Preselection latest: NSW edition

The Liberals labour to get candidates in place in key seats of New South Wales, while a complex Labor preselection battle brews in Parramatta.

I’ve been a bit lax in keeping up on federal preselection developments of late, which have naturally been gathering pace as the big event gets closer. To keep things manageable, I will focus in this post on developments in New South Wales, which is where most of the action has been.

Things have been particularly lively in the Liberal camp, where Scott Morrison finds himself in the thick of factional warfare between his centre right faction and its principal numbers man, Mitchell MP Alex Hawke, and an alliance of the moderate and the hard right factions. As Mike Steketee at the Saturday Paper relates, the latter have accused the former of obstructing the process so as to avoid rank-and-file ballots that may not go their way, potentially endangering Hawke himself. Steketee reports expectations that the end game will be a deal that leaves all sitting members undisturbed, with ballots to proceed in a number of important seats where it may have been prudent to have had candidates in place quite a bit sooner.

Jim O’Rourke of the Daily Telegraph reports the failure of Scott Morrison’s seemingly desperate attempt to recruit Gladys Berejiklian in Warringah leaves Jane Buncle, a “high-flying junior barrister who believes in climate change”, as the favourite to run against independent Zali Steggall. However, James Massola of the Sydney Morning Herald reported party polling tested the prospects of Berejiklian, Buncle, former Premier Mike Baird and management consultant Alex Dore (who according to the Telegraph is still considering running), and found only Berejiklian would win the seat.

• In a particularly helpful account of the broader state of play, Linda Silmalis of the Daily Telegraph reports three candidates have nominated in Parramatta, which the party is hopeful of knocking over with the retirement after 17 years of Labor member Julie Owens. These are Maria Kovacic, co-founder of Western Sydney Women; Felicity Findlay, acquisitions manager for property investment firm Merc Capital; and Charles Camenzuli, engineer and unsuccessful candidate for the seat in 2010 and 2019. Silmaris notes the party has extended nominations in the hope that a stronger candidate might come forward. Former Parramatta councillor Martin Zaiter is “being wooed”; efforts to interest Geoff Lee, who holds the state seat of Parramatta, have come to nothing.

• One of the preselection challenges Alex Hawke is keen to head off is that against Environment Minister Sussan Ley in Farrer, where she is threatened by Christian Ellis, a public relations specialist who has made a name locally campaigning for water rights. Linda Silmaris’s report says “Mr Ellis’s supporters believe their candidate has the numbers, triggering panic among those backing Ms Ley”.

• Hawkesbury councillor Sarah Richards has been preselected to run against Labor member Susan Templeman in Macquarie, where she fell short by 371 votes on her first attempt in 2019.

On the other side of the aisle:

Sarah Martin of The Guardian offers a revealing account of the complex state of play in Labor’s preselection for Parramatta. Local branches are dominated by the soft left faction associated with Laurie Ferguson, which duly favours a rank-and-file ballot. However, the faction is split between supporters Julia Finn, member for the state seat of Granville, and Durga Owen, criminal lawyer and Western Sydney University lecturer, neither of whom are “seen as acceptable to the federal executive”. This would appear to include Anthony Albanese, who may be about to sanction a push for the executive to take matters into its own hands due to familiar concerns about branch stacking. Albanese’s own branch of the Left favours Abha Devasia, legal director of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union. However, the Right seemingly wants in as well, demanding compensation for the selection of the unaligned Daniel Repacholi to replace Joel Fitzgibbon in Hunter.

• Also noted in Sarah Martin’s article is that a rank-and-file ballot to choose Sharon Bird’s successor in Cunningham is expected to be won by Alison Byrnes, a staffer to Bird and the wife of state MP Paul Scully.

• Labor’s candidate for Lindsay, which Melissa McIntosh won for the Liberals from Labor in 2019, will be Trevor Ross, a firefighter of 36 years.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,404 comments on “Preselection latest: NSW edition”

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  1. Monica smit the face of reignite democracy which is a front for Clive palmer and the fiberals is saying shit like this. It needs to be frickin called out.

    As vanbadam has eloquently put in some of her musings. the sheep are one thing, but the shepherds are dangerous.

    Enough already.

    TW-suicide⚠️RDA are dangerous. In this video, Monica Smit glorifies a woman’s attempted suicide by calling her “heroic”. Last week, RDA reported that this woman set herself on fire bc of vax mandates. @Apple when will u follow Google’s lead & remove RDA’s app from the App Store?

