NSW Opposition Leader Mark Speakman said if Nationals MP Ben Franklin were to nominate himself for the role of upper house president, it would be an “act of treachery” against voters.
The NSW National Party is in disarray after Premier Chris Minns backed Mr Franklin for the plum $315,814 job. Mr Franklin’s appointment would also remove his voting powers in the Legislative Council, reducing the Coalition’s ability to pass legislation.
Ben Franklin has been backed by Chris Minns to nominate himself to be upper house president. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Gaye Gerard
Speaking to Ben Fordham on 2GB on Friday, Mr Speakman said it was it was a “sleazy deal” that would betray Liberal and National voters. However, he was pushed to admit Mr Franklin was “technically” allowed to nominate himself for the job.
“It would be an act of treachery for any person who’s been elected seven weeks ago by Liberal and National voters to turn their back on those voters and instead do a sleazy deal with Labor,” said Mr Speakman.
“This is what people hate about politics.
“The greatest sanction for someone like that is not being chucked out of the party or being referred to ICAC, it’s having to live with their conscience for the rest of their lives.”
Opposition Leader Mark Speakman said it was a ‘sleazy deal’ that would betray Coalition voters. Picture: NCA NewsWire/ Gaye Gerard
While Mr Franklin would need to be voted in by the upper house to secure the position, he has been asked by Nationals Leader Paul Toole and the party’s senior leadership to not nominate himself.
The Daily Telegraph also reports Nationals chairman Andrew Fraser has planned to refer the matter to the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
He said the party had moved “a very strong motion” to ensure no member of the Nationals or Liberal Party took on the role of president or vice-president in the upper house.
“Every person on the floor of the parliament is going to be critical to hold the government to account,” Mr Toole said.
“The community is doing it tough right now and they want to know that the opposition is focusing on them and supporting them with everyday things like cost of living.”