POLITICS

George Christensen Should 'Stick' With Coalition: Arthur Sinodinos

Sinodinos says the Queensland MP has "potential".

12/02/2017 9:38 AM AEDT | Updated 12/02/2017 10:31 AM AEDT
Stefan Postles via Getty Images
Arthur Sinodinos wants George Christensen to stay in the coalition.

Federal Industry Minister Arthur Sinodinos has urged fellow coalition MP George Christensen to stick with the LNP amid reports he is uncertain about his future and could join One Nation.

Christensen, the member for the Queensland seat of Dawson, is reportedly considering defecting from the Nationals due to a dispute between cane growers and international agribusiness Wilmar Sugar Australia.

He is said to consider his chances at re-elction in the seat as "dead" if the Turnbull Government fails to act in the interests in cane growers and has not ruled out a move to One Nation.

Speaking on Sunday, Sinodinos called on Christensen to stick with the coalition.

"George Christensen is standing up for his electorate. He has had issues around sugar, other issues because of the downturn in the mining and related sectors," Sinodinos told ABC television.

"George is being a good local member by standing up for his electorate ... I think he is a person of some potential and he should stick around."

Sinodinos' comments follow South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi's defection this week from the Liberal Party to establish the Australian Conservatives.

In the interview, Sinodinos also refused to categorically rule out Liberal preference deals with One Nation, calling Pauline Hanson's party "more sophisticated" than it was 20 years ago.

"I'm not particularly focused on preferences at the moment, I'm focused more on the policies that help us to get voters back," he added.

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