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New South Wales Liberal Party’s Voice position unclear under new leader Mark Speakman

Callan Morse -

In February every Australian Premier and Chief Minister stood alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in support of an Indigenous Voice to parliament.

Liberal Premiers Jeremy Rockliff and then New South Wales Premier Dominic Perrottet were among the group, however the New South Wales Liberal Party's position on the Voice is now unclear following Labor's triumph at the polls last march, triggering Mr Perrottet's resignation.

After being appointed as the new leader of the New South Wales Liberal Party, Mark Speakman has cast doubt over the party's commitment to support the proposed Indigenous Voice to parliament, signalling a possible shift from the position of his predecessor.

Speaking at his first press conference as premier, Mr Speakman refused to disclose his personal view on the Voice, saying he would share his opinion after discussing with fellow Liberal MPs.

"That is something on which I won't be making captain's call," Mr Speakman told reporters.

"I'll be discussing that with members of the shadow ministry at the earliest available opportunity."

Not supporting the Voice would signify a shift for the NSW Liberal Party, who publicly backed the 'yes' campaign under Mr Perrottet.

Just two months before his departure as NSW Premier, Mr Perrottet called for his federal Liberal colleagues to adopt a positive position on the proposed advisory body.

"Our government supports the Voice, it's very important to bring people together," Mr Perrottet said in January.

Mr Speakman was elected as the new New South Wales Liberal Party leader on Friday. (Source: Nikki Short).

"We need to be one united country and we don't need division, we need unity."

Since the New South Wales coalition lost last month's state election, re-elected New South Wales Liberal MPs have stood firm on their pro-Voice position.

The party's former deputy leader Matt Kean, who retained his seat of Hornsby, shared his support for federal Liberal MP Julian Leeser through a series of tweets, calling him one of the "best Liberals" and "best people" he knew.

"His integrity, courage and decency make me so proud to call him my friend," Mr Kean wrote.

Manly MP James Griffin, who supported Mr Perrottet's decision to sign a statement of intent to support the Voice, has also signalled his intention to continue supporting the 'yes' campaign.

Earlier this month, Queensland's Liberal National leader David Crisafulli said he would 'take his time' on determining a Voice position, with Victorian Liberal Party leader John Pesutto also refraining from setting out his position on the Voice.

Both Western Australian Liberal leader Libby Mettam and the state's opposition leader, Nationals leader Shane Love support a 'yes' vote.

South Australian Liberal Party leader David Speirs has said he remains 'open-minded' on the Voice, saying he will make his position on the Voice clear in the weeks ahead however he was "not quite at that point yet."

Australia's sole remaining Liberal premier, Tasmania's Jeremy Rockliff has unequivocally backed the Voice.


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