Ex-premier to run for Bennelong
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.