Spill motion against NSW Premier dropped
The NSW Liberal Leadership spill motion against Premier Gladys Berejiklian, brought on by rebel conservative MPs over her support for a bill to decriminalise abortion, has been called off.
The three MPs Tanya Davies, Lou Amato and Matthew Mason-Cox on Monday night announced they would call an "empty chair" spill motion against the premier because amendments they wanted had been rejected in full "or in part with vague undertakings for further discussion".
But in a statement released this morning, the MPs said they would withdraw the motion.
"Since releasing our statement last night, we have received confirmation that further concessions will be forthcoming in relation to the amendments to the abortion bill," they said.
"On this basis, I have called the premier this morning and advised her that we will withdraw the spill motion to continue negotiations prior to the debate in the upper house commencing later today."
In a joint statement last night, the three state Liberal MPs said Ms Berejiklian needed to be held to account for "presiding over this shameful process".
The MPs said they had been told on Monday night the four amendments they want included in the bill had been rejected in full "or in part with vague undertakings for further discussion".
"We have come to the conclusion that the right course of action is not to leave the parliamentary Liberal Party but to hold the premier to account for presiding over this shameful process," they said in a statement.
"We have also been alarmed by the premier's continued failure to address the impasse in the legislative council which has slowly ground the government's legislative agenda to dust."
The spill motion to challenge Ms Berejiklian was to be put to the Liberal party room at 10am Tuesday morning.
Senior Liberal ministers had come out in support of the Premier.
"Gladys is the people's choice as Premier and I support her as our leader," Treasurer Dominic Perrottet tweeted on Monday night soon after the rebels' announcement.
The private member's bill was moved by Independent lower house MP Alex Greenwich soon after the state government was returned to power following an election in March.
It's caused division within the conservative rump of the Liberal party, despite community polls backing the move to decriminalise abortion in NSW in line with other states.
Opponents of the bill have raised concerns about late-term abortions, gender-based terminations and the way the bill was introduced.
In its current form, the legislation would allow terminations up to 22 weeks, as well as later abortions if two doctors agree the termination should occur.
The Reproductive Health Care Reform Bill 2019 passed the NSW lower house 59-31 in August when Liberal MPs were allowed a conscience vote.
NSW upper house MPs were due to start considering changes to the bill this afternoon, after a weekend of demonstrations by supporters and opponents of the legislation.
More to come ...
- With AAP
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