I can’t think of a more pathetic display of non-leadership than that of Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Deputy John Barilaro regarding the ‘Reproductive Rights Bill’ currently before the NSW Parliament. In fact, it’s nothing other than total political cowardice because neither person is going to speak in the debate even though they have both indicated that they will be voting for the Bill. The Sunday Telegraph’s Linda Silmalis was spot on:
Many people are mistaken in viewing this as a private members bill, put forward by the independent Alex Greenwich. Yet to The Australian “had Mr Greenwich not put forward the legislation, Mr Hazzard [the Health Minister] was set to introduce it himself as a private member’s bill.”
But make no mistake, this piece of legislation is something that has been explicitly facilitated by the government, by listing it as government business on the notice paper, rather than the far more restrictive time given
Does the Berejiklian government really believe that they can treat the majority of ‘quiet Australians’ who voted for them recently with such contempt and there not be any electoral consequences in the future? True, Labor and the Greens are no better. But the people of NSW thought they were voting for a conservative government.
What has become painfully clear is that the Liberal leadership is in crisis. And just as they did at the federal level in getting rid of Turnbull, it’s time for NSW to sort itself before they find themselves in opposition. Silmalis is absolutely correct. It’s a mess. But even more significantly, it’s a mess the NSW Liberal factional warlords – always so smug and self-righteous – created for themselves.
Mark Powell is the Associate Pastor of Cornerstone Presbyterian Church, Strathfield.
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