Former Indigenous Australians minister Ken Wyatt has resigned from the Liberal Party over its decision to oppose the Voice to Parliament.
The party accepted Mr Wyatt’s resignation on Thursday, according to the West Australian.
“I still believe in the Liberal Party values but I don’t believe in what the Liberals have become,” Mr Wyatt told the publication.
“Aboriginal people are reaching out to be heard but the Liberals have rejected their invitation.”
Mr Wyatt, who was the first Aboriginal person to be elected to the federal House of Representatives, had long urged his Liberal colleagues to back the Voice model.
He is a member of the Indigenous working group set up to advise the Albanese government on its referendum strategy and stood alongside the Prime Minister as he announced the wording for the proposed change to the constitution.
Last week the former Liberal cabinet minister warned the party could be perceived as “racist” if it chose not to back the Voice to Parliament, as he called on Mr Dutton to at least give MPs a conscience vote.
After a lengthy meeting on Wednesday, the Liberal Party formally agreed to oppose the government’s Voice to Parliament proposal.
Peter Dutton confirmed the party will campaign against Labor’s constitutionally enshrined Voice and instead push for a series of legislated local and regional Voice bodies.
The position has left the Coalition divided, with Liberal MP Bridget Archer revealing earlier on Thursday that she would break party ranks and campaign for the ‘Yes’ vote.
The Tasmanian MP has crossed the floor to vote against the Coalition on numerous issues and admitted she considered leaving the party but decided to remain and reform the Liberals from within.
“I think we need to elevate this issue (the Voice) above divisive, nasty politics and walk together into the future with unity, with purpose, for a united Australia,” Ms Archer told ABC Radio National on Thursday.
“I stay because I know I’m not the only person who thinks that way. I stay because I think the Liberal Party is at a crossroads.
“And for people like me, that means there’s a decision between either walking away and leaving them to it, or fighting for what I believe the Liberal Party used to be and should be into the future – a credible alternative government.”
News Source: www.skynews.com.au