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CLP leader Lia Finocchiaro hits back at rank-and-file over no-confidence motion

No-confidence motions in Lia Finocchiaro's leadership of the CLP have been circulating among the party's rank-and-file. (ABC News: Callum McLaughlin)

The Northern Territory opposition leader has hit out at critics within her own party after a petition surfaced of a rank-and-file vote of no confidence in her leadership.

Members of the Country Liberal Party's (CLP) Litchfield branch have circulated the motion calling for Lia Finocchiaro to step down as the party's leader in the NT Parliament.

The latest development highlights a growing rift between members of the CLP's organisational wing — which earlier this year backed the 'No' campaign of the upcoming Voice to Parliament — and the parliamentary team, which under Ms Finocchiaro's leadership is seeking to present a more neutral stance.

When asked about the petition on Tuesday, Ms Finocchiaro said she wasn't fazed by the motions about her leadership.

"I'm not going to be distracted by people who want to sit around talking about themselves," she said.

"My job is to hold this bad government to account, to lead a strong parliamentary team to the next election, and show Territorians why we're the team to lead the territory out of the financial, fiscal and crime mess that Labor have created."

A no-confidence motion claims there's a perception Ms Finocchiaro isn't backing Peter Dutton and Jacinta Nampijinmpa Price. (ABC News: Chris Fitzpatrick)

The motion lays out four points on why the opposition leader should be removed.

It includes a perception Ms Finocchiaro is "not throwing any support" behind federal Liberal leader Peter Dutton, CLP federal senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, and the CLP's president.

It said Ms Finocchiaro was seen to be absent during the Alice Springs crisis at the start of this year.

"When asked, how she was out of step with her party on the Voice to Parliament. She responded that we do things differently in the (NT)," the motion added.

If successful, the motion would be brought before the CLP's next Central Council meeting, where members of the rank-and-file and parliamentary teams meet several times a year.

In parliament on Wednesday, Deputy Chief Minister Nicole Manison claimed members of the CLP’s Alice Springs branch were also circulating a no-confidence motion.

Ms Manison then tabled the motion of no confidence.

Voice causes division within Country Liberals

The leaking of the no-confidence motion comes amid a widening difference of opinion over the Voice to Parliament, particularly between Senator Price and the parliamentary wing of the party.

At a meeting of Central Council in February, motions backing Senator Price's strident position opposing the Voice to Parliament were passed by the rank-and-file, making a 'No' vote at the upcoming referendum the party's official position.

That decision resulted in the CLP's then-president, Lawson Broad, resigning in a dramatic statement.

"My personal view is that these positions are offensive to a large number of Aboriginal people in the Northern Territory and the population more generally," Mr Broad said.

Former CLP president Lawson Broad quit after the party's organisational wing adopted a 'No' position against the Voice to Parliament. (ABC News: Pete Garnish)

But Ms Finocchiaro has repeatedly refused to be drawn on whether she will back one side over the other in the upcoming referendum.

At a press conference earlier this year, she said she supported the Voice 'in principle' but called on federal leaders — including the prime minister — to travel to the territory and better explain its benefits.

The split within the CLP has given the territory's Labor government ammunition, which has backed the Voice.

Chief Minister Natasha Fyles has previously attacked Ms Finocchiaro for lacking standing within her party and of working to undermine the success of the upcoming referendum.

The government was meanwhile accused of trying to wedge the CLP on the Voice, months out from any potential referendum, with a symbolic motion in parliament letting politicians to declare their stance.

The CLP abstained from the vote.

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