Opportunity knocks for aspiring Labor parliamentarians in Charlton, Hotham, Batman, Perth, Kingsford Smith, Rankin …
Two further additions to the already voluminous Labor retirements list since my last preselection review:
• Greg Combet is calling it a day after two eventful terms as member for the Hunter region seat of Charlton. Mentioned as possible successors are Pat Conroy, whose background as a staffer to Combet, George Campbell and Anthony Albanese, and as an official with the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union and CFMEU, is detailed in The Australian; Daniel Wallace, a local organiser with the AMWU; and Sonia Hornery, who represents the local area in the state parliament as member for Wallsend.
• Simon Crean is calling it a day after 23 years as member for the south-eastern Melbourne seat of Hotham. Michelle Grattan in The Conversation reports the seat is effectively reserved for the Right, with Bracks government adviser Rosemary Barker spruiking backing from factional figurehead Stephen Conroy as well as a base of support from the Australian Workers Union. Also mentioned is Geoff Lake, a Minter Ellison lawyer and former Australian Local Government Association who shares Crean’s association with the National Union Workers.
Another two vacancies have been resolved:
• David Feeney has emerged victorious in the contest to succeed Martin Ferguson in Batman, after defeating Left candidate Mary-Anne Thomas by 383 votes to 247 in the local party ballot on Sunday. The matter was to be settled the following evening when the state party’s public office selection committee to determine its 50% share of the overall vote, but Thomas rendered this a formality by withdrawing.
• Alannah MacTiernan, senior Gallop/Carpenter state government minister and more recently the mayor of Vincent, is now confirmed as Labor’s candidate to succeed Stephen Smith in Perth after two other mooted contenders – Tim Hammond, a barrister who ran unsuccessfully in Swan at the 2010 election, and Matthew Keogh, a lawyer with Freehills – chose not to nominate.
And some developments in two further preselection races:
• Tony Bowen, mayor of Randwick and son of Hawke era deputy prime minister Lionel Bowen, has emerged as a second candidate for the preselection to succeed Peter Garrett in Kingsford Smith. Bowen says he has nominated despite being told “in no uncertain terms” not to run by the state party’s head office, which is evidently very keen on the candidacy of Senator Matt Thistlethwaite.
• The preselection for Craig Emerson’s southern Brisbane seat of Rankin looms as a contest between Brett Raguse, who won the outer Brisbane seat of Forde in 2007 before joining Labor’s Queensland casualty list in 2010 (and who claims the support of Kevin Rudd), and Jim Chalmers, a former chief of staff to Wayne Swan.