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Mulherin backs US-style lord mayoral contests

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brisbanetimes.com.au senior reporter

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Another senior Labor figure has backed the idea of US-style ‘‘primaries’’ where registered Labor supporters could help choose Brisbane’s next Labor lord mayoral candidate.

Tim Mulherin, Labor’s deputy opposition leader and MP for Mackay, said the concept of US-style ‘‘primaries’’ had been debated before at a federal level.

‘‘The proposal has been kicked around at a national level around having primaries,’’ Mr Mulherin said.

‘‘Maybe local government for an area like Brisbane City Council, which is the largest municipal council in Australia, it’s probably a good idea,’’ he said.

‘‘It’s about how do we bring more people into the party, because what we want to do as we rebuild the party is have a broader representation in parliament.

‘‘People from different ethnic backgrounds, tradies, doctors, teachers, nurses engineers.’’

This week David Hinchliffe, a former Labor Brisbane City Councillor for Brisbane Central, told brisbanetimes.com.au future ALP lord mayoral candidate should be selected using a US-style primaries system.

His suggestion was backed by Labor state secretary Anthony Chisholm.

Mr Mulherin said any recommendations from the review panel announced earlier this week would have to be adopted by state conference delegates.

Mr Mulherin welcomed former New South Wales deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt and Keating government minister Michael Lee in reviewing Labor’s Queensland 2012 election result.

‘‘It will give branch members of our great party an opportunity to comment on what were the failings at the last state election,’’ he said.

Labor this week said George Wright, the party’s national secretary; Carmel Tebbutt, Labor’s former NSW deputy premier; and Michael Lee, a former Keating government minister, would run the review.

Mr Mulherin said he had faith in the trio to review the party’s actions and put forward a plan for the future.

‘‘I think so, they are well-respected party leaders,’’ he said.

Mr Wright replaced Karl Bitar as Labor’s national secretary in 2010, Ms Tebbutt was NSW deputy premier from 2008 to 2011 and is married to federal minister Anthony Albanese.

Mr Lee was a federal MP for 16 years, Mr Keating’s minister for tourism from 1993 to 1996 and spent four years on the City of Sydney council between 2004 and 2008.

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