Political party preselection would not normally remain on KC political correspondent’s radar, but the rush for ex Liberal leader Brendan Nelson’s vacating seat of Bradfield on Sydney’s north shore entertains momentarily.
Safest Liberal Party seat in NSW, with a margin of 13.5%, its a prize for any politically conservative wannabes. Ex Howard chief of staff, Nelson acolytes, sundry lobbyists & lawyers make an unsurprising list of carpetbaggers, but there is a stand-out candidate with real intellectual clout.
Ex tennis champ & commentator John Alexander recently joined the party, attended his first branch meeting and is enthusiastic about standing. A strong advocate for preventive health, he believes the decline of public tennis courts is contributing to childhood obesity & health problems (SMH Aug 28). With that range & depth of policy ideas, he’s a shoo-in.
The Labor Party is so impressed that it may not be running a candidate at all. The Greens will go hard though and keep the bastards honest.
The seat is named after John Bradfield, celebrated engineer of the Harbour Bridge. In later life he advocated damming Queensland coastal rivers to divert water to inland Australia by tunnels under the Great Dividing Range. Construction of public tennis courts is a mere bagatelle.
Premier Jack Lang reckoned Bradfield wanted to be the Napoleon III of Sydney, with grandiose plans. Did France’s last monarch & first President also inspire our politicians? Maybe not Nelson, possibly Sartor, probably Keating….but I digress.