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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 9 May 2015
NEWS 4 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 9 MAY 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Libs fear Georganas factor South Australia: Steve Georganas seen as Labor’s ‘number one candidate’ for 2016 federal election MICHAEL SWEET According to the South Australian media, Liberal insiders are considering parachuting federal backbencher Matt Williams, currently the member for Hindmarsh, into the safe South Australian Parliament seat of Morphett if he is not returned at next year's federal election - a feat that is looking increasingly unlikely, particularly if four-term local member Steve Georganas reenters the fray. Williams has been described by Tony Abbott as the prime minister's "favourite South Australian MP" since he defeated the previous Labor incumbent Georganas with a 7.97 per cent two-partypreferred swing at the 2013 election. However the Liberal incumbent holds Hindmarsh with a wafer-thin majority of just 1.89 per cent, making it the most marginal seat in South Australia. Meanwhile South Austral- ia's fourth-term Labor government appears to have opened up an eight-point lead in Newspoll over the Liberal opposition. With the Liberals targeted by Labor as uncertainty over the government's support for the local shipbuilding industry continues, prospects for Williams' re-election at federal level appear uncertain in the extreme. Labor is almost certain to recall Georganas to fight the seat. Party sources told Adelaide's Independent Weekly newspaper that the former member is the party's "number one candidate … everyone wants him to run" and that he has effectively "never stopped campaigning" for reelection since losing the seat in 2013. Mr Georganas told Neos Ko- Sinodinos calls on party to allow conscience vote on same-sex marriage Senior Liberal senator Arthur Sinodinos says his party should allow a conscience vote on same-sex marriage. Senator Sinodinos has previously declared his support for marriage equality, despite his party officially opposing a push to change the Marriage Act in the last parliament. He said the Liberal Party should allow senators and MPs to vote as they like. "I think we should [be al- lowed a conscience vote], I think you'll get a truer test of the feeling within the parliament if both the big parties of politics, the Coalition ... [and] the Labor Party do have a conscience vote," he told Sky News. "I think that will make for a more interesting debate and a truer test of the feeling within the parliament on this subject." In 2013 as opposition leader, Tony Abbott said the issue of whether to allow members a free vote in Parliament would be a "matter for the post-election party room". The issue was not discussed in March at the last party room meeting before the budget. "Tony Abbott indicated at the beginning of this parliament that while our policy was that marriage is between a man and a woman, it was up to the party room ultimately to decide whether there should be a conscience vote," Senator Sinodinos said. "I think at some stage it's in- evitable there will be a call on this [within the Liberal Party]." Meanwhile, Labor frontbencher David Feeney has rejected a call for the ALP to have a binding vote on samesex marriage. The party's official policy is to support marriage equality, but it allows a conscience vote on the issue when it is before Parliament. Deputy leader Tanya Plibersek wants to change that and compel colleagues to vote for same-sex marriage. Mr Feeney has told Sky News he supported marriage equality, but not a binding vote. "I don't think the challenge is for Labor to engage in coercing people to support this legislation," Mr Feeney said. "I think the challenge is for supporters of marriage equality, and I'm one of those, to actually engage in the debate and persuade the unpersuaded. "It's pretty messy for Labor to insist that the Coalition have a conscience vote while at the same time proposing to abandon our own conscience vote. "I think the conscience vote is the right mechanism for us to advance this issue on both sides of the Parliament." Ms Plibersek spoke publicly on the issue as acting leader when opposition leader Bill Shorten was out of the country last week. She is set to push the issue at Labor's National Conference in Melbourne in July. smos it was up to the party to pre-select Hindmarsh's next Labor candidate. "I certainly will be willing to assist the ALP in any way that the party sees fit for me to contribute. Either as a candidate, campaign worker or strategist." The veteran ALP stalwart added that he would be doing everything he could to ensure that Labor wins the seat back at the next election. "The good people of Hindmarsh do not need to go through the angst that this current conservative government has put them through - the angst of having pensions reduced, the watering down of Medicare, the Americanisation of the education system, and not committing to building the submarines in South Australia." Steve Georganas on the campaign trail in 2013. PHOTO SUPPLIED Scott Morrison the next contemporary prime minister of Australia: Mirabella Controversial former Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella has dubbed Social Services Minister Scott Morrison the "next contemporary prime minister of Australia" during a fundraiser that has set tongues wagging. Mr Morrison was guest speaker at a Liberal Party fundraiser held at the home of Mrs Mirabella, the former MP for the seat of Indi, on Saturday. There is growing speculation Mrs Mirabella could run against the woman who beat her at the 2013 poll, independent Cathy McGowan, at the 2016 federal election. "I miss Sophie and Sophie's representation has been something really lacking in Parliament," Mr Morrison told The Border Mail. "Cathy [McGowan] is a nice person, she is well regarded and she is professional to deal with. There is nothing personal about any of this. When we lost Sophie we lost someone with enormous talent and experience; she was another very strong female voice in our team. "I thought she [Sophie] brought a really important perspective and I'd love to see that perspective back." While Mr Morrison showed his support for Mrs Mirabella, she too returned the favour. "This man will be the next contemporary prime minister of Australia," Mrs Mirabella said during her speech. "Too many politicians are too concerned about being liked rather than getting things done. "I will be working together with all other people locally to work on the return of the Coalition - that's what you do as a party member." Saturday's event publicly kicked off the Liberals' campaign for the seat of Indi. Mrs Mirabella was tightlipped as to whether she was interested in putting her hand up as the Liberal candidate.
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