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Bass Independent MP Lara Alexander says that the Liberal Party would be better served examining its own culture problems, instead of behaving like the abusive partner in a failed relationship.

Mrs Alexander spoke out after the party, led by Premier Rockliff, launched a concerted campaign to demand that she accept Rockliff’s ultimatum that she serve only the Liberal Party in the parliament, because she was initially elected as a Liberal in 2022.

Federal Liberal senator Jonno Duniam and Deputy Premier Michael Ferguson joined the Premier in insisting that Mrs Alexander should accept being muzzled because she owed her loyalty to the Liberal Party.

“I left the Liberal Party eight months ago,” Mrs Alexander said.

“Nobody moves to the cross bench to enhance their re-election chances. I didn’t leave the Liberal Party because I found the cross bench more attractive, I left because the Liberal Party was an abusive partner.

“Now, just like that abusive partner, the Liberal Party still believes that if it insists enough, and gets enough of its mates to join in, I’ll give in and meekly sit in the corner like the submissive female, waiting for permission to speak.”

Mrs Alexander said that while she was not prepared to label the prevailing culture within the Liberal Party, she said it was telling that four female Liberal MPs had resigned in less than two years.

“I was elected after Sarah Courtney resigned. Since then, I have moved to the cross bench and Jacquie Petrusma and Elise Archer have joined Sarah in leaving the parliament. There is something amiss when a modern parliamentary party has 11 lower house MPs, but only one of them (ex-Labor/turned Independent/turned Liberal Madeleine Ogilvie) is a woman,” she said.

“I’m a first term MP, but Sarah, Jacquie and Elise were experienced MPs with vast ministerial experience. Their departure is an indictment on the culture within the Liberal Party, however you cut it.

“I’d also suggest that a Liberal Party with Maddie Ogilvie in its ranks is in no position to lecture anybody about party loyalty.”

Mrs Alexander said the proof that the pressure being applied to her to submit to Liberal Party rule was part of an orchestrated campaign designed to provide the Premier with a flimsy excuse to call an election, was provided by none other than Liberal Party state director Peter Coulson himself.

Just a few days before Premier Rockliff launched his campaign demanding Mrs Alexander and her Independent colleague John Tucker (Lyons) remember their original commitment to the Liberal Party, the Mercury reported that Mr Coulson had confirmed that the door had been slammed shut on any return to the Liberal fold for the pair.

“… state director Peter Coulson confirming the MPs (Alexander and Tucker) had not sought pre-selection and would definitely not be considered should they apply,” the Mercury reported.

“The Premier’s belief that I should submit to his rule is real, but his fake outrage has been called out by his own party director,” Mrs Alexander said.

Tuesday February 13th, 2024

Tags: News