  2. Michael Pascoe
    The Morrison Government has settled upon its corruption defence: boast about it.
    Morrison is explicitly appealing to our worst selves. Shit ethics.

  3. In terms of the recovery of the economy to pre Covid levels?

    Where was the Cash Rate pre Covid?

    And why?

    Simply the Cash Rate was at the historical low

    So accomodating settings in an attempt to give impetus to a seriously underperforming economy

    In a regulated banking sector, when I entered the work force in 1965, the borrowing rate for business was a regulated 3.25% – and there it stayed for year upon year

    That puts the current settings into focus


    And since the GFC, where recovery was snuffed out by Abbott’s “horror budget”

  4. Amazon’s charitable program is paying tens of thousands of dollars to anti-vaccine groups in a move experts say is “shocking” as millions of Americans remain unvaccinated in the face of another Covid-19 wave.

    AmazonSmile reportedly donated more than $40,000 to leading sources of vaccine misinformation in 2020, according to separate analyses by Popular Information and the Washington Post.

    “That’s really shocking,” said Peter Hotez, dean for the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “That’s incredible that Amazon is supporting those groups.”

    The charity program of the e-commerce giant donates 0.5% from purchases to designated nonprofits – including at least a dozen organizations working against widespread vaccination in the US.

    Last year, Amazon donated more than $60m to nonprofits. The portion of anti-vaccine funding is small compared to the full amount, but it may be significant to the fundraising efforts of groups with relatively small budgets.

  5. NSW 1,742 cases off 143,000 tests.

    Daughter 2 in ISO waiting test result after boss reported positive.

    None of this seems to have prompted the missing 10%-15% of the 12s-15s to get vaccinated.

  6. 1622 cases from 80,000 tests in Victoria.

    Meanwhile the herald sun is railing against the state govt for continuing mask mandates in shopping centres.

    Its exhausting.

  7. Shellbell

    Fingers crossed that daughter does not get it.

    Although if vaxxed, symptoms should be mild as happened to daughter of my good friend.

  8. Victoria

    People are lined up everywhere.

    The relatively quiet place at the bottom of the road is now packed with a road having to be blocked. Same with the eye hospital in Macquarie Street which is my testing place of choice.

  9. Nathaniel Tapley
    Nightclub owner on the news: “What are we meant to do if people don’t have a COVID pass? Just not let them in and alienate them?” As someone who was once denied entrance to a club because I was wearing “the wrong kind of trainers” I’d like to invite him to fuck all the way off.

  10. Mask mandates are just such a simple, pain-free way to reduce the spread. Yeah, I get it, noone enjoys wearing them, but surely they are preferable to, say, going back into lockdown or getting Covid.

  11. CHO of Victoria said yesterday that we have approx 330000 eligible people who can be vaxxed that are not. Out of this amount, based on behavioural information, 150000 of these will never be convinced to be vaxxed.

    Sadly I have a couple of these such people in my extended family.

    To this day I cannot wrap my head around it.

    There is a meme going around that encapsulates my view of them.

    I will see if I can find it.

  12. Sky is such a cesspit devoid of any journalistic standards. And the platforms that run their BS are just as bad.

    The Microsoft Feed had a Sky News Head line “Labor telling ‘bald-faced lie’ to pensioners”.

    It is, of course, just a statement by a Liberal minister that somehow seems to become a headline of fact. How f’ing hard is it to add the bare minimum of standards by including “claims Liberal Minister” to the headline? Not hard at all but that would defeat the purpose, wouldnt it. The purpose being to sway voters, not inform them. This isnt bias, this is propaganda plain and simple. There is no journalism. Zero. Zip.

    Sky doesnt deserve a license or any of their staff journalist access passes. And any outlet that allows its content within its feed is just a bad.

  13. I was at a gathering a few weeks ago where a woman told me her parents were strident anti-vaxxers (constant emailing shit etc) although her father had got vaccinated so he could attend his golf club.

  14. “ Mask mandates are just such a simple, pain-free way to reduce the spread. Yeah, I get it, noone enjoys wearing them, but surely they are preferable to, say, going back into lockdown or getting Covid.”

    But masks are the antithesis of Merivale’s business model. Surely you can see the problem.

    Cry FREEDOM!!! (to make unfettered, unscrupulous profits off sheeples).

  15. Shellbell

    These people are narcissists. They only do whatever it takes in their own interest.

    it has nothing to do with the common good.

