A lot of news at the moment concerning matters pertinent to this blog, with Christian Porter announcing yesterday he will not contest the election, Greg Hunt universally expected to follow suit with today’s last parliamentary sitting day of the year, and voter identification legislation scuttled after a deal between government and opposition.
• Annabel Hennessy of The West Australian reports a nominee has already come forward for Liberal preselection in Christian Porter’s loseable northern Perth seat of Pearce: Miquela Riley, a former naval officer and current PwC Australia manager who performed a thankless task as the party’s candidate for Fremantle at the March state election. Other potential nominees identified are Libby Lyons, former director of the Australian Government’s Workplace Gender Equality Agency, and Alyssa Hayden, who held the state seat of Darling Range from 2018 until her defeat in March and was earlier in the Legislative Council from 2009 to 2017.
• The most widely named successor to Greg Hunt as Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Flinders is Zoe McKenzie, an NBN Co director and former chief-of-staff to Abbott-Turnbull government Trade Minister Andrew Robb. The Age reports other potential starters are Mark Brudenell, chief-of-staff at Latitude Financial and former adviser to Malcolm Turnbull as both Communications Minister and Prime Minister, and Simon Breheny, former Institute of Public Affairs policy director.
• A deal between government and opposition has resulted in the abandonment of plans to introduce voter identification at the coming election. In exchange, Labor has agreed to support a bill that will halve the expenditure threshold at which third parties will have to file disclosure returns, over the objections of critics who argue the associated red tape will discourage charities from political campaigning. It appeared unlikely the voter identification bill would have gained the required votes in the Senate, with Jacqui Lambie having announced yesterday she would vote against it.
• Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats are pursuing a High Court action against recently enacted legislation that will prevent parties other than the main ones having words like Liberal and Labor in their name. Absent a favourable outcome, this will presumably result in formal challenges against the Liberal Democrats and the New Liberals, the latter of whom have withdrawn their application to change their name simply to TNL.