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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
Wednesday June 12, 2024
Wednesday June 12, 2024

Josh Frydenberg denies intention to challenge Amelia Hamer for Kooyong candidacy

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Former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg rejects speculation about reclaiming Kooyong, pledges support for current liberal candidate Amelia Hamer

Josh Frydenberg, former Treasurer of Australia, has dismissed speculation about a potential return to politics by reclaiming his old seat of Kooyong. Despite recent rumours, Frydenberg stated his position remains unchanged, reinforcing his support for Amelia Hamer, the pre-selected Liberal candidate for Kooyong.

Reports surfaced suggesting Frydenberg might consider a comeback in the upcoming federal election due to proposed boundary changes in Kooyong, which might favour the Liberals. However, this would require reopening the pre-selection process, challenging Hamer’s candidacy. Frydenberg addressed these rumours on social media, emphasizing he is not “rushing back to politics.”

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“My position on contesting the next election remains unchanged,” Frydenberg stated. “I will continue to support the Liberal Party and our local candidate Amelia Hamer.”

Amelia Hamer secured the Liberal candidacy for Kooyong in March. Her selection came after Frydenberg lost the seat to independent Monique Ryan in the previous election. The speculation about Frydenberg’s potential return sparked controversy within the Liberal Party, with some members expressing strong opposition.

Charlotte Mortlock, chair of a group dedicated to increasing female representation in the Liberal Party, criticized the idea of displacing Hamer for Frydenberg. She argued that it would be unacceptable to remove a woman who had committed to the role months ago.

“What are we going to say, ‘Hey pussycat, thanks for quitting your job six months ago … but no sorry, someone else has had a change of heart and would like to run, so move out of the way,'” Mortlock said during an interview with ABC News Breakfast.

Conversely, former Minister Karen Andrews expressed support for Frydenberg’s potential return, suggesting the Victorian branch should find a way to include him in the upcoming election. Andrews emphasized Frydenberg’s value to the party while maintaining her advocacy for more women in parliament.

“Josh Frydenberg would be an asset at the next election,” Andrews said. “However, this does not contradict my stance on promoting female candidates, as the proposed boundary changes have altered the scenario.”

Frydenberg’s loss to Monique Ryan in the 2022 election was a significant blow to the Liberal Party, with Ryan representing the “teal” independents, a group advocating for stronger climate policies and political integrity. Frydenberg, previously seen as a potential future leader of the Liberal Party, has remained influential despite his electoral defeat.

The Liberal Party is in the process of finalizing its candidates for the next federal election. The proposed boundary changes in Kooyong have introduced new dynamics, but the party remains committed to supporting its pre-selected candidates. Frydenberg’s public support for Hamer underscores this commitment and aims to quell any internal disputes regarding the candidacy.

Analysis:

The discussion around Josh Frydenberg’s potential return to politics highlights several key issues within the Liberal Party and Australian politics. Firstly, it underscores the tension between political strategy and gender representation. Frydenberg’s high profile and experience make him a valuable asset, but replacing Hamer could undermine efforts to promote female candidates within the party.

Politically, Frydenberg’s potential candidacy reflects the ongoing struggle for the Liberal Party to reclaim seats lost to independents. The “teal” wave in the last election, characterized by candidates like Monique Ryan, presented a significant challenge to traditional Liberal strongholds. Frydenberg’s return could signal a strategic move to regain these areas, especially with proposed boundary changes potentially favouring the Liberals.

Sociologically, the controversy touches on broader issues of gender equity and representation. Mortlock’s strong opposition to Frydenberg’s potential candidacy highlights the ongoing efforts within the Liberal Party to ensure more women have opportunities in winnable seats. This tension between maintaining experienced political figures and fostering new female leaders remains a critical challenge.

Economically, Frydenberg’s return could influence the Liberal Party’s campaign funding and voter support. His experience as Treasurer and his previous leadership potential could attract financial backing and voter confidence, bolstering the party’s overall election strategy. However, it could also create friction within the party if perceived as undermining gender equity efforts.

Locally, the proposed boundary changes in Kooyong could reshape the political landscape, affecting voter demographics and party strategies. These changes could potentially make the seat more contestable for the Liberals, making Frydenberg’s return more appealing to some party members. However, the impact on local constituents and their response to such a move remains uncertain.

From a gender perspective, the debate reflects ongoing challenges in achieving equitable representation in politics. The Liberal Party’s efforts to promote female candidates like Hamer are crucial, but the potential displacement of a woman candidate by a high-profile male figure could be seen as a step back. This situation highlights the need for balancing political strategy with genuine efforts toward gender equity.

Overall, Frydenberg’s announcement to support Hamer rather than seek pre-selection for Kooyong himself addresses immediate party concerns but leaves broader issues of representation and strategic positioning open for further debate.

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