Holsworthy MP Melanie Gibbons said she was “unaware” of any internal dispute after media reports surfaced last week about Tina Ayyad challenging for preselection as the result of a “bitter local dispute”.
9 News referred to a toxic battle that erupted in Ms Gibbons’s seat of Holsworthy.
“As usual in these situations, I am unable to comment on internal party matters but I am able to say I am unaware of any internal dispute that has been referred to,” Ms Gibbons said.
She told the Champion about her hopes to continue her work as Member for Holsworthy, as she has for the past two years.
“I am now and have always been focused on providing the services and local infrastructure for the community I love and I hope to continue to do that.
“During my time as a state Member some of the things I have been able to achieve and deliver include much needed commuter parking spaces at our local train stations, the construction of the South-West Rail Link - ahead of time and under budget, the replacement of Deadmans creek bridge, the M5 Widening and securing funding to plan for the upgrade of Heathcote Road – between The Avenue and Infantry Parade.
“I’ve also focused on helping our locals in times of struggle to help make their lives a little easier. My goal at this time is to continue working hard to ensure we do not return to the Labor Government years, where our local area was overlooked and taken for granted.”
The Liberal Party holds the seat by a margin of six per cent and it’s thought Ms Gibbons may not have the support to win a preselection.
Ms Gibbons was the former Member for Menai from 2011 to 2015 and has been the Member for Holsworthy since March 2015. She is also the partner of NSW Liberal Party president and Sutherland Shire councillor Kent Johns.
Mrs Ayyad became Liverpool Council Deputy Mayor about three months ago and is the wife of former Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun.
Mrs Ayyad said neither her or her husband Mr Mannoun were able to make comment due to party policy.
Despite Ms Gibbons’ efforts, Labor MP and member for Liverpool Paul Lynch slammed the liberal party.
“This internal Liberal squabbling is characteristic of what’s occurring country wide in their party. They’re focused on themselves, not the community,” Mr Lynch said.
“The electorate is concerned with rising prices, unfair tolls, a disastrous new train timetable, and a hopelessly mismanaged container deposit levy, not with the individual ambitions of underperforming Liberal MPs or non-event Liberal councillors”.