Tripodi ally causes ructions in Barton race
Shaoquett Moselmane, a member of the NSW upper house, has nominated himself to replace outgoing federal Labor MP Robert McClelland in the Sydney seat of Barton. Photo: Supplied
The Labor Party has a new headache in the federal seat of Barton where a close of ally of former powerbroker Joe Tripodi has declared his intention to replace the outgoing MP Robert McClelland.
Shaoquett Moselmane, a member of the NSW upper house and protege of Mr Tripodi, nominated himself on Monday after former premier Morris Iemma announced he would not contest.
Nominations closed for the metropolitan Sydney electorate at midday, with Rockdale mayor Shane O'Brien, Kirsten Andrews, the candidate backed by Environment Minister Tony Burke, and former mayor of Hurstville Steve McMahon, also nominating.
Mr Moselmane, who controls the Bexley branch of the ALP is estimated to control at least a third of preselectors' votes but Labor sources said he would not be an acceptable candidate in Barton.
A source said: ''This is definitely a problem.''
It had been thought that Mr Moselmane's public speculation about running if Mr Iemma did not had more to do with securing his spot on state Labor's upper-house ticket but his nomination has shaken up the process.
It is believed party officials will seek to persuade Mr Moselmane, who has been ''mentored'' by Mr Tripodi, to withdraw his nomination.
A Labor source said: ''His value to the party is in the upper house of NSW rather than federal politics.''
Sussex Street will be desperate to avoid imposing a candidate, having said rank and file members would choose their candidates.
It is not yet known whether a byelection will occur in Barton, with Mr McClelland, the former attorney-general, reportedly poised to accept a job as a NSW industrial relations commissioner.
A spokeswoman for NSW Treasurer Mike Baird, who oversees industrial relations, said the government was looking to fill the three vacancies ''sooner rather than later''.