CANBERRA – Jacqui Lambie has just made a big call on the future of the Turnbull Government.
Or has she?
The independent Tasmanian senator has told Channel Nine's Today Show, broadcasting from the west Tasmanian town of Strahan, that the Turnbull Government is "finished", thanks to "really, really bad" division and infighting.
Never a big fan of the Coalition Government under Tony Abbott, Lambie said she had hoped Malcolm Turnbull as Prime Minister would "grow a spine", but has been left disappointed.
"I think he has completely lost control of the Liberal Party up there," she told host Karl Stefanovic.
"It is very divisive and it is really unfortunate, but they're going to really need to regroup very, very quickly.
"I think they I are finished."
PM Turnbull laughs and says "thanks for the headline" after being asked about Jacqui Lambie's call on #Today that his gov't is "finished"— Karen Barlow (@KJBar) April 4, 2017
This call -- despite countless interventions by former Prime Minister Abbott, the defection of Cory Bernardi and poor showing for months in opinion polls -- appeared to leave Stefanovic gob-smacked, but Lambie pressed on.
"It is actually really, really bad," she said. "What you see on the outside is not even close, it is even worse on the inside.
"It is so divisive up there. You've got so many factions within the Liberal Party. It is just amazing.
"I really don't know how Malcolm Turnbull is actually trying to hold it together. 'Cause really, I think it is finished."
OPINION: Tony Abbott is right about the Turnbull government but for the wrong reasons, writes Jennifer Hewett. https://t.co/MstXXYkqaQ— Financial Review (@FinancialReview) February 26, 2017
This prediction was put to the Prime Minister, who just happened to be in Tasmania, but he laughed it off.
"Thanks for the headline!" Turnbull told reporters.
Lambie has been particularly furious about the Turnbull Government's welfare cuts and 30 percent funding cuts to Australia's community legal centres.
She spoke out last week, urging the Turnbull Government to "stop sledging people on welfare with a hammer".