City of Sydney Councillor Kerryn Phelps has confirmed she will contest former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth as an independent.
Professor Phelps, a former Australian Medical Association president and now GP in the electorate, was a high-profile backer of same-sex marriage and was heavily involved in the “yes” campaign during the postal survey last year.
She said on Sunday the “revolving door of leadership” in Canberra over the last ten years had weakened the major parties and people didn’t want to see it continue.
“I’ve had hundreds of people in Wentworth contact me in the past few weeks to express their anger and frustration over the sacking of Malcolm Turnbull,” she said.
“The new Prime Minister Scott Morrison either cannot or will not explain why Malcolm Turnbull has been replaced.
“What we need to see is some integrity and some stability returned to the Australian Federal Parliament.”
Dr Phelps said her track record as a doctor, health campaigner and LGBTIQ advocate gave her the skills for the federal parliament.
“The ‘yes’ campaign showed what happens when like-minded people come together in the interest of social justice,” she said.
“The campaign for Wentworth will be a similar grassroots campaign by and for the people of Wentworth.”
If elected, she pledged to treat every parliamentary vote as a conscience vote.
“For too long we have seen politicians who we know are voting against their own conscience and their own beliefs because of the party line,” she said.
On Friday, Liberal Party members selected businessman and former Australian ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma, as their candidate.
Labor’s candidate is local surf lifesaving club president Tim Murray and Waverly deputy mayor Dominic Wy Kanak is running for the Greens.