Good Sharma wins bat­tle

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - SHERADYN HOLDERHEAD & CHRISTO­PHER HAR­RIS

DAVE Sharma’s jour­ney from mi­grant to am­bas­sador for Aus­tralia con­vinced Lib­er­als in Went­worth that he is the best can­di­date to rep­re­sent their val­ues.

The for­mer Am­bas­sador to Israel this week won the hotly con­tested bat­tle to rep­re­sent the Lib­er­als at the Went­worth by­elec­tion with an im­pas­sioned speech about his val­ues in a move which sep­a­rated him from the re­sult of the eight-strong field who fo­cused on pro­mot­ing their cam­paign strat­egy.

Us­ing Prime Min­is­ter Scott Mor­ri­son’s strat­egy to win over vot­ers through lay­ing out his own val­ues, Mr Sharma, 42, walked pre­s­e­lec­tors through his life story and how it im­pacted on him.

“He wasn’t an av­er­age kid, his mum died when he was young and that had a pro­found ef­fect on him,” one source in the room said.

“He ex­plained how he fo­cused on do­ing well for him­self to en­sure he wasn’t an added bur­den on his fa­ther.”

The con­tro­ver­sial pick came after Mr Mor­ri­son had lob­bied for mem­bers in Went­worth to se­lect a woman.

“What I said was I want to see more Lib­eral women in Par­lia­ment, but I also want to see the best can­di­date. Those two is­sues are not con­tra­dic­tory,” Mr Mor­ri­son said.

“Dave was the best can­di­date last night and as you’ll get to see, his record of ser­vice, his record of achievement, his high in­tel­lect and his abil­ity to get the job done, I think will serve the people of Went­worth ex­tremely well.”

The mod­er­ate fac­tion had thrown its sup­port be­hind for­mer Wool­lahra deputy mayor Kather­ine O’Re­gan but she failed to make it through to the fi­nal round of vot­ing with Mr Sharma fac­ing off against Richard Shields.

Mr Mor­ri­son said he be­lieved the by­elec­tion would be a “very tight” race but squashed sug­ges­tions that he would call a gen­eral elec­tion should Mr Sharma lose which would deny the gov­ern­ment ma­jor­ity.

Mr Sharma cur­rently lives out­side the elec­torate but said he would move in soon.

He only moved back to Aus­tralia last year and he and his wife and three daugh­ters had been liv­ing with his 90year-old fa­ther in Tur­ra­murra.

Mr Sharma was born in Canada and moved to Aus­tralia as a child. He re­nounced his Cana­dian cit­i­zen­ship ear­lier this year, be­fore nom­i­na­tions for the pre­s­e­lec­tion opened.

New Went­worth can­di­date for the Lib­eral Party, Dave Sharma.

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