Opposition leader Peter Dutton has again sought to overhaul his public image, saying a controversial joke he made in 2015 about climate change in the Pacific was “bad in taste”.
Most important points:
- Peter Dutton says he’s “just as human and vulnerable” as anyone else
- Sussan Ley says she wants “honest conversations” about why women turned away from the Liberal Party
- A Liberal senator has called for a review of the pre-selection process in New South Wales
Dutton was immigration minister when he was caught by an open mic joking about “water rippling to” in 2015. [the] door” of countries in the Pacific.
It’s a comment still used by Labor to accuse the coalition of damaging relations in the region, an issue that became a focus of the election campaign after the China-Solomon Islands security pact was made official.
The newly-elected Liberal leader apologized for the comment in 2015 and reiterated today that he regretted making that comment.
“I’ve made a few bad jokes over the years, like everyone else, and I’ve apologized for that,” he said.
“I’m just as human and vulnerable as anyone else.”
Over the past week, Mr Dutton has tried to overhaul his image and urge people to hold their judgment on him until they see his “whole character”.
He reiterated his argument that positions he has held in the past – such as defense, home affairs and immigration – have not allowed him to show his full self and that it was roles that made it difficult to “put in a smile or a smile.” joke to burst”.
Women ‘hadn’t heard anything’ Liberal Party, says Ley
Sussan Ley, Mr Dutton’s newly elected deputy, said she plans to visit and speak to women in seats the Liberals have lost, to hear from them what the party needs to do to win back their votes.
Ms Ley acknowledged that women turned away from the party during the elections and said the new leadership was determined to regain their trust.
“I think women didn’t hear much of what we were saying. They may not have believed that we were focusing on them and their lives,” she said.
“But again, a lot of women have really supported us and I’ve heard from a lot of those women.
“I’m not stepping back from the fact that a lot of women didn’t support us and I want to have honest conversations and I don’t want to cover up anything and I want to hear directly from women.”
Ms Ley said she would talk to the party’s New South Wales state branch about the idea of female representation quotas, but it was more important to her that there was a clear path for women to enter politics and give their hand. to put up.
She also indicated that the coalition could support the recommendations of the Respect@Work report and that it is worth making it an employer’s obligation, a so-called “positive duty”, to stamp out sexual harassment in the workplace.
Vows to change the pre-selection process
New South Wales Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg has called for a review of pre-selection processes following the party’s defeat.
State pre-selections were delayed after federal intervention, which installed candidates without a full-member vote.
That included the controversial candidate for Warringah, Katherine Deves, who was singled out by former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, among others.
In a letter to party members, Senator Bragg said the party was not a dictatorship and called for limiting the federal leader’s influence on pre-selection processes.
“Your right to have your say and select our candidates is the main reason for joining. But we were stripped of this precious right when our constitution was twisted and bent,” he wrote.
“We are committed to making sure this never happens again.”
The reforms listed include a clear timetable for selections to be made publicly available.
To ensure the party was competitive in the next election, the moderate senator said those reforms were necessary.
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