IN a bid to strengthen the Nationals brand – and ward off challenges from minor parties in the bush – state conference delegates at Broken Hill have voted to drop the C-word.
The party will now encourage members, staffers and the media to refer to it not as a member of the Coalition, but the ‘Liberals-Nationals’ or ‘Nationals-Liberals’ government.
The motion from the Corowa branch brought on passionate chest-beating from the floor.
“The Nationals need to promote itself more as a political party in its own right,” said motion mover Nicki McMillan.
“Referring to the Coalition does nothing to promote the Nationals. In the recent federal budget, the Treasurer repeatedly referred to the Coalition, even when talking about funding for regional areas.”
“This is especially important with growing interest of other parties in the regions, such as the Shooter and Fishers and One Nation, which are targeting National-held seats.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Asked about the motion on Saturday, Premier Gladys Berejiklian said “II’m actually really relaxed about it. I actually like the term Libs and Nats (over the term Coalition).”
“We’re two different parties who come together with different ideas.”
This morning, delegates also supported a motion from Port Macquarie MP Leslie Williams to ban unvaccinated children from daycare centres and preschools.