Treasurer Josh Frydenberg could face his toughest electoral battle yet with former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Oliver Yates announcing he will stand against him as an Independent for the seat of Kooyong.
A long-time Liberal Party member, Mr Yates said he would revoke his membership to run against Frydenberg because it was time to challenge climate change denialists within the government.
“It’s unfortunate that it’s come to this,” Mr Yates said.
“The Liberal Party really continues to be in denial about climate change and dealing with the interests of the Australian people.
“I’d been hoping for many years that they would wake up to themselves and deal with this issue, but they haven’t.
“They continue to ignore this core nonsense and I couldn’t just stand by any longer.”
Mr Yates was appointed to the Clean Energy Finance Corporation by the ALP in 2012, where he remained until 2017.
He has been a sharp critic over the years of the Liberal Party and its climate policy, including walking out of a $10,000-a-table fundraiser after a lump of coal was presented to then treasurer Scott Morrison in Parliament, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. Mr Yates is reported to have said on the matter, “it’s not a joke”.
Mr Frydenberg holds Kooyong – which has only been held by conservative MPs since its creation in 1901 – with a margin of 12.8 per cent.
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