AUSTRALIA: Julian Leeser, a Liberal MP, quit his office as a shadow attorney general and shadow minister for Indigenous Australians not many days after the Liberals confirmed that they would restrict an Indigenous freedom in the constitution.
Leeser posted in a statement on Tuesday on Facebook that he had decided to quit in order to advocate for a positive vote in the referendum as a staunch Indigenous rights supporter.
Other Liberals felicitated Leeser’s stance, including Bridget Archer, MP, and Andrew Bragg, senator. This stance would however not trigger further reignitions from the shadow cabinet despite constant questions posed by the moderates in light of the party’s position.
Leeser wrote earlier that “resignation as a frontbencher is not about personality; it’s about keeping faith with an issue that I have been working on for almost a decade,” adding, “I’ve also tried to keep faith with my liberal values.” “My desire to conserve our institutions, like the Australian Constitution, with my desire to seek better outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.”
Peter Dutton, the opposition leader, mentioned that “his position is at odds with the overwhelming majority of the Liberal party members in our party room.” Lesser, however, stated, “I resign without rancour or bitterness and remain a loyal Liberal, fully committed to the leadership of Peter Dutton.”
Lesser would advocate for a model that he introduced last week at the National Press Club to erase the Indigenous rights to give suggestions to the Parliament and the executive from the constitutional amendment proposed by the government.
He says, “The Press Club model for the voice is constitutionally sound, gives Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians a place in our founding document, and recognises the supremacy of parliament in our constitutional system.”
“It improves the model put forward by the government and its referendum working group.” “This will also improve its chances for success at the ballot box,” he added.
When a party room meeting supported this stance, Dutton and the deputy leader of the Liberal Party, Sussan Ley, made the announcement last Wednesday that the Liberals would be against including the Indigenous voice in the constitution.
When Leeser suggested to the shadow cabinet that the option of a free vote be kept at least until the conclusion of the parliamentary inquiry, it was rejected in favour of disregarding the freedom in the constitution, according to a report on Friday by Guardian Australia.
Leeser has time and again criticised the Labour Party for a dearth of detail in its voice proposals. Leeser’s replacement, according to Dutton, would be fixed in the coming few days.
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