Peter Dutton lashes out at NSW’s embattled Liberal wing as he proposes a retirement plan to overcome labor shortages

Peter Dutton has targeted the Liberal wing of NSW, labeling the 11th-hour pre-selections as “completely unacceptable” as he tries to recover from the party’s massive electoral defeat.

Federal opposition leader Peter Dutton has redoubled his criticism of the NSW Liberal Party branch after seeing a state board meeting Friday night.

At the meeting, Mr Dutton urged the party to recover from the mistakes of the last election, arguing that NSW was key for the Liberals to return to government.

The new opposition leader told reporters on Sunday that he had a “very clear” message for the state branch.

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“New South Wales is a crucial state for us, we need to win seats to win the next election,” he said at his Queensland seat, Dickson.

“We need to get our act together in NSW and that is also important for the re-election of the Perrottet administration.”

The state government was embroiled in controversy after it delayed confirming candidates for the May election until days before the campaign began.

Then Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his representative to the Secretary of State Alex Hawke were accused of delaying the pre-selection process to install their own handpicked candidates.

The move paid off, with the pair securing pre-selection of existing MPs – such as Mr Hawke – as they installed a raft of candidates in seats across the state.

While swearing not to intervene in the state party branch again, Mr Dutton spoke to the executive for his handling of the matter.

“I was very clear in my advice to the NSW division that it is completely unacceptable to pre-select candidates on the eve of an election,” he continued.

“I want those candidates to be preselected earlier so they can listen to their voters in the community.”

As a federal Liberal leader, Mr. Dutton is entitled to a representative in the state, but has not yet confirmed his choice.

The opposition leader also unveiled his first major policy proposal: he urged the Albanian government to lift the income threshold for retirees to help alleviate the lingering labor shortage.

Dutton said the “fastest way” to address the immediate need for workers in sectors across the country is to tap into older Australians who want to work more.

“This is about those who want to work and take an extra day or two to be able to work and not affect their pension,” he said.

Retirees can only earn about $300 a fortnight before their government benefits begin to taper.

Under the coalition’s plan, the threshold would be raised to $600, which Dutton says is equivalent to an extra day or two of work.

Treasury has cost the policy at about $112 million a year, according to the Liberal leader who said it would be reviewed every 12 months.

“I really think it’s a policy that the Albanian government should take up because the economy requires it now.”

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