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Former prime minister Tony Abbott and Catholic Schools NSW CEO Dallas McInerney.

Former Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger has called for the return of Tony Abbott to Parliament through the New South Wales Senate vacancy, while Catholic Schools NSW chief Dallas McInerney is also being touted for the job. Source: The Australian.

Mr Kroger, a two-term Victorian Liberal president and conservative leader, said there could be no better candidate than the former prime minister to help the Coalition in opposition.

Mr Kroger said that while the Senate vacancy is solely a matter for the NSW division to determine who will be the replacement for the five-year term in the Senate, he believed there could “no better candidate than former prime minister Tony Abbott”.

The death of senator Jim Molan has created a five-year upper house vacancy for the Liberal Party in NSW which has to be filled by a Liberal who will be selected by the full 750-member state council.

There are already discussions within the Liberal Party about delaying the nomination process for a new senator until after the NSW state election in March as individuals and factions position themselves for the ballot.

The leading contender from the conservative faction for the Senate vacancy is Catholic School NSW chief Dallas McInerney but amid the calls for a delay in deciding a replacement the moderate faction is considering contesting the vacancy.

Other possible candidates include former NSW transport minister Andrew Constance, former Wentworth MP Dave Sharma and one-time Liberal Warringah candidate Jane Buncle. Former NSW Liberal senator and minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells was pushed down the Senate ticket by the Right faction in favour of Senator Molan and lost her Senate spot last year.


Lib’s Senate push for Abbott (By Dennis Shanahan, The Australian)


Messy fight on cards for Molan’s Senate vacancy (SMH)

Pressure on Marise Payne to retire from Senate (SMH)