Fears of a ‘parachuted’ candidate
THE greatest threat to Alby Schultz’s 13 year grip on Hume could come from within his own party.
Liberal candidates from near and far are circling his safe rural seat in the hope that party HQ will retire the 72- year-old warhorse and give the nod to some fresh new talent.
But should a successor emerge, they might not necessarily be a dyed-in-thewool local, with at least one Sydney man, possibly two, nominating for Hume Liberal preselection.
The threat of a parachuted candidate has already infuriated many Goulburn and district Liberals – one saying it has generated “resentment” among their ranks.
Liberal Party members have told the Post that 45-year-old Sydney lawyer, Rhodes Scholar and triathlete Angus Taylor has nominated. Mr Taylor told the Post on Friday that he had no comment to make about whether he’d run or not.
Sydney seafood magnate Peter Doyle has also been mentioned as a possible candidate, but the Post was unable to confirm this at the weekend when the preselection nomination window closed. Mr Doyle missed out in a bitter preselection battle for the Liberal state blue-blood seat of Vaucluse in September last year.
“No comment,” he said yesterday.
But the Post can confirm that Mittagong accountant Rick Mandelson, Yass grazier Ed Storey and Yass-based IT executive and olive grower Ross Hampton are confirmed preselection candidates.
“I think there’s going to be a few of us nominating in Hume,” former Wingecarribee Shire councillor Mr Mandelson told the Post.
“I’ve got a long association with Hume. I’ve lived in this part of the world for 25 years now and my grandparents were born around the Goulburn and Yass areas,” he said.
Asked if it was common or proper for a Liberal Party members to nominate for preselection in a seat already safely held by the party, Mr Mandelson said “look, it’s not unusual.”
“None of us really know what Alby’s going to do. He’s made a number of statements of course, but if you look
back over the last two months some of those statements have been contradictory – not always the ones put out by him of course – so we’ll have to wait and see what he wants to do,” he said.
“I think it’s good for the party and good for the electorate that there are people putting their hands up to represent what is a robust and bloody big seat.”
Mr Storey previously told the Post: “Look, preselection for Liberal seats is an internal matter for the Liberal Party, and I’ve got no further comment beyond that.”
Mr Hampton said much the same thing to the Post yesterday when confirming his nomination.
The former television reporter also has an extensive CV as a political advisor and was press secretary to the former defence minister Peter Reith during the ‘children overboard’ days.
Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Geoff Kettle has ended speculation about his immediate political future telling
the Post yesterday: “After much consideration, I will not be nominating for Liberal Party preselection.”
For the full story, please see the print edition of Monday's Goulburn Post.