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Dutton names new shadow A-G

Leader of the Opposition Peter Dutton has revealed a new shadow attorney-general who will take over following Julian Leeser’s resignation last week.

user iconLauren Croft 18 April 2023 Politics
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Senator Michaelia Cash has been appointed by Liberal Party leader Peter Dutton as the newest shadow attorney-general.

This news follows reports early last Tuesday (11 April) morning that Julian Leeser MP had quit his positions 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 — which he later confirmed in a statement.

In explanation of his resignation, Mr Leeser said 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.


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

“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,” Mr Leeser said.

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”.

In announcing the new shadow AG this morning (Tuesday, 18 April), Mr Dutton said that Ms Cash would retain her other political roles and that he trusted her completely.

“The Honourable Senator Michaelia Cash will return to the role of shadow attorney-general, in addition to the roles she has now. She’s a very fierce and very smart legal mind. Michaelia has been a dear friend for a long period of time,” he told media.

“She’s a trusted confidante, somebody I worked closely with and will be a very safe set of hands in relation to that portfolio responsibility.

In addition, Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price has been appointed to the role of shadow minister for Indigenous Australians, with Mr Dutton noting that he believes she will do an “outstanding job” in fighting the Liberal No campaign.

“Many Australians know Jacinta well. She’s a fighter. She’s a warrior for Indigenous Australians. And she’s a very proud Territorian. She’s a former councillor, mayor of Alice Springs and small-business owner. She’s always fought hard to improve the lives of Indigenous women and kids, and we’ve seen that in recent days. She’s done an incredible amount of work to tackle tough issues like the scourge of sexual abuse, domestic violence and the crisis in law and order in some Indigenous communities, particularly Alice Springs most recently,” Mr Dutton told press on Tuesday (18 April).

“I’m incredibly proud of the work she’s been able to do, that she continues to do, and I know she’ll do an outstanding job in leading the charge for better practical outcomes for Indigenous Australians, not through the prime minister’s Canberra voice bureaucracy.”