Josh Frydenberg rules out seeking Kooyong preselection

Former Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has ruled out attempting to displace Amelia Hamer as the Liberals’ candidate for Kooyong.


  • Michelle Grattan

    Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Frydenberg’s quick decision comes after a public backlash against the possibility he could push aside an already preselected woman.

It had also become clear the redrawn draft boundaries for Kooyong, unveiled by the Australian Electoral Commission on Friday, are unlikely to give the boost to the Liberal vote in the seat that some Liberals had initially thought. The seat is held by teal Monique Ryan.

Under the Victorian draft boundaries, the seat of Higgins, held by Labor, is set to be abolished, with large numbers of its voters pushed into Kooyong and Chisholm. Chisholm, now in Labor hands, improves for the Liberals.

Frydenberg posted on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday that he was “not rushing back to politics.

“My position on contesting the next election remains unchanged. I will continue to support the Liberal Party and our local candidate Amelia Hamer.”

The speculation about Frydenberg had split Liberals, with a faultline between those appalled at the idea of dumping a woman – the Liberals are under criticism for not promoting enough female candidates – and those who argued Frydenberg’s return (assuming he won the seat) would boost the parliamentary party’s talent pool.

Former minister Karen Andrews had strongly backed an effort to get him back into parliament.

But Charlotte Mortlock, founder of Hilma’s Network, which encourages women to join the Liberal Party, posted: “Josh could have challenged Scott Morrison for the leadership, he didn’t. Josh could have put his hand up for Kooyong, he didn’t. He could have run for the Victorian Senate vacancy, he didn’t. Women are not collateral damage for Josh Frydenberg’s regrets.”

With Kooyong settled, the Victorian Liberal Party will still have to decide whether to reopen nominations for Chisholm where Theo Zographos was preselected unopposed. There is a push to have Katie Allen, who is the Higgins Liberal candidate, moved to Chisholm.

The Conversation

Michelle Grattan does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

/Courtesy of The Conversation. View in full here.