What a difference a fortnight makes. Soon after our last edition introduced Grant Shultz as the Liberal Party’s candidate-in-waiting for Gilmore, the bombshell broke that former Labor Party President and prominent indigenous leader and businessman, Warren Mundine, was to be parachuted in by the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
The State Executive of the Liberal Party’s endorsement of Mr Mundine, on the day he joined the Liberal Party, led to Mr Shultz resigning from the party and announcing his intention to run as an independent.
While Mr Mundine lives on Sydney’s North Shore, he has strong cultural ties with the South Coast.
In a statement after the announcement, Mr Morrison said, “Warren has demonstrated his leadership ability over many decades, including the role he has played in reforming our welfare system, and has a deep understanding of what matters to Australian families and the pressures they face.
“Warren has deep connections with the Gilmore community and will be a highly-effective champion for them and their families.
“He will play a very significant role within our team and the direction we take in the future.”
Fiona Phillips, who has been campaigning for the Labor Party in NSW’s most marginal seat since the last election, sees it differently.
“I can’t believe the Liberals would parachute someone in who doesn’t live, and never has lived, in Gilmore.
“He has no idea of the issues or the people in this electorate.
“I think it shows contempt for the people of Gilmore.”
She says without the chaos that is engulfing the Liberal Party, Labor is presenting a united team with good policies for the area.
At time of writing, the National Party has not ruled out also running a candidate.