Senator Gary Humphries.

Senator Gary Humphries. Photo: Andrew Meares

Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has acknowledged to his party that a win for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in September’s election will mean pain for Canberra.

In his pitch to Canberra Liberals ahead of Saturday’s preselection duel with former local leader Zed Seselja, the Senator said the coalition’s policies would come at “some cost to the people of Canberra.”

In support of his nomination, Mr Seselja has reassured the party faithful that he would stick to conservative values and not “run to the left” if he wins the party’s number one ACT Senate spot.

The Canberra Times has obtained the nomination forms of the two men vying for preselection, in a contest that has divided the party in an ugly feud.

In his reason for nominating, Senator Humphries has frankly acknowledged that coalition plans to slash the Public Service workforce spelled bad news for Canberra’s economy.

“Restoring economic security and recurring budget surpluses will come at some cost to the people of Canberra,” the Senator wrote.

“The federal budget cannot be brought under control without restraint in Commonwealth spending, hence our commitment to shed 12,000 jobs from the public service.

“During this period of restructuring, Canberra will need an advocate and a champion within the ranks of the new government, a person capable of putting Canberra’s case to his colleagues in the midst of the process.

“I can play that role as I have done before.”

In his pitch to preselectors, Mr Seselja played up the gains made in his election defeat in October 2012.

“As leader I insisted that we should not sacrifice our values or run to the left in order to attract support and I believe that being true to our Liberal values, along with hard work in the electorate was key to massive swings to the Liberal Party in the outer suburbs of up to 18 per cent,” he wrote.