15/12/2020 - 15:00

Liberal branch president calls on Collier to resign

15/12/2020 - 15:00

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Liberal branch president calls on Collier to resign

The new president of the Liberal Party's Mt Lawley branch has called on powerbroker Peter Collier to resign, blaming the long-serving Upper House member and fellow powerbrokers Nick Goiran and Mathias Cormann for the party's "demise".

Michael Macaulay sent his demand to Mr Collier via email and then sent a copy to opposition leader Zak Kirkup and deputy Libby Mettam, former leader Liza Harvey, Cottesloe MLA David Honey, Mr Goiran, party president Fay Duda and state director Sam Calabrese. He said he was fed up with the "pathetic" state of the Liberals in WA.

"The WA Liberal Party used to have 25,000 members - I believe it is now down to 6,000 and that clearly tells the story," he said in the email.

"It is beyond doubt that the three powerbrokers in the party are clearly responsible for the current demise of the party and need to be held accountable.

"As voiced by many others in the party, and my sentiments as well, I am calling you out - it is time for you to go - retire gracefully! I am asking either for your resignation or for you not to contest the upcoming election - I can't be more specific than that."

Mr Macaulay's demand comes just weeks after Mr Collier came in for criticism from both former leader Mike Nahan and outgoing shadow treasurer Dean Nalder.

Dr Nahan called on Mr Collier and fellow veteran Bill Marmion to retire so the party could regenerate, also claiming powerbrokers continued to hold too much sway within the party. In response, Mr Collier denied the scale of his influence, saying he was "living the dream" and did not need power.

Mr Nalder then said the powerbroker situation was an interesting one for the party. 

"They've been controlling things for some time now ... one might say he's been living the dream," he said.

"I don't think it's been great for the Liberal Party and it's certainly a challenge to the way we function."

Mr Macaulay, who said he first joined the party in the 1960s and had run for state parliament with the Liberals in 1986, said he had nothing personal against Mr Collier because he had never met him.

But he said the powerbrokers spent their days "engineering" branches and votes so that people they controlled would be elected.

"Well, time is up for the powerbrokers. They have to go," he said.

"The best chance for reformation of the party is the removal of all the powerbrokers who should solely concentrate on being a Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party and just stick to the job they were elected to do."

Mr Macaulay said Ms Harvey's time as leader had been more disastrous for the Liberals than the 1980s and had caused him to rejoin the party after a hiatus of more than 30 years. He said he backed the new leadership team.

Mr Collier declined to comment when contacted by Business News

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