the leadership by Barnaby Joyce, but remains a member of the Queensland Liberal National Party.

Against the will of the government, he was also voted in as Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives with the support of some Nationals colleagues, and Labor and crossbench MPs.

However, he put it behind him on Friday.

"I'm just proud to be a member of a government that is doing so well at the important things - managing an economy where we can give back and help build communities like Sunshine Beach," he said.

He said he supported Mr McCormack as deputy prime minister and Scott Morrison as prime minister.

"I put myself to the people of Wide Bay on the 18th of May last year," he said.

"When they took that ballot paper it said 'Llew O'Brien LNP'. That's what they bought, that's what they got, that's what they've still got.

"I'm a proud member of the coalition government."

Mr McCormack said Mr O'Brien was fighting hard for his community.