Australian businessman Dick Smith confirmed that if former Federal Speaker Bronwyn Bishop was preselected for her Sydney north shore seat at the next federal election – he will challenge her.
But Mr Smith, 71, said if the Liberals put forward a younger candidate for the seat of Mackellar with “an open mind on issues like economic and population growth” he would choose not to run.
“It’s much more likely if she is pre-selected that I will stand,” he told Fairfax Media.
“If they pick someone younger, I won’t.”
Aviation reform could be a key policy platform for the entrepreneur, an avid flyer. He previously told The New Daily the industry was being “destroyed” by regulation, putting jobs at risk.
On Friday morning, Industry and Innovation Minister Christopher Pyne said he was “sure” Mrs Bishop would be returned by her electors if she chose to run at this year’s election, but that Mr Smith was entitled to run if he wished.
“We give our members a real vote in pre-selections, we believe in democracy,” Mr Pyne told the Nine Network.
“We don’t believe in decisions being made in smoke-filled back rooms as they do in the Labor party factions.”
Mr Smith has backed candidates for the Sustainable Australia Party and, as reported previously by The New Daily, registered the business name ‘The Dick Smith Party’ with the aim of forming his own political party.
– with AAP