News Politics Australian Politics Federal Election 2022 Treasurer admits ‘close’ election in his seat of Kooyong
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Treasurer admits ‘close’ election in his seat of Kooyong

josh frydenberg kooyong
Josh Frydenberg has acknowledged his fight against key Independent candidate Monique Ryan will be close. Photo: AAP
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Treasurer Josh Frydenberg admits the election in his seat of Kooyong will be close, as he seeks to fend off a challenge from a high-profile independent candidate.

If he loses the seat, Mr Frydenberg will be the first in the Liberal Party to do so.

“Certainly I think it will be close and I’ve never taken my seat for granted,” Mr Frydenberg told ABC Radio National on Friday.

“I feel very fortunate that I’ve been supported by my community at the last four elections.”

He said independents such as his opponent Monique Ryan were “no more than a slogan and a banner”.

Mr Frydenberg holds the seat with a margin of 5.7 per cent, but a redistribution is predicted to have narrowed his lead.

Dr Ryan has campaigned on more ambitious action on cutting emissions and establishing a national integrity commission.

Mr Frydenberg said independent candidates such as Dr Ryan should state who they would support if neither major party won a clear majority on May 21.

“But when they vote for so-called independents they will get a hung parliament and a Labor Party that will do deals with them,” he said.

He challenged Dr Ryan to produce costings for her policies rather than “relying on just the vibe”.

Dr Ryan said the major parties would need to “come to the table on climate and integrity” if they wanted her support.

“If there is a hung parliament … I will negotiate with both of the major parties on the basis of the things for which I’ve been elected which is effective action on climate change and an ICAC to secure some integrity and transparency in government,” she said.

“I’m prepared to work with either side of the political spectrum.”

However, she noted the Coalition continued to be “held to ransom” by Nationals members who disagreed with the net zero emissions by 2050 policy.

Labor campaign spokesman Jim Chalmers said in Sydney that Mr Frydenberg had hit a low point in his personal attack on Dr Ryan.

“He dismissed a woman who is a very accomplished part of the medical profession as nothing more than a slogan,” Dr Chalmers said.

TAB’s Gerard Daffy said there was heightened betting interest in Dr Ryan following this week’s alarmingly high inflation figures.

Campaigning in Tasmania, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said a vote for independents would lead to “chaos”.

“What Australia does not need at a time of great uncertainty – economically, and when it comes to international security – is a parliament that is in chaos, where a government each and every day has to go and bargain to keep Australia safe and to keep Australia strong,” he said.

Mr Morrison visited Lark Distillery in the seat of Lyons, announcing the Pontville company would receive $4.5 million towards a new one-million-litre-a-year whisky distillery.

The distillery wants to boost its exports, employ more skilled workers and attract tourists to Tasmania.

Lyons is held by Labor’s Brian Mitchell on a margin of 5.2 per cent and is a target seat for the Liberals, who are running local councillor Susie Bower.

Mr Morrison later visited Bell Bay in the ultra-marginal Liberal-held seat of Bass to announce a clean hydrogen industrial hub.

-AAP