Gilmore MP Ann Sudmalis has been weathering a storm as local Liberals consider disendorsing her as candidate in the upcoming federal election.
Described as “very much a live option” by a senior local Liberal, the move comes in the wake of Mrs Sudmalis seconding a motion at a public meeting that condemned the Baird government’s proposal to merge Kiama and Shoalhaven councils.
The motion read: ““This public rally condemns the Baird Government for its arrogant and ill-considered merger proposal, and directs Mr Baird to withdraw it forthwith. The rally also calls on local member, Shelley Hancock, and Mayor, Jo Gash, to show greater support for their communities’ desire to reject the amalgamation.”
Mrs Sudmalis’s action was condemned by South Coast MP Shelley Hancock, who said Mrs Sudmalis should confine herself to federal issues. Her comments inspired talk in the party of dumping the federal MP.
“I’m sure that’s on the cards but I’m not prepared to make a comment until I have more information,” said Mrs Sudmalis.
Mrs Sudmalis was nominated unopposed as candidate but faces an acceptance vote some time in April.
One senior local Liberal, who spoke to Fairfax Media on condition of anonymity, explained the discontent.
“At two recent meetings [Shoalhaven Mayor Joanna] Gash said the local MPs were working as a team to oppose the council mergers,” the party source said.
“For Ann to come out and second a motion condemning the Baird government and have a go at Shelley Hancock was unacceptable.”
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