Former Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott
Former Prime Minister of Australia Tony Abbott Chris Ison

Tony Abbott's Syria plan rejected by his government

TONY Abbott's suggestion western countries should send more ground troops to Syria has been rejected by the government he formerly led.

During last week's Margaret Thatcher Lecture in London, Mr Abbott said Islamic State could not be defeated without "more effective local forces on the ground".

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said Australia had no intention of following the United States' lead and sending ground soldiers.

"Obviously we work closely with the US in that conflict as we do so in many other contexts but at present the Australian Government certainly doesn't have any plans to change our involvement," he told Sky News.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said the government had Labor's support and questioned whether adding troops on the ground would help the war effort.

"The idea that we can sort of bomb our way to peace across Syria and resolve all the conflicts... what we need is greater support for the refugees," he said.