Quinn’s big splash

JOANNE QUINN has spared no expense in trying to become the Stirling Liberal candidate at the upcoming federal election.

The 47-year-old has tried to woo Liberal state delegates with a glossy six-page brochure outlining her credentials ahead of the Stirling pre-selection vote today (Saturday February 23).

A party insider said candidates normally send delegates a Word-style document with background information and a headshot, and the professional-looking brochure which includes numerous testimonials, was unprecedented.

“Stirling has never been retained by any political party following the retirement of a sitting member,” wrote Ms Quinn in her brochure.

“For our party to win Stirling, we will need to make history.

“The gravity of your decision cannot be understated.”

Ms Quinn, general counsel at Edith Cowan University, is one of four women, along with former army officer Vince Connelly, who will vie for pre-selection on Saturday.

With the Liberal party under fire for its very bloke-heavy benches in the federal chamber, the seat is being seen as a chance for the Blues to address the imbalance.

Martin Drum, associate professor in politics at Notre Dame University, says he wasn’t surprised at the number of women nominating for Stirling.

“There’s likely to be pressure from both inside and outside the Liberal party to preselect a women in Stirling,” Dr Drum says.

“The percentage of women in the Federal Liberal party room is still way too low and unsurprisingly this is getting a lot of attention.

“Only by selecting quality female candidates in winnable seats can this be addressed.

“Stirling is a must-hold seat for the Liberals at the next election.

“With a margin of 6.1 per cent it’s hard to see the Liberals winning the election if they cannot hold it.”

Ms Quinn, who is allegedly being backed by party powerbrokers Mathias Cormann and Peter Collier, is favourite to be pre-selected, but Mr Connelly, vice-president of the Liberal Party’s Stirling division, is believed to have strong support amongst the local rank and file.

Other candidates are Michelle Sutherland, Georgina Fraser and Taryn Houghton.

by STEPHEN POLLOCK

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