Key Minister's Reasons For Resigning Don't Make Sense
Concetta Fierravanti-Wells thinks the party is moving 'too far to the left'.
NSW senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells is so far the only Liberal member to actually resign from the ministry after supporting Peter Dutton in the leadership vote, but her stated reasons for doing so don't make much sense.
In tendering her resignation after Tuesday's Liberal party vote, Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells publicly expressed concerns the party was moving too far to the left.
"Following the Bennelong by-election" -- which the government lost -- "I made comments publicly about concerns that the party was moving too far to the left and that we were losing our conservative base," she said.
She repeated these concerns on Radio National the next morning: "We are not bleeding from the left, we are bleeding from the right."
High up in her concerns was last year's postal survey on same-sex marriage, but as someone who is publicly backing Dutton right now, her concerns don't make a lot of sense.
Dutton might be deeply conservative, but he was also the biggest champion of the postal survey.
When the staunchly anti-marriage equality Tony Abbott was in power, it was his idea to have plebiscite or public vote on the issue in the first place. Turnbull stuck to the plan and never wavered off it, a key conservative demand.
The postal survey was initially floated by Warren Entsch, but it was Dutton who ran with the idea, championing it behind the scenes as a way to legislate the "inevitable" and keep it from becoming an election distraction.
"Lots of us are working together to find a sensible approach through this Parliament," he told 2GB in March 2017.
The survey was widely criticised by the broader LGBTQIA community as being deeply harmful, but it eventually -- and after years of campaigning by the queer community -- delivered on marriage equality.
A total of 61.6 percent of respondents voted 'yes' to marriage equality, with eight in 10 eligible Australians voting.
"The broader Australian community is perhaps not as far to the right as you and some of your colleagues are," pointed out RN's Fran Kelly to Fierravanti-Wells on Wednesday morning.
"Isn't that what the government should be governing for?"
Fierravanti-Wells did not answer.