Angry Anderson enters Coalition battle

Former rocker and now National Party member Angry Anderson says he is definitely interested in seeking preselection for the federal seat of Gilmore as the tit-for-tat dispute between the Liberals and Nationals over NSW seats escalates.

Mr Anderson, the former frontman of the band Rose Tattoo, has the backing of the NSW Nationals, including Senator John Williams.

"I would suggest that Angry Anderson should run for the Nationals in Gilmore," Senator Williams said. "What's more, he would win it."

Mr Anderson said today "I would, definitely" when asked if he would be interested in putting his name forward for Gilmore, which skirts the southern NSW coast and encompasses the Shoalhaven. "I love the area," he said.

In April, the Liberal Party preselected former Kiama councillor Ann Sudmali as its candidate for Gilmore, which has been held by the Liberals MP Joanna Gash since 1996.

Ms Gash is retiring at the election meaning, under Coalition rules, both Coalition parties are entitled to contest.

But to save resources which can be wasted in messy, three-cornered contests, it is generally agreed that, in certain seats, only one party runs.

These seats are usually determined under a NSW Coalition agreement but the agreement, which was supposed to be finalised in June, is still unresolved because of a dispute revolving around the seat of Hume.

That south-central NSW seat is being vacated by the retiring Liberal MP Alby Schultz, and the Liberals have already preselected businessman Angus Taylor as their candidate.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has strongly endorsed Mr Taylor, and the Liberals are pressuring the Nationals behind the scenes not to run for Hume.

But the Nationals are determined to run and, if they do, the candidate is likely to be either the NSW Nationals Senator Fiona Nash, the state government minister Katrina Hodgkinson or state upper house member Niall Blair.

Today, it was reported the Liberals are considering running a candidate for Lyne, held by the independent Rob Oakeshott and it is being regarded by the Nationals as payback for them being determined to run for Hume.

The Nationals have already preselected for Lyne a doctor, David Gillespie, who is a close friend of Mr Abbott and was best man at his wedding. The mooted Liberal candidate is former rugby league star Matt Adamson.

One senior Liberal source denied the threat to run Mr Adamson was a tit-for-tat response for Hume but said it might be necessary to run two conservative candidates so they could preference each other and ensure Mr Oakeshott is defeated.

Senator Williams said Mr Adamson was welcome to run for Lyne and Mr Anderson was welcome to run for Gilmore.

Mr Anderson joined the Nationals about a year ago.

"I like the Nationals as a party, I like their morals and they have a strong Christian component," he said. He has cut a public profile more recently as an anti-carbon tax campaigner.

The story Angry Anderson enters Coalition battle first appeared on The Sydney Morning Herald.

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