An overseas deployment has ruled Wollongong MP Noreen Hay’s son out of a preselection battle against Throsby MP Stephen Jones.
In a letter to NSW Labor members, obtained by the Mercury, military prosecutor Mark Hay revealed a posting with the Royal Australian Navy meant he would not be in Australia for the impending preselection contest.
‘‘It would be arrogant and wrong to seek your support for preselection while I am overseas and I will not be doing so,’’ he said.
However, Mr Hay has left the door open for a future tilt at politics.
‘‘All I ask is that in the future [should] I decide to seek ALP preselection that you judge me purely by the name I have made for myself in the community, in my chosen profession and in my service to this great country,’’ he wrote.
Yesterday, Mr Hay told the Mercury he had been weighing up a challenge before notification of the posting.
‘‘I might very well have decided this is the time to run but as it turns out, the stars were not in alignment,’’ he said.
Labor’s powerful right faction, led by Ms Hay, is preparing to mount a challenge against Mr Jones when preselections for the 2013 federal election are held later this year.
The Canberra-based Mr Hay was the only person to publicly confirm an interest in challenging. Mr Hay denied he was a ‘‘puppet’’ and praised his mother in his letter to members.
‘‘You know that I make my own decisions, have my own views and beliefs and most importantly of all, that I am not backwards in making those views and beliefs known,’’ he wrote.
‘‘However, lest there be any doubt, I again want to thank my mum for her unswerving support and encouragement.
‘‘Like any parent she sees only my positive qualities and is forever acting as my advocate in all things that I turn my hand to.
‘‘I do not in any way seek to distance myself from her or her support.’’
Mr Hay yesterday denied he had been asked by head office or branch members not to run, given his mother’s position.
He said politicians from the same family simultaneously serving the same region was not uncommon in Australian politics, citing Federal Infrastructure and Transport Minister Anthony Albanese and his wife Carmel Tebbutt, the former NSW Deputy Premier.
‘‘... in almost every aspect of my life I believe I am entitled to be judged on my own achievements, on my qualities as a candidate and the errors that I have made in my life,’’ he said.