Libs settle on O’Connor to take on Plibersek
Young inner-city Liberal Party up-and-comer Sean O’Connor has been preselected to take on Health Minister Tanya Plibersek’s safe Labor seat of Sydney at next year’s federal election.
The openly gay marketing manager for Caltex Australia had narrowly missed out on a council seat at September’s local government elections for the City of Sydney after running third on the ticket for the Liberals. It is believed that bid was used by the Liberal Party as an opportunity to raise O’Connor’s profile in the community.
Having lived in the inner-city for the past eight years and currently residing in Darlinghurst with his partner, O’Connor has shown himself to be a keen student of business after gaining bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Business and Management over the past 12 years as well as an MBA obtained in Paris.
“I don’t think that any Labor MP should be considering their seat safe at this next election,” O’Connor told SX this week.
“Tanya Plibersek is a senior minister in a failed government and that is her legacy. I will be running a grass roots campaign and meeting as many people in the electorate as I can.
“One thing is for sure though – a number of businesses and individuals are doing it tough and the prospect of another four years of this bad government is a scary thought.”
O’Connor told SX that like his federal leader Tony Abbott he was extremely concerned about the impact of the carbon tax on business despite Treasury calculations showing the consumer price index will only increase by 0.7 per cent in 2012-2013 because of the tax compared to an increase of almost 2.5 per cent when the GST and related changes were introduced.
“The Labor party drawing parallels to the GST is welcome. John Howard and the Liberal Party were upfront with the electorate before the election, Julia Gillard said “no carbon tax” before the election and lied,” O’Connor said.
“Not only will it increase the cost of living, but it will not achieve its main objective of reducing global emissions. The Sydney electorate will feel the pain of this carbon tax when they pay their electricity bill.
“Businesses will feel the cost pressures as they will have no choice but to keep their fridges on to keep their food chilled, and their computers on to do their work.”
In response to O’Connor’s preselection, Plibersek told SX she was preparing to run a positive campaign highlighting important social reforms being undertaken by the Gillard Government like the National Broadband Network, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and better dental care.
“Whomever the Liberal Party preselects for the federal seat of Sydney must lay out their own positive plan for Australia’s future, instead of the same destructive negativity Australians see from their leader, Mr Abbott,” Plibersek added.
Plibersek, who has held the seat since 1998, gained over 43 per cent of the primary vote at the last federal election in 2010 despite a swing of almost six per cent against her.