Concerns over delay in Throsby ballot

The man who plans to challenge MP Stephen Jones for Labor preselection in Throsby has admitted he is concerned about a delay in the ballot.

A rank-and-file preselection ballot still hasn't been called in the seat, despite the fact sitting MP Sharon Bird has already been re-endorsed in the neighbouring seat of Cunningham, while Kiama councillor Neil Reilly has been endorsed unopposed in Gilmore.

For nurse John Rumble, 35, the delay in Throsby is a worrying one.

Mr Rumble said he had been canvassing branch members for preselection support.

"There has to be an election within eight months ... and it's best to have a candidate on the field as soon as possible because we have a big election to fight," he said.

"[NSW Labor] general secretary Sam Dastyari said there would be a rank-and-file ballot throughout all seats in NSW as part of the renewal process and quite honestly I support what Sam had to say and the branch members do too."

Mr Jones also said he wanted the party to "get on with it".

"I'm confident that I will be the representative for Labor," he said.

"I've got strong support in all the branches and I wish they would sort it out."

Throsby is believed to be one of just a handful of seats held by Labor in NSW where candidates are yet to be officially endorsed.

Earlier this year, Mr Dastyari said MPs, including Mr Jones, would have to face rank-and-file members.

"For too long, ALP powerbrokers in Sydney have been telling Illawarra Labor members who their local member should and shouldn't be," he told the Mercury in July.

Shellharbour Mayor Marianne Saliba said she believed Mr Jones would find he had "strong support from branch members".

A comment was sought from NSW Labor's head office.

John Rumble.

John Rumble.


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