Finance Minister Matthias Cormann has backed the Liberal Party’s decision not to contest the Perth and Fremantle byelections, saying it would be a waste of money.
State director Sam Calabrese issued a statement on Saturday, saying the party would focus on contesting the state byelection for the seat of Darling Range.
It will field candidates for Perth and Fremantle in the “real” federal election next year.
“Whether you have a lot of money or lesser resources, it is never a good idea to waste money – you always ought to concentrate and prioritise your resources into those contests where you’re most likely to be successful,” Mr Cormann said in Perth on Monday.
The Liberals are in the processing of selecting candidates for Longman (in Queensland) and Mayo (in South Australia).
Brett Whiteley will be the Liberal candidate for the other looming byelection, in the Tasmanian seat of Braddon. Mr Whiteley was previously the member for Braddon, losing to Labor’s Justine Keay in 2016.