LAST UPDATED: 27 September 2018
Dr Kerryn Phelps is the biggest threat to the Morrison Government right now. She’s running for the seat of Wentworth and if she wins, she just might become Australia’s most powerful politician.
And yesterday, she announced that she supports an end to live sheep exports.
I believe it is our moral and ethical responsibility to bring an end to live sheep export.Dr. Kerryn Phelps
Why this is a big deal?
When Australia’s former Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, lost his spot as the country’s leader — voted out by his own party — he announced that he was resigning from politics. This meant that his Sydney seat of Wentworth would be vacant, forcing a by-election and allowing this electorate to vote in a new representative. While the country’s new PM, Scott Morrison tries to find his feet in the fallout of #Libspill, General Practitioner, Dr Kerryn Phelps, has put her hat in the ring for the former PM’s seat… and she just might win it.
Wentworth is a famously safe Liberal seat – it has been occupied by a member of the Liberal party (and its predecessors) ever since the country’s first election in 1901. But right now, it’s on a knife’s edge.
There is a LOT riding on the outcome of this by-election. Because the Liberal/National coalition only won the last Federal election by a one seat majority, they need to hold onto every possible seat they can. If they lose Wentworth — they lose their majority.
The Australian Labor Party, the Greens, and crossbench MPs Andrew Wilkie and Rebekha Sharkie are already in support of an end to live export. So if the winning candidate in Wentworth joins the push to end Australia’s cruel trade in live sheep… that person could deliver the critical voice needed to help push the recently introduced bill to end live sheep export through Parliament.
As former president of the Australian Medical Association and a current City of Sydney councillor, Dr Kerryn Phelps already has a high profile — and her polling results so far indicate that the Morrison Government has reason to be nervous. Her announcement today means that three out of the four leading candidates in Wentworth support an end to live sheep export (Labor’s Tim Murray is also supportive as is Dominic Wy Kanak from The Greens) — proving that candidates are very sensitive to the issues of concern to voters and more than ever, are prepared to listen.
Not only is ending live export squarely a by-election issue… but Dr Phelps' announcement sends a strong message to the PM — who is refusing to allow his MPs to even debate and vote on it — that this issue will not go away.
The majority of Australians want live export to end — and the majority of politicians do too. It's time the Morrison Government listened. Please, keep up the pressure by taking action for animals today.