The Beagle Editor, Recently our local local member publicly announced he would be resigning, leaving the well paid, publicly funded positions he holds, or held in Government as a minister and member for Bega, hoping to be selected as the Liberal Candidate for Federal seat of Gilmore. His sights are on the next Federal Election when he hopes to get enough of the voting public's support to get a seat to warm in Canberra. There is a spanner in the works in his endeavour. His hope of getting preselection endorsement by those in the Liberal party involved can’t occur unless he resigns from his present positions in the State Government. At the moment he seems to be attempting to have a leg over both sides of the political fence and it’s not a good look to many of us voters. Barilaro, McKay, Berejiklian and Gibbons have all announced their resignations. By doing so the voters and electoral commission are able to get on with organising the by-elections. But not Bega. Andrew Constance hasn't resigned. He has just announced that he would. The Minister for Federal Candidacy Announcements has left Bega in limbo. Remember how he and Barilaro behaved just recently over the plan to challenge Kristy McBain for Eden Monaro. It appears it’s the public purse funding and access that’s driving him, not community involvement, participation, in the running of Government. Looks like he is sticking his toe in the water to test the Gilmore electorate before he is forced into resigning NSW and risking his hat in the ring for pre-selection. And why the hurry. He is still on top dollar as a sitting member for Bega. So what’s he going to do? Risk not being elected as the member for Gilmour or remain where the weekly income is guaranteed ? Our Member for Bega first told us he wasn't interested in us any more when he announced he was going to run for the federal seat of Eden Monaro. That didn't work for him in many ways and he copped considerable flack from every quarter. Not surprisingly he did a 'Mal Maninga' and abandoned his bid to enter the federal Parliament less than 24 hours after announcing he would seek Liberal pre-selection at the Eden-Monaro by-election. He said at the time about his backflip "I need to remain focused on the bushfire recovery and be grateful for the opportunities I already have." It seems as though he has forgotten "to be grateful for the opportunities I already have" because he's prepared to jump ship from State government to Federal politics. As to how he thinks he has a chance in that seat. He is a virtual unknown locally to the major population base around Nowra. He must have thought he was a shoo in with the endorsement of Morrison. Morrison hands out accolades like lollies. Remember when he parachuted Warren Mundine into Gilmore? Morrison said that Mundine is a “top bloke” who has “got a lot to offer – and he’s already been offering quite a bit”. Now Morrison says "Andrew has an outstanding local reputation and a great deal to offer at the federal level, especially given his experience in the NSW Government." Morrison might have over-estimated Andrew's outstanding local reputation that has tarnished over recent years. Especially in the Bega and Eurobodalla areas. It looks like Nowra lawyer and Shoalhaven Law Society president Paul Ell is expected to throw his hat into the ring. Mr Ell is the current Gilmore Liberal Federal Electorate Conference (FEC) President.
The Liberal Party Representative on State Executive has made it quite clear that there will be a full Preselection process according to the Liberal Party of NSW Constitution with a full membership plebiscite. This assurance has been given because of the “shambles” in Gilmore at the last election which local liberals say "undoubtedly cost us the seat!"
Alan Brown Catalina
Above: Andrew Constance has announced his intention to stand for the Federal seat of Gilmore while Liz Innes has announced she will be throwing her hat in the ring to be his replacement in the NSW seat of Bega. Both need to make it through pre-selection.