ALP begins plan to regain Kiama seat

LABOR has vowed to fight for every single seat in next year’s state election campaign, Opposition Leader John Robertson told the ALP faithful at Kiama on Monday.  

Mr Robertson attended the campaign launch of Labor candidate for Kiama Glenn Kolomeitz at Kiama Leagues Club.

Gerroa barrister and father of two Mr Kolomeitz will contest next March’s election.

Sitting MP Gareth Ward was endorsed unopposed as the Liberal Party’s candidate last November.

Mr Kolomeitz is a former Army and police officer.

“I’m about putting words into action,” he said.

“It’s a record of putting service above self and not backing away from a fight.

“Make no mistake about it; this will be a fight for us here in Kiama.

“But it’s a fight that needs fighting.”

Mr Kolomeitz emphasized the need to return to ‘‘some of these Labor values... values that only Labor gives’’.

‘‘The Liberal Party is dropping the ball in regional areas, and Kiama is a case in point.

“My wife’s a local GP in Kiama, so we have insight into these health issues, and we’re seeing people be unable to access publicly available, specialist health services like urology, orthopaedics; these grassroots entitlements.

“(The Liberals will) tell you they’ve been working very hard.

“It doesn’t take much chipping away at the surface to see they have neglected a lot of these grassroots issues.

“We’ve been seeing that lately with health, education; the roads.”

Mr Robertson said he wanted to get candidates into the field early.

‘‘We’ve put in a lot of work over the past three years, reconnecting with the community, developing policies, listening to people, cleaning up our show, and getting on with the job,’’ he said.

“(Mr Kolomeitz is) somebody who’s got a lot of experience; a veteran, a lawyer, someone who’s connected in the community.

“Public transport’s a big issue. The issues that are impacting here are impacting right across the state; health and education.

‘‘What most people say, whether it’s Kiama or elsewhere is that this is a government that’s been very disappointing.

‘‘Created a high expectation, but has been very poor when it comes to delivery.”

In 2007, former Labor MP Matt Brown retained Kiama with more than 50 per cent of the primary vote.

Mr Brown entered the 2011 election with a margin of 12 per cent, but a 19.4 per cent swing against Labor meant Kiama became a Liberal seat for the first time.

The seat’s boundaries will shift south of the Shoalhaven River for the 2015 election. 

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