Farmer move furore
Tuesday 15 January, 2008 12:00am
FEDERAL Liberal MP Pat Farmer has lost the support of Liberal Party powerbrokers following his move to Mosman, and is unlikely to contest the next election.
Liberal Party sources said the decision of whether or not to contest the next election was taken out of Mr Farmer’s hands.
The loss of Liberal Party support follows Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson counselling Mr Farmer against moving to Mosman.
Liberal MLC Charlie Lynn said elected representatives should live in their electorates.
“The party expects every member to live in their electorate and have their nose to the grindstone,” he said.
“I’ve lived around the world and Australia. I can’t understand why anyone would want to leave Macarthur. It’s the best place in the world.”
Camden councillor and Liberal Party member Rob Elliott said he expected the move to be unpopular with Mr Farmer’s constituents.
“It’s hard to predict how the community will react but they tend to expect politicians to live in the electorate they represent,” he said.
“Pat needs to look at himself in the mirror and decide whether this is the right decision or not.”
Campbelltown councillor Paul Hawker said living at Mosman would not hinder Mr Farmer’s performance as Macarthur MP.
“I seem to recall the last Member for Campbelltown, Michael Knight, moving to the North Shore and doing an excellent job,” he said.
Prominent Liberal Party member Matt Leighton said Mr Farmer would retain the support of rank- and-file members, so long as his focus was the Macarthur region.
“Pat will have to work hard in this term otherwise it won’t be to his advantage,” he said.
“Macarthur is a marginal seat and Pat will need to go the extra yard to prove himself to be the most desired and deserved candidate.”