Tony Abbott has admitted good government might have had "a bit of a holiday" amid the Liberal leadership turmoil, but insists it's now on track.
However, a fresh controversy has erupted over the Prime Minister's promise to backbenchers concerned that the contract to build Australia's next generation of submarines might go overseas.
And more than a dozen coalition MPs spoke out about the Government's direction at a joint party room meeting yesterday, querying policies ranging from defence pay to the Medicare co-payment.
"I was given a very strong message in no uncertain terms yesterday," Abbott told the meeting.
Labor leader Bill Shorten used question time to ask the Prime Minister about his new direction.
"The Prime Minister has promised good government starts today. If good government starts today, what on earth has it been doing for the past 521 days?" he said.
Abbott said good government "might have had a bit of a holiday last week", but had started again.
The coalition is banking on a families package, featuring new childcare support arrangements, to regain public support.
However, Abbott told coalition MPs the Government would impose "firm clamps" on new spending in the May budget to bring debt under control.
Health Minister Sussan Ley said at the meeting that "co-payment" had become a dirty word in the community. But she said negotiations would continue with doctors on the revised Medicare policy.
One MP said the Defence force pay rise of 1.5 per cent had been a "mistake" that had caused electoral damage in Queensland.
The Labor opposition has focused on mixed messages from the Government over how it will select the next generation of submarines.
South Australian Liberal senator Sean Edwards said on Sunday the Prime Minister had assured him there would be a "full and open tender process" to replace the Collins' class subs.
Edwards interpreted that to mean Adelaide-based shipbuilder ASC could bid for the project, which many expect to go to Japanese contractors.
It is understood the promise stopped Edwards voting with South Australian colleagues for a Liberal leadership spill yesterday, which was defeated 61-39.
At a media conference at the Adelaide shipyards yesterday, Defence Minister Kevin Andrews said it would be a "competitive evaluation process", but would not use the term tender.
Shorten later asked Abbott in Parliament whether he would commit to a "full and open tender process".
Abbott said "one way or another" Australia would have a bigger submarine fleet and that would mean more jobs in South Australia.