The South Eastern Times
MEMBER for MacKillop Nick McBride will support state colleague and Legislative Council president Andrew McLachlan’s tilt at Federal politics, labelling him as “a great friend of the South East”.
Mr McLachlan will seek preselection for the South Australian Senate, which was officially vacated this week by former Liberal Cory Bernardi.
He will face prominent Adelaide lawyer Morry Bailes – who is backed by Barker MP Tony Pasin – and business consultant Michael Van Dissel at this week’s preselection ballot.
In Mr McLachlan’s pre-selection campaign material, seen by The South Eastern Times, Mr McBride has provided a glowing endorsement of the senior Liberal and praised his “tremendous support” during the freshman MP’s first term.
“Not only he is regular visitor to the region, but he has been a tremendous support to me and my electorate office since my election,” Mr McBride’s endorsement says.
“He listens to the policy ideas founded on our Liberal values, to respond to their challenges and concerns.”
Like Mr McBride, Mr McLachlan has crossed the floor to vote against Liberal-backed legislation.
The former lawyer voted against his party on two occasions while he was a backbencher to reject the former State Government’s anti-bikie laws.
Speaking to The South Eastern Times about backing the senior Liberal, Mr McBride said Mr McLachlan’s appointment to the Senate would be a coup for South Australia.
“He has a good and clear understanding of Liberal philosophy and regularly puts it to practice,” he said.
“As proven by Andrew crossing the floor on two issues, he is not afraid to stand alone.
“Having Andrew in the Senate would also help my own state colleagues by a changing of the guard and another powerful voice in the Senate.
“Andrew has helped me navigate through the political process and I would like to see him go forth and prosper in Federal politics.”
The vote will be conducted on Saturday and around 300 Liberal members across the state – including from the Limestone Coast – are expected to attend.