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Treasurer slams lack of women in NSW Libs

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean says Liberal processes need to change to allow more women in parliament. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS) (AAP)

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has fired shots at the Liberals' "party processes", saying its record on gender diversity is poor.

His comments come after Roads Minister Natalie Ward failed to win a preselection contest in the northern Sydney seat of Davidson against former premier Mike Baird's ex-staffer Matt Cross earlier this week.

"I'm devastated about the results ... I thought that a smart, talented senior female minister would trump a former junior staffer every day of the week," Mr Kean told reporters on Wednesday.

The treasurer said he was in favour of gender quotas and had always been an advocate for a greater diversity of candidates.

However, he quickly resigned himself to saying "the party processes are the party processes".

It's another blow to the Liberal Party's attempt to increase the number of women in the lower house from seven of its 33 members ahead of the March election.

Mr Kean was critical of such governing structures, dubbing the Monday preselection result as "bitterly disappointing" and calling for change at the state level.

"The leadership now needs to change some of our processes," he said.

"What's clear is that the branch membership is not reflecting the community.

"If we can't rely on the branch members to support talented female candidates coming into the lower house, then the leadership of the party needs to take (matters) into their own hands."

His comments are in stark contrast to Premier Dominic Perrottet's attitude, which was more diplomatic.

"As they say in the Old El Paso ads, porque no los dos? Why not both?" the premier told reporters on Tuesday.

"That's exactly what we have."

Ms Ward, an upper house MP and one of three Liberal women in cabinet, signalled her intention to represent the safe seat of Davidson after lower house Speaker Jonathan O'Dea announced in September he would step down at the election.

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