Nats entitled to run in Hume, says Hockey
THE Nationals are entitled to run a candidate in the Liberal-held seat of Hume at the next federal election, says shadow treasurer Joe Hockey.
The retirement of sitting MP Alby Schultz, who has held the seat since 1998, is stirring tensions between the two coalition parties.
The Liberals are insisting the Nationals not run, Sydney media report, but leading Nationals figures are reportedly keen to stand in the electorate.
Mr Hockey says the Nationals are entitled to run in a three-cornered contest when a sitting coalition MP retires or Labor holds a seat.
“They’re entitled to run where there’s a vacancy, but I’ll be supporting our Liberal candidate,” Mr Hockey told journalists in Sydney today (Wednesday).
“It’s been a tradition that there be three-cornered contests in New South Wales where a vacancy occurs, so nothing has changed.
“There’s nothing new about that.”
The Nationals Senator Fiona Nash and NSW Primary Industries Minister, Katrina Hodgkinson, would be likely pre-selection candidates if the party ran a candidate.
The Liberals in May pre-selected cattle breeder and Rhodes Scholar Angus Taylor.