LABOR has confirmed former Australian Medical Association President, Doctor Brian Owler, will be Labor’s candidate for the Sydney seat of Bennelong at the upcoming federal election.
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten confirmed on Tuesday that Dr Owler had nominated to be the party’s candidate following the withdrawal of Lyndal Howison.
Mr Shorten said the high-profile neurosurgeon was a respected doctor who had fought for Medicare during his tenure as head of the AMA.
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“Mr Medicare is coming to Canberra to make sure that we put Medicare and health care right up the top,” Mr Shorten said.
Bennelong is currently held by the Liberals’ John Alexander, who retained the seat with a reduced margin after a 2017 by-election fight against Kristina Keneally, who is now a senator.
Dr Owler admitted the now-marginal seat would be hard to win but divisions within the coalition had motivated him to run.
“I think this nation is sick and tired of not having their opinions listened to,” he told reporters.
“‘I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that the people of Bennelong have a strong voice in Canberra.”
Who would know better the damage the Liberals are doing to our health system than one of Australia’s best brain surgeons? Great to have @BrianOwler stand with @AustralianLabor to hold the Liberals to account for their cuts and chaos. #Bennelong
— Tanya Plibersek (@tanya_plibersek) October 29, 2018
Delighted and excited that @BrianOwler is running for Labor in Bennelong. He will make a great representative for the area, & a terrific MP. Dr Owler is a strong supporter of Medicare. He will stand up for equal access to health & education, and for fairness in our community.
— Kristina Keneally (@KKeneally) October 29, 2018