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Home > AUSTRALIA > Employers Anger over ‘Captain’s Choice’ By Pre-Selecting Joel Fitzgibbon’s Key Hunter Seat | Labor Party

Employers Anger over ‘Captain’s Choice’ By Pre-Selecting Joel Fitzgibbon’s Key Hunter Seat | Labor Party

The Labor Party is facing an internal backlash over a “captain’s election” pre-election for Hunter’s key seat, in which members of parliament are demanding to say who will replace outgoing MP Joel Fitzgibbon.

On Wednesday, Labor leader Anthony Albanese said he would support five-time Olympian and former coal miner Daniel Repacholi for the Hunter Valley seat, which has also won support from Fitzgibbon and the CFMEU.

He announced that the party would open nominations for key seats in NSW this Friday to “get candidates in the field” ahead of the election, but said Hunter and Fowler – where Kristina Keneally has also been controversially elected to run – would “be determined, if necessary, by national management”.

The move has angered branch members in the Hunter region, who say they had been denied a vote when Fitzgibbon took over from his father, Eric Fitzgibbon, in 1996, and had had no say since 1984.

Cessnock nurse Emily Suvaal, who had come forward to be Labor’s candidate for Hunter, said she had wanted to “lead a discussion on improving health care for regional communities” and was disappointed with the process.

“As a registered nurse, I know that the most important thing we can do to improve our local health services is to elect a Labor government at the next federal election.

“I am deeply disappointed that my colleagues in the Hunter party will not have a say in who their candidate is in the next election, but I will campaign with whoever is elected as the Labor candidate to achieve an Albanian Labor government. . “

Shakil Ahmed from Bangladesh, left, silver medal, Daniel Repacholi from Australia, center, gold medal and Om Mitharval from India, bronze medal, after the men's 50m pistol final in the Belmont Shooting Center during the Commonwealth Games 2018
Daniel Repacholi (center) after winning gold in the men’s 50m pistol final during the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Photo: Tertius Pickard / AP

Morgan Campbell, chairman of the party’s Cessnock branch, had already written to members advising him to run, saying there had been no referendum on a vacancy in that seat since 1984.

“We need one this time,” said Campbell, a former ASIC and APRA lawyer and former councilor.

“Rank and file party members know their local area and work towards the cause. If it were not for us, there would not be a Labor Party.

“Every time an agreement is implemented, the party becomes smaller and more closed to ordinary people.”

Clayton Barr, a state member of Cessnock, said he believed there were many “bright and talented branch members” who could become our next federal MP.

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“It is absolutely crucial that we get a chance to decide who we want to go to the next election as our candidate.

“It was 1984, when Joel Fitzgibbon’s father, Eric, won a pre-selection, in which branch members last had their say on who our federal member would be. We look forward to exercising our democratic right. ”

Albanese said on Wednesday that the party was preparing for a potential election later this year, despite early next year being seen as the more likely date.

“We want to make sure we are ready. We have had problems with Covid, which means that people cannot attend branch meetings, people cannot attend the Labor Party in the usual way, ”Albanese said.

The party opens nominations for a week on Friday for Hunter, Fowler, Reid, Banks, Robertson and Page.

The Labor leader said he would recommend Repacholi and Keneally be approved.

With Kristina Keneally continuing her contribution to our Caucasus and to the National Parliament in the House of Representatives as a member of Fowler and Dan Repacholi, an outstanding Australian, a Cessnock hall of famer, a person who has been a five-time Olympian, someone who has been a small business person currently operating in mining, to be a candidate for Hunter, will be my recommendations if there are competitions in these places, ”said Albanese.

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He said that in Reid, Banks, Robertson and Page there would be a suspension of the rules to allow online voting because voting could not be conducted in the normal way.

“These are target places, and we have excellent candidates who present themselves. In a couple of these places, it is likely that there will be ballots because we have more than one excellent candidate standing out, ”he said.

Albanese have been forced to defend the party’s pre-selection processes after the court agreed to install Keneally in Fowler to avoid a messy pre-selection for the NSW Senate ticket. NSW Senator and backbencher Deb O’Neill had secured union support for number one on the Senate ticket and referred Keneally to the invincible third position behind leftist Jenny McAllister.

Keneally’s endorsement sideline community candidate Tu Le, a Vietnamese-Australian lawyer who said the party should seek to represent the Fowler community with someone who lived in the seat and represented its ethnic diversity.

Following last week’s decision, the center association faction angered Le’s supporters further by excluding her from a meeting that approved Keneally for the seat on Friday.

Albanese said on Wednesday that he believed Le would make “an excellent contribution in the future” for the party.

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