As best as I can tell, we have a lean weak ahead for opinion polling (at federal level, at least), as media outlets hold their fire ahead of the resumption of parliament next week. In lieu of that then, here’s a fresh new post-about-nothing – except perhaps for the following preselection news of the past 24 hours:
• The WA Liberals’ state council has overturned the result of last weekend’s local preselection vote in the new seat of Burt, at which Liz Storer, a Gosnells councillor linked to a rising religious conservative faction centred around state upper house MP Nick Goiran, defeated Matt O’Sullivan, who runs mining magnate Andrew Forrest’s GenerationOne indigenous employment scheme. Gareth Parker of The West Australian reports that state council will now determine the matter for itself, on the basis that the 25 branch delegates that determined the vote were insufficient in number. State council otherwise confirmed last week’s locally selected candidates, including Ben Morton who has deposed Dennis Jensen in Tangney. Also decided was a fiercely contested preselection for the state seat of Bateman, in which members of neighbouring seats sought the safer of two berths as set by the redistribution. This resulted in a victory for Dean Nalder, Transport Minister and member for abolished Alfred Cove, over the existing member for Bateman, Matt Taylor. Like the decision in Burt, this represented a defeat for the Goiran faction.
• The Toowoomba-based seat of Groom will be contested for the Liberal National Party by state MP John McVeigh, who won a preselection vote yesterday ahead of David van Gend, a local general practitioner noted for socially conservative views. This will necessitate a by-election in McVeigh’s state seat of Toowoomba South, which McVeigh held on a margin of 8.9%.
• Another important Liberal National Party preselection will be held today in Wide Bay, the seat of retiring former Nationals leader Warren Truss. The candidates are Damien Massingham, chief executive of Tourism Noosa; Tim Langmead, director of external relations at Fortescue Metals; and Llew O’Brien, a police officer. Steven Scott of the Courier-Mail reports Massingham is supported mostly by Liberals, and in particular by Attorney-General George Brandis; Langmead’s backers include Matthias Cormann, along with Fortescue Metals boss Andrew Forrest; and O’Brien is (ahem) supported by Truss.