Media Release

29 March 2021

The Labor Leader in the Legislative Council, Adam Searle has described an underhanded attempt by the Berejiklian Government to steal the election of a new Legislative Council president as “straight out of the Donald Trump playbook.”

Natasha Maclaren-Jones MLC, Gladys Berejiklian’s hand-picked candidate, last week lost two successive attempts to win the position with a majority of the House voting against her.

“Ms Berejiklian is attempting to defy the wishes of the Parliament by falsely claiming Ms McLaren-Jones has won the support of the House. The results of last week’s ballots show she most has not received majority support in the Upper House” — Adam Searle, Labor Leader in the Legislative Council

“Gladys Berejiklian seems to believe she can get away with anything including installing her own candidate in direct defiance of the House,” Mr Searle said.

Mr Searle said he had urged the Clerk to seek independent legal advice on the situation.

“We profoundly disagree with the position of the Government,” Mr Searle said.

“Before the ballots last week both the Opposition and the Government took advice from the Clerk about how the election rules work.

“The Clerk has conducted the ballots in accordance with that advice.”

Mr Searle added: “Having failed to get the numbers for their candidate, this is just a shameful and appalling attempt by the Government to steal the election.

“This Government has never played by the rules, it has no standards of probity or propriety and now it thinks it can ride roughshod over the democratic process,” he said.