Further dispatches to keep the ball rolling until the glorious day when paged comments return:
Nicole Hasham of the Illawarra Mercury reports on possible successor to Liberal MP Joanna Gash in the southern NSW seat of Gilmore. The front-runner is said to be Shoalhaven deputy mayor Andrew Guile, a one-time staffer to Gash who is evidently not on good terms with his former employer. According to the report, the South Coast Register published a letter from Gash in August which criticised Guile for sharing a $1080 meal with other councillors at a Sydney restaurants at which various preselections were said to be discussed, including her own. Also named as a possible contender is Gash’s close Liberal associate Clive Brooks, who owns South Nowra business Great Southern Motorcycles.
The Daily Telegraph reports Craig Laundy, general manager of his father Arthur’s $500 million hotel empire, has Tony Abbott’s backing for preselection in the central western Sydney seat of Reid. According to the report, a senior Liberal source said Mr Laundy had been to see Mr Abbott, party president Arthur Sinodinos, state director Mark Neeham and moderate faction leader Michael Photios about his run for the seat. He may face opposition in the shape of Dai Le, ABC Radio National producer and two-time state candidate for Cabramatta.
Christian Kerr and Lauren Wilson of The Australian report that some in the Nationals camp hope the party might be able to poach the New South Wales seat of Hume from the Liberals if Alby Schultz retires as expected at the next election, by fielding Senator Fiona Nash as their candidate. One virtue of the plan is said to be that Nash is seen as a possible party leader, a more stable alternative to (Barnaby) Joyce.
Similarly, the WA Nationals are said to be hopeful of winning Durack if the current Liberal member Barry Haase does not contest the next election, as many predict.