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Shadow A-G resigns over Libs’ Voice position

Julian Leeser has quit his roles as the opposition’s spokesperson for Indigenous Australians and as shadow attorney-general over the Liberal Party’s stated position regarding the upcoming referendum on the Voice to Parliament.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 11 April 2023 Politics
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Earlier this morning (Tuesday, 11 April), News Corp reported that Julian Leeser MP was going to resign his position from the federal shadow cabinet. At 10:30am AEST, Mr Leeser confirmed the media speculation with a statement on his Facebook page.

In explaining why, Mr Leeser wrote that, nearly a decade ago, he sat down with a small group of constitutional conservatives and Indigenous leaders and worked on a proposal for constitutional recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians — which ultimately became the Voice.

It was, he wrote, about creating a new structure to improve outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians — “and it was about finding common ground”.


“Over the past year, I have had many respectful discussions with my parliamentary colleagues about the Voice. I have listened to their views, and they have heard mine, but ultimately, I have not been able to persuade them.”

Since Mr Leeser intends to campaign for the “Yes” vote, he noted, he has resigned from the shadow ministry.

He noted that he remains committed to the Liberal Party and Peter Dutton’s leadership and that his resignation from the frontbench is “not about personality; it’s about keeping faith with an issue that I have been working on for almost a decade”.

“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,” he posited.

“As a Liberal, I believe in the dignity of every Australian — in what can be achieved when they are affirmed, valued, and empowered. I believe that better policy is made when the very people affected by it are consulted on it.”

Mr Leeser acknowledged what he called Mr Dutton’s “support and good grace”, as well as “the faith he has shown in me”.

“As shadow minister, I have travelled with Peter and seen him listen to and engage with Indigenous leaders and Indigenous people in the community. I know he has a genuine desire to improve the lives of Indigenous Australians. However, on the Voice referendum, we find ourselves in different places. People of goodwill can disagree,” he said.

As reported earlier this year by Lawyers Weekly, most BigLaw firms are supporting the Voice to Parliament.


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