A joint committee consisting of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Premier Dominic Perrottet and Liberals president Christine McDiven has stepped in to settle the bitter and longstanding NSW preselections wrangle.
Liberal candidates across nine NSW seats have been endorsed ahead of the upcoming federal election – an intervention many believe should have been a rank-and-file process has stirred divisions within the party.
The committee’s move came after Mr Morrison was accused of deploying public resources to help him win a long-running internal battle over Liberal Party preselections which included an audacious bid to have a case over the outstanding preselections heard in the High Court.
Heading the selection list is navy veteran and Pharmacy Guild of Australia executive Jerry Nockles, who will be the government’s candidate for the bellwether seat of Eden-Monaro in southern NSW.
Local real estate agent Courtney Nguyen will campaign in the western Sydney seat of Fowler, while businessman Wenjie Zhang will run in opposition leader Anthony Albanese’s electorate of Grayndler.
Finance professional Pradeep Pathi has been chosen by the Liberals to contest the inner western Sydney seat of Greenway.
The party’s candidate for Hughes, in Sydney’s south, is legal executive Jenny Ware, and finance specialist Vivek Singha will campaign in McMahon, the western suburbs seat held by Labor veteran Chris Bowen.
Nurse Katrina Wark will run in Newcastle, small business advocate Maria Kovacic will contest Parramatta and lawyer Katherine Deves will challenge independent Zali Steggall for Warringah.
Mr Morrison said in Hobart on Saturday he was pleased with the selections, especially the “great team of western Sydney women” the party would field as candidates.
The three committee members were granted authority to select and endorse their own preferred candidate for each seat.