Moira Deeming Banished to the Liberal Wasteland

17 May 2023

3.8 MINS

Let’s pray she finds an oasis in the desert.

On Friday 12 May, the Victorian Liberal Party voted 19 to 11 to expel Moira Deeming from its party room.

But according to Sky News reporter Peta Credlin, Moira Deeming

“is just the sort of person the Liberal Party needs in Parliament. But in a sustained act of political stupidity and self-harm, she’s exactly the person the current state Liberal leadership wants to get rid of, all because she supports the rights of women and girls to their own safe spaces.”


Renee Heath was also demoted from her position as secretary of the parliamentary Liberals. The demotion came after colleagues expressed a lack of confidence in Heath’s ability to perform the role.

The plight of Renee Heath is closely related to Moira Deeming. Heath recorded the minutes at the March meeting held to debate Deeming’s initial expulsion motion. After that meeting, it was alleged that the minutes were leaked to Sky News’ Peta Credlin. But reporter Bryant Hevesi records Credlin denying this, saying,

“Today in the room, as multiple MPs have recounted to me, (Renee) Heath was verbally attacked by John Pesutto – she labels it bullying – and accused of leaking the Deeming meeting minutes to me.”

“I can say to you right now, Renee Heath did not give me any information about the minutes – the allegation today from Pesutto is completely false.”


The content of the minutes is no small matter. According to Deeming, it was agreed upon in that meeting that Pesutto would issue a joint statement absolving her from being a “Nazi sympathiser”. Deeming accepted the nine-month suspension in exchange.

But this statement never eventuated, and so Deeming has never been cleared from the smear. As a result, Deeming has asked her lawyer to prepare a challenge.

Credlin states,

“It was over those minutes, and the pressure to change them, at a recent meeting that Heath has publicly claimed she was bullied by Pesutto.”

“Here’s the kicker. Her original minutes were substituted in the meeting with new minutes from John Pesutto.”

According to Credlin, then, the Victorian Liberal Party leader deliberately doctored “the official record of the meeting” in order to cover his own back. In her words, a failed “test of character and honesty.”

When two former Liberal leaders were asked to weigh in on the issue, the responses were poles apart.

Tony Abbott stated that the plight of the Liberal Party has become “much, much worse”:

“As a father of three daughters, I’m utterly dismayed that a mainstream political party would sack a member of Parliament for defending women’s rights.”

“To the extent that the Liberal Party has a women’s problem, it must have gotten much, much worse by the expulsion of this brave and smart woman from its own ranks.”


In contrast, Jeff Kennett, former premier of Victoria, spoke in defence of Pesutto.

Kennett stated that Deeming was not a team player and had brought discredit to the Liberal Party. He said,

“If you want to join a team you do that voluntarily. Once a member of a team you’ve got to work together as a member of that team.”

“And if you don’t like what the team is doing, you either get out… or you run the risk of being thrown out, if in fact you continue to bring discredit on the team.”

“So what has happened to Ms Deeming, I’m sorry, but it’s a fact of life; if you join a team and then start kicking goals for the opposition, then either you decide to leave or the team has got to take action.”


There’s no doubt discredit has been brought upon the Party.

But of course, the issue is simply this: Who is bringing discredit to the Liberal Party? And who is failing to be a team player?

Deeming, who refused to speak badly of Pesutto in an interview with Credlin and preferred to speak directly to Pesutto rather than behind his back (e.g. Matt 5:24)?

Deeming, who is standing up for sex-based rights which until five minutes ago, it would have been unthinkable to question?

Or Pesutto, who embarrassingly relied on a false Wikipedia page as a basis to initially accuse Deeming?

Pesutto, who said he would write a statement to exonerate Deeming but failed to keep his word and commitment?

And Pesutto, who has allegedly changed the minutes of the meeting to cover his backside?

It could now well be that a court will be asked to decide the matter.

As for Moira, she has again stated she isn’t going anywhere:

“I believe in the Liberal Party values. I do think that we are the party that has the best political philosophy to help run a fair and balanced society.”

“So I’ve got no intentions of abandoning the party. And this decision was made by less than 20 people from Spring Street and I don’t believe that it reflects the will of the membership.”

“And so I’m just going to carry on and do my very best to be the best MP that I can be for all the people who wanted me to come here.”

However it plays out from here, some things are certain. Australia desperately needs a revived Church, and out of that, Christians with convictions of steel and hearts of compassion to go into every sphere of society and be a shining light (Matt 5:13–14). Otherwise, the moral decay will continue.

And Christians must support politicians that are doing just that, such as Moira Deeming.

And whilst Deeming is in a Liberal Party wasteland, we can have the following prayer. In a desert, the place to find water is often in a valley or canyon. So, may Moira find ‘deep water’ in the Lord and go from strength to strength in this political desert.


Photo: Screenshot of Sky News.

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  1. Warwick Marsh 17 May 2023 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Great article Samuel!!!!

    • Samuel Hartwich 17 May 2023 at 12:23 pm - Reply

      Thanks Warwick!

  2. Jim Twelves 17 May 2023 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Sam, brilliant! Thank you so much for this forensic analysis of a very deep tragedy. I am most dismayed at the blindness and ignorance of Jeff Kennett. I though he was one of our statesmen, but no, he believes that conscience must be subordinate to ‘the party’.

    • Samuel Hartwich 18 May 2023 at 8:33 am - Reply

      Thanks Jim! I guess we all have feet of clay, and some ‘walk’ in that more than others.

  3. Kym 17 May 2023 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Well summarised! This is a very important fundamental issue.

  4. H Harrison 18 May 2023 at 12:28 pm - Reply

    I too could not believe Jeff Kennett! Still processing that one. It had nothing to do with “team player”. Each person voting against Moira should each be asked “should men be allowed in female toilets and dressing rooms?” Also ask that of Jeff. Lying, bullying and cover-up are some of the crimes here.

    • Kaylene Emery 18 May 2023 at 9:25 pm - Reply

      I agree with your comment and also with your tone. There comes a time when we as Christian’s must call it out .Best not to imbibe the cool aid of the church of nice.

  5. Stephen Lewin 18 May 2023 at 10:16 pm - Reply

    another issue that demands strong prayer and support .We pray for Moira and will act in areas we can to see evil people voted out .

  6. Marina 20 May 2023 at 9:41 pm - Reply

    Completely agree. She is exactly who we need in parliament & in communities fighting for the rights of women.

    • Jim Twelves 7 June 2023 at 6:48 pm - Reply

      Who would have thought that here we would be fighting for the rights of ‘women’. I though that was settled decades back but the progressives seem o have short memories and we need to start over.

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