With a Double Dissolution election on July 2 seeming inevitable, NSW coalition MPs are hoping that state issues, particularly the merger proposals, will not affect their vote.
Ann Sudmalis, the current Member for Gilmore and former Shoalhaven councillor, has been strident in her opposition to both the Kiama and Shellharbour merger proposals.
This has included seconding a motion at a rally “condemning the Baird government for its arrogant and ill-considered merger proposal”, and speaking against the proposals in Federal Parliament.
Her open criticism of the state Liberal government fuelled speculation that she may not be preselected for the seat.
Labor candidate for Gilmore, Fiona Phillips, who has been campaigning for some time, says while her focus in on health and education, the amalgamation issue comes up all the time.
As a Shoalhaven resident, Fiona says that the difference in service levels between the two councils is clearly obvious – the condition of the roads, parks and other facilities.
“The Shoalhaven is massive. It goes down to South Durras, 40 minutes past Ulladulla.
“Those people at the south end of the LGA are against it because they know how badly they are serviced. Kiama would be no different.”
Update: A swing of 3.8% is needed for the Liberal Party to lose Gilmore, and Anthony Green’s latest prediction is Ms Phillips will win the seat by 0.8%.