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Coalition lacking vision, Costello says

AAP logoAAP 10/09/2016

The evidence of the government's performance is clear, with strong economic growth and the creation of plenty of new jobs, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says.

But former Howard government treasurer Peter Costello says the coalition government is failing to set out a clear vision, while Labor has a clear view of what it's there for.

The Australian newspaper reported Mr Costello as telling a business forum in Sydney the government was at risk of being "psychologically bludgeoned" into vacating its core business of small government and lower taxes and wasn't doing enough to convince voters of the need for strong action to fix the budget.

Mr Turnbull, who's been attending the Pacific Islands Forum in MIcronesia and celebrates his first years as PM next Wednesday, said the critical issue was to continue to deliver on the economic plan for jobs and growth.

"All of that is solid economic progress and the score is on the scoreboard. We have strong economic growth. Jobs are being created. Our economic performance is the envy of most of those countries around the G20 table," he told reporters in Pohnpei before returning to Australia for the start of parliament on Monday .

WA Liberal MP Ben Moreton said in politics there was never any shortage of free advice.

"Importantly in my view, though, we have been very clear, we have an agenda of jobs, we have an agenda of growth. We are doing well in relation to those parts," he told Sky News.

Mr Costello's warning about budget repair wasn't just for the government, Mr Moreton said.

"It's also a warning to the opposition as well," he said.

Labor MP Milton Dick said Mr Costello was articulating what many in the Liberal Party were feeling.

"These are serious senior Liberal operatives or leaders of the party who simply are losing faith and trust in what Malcolm Turnbull is doing for Australia," he said.

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