McKen­zie won’t seek Mallee pre-se­lec­tion

Shepparton News - Country News - - THE WEATHER YEAR THAT WAS -

Vic­to­rian Na­tion­als sen­a­tor Brid­get McKen­zie will not run for the lower house seat of Mallee left by An­drew Broad.

Sen­a­tor McKen­zie has said she won’t run for the Mil­dura-based seat, but spec­u­la­tion con­tin­ues she would be in­ter­ested in the lower house seat of Indi, cur­rently held by in­de­pen­dent Cathy McGowan.

Mr Broad an­nounced his res­ig­na­tion from Mallee fol­low­ing his ad­mis­sion of in­ap­pro­pri­ate con­duct.

Nom­i­na­tions for Mallee pre-se­lec­tion opened on Jan­uary 4 and the con­test will be held on Jan­uary 19 at Birchip.

So­cial worker Anne Web­ster is the first per­son to pub­licly de­clare her nom­i­na­tion for the Na­tion­als in Mallee.

Ms Web­ster is a di­rec­tor of a not-for­profit or­gan­i­sa­tion which sup­ports young moth­ers.

Ms Web­ster, who re­cently con­cluded stud­ies for a PhD, was also a pre-se­lec­tion can­di­date for Mallee in 2013.

Mean­while, a se­nior Lib­eral MP is call­ing for quo­tas to en­sure more women are se­lected as can­di­dates for fed­eral par­lia­ment.

As­sis­tant Min­is­ter for Re­gional De­vel­op­ment and Fed­eral Mem­ber for Far­rer Sus­san Ley is urg­ing the NSW di­vi­sion of the Lib­eral party to pick a ‘‘sen­si­ble num­ber’’ such as 40 per cent to im­prove the party’s rep­u­ta­tion for fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion.

‘‘Of course it needs to be im­ple­mented as The Aus­tralian soon as pos­si­ble,’’ Ms Ley told news­pa­per on Fri­day.

‘‘I’ll cer­tainly be en­cour­ag­ing my NSW di­vi­sion, where hon­estly there are some re­ally good women who are push­ing this bar­row.

‘‘You have to pick a sen­si­ble num­ber and date but then we’re head­ing in the right di­rec­tion, we’re head­ing away from what is a bit of a cliff face.’’

Ms Ley’s col­league Jason Falin­ski also be­lieves the party should do more to en­sure fu­ture can­di­dates are from more di­verse back­grounds.

‘‘Clearly men and women are equal,’’ the NSW MP said.

‘‘I don’t think the com­mu­nity ex­pects us to fix it overnight but they do ex­pect to see us ad­dress­ing the is­sue.’’

The Lib­eral Party cur­rently has 21 fe­male can­di­dates and 102 male can­di­dates for the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives ahead of the fed­eral elec­tion, which is due by May.

How­ever, can­di­dates have not been confirmed for 10 elec­torates.

Women hold 12 of the Coali­tion’s 74 seats in the lower house, with the num­ber dwin­dling af­ter Ju­lia Banks quit the party to sit as an in­de­pen­dent.

Gil­more MP Ann Sud­malis also an­nounced in Septem­ber she won’t re­con­test the elec­tion, point­ing the fin­ger at bad be­hav­iour in the NSW di­vi­sion, as Jane Pren­tice lost pre-se­lec­tion for her Bris­bane seat.

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