DREAM CANDIDATE, GABY’S NIGHTMARE
STATE Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton is set to face a serious challenge for her blueribbon seat of Vaucluse, with Labor and the Greens preparing to preference a high-profile independent.
Registered nurse Miriam Guttman-Jones, a former Waverley councillor, is being encouraged to nominate for the eastern suburbs seat, which Ms Upton holds with a 22 per cent margin. The Greens ate away at the margin at the last state election, narrowing it from 31.4pc.
A senior Labor source said Ms Guttman-Jones, a prominent member of the Jewish community, could be pushed across the line with preferences.
In 2015 Ms Guttman-Jones revealed her family’s harrowing Holocaust story.
Both her Polish-born parents survived Auschwitz but their 18month-old daughter (Ms GuttmanJones’ elder sister) was shot dead by the Nazis. Ms Guttman-Jones was born in Israel and the family came to Bondi as refugees in 1955.
Ms Upton, who has held the seat since 2011, has had a rocky term with her office taking the blame for the bungled container deposit scheme, plus our revelation of her turnover of 13 ministerial drivers, with a former adviser later reportedly describing the
office as “toxic”.