    After this pandemic is long gone, I will never forget the attitude of some people during it. As I keep saying, the pandemic of the people will last longer in my memory.

  16. Asha @ #73 Thursday, December 16th, 2021 – 8:44 am

    Mask mandates are just such a simple, pain-free way to reduce the spread. Yeah, I get it, noone enjoys wearing them, but surely they are preferable to, say, going back into lockdown or getting Covid.

    The problem with leaving up to people to do the right thing is that masks are far more effective if the carrier and the potential recipient are both masked. If the carrier isnt masked, it doesnt help that much if the recipient is masked.

  17. I am far more pro mask than pro vaccine mandate.

    And…. it allows you to walk by people in the shops you know and dont want to talk to – ‘oh! I didnt recognise you with the mask’.

  18. Taylormade says:
    Wednesday, December 15, 2021 at 10:25 pm

    SMH 08/19
    Three of Labor’s most senior figures including Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese argued against a new federal anti-corruption watchdog because some feared it would “make it very hard to govern”.

    And Albo said he hadn’t seen a lot of corruption. Morrison changed that.

  19. Just read a newspaper saying Labor Party policy will provide tax cuts. I should also mention that on the same page was a report on Menzies trying to stabilise prices. January 1953 and it’s tax cuts , Russia v US tensions , ‘yoof’ crime , immigration (poms) , price increases. Also someone from UWA on the editorial page with a long article calling for the conserving of WA’s SW forests and explaining how important it was to stop clearing as they were , water , salinity etc. 70 years later it’s all so different eh ?

  20. lizzie at 9:31 am

    I feel sorry for NSW, which has been conned by Scott and Gladys into believing that their resistance to Covid has been “the best”.

    That’s what happens when you are cocooned in a blanket of warm 2GB, Daily Telegraph, Commercial TV excrement.

  21. Hey BK, how is it looking for tomorrow? I noticed DEW were burning Mt George yesterday and thought it was a little brave. But with winds not too bad and temps cooling down for the weekend they should have no prob dealing with any flare ups. I guess it hasnt been possible to burn until now considering November was reasonably wet.

  22. NSW COVID-19 cases reach daily record after 1,742 new infections announced, hospital numbers remain steady

    It’s the highest number ever recorded in the state in a day, breaking NSW’s previous peak of 1,603 on September 11.

    A total of 192 people are in hospital with the virus, including 26 in ICU.

    Victoria records 1,622 new COVID-19 cases and nine deaths

    It’s the state’s highest daily case count since late October.

    There are now 12,252 active cases of the virus in Victoria, and 617 people have died during the current outbreak.

    There are 384 people in hospital with the virus, of whom 87 are in intensive care and 49 are on a ventilator.

    The health department said a further 35 people were in ICU but their infections were no longer considered active.

  23. Simon Katich @ #84 Thursday, December 16th, 2021 – 9:28 am

    I am far more pro mask than pro vaccine mandate.

    And…. it allows you to walk by people in the shops you know and dont want to talk to – ‘oh! I didnt recognise you with the mask’.

    On the few occasions where a past patient would recognise me in the street and approach with an embarrassing (for me) hello, my stock reply was ‘ very sorry, didn’t recognise you with your clothes on.’

  24. Asha says:
    Thursday, December 16, 2021 at 9:14 am
    Mask mandates are just such a simple, pain-free way to reduce the spread. Yeah, I get it, noone enjoys wearing them, but surely they are preferable to, say, going back into lockdown or getting Covid.
    Matthew Guy and Murdoch organs such as the Herald Sun believe that “freedom” from government mandates is preferable to anything, including death from COVID (perceived as highest for those citizens of least economic usefulness, such as the aged and infirm)….. and they certainly wouldn’t countenance lockdowns.

  25. Asha @ #73 Thursday, December 16th, 2021 – 6:14 am

    Mask mandates are just such a simple, pain-free way to reduce the spread. Yeah, I get it, noone enjoys wearing them, but surely they are preferable to, say, going back into lockdown or getting Covid.

    We have a mask mandate in Makassar.

    We’re down to 18 known cases and yet I’ve seen no drop off in mask wearing or a noticeable change in complaining about them.

    Mask wearing was not something here before COVID, it was very prevalent in Vietnam due to air pollution, but it has become accepted with few exceptions.

    It really is hilarious hearing about all these selfish pricks in Australia.

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