Pru Goward goes on the attack as Katrina Hodgkinson nominates for her seat of Goulburn
Community services minister Pru Goward has lashed out at her cabinet colleague Katrina Hodgkinson’s decision to seek to run against her in Goulburn at next year’s election, describing it as an ”attack” that risked Labor winning the seat.
Ms Hodgkinson, who is the Primary Industries Minister and a Nationals MP, announced on Tuesday she would seek preselection in the seat of Goulburn, which Ms Goward has held for the Liberals since 2007.
The decision follows a redistribution of electoral boundaries last year which redrew Ms Hodgkinson’s seat of Burrinjuck and renamed it Cootamundra.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Ms Goward said the decision ”endangers” agreements between the Liberals and Nationals, including one that guarantees the Nationals three winnable spots on the joint upper house ticket next year.
”This attack by the National Party on the Liberal seat of Goulburn is a very dangerous move. It endangers the Coalition agreement, it endangers the upper house agreement, it endangers other Nationals-held seats around NSW that could now be up for grabs.”
Ms Goward said the ”real winner” in a three-cornered contest in Goulburn was the Labor Party: ”A strong Labor candidate could come through the middle and take this seat.” Labor has yet to choose a candidate. She said Premier Barry O’Farrell was ”determined to sort this out” when he returned from a trade mission to Japan as he ”does not believe a three-cornered contest is warranted”.
The Liberals and Nationals will meet on Monday to discuss the agreement.
On Tuesday acting NSW Liberal state director Simon McInnes wrote to NSW Nationals chairman Niall Blair saying he was ”somewhat surprised” to learn the Nationals had opened a preselection in Goulburn.
The Liberal Party is being urged to retaliate by scrapping the agreement on upper house spots and running Liberal candidates in Nationals-held seats such as Monaro and Port Macquarie.
Mr Blair has said the Liberals should stand by the agreement because ”a deal is a deal”.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.