WITH her term in the Senate up at the next federal election, right-wing Liberal sources say Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has her sights set on challenging federal Labor MP Chris Bowen for his western Sydney seat.
Once Labor heartland, Mr Bowen’s margin in the seat of McMahon was slashed at the last federal election to 6.6 per cent.
The seat was among Labor electorates targeted by the Australian Christian Lobby, which believes the Coalition to hold a better position on issues such as freedoms for faith-based schools.
Following the election, Mr Bowen declared Labor to have a “religion problem” with many religious Australians of the belief that the ALP had abandoned them.
Liberal operatives say y there has been talk of the party making a more concerted ed effort in the seat following the result. The strong “no” vote on same-sex marriage also suggested a conservative would do well. Senator Fierravanti- iWells (inset) not only opposes same-sex marriage, but has also been petitioning the Morrison government to pass a religious freedom act. The Italian-Australian senator is not a stranger in the area, regularly attending the annual Italian Republic Day celebrations at the Club Marconi. A Liberal source said she had been attending local functions with ethnic leaders, and had indicated i she was keen to move office.
Last week, renovations were under way in a Smithfield office next to NSW Labor MP Hugh McDermott, M sparking rumours rum that Senator Fierravanti-Wells Fierra had already secured new premises.
Adding to the speculation was that the layout was the same as that of Mr McDermott’s.
“She has been out meeting with the local ethnic communities, including the Italians, Assyrians and Vietnamese,” the source said.
“Her term in the Senate will be up at the next election and we think she’s trying to get in early to be preselected for a lower-house seat.
“Am sure Hugh is worried, but it is McMahon she’ll be after.”
A left-wing Liberal source said Senator Fierravanti-Wells would struggle taking McMahon, despite its narrowing margin.