NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet is set to become the 46th Premier of New South Wales. 

Perrottet won the party room ballot for NSW Liberal leadership on Tuesday, defeating Planning Minister Rob Stokes by 39 votes to 5.

The Epping MP, a devout Catholic,  comes from the conservative faction of the Liberal Party and has a history of anti-LGBTQI+ positions.

Controversial Views

Perrottet was opposed to gay marriages, and has said he was against the use of gender-neutral pronouns. He had opposed decriminalisation of abortion and warned supporters of abortion that they are on the “wrong side of history”. He has in the past also opposed laws that would force Catholic priests to inform the police if a priest confesses to child sexual abuse. 

Over the last week, after Perrottet emerged as the front runner for the post, his critics shared his 2016 Facebook post following Donald Trump’s election as US President. He said it was “a victory for people who have been taken for granted by the elites in the political establishment”.

“If you question man-made climate change, you are not a sceptic,” he wrote.

“If you support stronger borders, you are not a racist.”

“If you want a plebiscite on same-sex marriage, you are not a homophobe.”

Against Gay Marriages And Gender Neutral Pronouns

That 2016 post has not been the only time that he has propounded controversial views.

During the Australian Marriage Law Postal Survey, Perrottet was a firm no, stating, “I agree with John Howard on this, yes there should be a plebiscite and, no, I don’t think the definition of marriage should change.” 

“Marriage is about every child’s fundamental right to grow up with their own mum and dad,” he had said.

When asked, on Sky News, if NSW Treasury officials had been encouraging staff not to use gender-specific words such as wife or husband, and instead use the non-gender specific, partner, Perrottet denied it. 

Misunderstanding the issue, Perrottet responded, “obviously I believe that people should be able to call their spouse whatever they like; wife, husband, boyfriend, girlfriend, honey, babe, whatever. As long as we’re focused where it should be and I’ll be making sure that people in treasury are free to call their spouse whatever they like.” 

When Victoria passed a law in 2019 requiring priests and religious leaders to report child abuse, much in the same way that it already requires teachers, healthcare workers, police, and counsellors, Perrottet voiced opposition.  

“We need to be clear about what this kind of law does,” Perrottet stated, “it compels under threat of imprisonment, ministers of religion to violate their conscience, in a way that is so grave that will result in their summary expulsion from the church. That isn’t just a matter of preference. It’s a matter of deep theological conviction that the confessional seal is sacrosanct, for every priest in every penitent, no matter who and no matter what sins are confessed.”

Many In The LGBTQI+ Community Have Strong And Genuine Concerns

Jack Whitney, Co-Convenor of the Gay and Lesbian Rights Lobby responded to news of a Perrottet Premiership, saying, “Many in the LGBTIQ community have strong, and genuine, concerns about Perrottet’s ability to govern for all of NSW. Many have seen his social media posts supporting Donald Trump and his track record on social issues as a sign of things to come.” 

Despite Perrottet’s positions on social issues, Whitney hopes that he will lead with, an open mind and heart. Many of the Bills before parliament have real implications for the community. Our priorities are to update the anti-discrimination act, banning conversion therapy, stopping the One Nation Education Bill and protecting all groups from discrimination. We invite Perrottet to work with us to protecting all of us, and implementing meaningful reform.”

Echoing Whitney, Sel Cooper, Executive Director of A Gender Agenda, said, “Intersex, trans and gender diverse people have suffered prejudice and discrimination from conservative religious groups in the past including forced ‘conversion therapy’ and exclusion from education institutions and access to gender-affirming healthcare. In 2021 our community has a right to expect that the Premier of NSW, or the leader of any other state or territorywill govern based on human rights, not personal religious views.”

‘Far-Right Idealogue’

Greens Senator for NSW, Mehreen Faruqi, sounded a warning Monday afternoon, tweeting, “Perrottet’s fawning words for Trump came even when the world knew of ‘grab em by the pussy’, and after a campaign in which Trump had labelled Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and supported banning Muslim immigration. Perrottet is a far-right ideologue and should be treated as such.”

The leadership vacancy was created after Premier Gladys Berejiklian resigned last Friday after it became known that she was being investigated by ICAC.

Perrottet has been Treasurer since 2017 and at 39, would be the youngest premier in NSW history. 

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