Independents pose an ‘ever-present risk’ in Sydney, say NSW Liberals

In New South Wales, Teal Independents won three seats: Allegra Spender took Wentworth in the eastern suburbs; Kylea Tink won North Sydney; and Sophie Scamps won Mackellar at Northern Beaches.

North Shore Liberal MP Felicity Wilson said no member should be complacent with independents.

“There’s always an independent threat,” Wilson said. “I think Climate 200 is unlikely to focus on us because we have a strong track record on climate and integrity. But it would be ignorant to avoid that groundswell of support that the teal independents generated.”

Environment Minister James Griffin said Liberals in NSW must continue to be good local members with policies that focus on the needs of their constituents.

“There was a message to the federal government over the weekend, but we are still working hard in NSW to make sure we listen to a wide section of the community and reflect those concerns in our policies,” said Griffin, MP for Manly.

Charging

Willoughby MP Tim James, who barely managed to beat an independent in a by-election earlier this year, said being a strong local member was the key weapon in beating independents.

“The key lesson from Saturday is that you can never take community support for granted,” James said. “We must always listen to the views of the community and seek to be a strong and effective advocate for those we represent.”

However, Liberal MPs believe James, who suffered a 20 per cent swing against him, is nervous about his re-election chances after he asked Prime Minister Dominic Perrottet at a party room meeting if there were any concerns. about the threat of the independents.

One MP, who was not allowed to speak publicly in party room discussions, said Perrottet’s response was that he did not think they posed a major problem for the Liberals.

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