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Liberal reform proposal receives overwhelming support at party’s State Conference

The WA Liberals have taken the “first step towards reform” and smashing the grip of powerbrokers after a proposal to allow every member to have direct input into who represents them at elections received overwhelming support at the party’s State Conference on Saturday.

The introduction of plebiscite voting for preselections was backed by 92 per cent of delegates to the conference, allowing Liberal state president Richard Wilson to claim success in his nearly year-long quest to build consensus for the biggest overhaul of voting rules in the history of the party.

“If you looked at any electoral result and said that you got 92% support for it, you would view that as an absolute show of unity – and that’s what we’ve seen today,” Mr Wilson said.

Michaelia Cash. WA Liberal Party State Conference 2022 held at The Pan Pacific on July 30, 2022. Matt Jelonek
Camera IconMichaelia Cash. WA Liberal Party State Conference 2022 held at The Pan Pacific on July 30, 2022. Matt Jelonek Credit: Matt Jelonek/The West Australian

Senator Michaelia Cash -—the most senior of WA’s remaining MPs in Canberra — said the Liberals had heeded the warning sent by the electorate after crushing election defeats at State and Federal level.

“The WA people, they had sent us a very, very clear message: change the way you do business or else. We listened. We learned,” Ms Cash said.

“Today we stand before you as a united party with a clear message: we’ve reformed. We have reformed the way the Liberal Party of Western Australia does business.”

WA Liberal leader David Honey said the introduction of plebiscite voting was a “profound change” that provided the party with “a new foundation” to select high-quality candidates for future elections.

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