Greens snub Noreen Hay with preference announcement

By Nicole Hasham
Updated November 6 2012 - 1:45am, first published March 8 2011 - 10:04am

The incumbency of Wollongong MP Noreen Hay is increasingly in peril after the Greens announced they would direct preferences to independent Gordon Bradbery at the state poll this month.Greens candidate Brendan Cook said the party would ask supporters to make Mr Bradbery their second choice in an explicit attempt to "see the defeat of Noreen Hay"."[Ms] Hay has shown complete contempt toward voters in the region, allowing ... scandals and Labor Party controversies to ruin our city's reputation," he said."Local services and infrastructure are rundown and the Wollongong council corruption scandal has tainted the Labor Party irreversibly."The move is a departure from the 2007 election when the Greens preferenced Ms Hay.A Mercury-IRIS poll last week found Mr Bradbery trails Ms Hay 53-47 on a two-candidate basis. He will likely need both Liberal and Greens preferences to win.Mr Cook said the Greens could no sooner support the Liberal candidate Michelle Blicavs, claiming a Coalition government would lead to "privatisation and service cuts"."Gordon is the only candidate in Wollongong who has expressed real commitment to ... ethical behaviour [and] changing the system," Mr Cook said.But he called on Mr Bradbery to release more concrete policy detail on the restoration of Wollongong council and overhauling the state's "tainted" planning laws.Mr Bradbery said he was grateful for the Greens' decision but maintained he would not be preferencing.Ms Hay was not surprised by Mr Cook's announcement."I'm aware that many of Gordon's policy positions are almost identical to the Greens," she said, citing drug decriminalisation and gay marriage.Mr Bradbery denied his support for those issues, saying he supported better treatment for drug addicts and a formal acknowledgement of same-sex unions.While the Liberal Party has signalled it will pursue a "Vote 1" how-to-vote strategy, Ms Blicavs said she remained "open to discussions with any candidate".She said she would speak further on the matter after nominations closed tomorrow.

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