Karen Andrews sprays Coalition Voice strategy as she resigns from frontbench

“We need to build on the recommendations of Jane Hume and Brian Loughnane’s [post-election] review, we need to implement that.” Recruiting more women into politics was a key recommendation of the review.


Andrews also said Dutton had been elected unopposed by the Liberal party room as leader, and she was “very firmly of the view that he will be the person who takes the Coalition to the next election”.

Her comments follow an intervention last weekend from Liberal frontbencher Dan Tehan, in which the shadow immigration minister called for an urgent policy review by the opposition.

Dutton’s frontbench changes included promoting Indigenous Northern Territory Country Liberal senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price straight into shadow cabinet – a bigger promotion than had been expected – to take the Indigenous Australians portfolio and strengthen Dutton’s campaign against the Voice to parliament.

Victorian Liberal senator James Paterson has moved into shadow cabinet in the home affairs portfolio, replacing Andrews, while Western Australian senator Michaelia Cash adds shadow attorney-general to her portfolios of employment and workplace relations.

South Australian Liberal senator Kerrynne Liddle, who is also Indigenous, moved into the outer ministry as opposition spokeswoman for child protection and prevention of family violence.

Dutton praised Price – who sits in the Nationals’ party room – as a “warrior for Indigenous Australians” who would play a key role in prosecuting the Coalition’s opposition to the Voice.

“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,” Dutton said.

Price’s promotion angered some in the Liberal Party because it increased the Nationals’ shadow cabinet posts from six to seven, which is proportionally more than the junior Coalition partner is entitled to, while NSW lost a spot in the shadow cabinet.


“Our problem is the need to win Sydney and Melbourne seats and we haven’t tried to fix that. He’s gone more regional, more to the Right, more to the Nationals and more to the No case,” said one Liberal MP who asked not to be named, so they could freely discuss the reshuffle.

“I don’t think he is listening to his party room. I don’t think anyone thinks the balance is right. Are we really going to fight the next election on Aboriginal affairs? Because we will lose.”

But Dutton said it would have been “silly” not to give Price the Indigenous Australians portfolio out of concern her promotion would hand the Nationals an extra seat in shadow cabinet and trigger disquiet in the Liberal Party.

“I think it would have been silly of me to overlook her obvious talent just because of a quota,” he told Sky News.

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