A NEW preselection battle could boil over in Corangamite to represent the Liberal Party at the next federal election.
Former television journalist Sarah Henderson may face a preselection battle against former party rivals for her former role as Corangamite Liberal candidate after narrowly losing to incumbent Labor MP Darren Cheeseman at last year’s federal election.
Six candidates stood for Liberal Party preselection in June 2009 — Ms Henderson, internet expert Rod Nockles, policy adviser Robert Hardie, Western Victoria MP Simon Ramsay, policy adviser Simon Price and Geelong businessman Michael King.
Mr Nockles told The Standard he was currently weighing up his preselection options.
Former Victorian Farmers Federation president Mr Ramsay was involved in the party’s federal preselection process in 2009, but has since won a seat in Spring Street after contesting last year’s state election for the Coalition.
The Birregurra grazier and Western Victoria MP has actively supported his partner Ms Henderson’s bid to stand for Corangamite again.
Kings Funerals Australia managing director Mr King told The Standard yesterday he had ruled out contesting Liberal Party preselection for Corangamite.
The funeral director was the Liberal Party’s candidate for the state seat of South Barwon at the 2006 Victorian election, losing to incumbent Labor MP Michael Crutchfield.
Mr Price now works as a policy adviser for state Agriculture Minister Peter Walsh.
He did not return The Standard’s calls.
Mr Hardie declined to comment over his preselection intentions. He now works as a policy adviser to Senator Michael Ronaldson.
Mr Nockles has been an outspoken critic of the federal government since last year’s federal election and lambasted its roll-out of its carbon price scheme in a recent opinion piece.
“The reason behind the (carbon tax) announcement is simple enough,” he said.
“The government needs to be seen to be doing something, anything, about climate change.”
Former Golden Plains Shire mayor Jenny Blake also ruled out standing for party preselection after a failed tilt against incumbent MP Stewart McArthur in 2003.