PORT Macquarie MP Leslie Williams Resigns from The National Party

Mrs Williams, is moving towards joining the Liberal Party and has already made an application for it.

Mrs Williams said her decision was guided by the words she first spoke when she was sworn into NSW Parliament in 2011- that she “will continue to work hard, fighting for the best possible outcomes for the people in my electorate, who have given me the honour and the privilege to serve each and every one of them as the Member for Port Macquarie”.

Mr Barilaro said changes to the Koala Habitat Protection State Environmental Planning Policy were “wrong” and hurt landowners and farmers.

The Nationals leader said his MPs would abstain from voting on coalition bills and would be “effectively on the cross bench” as they fought changes to the protection plan.

Mrs Williams did not support this move. She described Mr Barilaro’s behaviour as “politically reckless and unreasonable”.

The defection provoked an ultimatum from Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who told Mr Barilaro and his Nationals colleagues to declare support for her government by 9am Friday or be sacked from cabinet.

At a crisis meeting on Friday morning (September 18), Mr Barilaro backed away from the threats. He is now on extended leave.

His deputy Paul Toole has been installed Acting Deputy Premier and state party leader.

 

The news story was first published on portnews.com.au read here