Signs that Gladys will amend bill on abortion
WITH two of her own MPs threatening to sit on the crossbench over the bungled abortion bill, Premier Gladys Berejiklian yesterday reassured her warring party that she was “listening” to their concerns.
In a sign the Premier is preparing to amend the bill, Ms Berejiklian acknowledged to members gathered at the NSW Liberal Party State Council that the issue had not been “easy” but declared she was taking on board the views of MPs and delegates.
“I just want to assure any delegate here, every member of the party here, that I am listening.
“I’ve heard what my colleagues have said and what my party members have said and I appreciate your patience dealing with this process,” she said.
Ms Berejiklian, who has already flagged adopting a “gender selection” amendment, also stressed that babies born alive would continue to be supported.
“It’s currently a crime to not support a child that is born alive and it will remain a crime,” she said.
Her comments, which occurred during a closed ministerial question and answer session, followed a noisy anti-abortion protest outside the International Convention Centre venue.
Liberal MPs Kevin Connolly and Tanya Davies, who have indicated they would move to the crossbench should the bill not be significantly amended, both expressed their anger at the party over how the bill — introduced by independent Alex Greenwich — had been handled.
Mr Connolly said he had been”ambushed” by his own party.
“I’ve been a member of the Liberal Party for 28 years. But I’ve been placed in a position for the last six weeks where I can no longer guarantee that,” he said.
In a significant win for the Premier, a bid by Ms Davies and the conservatives to have an urgency motion condemning the process debated was defeated 217 to 236.