Candidates reflect city's make-up, Libs say
The ACT Liberal Party candidates: L to R Val Jeffery, Giulia Jones, Matt Watts, Steve Doszpot, Tom Sefton, Vicki Dunne, Andrew Wall, Zed Seselja, Murray Gordon, Elizabeth Lee, Jacob Vadakkedathu, Brendan Smyth, Jeremy Hanson, Nicole Lawder, Alistair Coe and James Milligan. Photo: Graham Tidy
Elizabeth Lee might be the first Canberran of Korean heritage to stand for a territory election, but the Liberals' candidate for Molonglo is ''as Australian as anyone''.
''To be the first candidate of Korean heritage is something I take great pride in,'' she said.
''I think that being a politician is the role of ultimate public service and, having been involved in leading young legal communities, it was a natural step.''
The ANU law lecturer, and former chair of ACT Young Lawyers, is one of the 17 candidates the Canberra Liberals have announced will contest the territory election in October. The party is talking up the diversity of the line-up, which includes the six incumbents, former defence personnel, small business owners, public servants and its first candidate of Indian heritage.
Leader Zed Seselja, who will run in Brindabella after making an electorate switch with MLA Steve Doszpot, said the candidates represented ''the make-up of Canberra''.
''All of the candidates have very strong ties to their local communities,'' he said.
''I think many of them are distinct Canberrans in terms of their backgrounds, whether it's their academic backgrounds, their careers or their military service.''
Jacob Vadakkedathu, who the party believes is the first candidate of Indian heritage to run for the Legislative Assembly, is one of the party's hopefuls in Ginninderra.
Mr Vadakkedathu made Canberra his home 14 years ago and works in the federal Department of Finance and is president of the Federation of Indian Associations ACT.
The Nicholls resident said he would focus on roads and traffic in the Gungahlin area as part of his campaign.
''I'm getting enormous support, not just from the Indian community but the multicultural community, and I'm truly humbled,'' he said.
As expected, the Liberals' campaign will focus on cost of living pressures in Canberra and essential services, which Mr Seselja said had been ''neglected'' by the government.
''They spent millions investigating a government office block we just knew we didn't need,'' he said.
''That's money that's not invested in local communities.''
Liberal candidates - Brindabella: Zed Seselja, Brendan Smyth, Val Jeffery, Nicole Lawder, Andrew Wall. Molonglo: Jeremy Hanson, Steve Doszpot, Elizabeth Lee, Giulia Jones, James Milligan, Murray Gordon, Tom Sefton. Ginninderra: Alistair Coe, Vicki Dunne, Jacob Vadakkedathu, Merinda Nash, Matt Watts.