ALP candidate spies a chance where none should exist
Normally a Labor candidate wouldn’t hold any hope of winning one of the safest Liberal seats in the country. But according to ALP candidate Tim Murray, there’s nothing normal about the coming by-election for the Sydney seat of Wentworth, recently vacated by Malcolm Turnbull.
Mr Murray, 50, was out on the campaign trail yesterday, handing out flyers with campaigners at the Bondi Junction shopping hub before appearing at a high school fete.
The Tamarama local and president of his surf life saving club has had a brief political career, having run for a 2017 Waverly council election.
He became a party member only in 2013 after returning from 20 years studying and working in China, an experience that he said motivated him to run for preselection.
“It made you value democracy more,” he said.
“When I came back, the Labor Party couldn’t have been in a worse position … I thought, ‘This is the time to join’.”
At one point Mr Murray, who is fluent in Mandarin, sold Foster’s beer “by the train load” to Mongolia , before starting J Capital — a finance firm he still manages.
While he admits Labor’s economic policies don’t go down well with some in the wealthy electorate, he is attempting to woo voters in the “very socially progressive” seat on climate change, energy policy and education.
Mr Murray, whose wife is a schoolteacher, is trumpeting the need for a new public high school in the area.
His calls went down well yesterday afternoon at a fair at Rose Bay Secondary College, a public school he says is full.
Liberal candidate Dave Sharma has come under fire for his comments in a June op-ed in The Sydney Morning Herald in which he said teachers worked “closer to three-quarters of a regular full-time job”.
Mr Murray, who told The Australian he was not aligned to any Labor faction and called the Adani coalmine “a really bad idea on so many levels”, said Kerryn Phelps’s candidacy as an independent would “take more” from the Liberal vote than from him.
Labor’s Tim Murray with helpers in Wentworth yesterday