While his troops battle for promotions
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.