CAMPAIGNING for the federal seat of Gilmore stepped up a gear today with the Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop officially opening the Liberal candidate Ann Sudmalis’ campaign office.
Ms Bishop was welcomed to the Junction Street office by a number of local Liberal Party members and endorsed Ms Sudmalis as the person to be the next Member for Gilmore.
“I have got to know Ann Sudmalis over many years and she will make a magnificent representative for this area,” she said.
“She has big shoes to fill, I know that Ann will do a magnificent job.
“I love her life experience that she will bring to the parliament, she was a science teacher but has also been involved in the family’s small manufacturing and exporting business.
“I really look forward to Ann joining the Tony Abbott Coalition team in Canberra.”
She spoke of the performance of the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd government, saying if it was a business it had failed.
“They have never delivered a surplus and has failed dramatically on border protection,” she said.
“The Australian people can have confidence the Coalition will regain control of our borders and will restore our standing in the international community.”
She said immigration spokesman Scott Morrison’s trip to Nauru, paid for by Toll Holdings, a logistics contractor specialising in supplying tents for remote camps, was completely appropriate and that Mr Morrison had been completely open, transparent and accountable about it.
She also spoke about how the Coalition would tackle Gilmore’s unemployment problems.
As well as fielding questions from the media she also faced a “grilling” from Kinghorne Motor Group owner Geoff O’Connell over the recently flagged changes to the Fringe Benefit Tax.
Ms Bishop said the Coalition had been absolutely clear in its opposition to the FBT changes.
“If Kevin Rudd called back parliament we would oppose it and we will not introduce it should we be elected to government,” she said.
Ms Bishop will spend the next two days campaigning in the electorate. She will open another electorate office, meet local residents and community members, tour Manildra and hear concerns it has about operating its business, take part in a Shoalhaven businesswomen’s luncheon and visit a local school to talk to students about foreign aid.
Prior to Ms Bishop’s arrival, rival candidate, Labor’s Neil Reilly stole the spotlight for a short time, standing on a soapbox, opposite Ms Sudmalis’ campaign office addressing people in the street, saying he was offering an alternative to the Coalition.
And even though they might come from the opposite sides of the political spectrum to both candidate’s credit there was a cordial meeting as Ms Sudmalis crossed the street to shake Mr Reilly’s hand.