Penny Fischer dismisses Goulburn electorate interest

The daughter of sitting Goulburn MP Pru Goward says she has no intention of running in this seat, despite reports of her interest.

Liberal Party sources have claimed Penny Fischer, who previously missed out on Wollondilly Liberal Party pre-selection, was just one of several names being considered to replace Ms Goward in Goulburn.

Penny Fischer, pictured here in 2016, says she's not interested in running for the seat of Goulburn. Photo: Simon Bennett.

Penny Fischer, pictured here in 2016, says she's not interested in running for the seat of Goulburn. Photo: Simon Bennett.

As detailed by the Goulburn Post, a Liberal pre-selection for this seat will not be held. The move has angered some party members.

But Ms Fischer says she’s not interested.

“I have no intention of running,” she said.

I don’t live there. I’m a high school teacher in Wollondilly (Shire) and I’m about to relocate to the Southern Highlands. I haven’t been sounded out and the party has never asked me.”

Ms Fischer said she wouldn’t rule out an opportunity to run for Parliament in the future, but it would need to be in an appropriate location.

“(In Goulburn) it would be nepotism and that’s not what I do,” she told The Post.

Meantime, Goulburn Liberal Party president Grant Pearce has rejected suggestions that he postponed a branch meeting scheduled for Saturday due to controversy over possible replacements for Ms Goward.

“The sole reason I postponed was that the secretary advised me there were a lot of apologies due to people being away,” he said.

“I decided that there was no point having it, also because there was no candidate. The idea was to introduce the candidate at that meeting.”

Mr Pearce said it was just a few “disgruntled people” speaking out about the lack of a pre-selection. He was referring to a report in Wednesday’s Goulburn Post.

He said while a pre-selection was preferable, he agreed with Ms Goward there was no time for this given that the election was just over two months away. Mr Pearce told The Post he backed former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s plebiscite to give members a greater say in candidate selection and was disappointed with factions that opposed it.

“I hope we can still win the war,” he said.

Mr Pearce argued that despite this, a direct nomination was necessary in the circumstances and it would be done by the party’s State director in consultation with the State executive and Premier, and he assumed, with advice from Ms Goward and the Liberals’ State Electoral Council chairman, Nick Tyrell. 

He believed there was still time to run an effective campaign but said unlike the Labor Party, the Liberals did not have union members “prepared to wave banners and man booths.”

“But I’d expect our candidate will have a following who can help them campaign,” he said.

Regarding former Goulburn Mulwaree Mayor Geoff Kettle’s threat to run as an Independent if the party didn’t choose a known person, including himself, Mr Pearce said: “There is a word for the process of holding people to ransom.”

He was confident a candidate would be named in coming weeks.  

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