Ex-pre­mier to run for Ben­ne­long

Geelong Advertiser - - NEWS - LAM­BIE RE­SIGNS: P17

LA­BOR has re­cruited for­mer NSW pre­mier Kristina Ke­neally to run in the Ben­ne­long by-elec­tion, in a sur­prise move that could desta­bilise the Turn­bull Govern­ment.

Lib­eral MP John Alexan­der’s dual cit­i­zen­ship trig­gered the by-elec­tion in his Syd­ney seat of Ben­ne­long.

La­bor Leader Bill Shorten said the by-elec­tion was the chance to send a wake-up call to the Turn­bull Govern­ment.

“This is a chance which I think a lot of peo­ple in Aus­tralia would like to have that has fallen to the peo­ple of Ben­ne­long, to send a mes­sage against the dys­func­tion and the chaos of the cur­rent govern­ment, the pol­icy paral­y­sis, the fail­ure of lead­er­ship,” he said.

Prime Min­is­ter Mal­colm Turn­bull told re­porters in Manila, where he is at­tend­ing the East Asia Sum­mit, the vot­ers of Ben­ne­long al­ready had an “out­stand­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive” in Mr Alexan­der.

“My mes­sage to the vot­ers of Ben­ne­long is . . . don’t let Kristina Ke­neally do to Ben­ne­long what she did to NSW,” he said.

Las Ve­gas-born Ms Ke­neally has re­leased doc­u­ments show­ing she re­nounced her US cit­i­zen­ship in 2002.

“Who could have imag­ined that this cit­i­zen­ship cri­sis would end up with peo­ple like John Alexan­der sit­ting there qui­etly for months, not re­veal­ing that he may well be a dual cit­i­zen?” she said.

Cab­i­net min­is­ter Greg Hunt fired the first shot from the Coali­tion trenches, de­scrib­ing Ms Ke­neally as “Ed­die Obeid’s pro­tege” — re­fer­ring to the dis­graced for­mer state La­bor min­is­ter.

Kristina Ke­neally

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