While his troops bat­tle for pro­mo­tions

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - OPINION OUR & YOURS -

try ahead of West­ern Aus­tralian hope­fuls Made­line King, Glenn Sterle and Matt Keogh.

Cham­pion, a par­lia­men­tary sec­re­tary, has more than waited his turn. He was con­sid­ered a ris­ing star af­ter he was elected in 2007 but his fierce de­fence of Kevin Rudd dur­ing the Rudd-Gil­lard-Rudd wars sent him to the back of the queue.

Cham­pion will also be aided by his longevity in Can­berra. The res­ig­na­tion of Ham­mond — a first ter­mer — spooked se­nior op­po­si­tion MPs who are fear­ful an un­prac­tised politi- cian might walk away again. As one MP said “Tim was on the front­bench and he blows it off, we don’t want to see that again”.

To com­pli­cate mat­ters, Shorten needs to re­tain and gain seats in West­ern Aus­tralia at the next elec­tion if he has any chance of be­com­ing prime min­is­ter. It might be smart pol­i­tics to pick a can­di­date from the West.

WA’s Pro­gres­sive La­bor fac­tion — or “Re­gres­sive La­bor” de­pend­ing on who you talk to — is ex­pected to ramp up pres­sure on Shorten to pro- mote Glenn Sterle, a for­mer or­gan­iser with the TWU. The pow­er­ful new group­ing of pre­vi­ously op­pos­ing unions in­cludes Sterle’s Trans­port Work­ers Union, the Shop, Distribu­tive and Al­lied Em­ploy­ees As­so­ci­a­tion and the Aus­tralian Work­ers’ Union from the right and the Con­struc­tion, Forestry, Min­ing and En­ergy Union and Mar­itime Union of Aus­tralia from the left. The pow­er­ful al­liance is ex­pected to flex its mus­cle over the fed­eral min­is­te­rial po­si­tions.

Other power­bro­kers within the WA right are an­gling for Brand MP Madeleine King, ar­gu­ing that it would be a bad look for the party to over­look a ca­pa­ble wo­man for pro­mo­tion.

King, 45, a new par­lia­men­tary en­trant, is a for­mer lawyer who ran an in­ter­na­tional pol­icy think tank and is con­sid­ered a ris­ing star of the party.

Any mo­men­tum for righ­tal­igned MP Matt Keogh to re­place Ham­mond has ground to a halt.

With ri­val states, gen­der, fac­tional al­le­giances and up­per and lower house rep­re­sen­ta­tion to con­sider, the fac­tional fight is far from over.

La­bor MP Madeleine King.

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