Labor’s race on to face Entsch
LABOR has whittled down a field of potential Leichhardt candidates to a councillor and a union official ahead of the next federal election.
The party's right faction has chosen Cairns Regional Councillor Richie Bates to compete for preselection against Community and Public Sector Union human services section president Elida Faith.
Ms Faith won the nomination from Labor's left faction against a field of political hop
efuls including former Australian of the Year Tania Major and electrician Allan Templeton, who both missed out on preselection for Cook in the state election last year.
Sharon Howe, who won the preselection but lost the last election to sitting MP Warren Entsch, was not brought back for a second attempt.
Both the left and right's nominees have emailed Labor's Far North membership asking for support, with a fortnight-long ballot process due to open as early as next week.
"I believe that to have the best chance of removing Entsch, we must preselect a candidate with a strong local profile, connected to our community, with strong links to the labour movement," Cr Bates' email states.
"As a local councillor, branch activist for over 20 years, union member and a life member of the RTBU, I know I have the profile and experience we need."
Cr Bates has participated in two previous plebiscites and both times won the local ballot, but hasn't secured the electoral college numbers in Brisbane to gain preselection.
Ms Faith's electronic entreaty to Labor's paid-up rank and file said had recently led the CPSU charge for 36,000 Department of Human Services workers to retain workplace conditions, rights and entitlements after going on strike 57 times.
"I'm rearing to knock on every door, phone until I drop and work alongside all local Labor members and union activists to get the job done!" it states.
It is understood the duo will face off in a private debate for Labor's membership in the coming week.