News / Politics

Field of nine for May 21 poll in Wills

Greens’ candidate Sarah Jefford draws bottom place on the ballot paper

Mark Phillips
Saturday, April 23, 2022

A FIELD of nine candidates have thrown their hats into the ring for the seat of Wills at next month’s federal election.

Several late nominations saw the list swell to three more than in 2019, with the Liberal Party’s Tom Wright securing the coveted top position on ballot papers following the formal draw of candidate’s names on Friday afternoon.

In a blow to her chances of securing an historic first victory in Wills for her party on May 21, the Green’s Sarah Jefford drew the bottom position on the ballot paper, two below the incumbent Labor MP Peter Khalil.

Mr Khalil, who was first elected in 2016, holds the seat with a comfortable 8.2% margin.

Second place on the ballot paper has been taken by Jill Tindal representing Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, which is competing in the seat for the first time.

Emma Black from the Victorian Socialists has taken third place, and Sam Sergi from the newly-formed Australian Federation Party will appear fourth on the ballot paper.

Moreland Councillor Sue Bolton is fifth. Mr Khalil will occupy the seventh place and Ms Jefford is ninth.

Irene Zivkovic has nominated for the United Australia Party, even though the UAP’s website still features Michael El-Hajja as its candidate.

The ballot order

1. Tom Wright, Liberal Party
2. Jill Tindal, Pauline Hanson’s One Nation
3. Emma Black, Victorian Socialists
4. Sam Sergi, Australian Federation Party
5. Sue Bolton, Socialist Alliance
6. Irene Zivkovic, United Australia Party
7. Peter Khalil, Australian Labor Party
8. Leah Horsfall, Animal Justice Party
9. Sarah Jefford, The Australian Greens
Source: Australian Electoral Commission

Voters will have their first opportunity to grill the candidates at a forum in Coburg on Tuesday night.

Mr Khalil and Ms Jefford have both committed to appear at the forum which begins 7pm at the Coburg Uniting Church, 19 Victoria Street, Coburg.

The forum has been organised by Neighbours United for Climate Action, the Coburg Uniting Church and Climate Action Moreland. An independent website linked to by the latter has released a scorecard which rates Ms Jefford higher than Mr Khalil on her commitment to real action on climate change.

During the second full week of campaigning before the May 21 poll, Mr Khalil appeared alongside Labor colleagues Ged Kearney, MHR for Cooper, and Kate Thwaites, MHR for Jagajaga, to announce $1 million in funding to protect and restore the Merri and Darebin creeks.

If Labor wins power, $500,000 would be given to the Merri Creek Management Committee for works to plant more trees, clear up rubbish and encourage more animals, such as the platypus, back into the creek.