A LEADING physiotherapist has thrown his hat into the ring for Liberal Party preselection in Corangamite, joining two other prospective candidates.
Geelong-based Marcus Dripps will contest the tightly-fought ballot against 2010 candidate Sarah Henderson and former Howard government adviser Rod Nockles.
Nominations for the pre-selection process closed last week with Corangamite in the spotlight due to incumbent Labor MP Darren Cheeseman’s slim two-party preferred margin. Mr Dripps has five children and he said his family was “involved in a wide range of community and sporting groups in the Geelong region and on the Surf Coast”.
He added he was “committed to improving the opportunities of the communities within the electorate”. The Geelong businessman serves as the vice-president of the Australian Physiotherapy Association. Six candidates contested Corangamite Liberal preselection in 2009, including Mr Nockles, Ms Henderson and her partner Simon Ramsay, who is now a state MP.
A long-serving Liberal Party member told
The party member said Corangamite branch members were becoming concerned with the conduct of leading contenders Ms Henderson and Mr Nockles.
“They’ve been very competitive to win votes, to the point where people are commenting on how bitter it is between the two,” the Liberal Party member said.
“It’s quite strange that only three people have put their name down for the position. You’d think with a seat like Corangamite, which is likely to go the Coalition’s way, that a substantial number would be interested in running, even if it is just to boost their profile.” The vote will take place on June 17 with a venue yet to be determined. About 600 party members are expected to take part in the ballot with a small proportion of outside delegates.
A question mark remains over whether there will be a Corangamite preselection contest for the Labor Party after Mr Cheeseman endorsed Kevin Rudd in his ill-fated ALP leadership quest in February.