Three in the run­ning for Lib­eral pre­s­e­lec­tion in Indi

Myrtleford Times - - People Around Town - By JUSTIN JENVEY

LIB­ERAL Party mem­bers in Indi will meet at Wan­garatta this Satur­day to se­lect their can­di­date for next year’s fed­eral elec­tion.

Last month five pre­s­e­lec­tion nom­i­nees were con­firmed by the Lib­er­als, be­ing Stephen Brooks, Sheri­dan Leonard, Steven Martin, Dustin Perry and An­drew Walpole.

How­ever, Ms Leonard - a hu­man re­sources/pro­gram co­or­di­na­tor from Wodonga, and Mr Perry, a build­ing project man­ager from Euroa, are out of the bat­tle.

Both haven’t been party mem­bers for the manda­tory 12 month pe­riod, and while they had sought dis­pen­sa­tion from the re­quire­ment it was not granted.

Three all male con­tenders re­main Mr Brooks, 35, a farmer and com­mod­ity trader from Yar­ra­wonga; Mr Martin, 39, an en­gi­neer from Wodonga; and Mr Walpole, 62, an anaes­thetist from Whorouly.

Mr Walpole along with Kevin Ek­endahl were pre­s­e­lec­tion can­di­dates ahead of the 2016 elec­tion but lost out to So­phie Mirabella who was the Indi MP from 2001 un­til 2013.

Spec­u­la­tion had sur­rounded whether Ms Mirabella’s hus­band Greg would con­tend.

The Wan­garatta farmer con­sid- ered his age a fac­tor and said the Lib­eral can­di­date should be some­one who could not only be the mem­ber for Indi but a fu­ture min­is­ter in a Coali­tion Gov­ern­ment.

Indi Lib­eral chief Tony Sch­nei­der said the pre­s­e­lec­tion con­ven­tion would be held at Wan­garatta High School from 12pm.

“We have a strong field of three peo­ple who will be con­test­ing the pre­s­e­lec­tion to be the Lib­eral Party can­di­date for Indi at the next fed­eral elec­tion,” he said.

“All Lib­eral Party mem­bers in Indi are el­i­gi­ble to par­tic­i­pate, which helps to guar­an­tee the integrity and trans­parency of the process as well as max­imis­ing the like­li­hood of pre­s­e­lect­ing a can­di­date who will best con­nect with the vot­ers of Indi.”

Pre­s­e­lec­tion for Coali­tion part­ner, the Na­tion­als, looks like tak­ing place in Fe­bru­ary with for­mer party can­di­date Marty Cor­boy say­ing he had not de­cided whether to nom­i­nate again.

“We per­formed well at the last fed­eral elec­tion and I’m sure there will be a strong list of can­di­dates early next year,” he said.

Cur­rent in­de­pen­dent fed­eral mem­ber Cathy McGowan (MHR, Indi) is yet to con­firm if she will seek re-elec­tion for a po­ten­tial third term in par­lia­ment.

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