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Labor’s Keneally move slammed over hypocrisy

Seal Media Group, Australia

Ms Keneally’s endorsement in the safe Labor lower house seat of Fowler dashed the hopes of young Vietnamese Australian lawyer Tu Le, who had the backing of retiring MP Chris Hayes. Yet at the same time, ALP members at the upcoming NSW conference are expected to endorse a platform amendment stating the party is “committed” to “improving the representation of culturally and linguistically diverse people … including within the party”.The amendment has the support of both right and left faction members, and a party policy committee has ­already recommended it be passed. Many Labor MPs are privately “furious” at the Fowler decision, with one ­federal member describing it as the party “saying one thing and doing another”.Daily Telegraph – News Feed latest episodeALP NSW state executive board member Rebecca Huntley said that the call in Fowler was “beyond disappointing”. “It’s embarrassing,” she said. “The party values should be reflected in its ­preselection processes and outcomes.”NSW Labor member and research fellow at think-tank Per Capita, Osmond Chui, said the decision in Fowler showed the party had not “taken seriously” the issue of diversity.“Hopefully, what’s happened will make people realise it’s a big issue,” he said. Mr Chui said a lot of Labor members had expressed their disappointment “privately”, but most of the public commentary had been “left to people of colour”.“It’s disappointing,” he said. “This isn’t about Kristina Keneally – it’s a systemic issue.”Installing Ms Keneally in Fowler allowed the former premier to avoid a bruising preselection battle with right-faction colleague Deb O’Neill for a winnable position on the senate ticket at the next election. Despite sparking furore within the party, the deal was ticked off by NSW ALP general secretary Bob Nanva. It comes amid increased speculation Mr Nanva will not recontest for the position. Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek, who is a left faction member, on Sunday refused to say if she supported moving Ms Keneally, adding the party could “always do more” on diversity. “I hope we do have a next generation of candidates like Tu Le who will put a hand up again in the future,” she said.NSW Labor leader Chris Minns told The Daily Telegraph he “fully supported (Ms Keneally’s) candidacy”, adding she would be a “wonderful advocate”.KRISTINA WHO?Kristina Keneally wants to run for a safe Labor seat in southwest Sydney, but the senator is far from guaranteed a cordial reception by some of her potential constituents — many of whom have never heard of her.The 52-year-old last week confirmed her plans to move from the senate to run for the federal lower house seat of Fowler – which takes in multicultural suburbs Cabramatta and Liverpool – despite living on the Northern Beaches and despite outgoing MP Chris Hayes backing local lawyer Tu Le to replace him. Ms Keneally outlined the move after becoming embroiled in a battle with her colleague Deborah O’Neill over a Senate spot.But only five people out of 17 knew who Ms Keneally was when questioned by The Daily Telegraph while they were shopping at Bonnyrigg Plaza in Fowler on Sunday.Former public servant Myra Topic, 48, who did know Ms Keneally, called the move a “joke” and said the Labor Party should empower a local person who knows what local residents care about.“I think it’s ridiculous. Labor is just trying to assure her position in the government, but she’s got nothing to do with this area here,” Ms Topic said.“This is crazy … I mean she’s going to rent a house here; what, she’s going to live in Cabramatta?“I don’t think so after living in Scotland Island. Where are her kids going to go to school? Is she going to do the daily commute?“I doubt it. I think it’s silly. I don’t think she’s necessarily a bad candidate, but I just don’t think that she’s suitable for here.“They should try and empower a local person who really knows what we’re talking about. “She’s got no idea (about) multiculturalism; that’s a joke.”And sales representative Sadia Ali, 35, of Liverpool, said she had not heard of Ms Keneally before and that she would prefer someone from her local area to represent her.“They would understand the demographic better,” she said.NAT – Stay Informed – Social Media

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