8 April 2024

Revitalised Giulia Jones throws hat in ring for Liberal Senate ticket

| Ian Bushnell
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Giulia Jones

Giulia Jones says she can win back the Senate seat: “I realise life can be short. Do what you love.” Photo: PainAustralia.

Former MLA and cancer survivor Giulia Jones will be among three certain nominations for the Liberal Party Senate ticket as the party battles to retake the seat from independent Senator David Pocock at the next federal election due in 2025.

Nominations close tomorrow, and at this stage, other candidates include Jacob Vadakkedathu, a former candidate for the Legislative Assembly, and Kacey Lam-Evans, who was Zed Seselja’s running mate in the disastrous 2022 campaign.

It is believed that Dr Jerry Nockles, the unsuccessful Liberal candidate in Eden-Monaro in 2022, was considering a run, but that would mean pulling out of the ACT election, where he was preselected for the central seat of Kurrajong.

Mrs Jones has the highest profile of the three, having been a long-time MLA and Opposition frontbencher. She is currently CEO of PainAustralia.

Last year, the mother of six was diagnosed with breast cancer but is now in remission, finished all of her active treatment and is “loving life”.

She told Region that she was as healthy now as she had ever been.

But why go back into the unforgiving world of politics, particularly at the federal level?

“I realise life can be short, do what you love, and politics is my first love from a career perspective,” Mrs Jones said.

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Mrs Jones said the party needed to regain the Senate seat so it could again represent Canberrans in Parliament, and she believed she was the best-equipped person to do that, particularly as a woman candidate.

She said Senator Pocock was a nice fellow, but his voting record would disappoint voters whose interests were not on the left side of politics.

“If people want a representative from the right, they need to vote Liberal, and I want to give them a really reasonable option to do that,” she said.

“We have a government that’s on the left, and to hold government to account you need people on the other side. If there is a change of government, you’ll want representation in the government.

“It’s about balance and the different opinions in our city being represented in a broad way.”

Mrs Jones rejected the view that Senator Pocock had solidified his position and that the electorate had shifted to the left, making it even harder for the Liberals to regain the seat.

She said the party’s base vote in Canberra was stable and that a positive person with a good public profile and respect in the community stood a really good chance.

Two women

Mrs Jones had her head shaved last year to raise money for breast cancer research. Here she is with hairdresser Claudia Cataldo. Sally Hopman.

Positive community feedback and 100 per cent backing from her husband encouraged her decision to nominate and gave her confidence that she could win back the seat.

“People know me. They know I’m very real, that I’m very up front, that I’m a mum who knows what it’s like to try to afford to live in Canberra, that I value traditional values and family in a big way, and I think that resonates with a group of people in the community,” Mrs Jones said.

She believed a woman candidate also stood a stronger chance of winning the seat, saying the Liberal Party needed to back more women in politics.

“I believe there are voters in Canberra who are passionate about women representatives and that will benefit us at the ballot box,” Mrs Jones said.

READ ALSO Pocock says federal and ACT Labor governments have achieved little for Canberra voters

She understood why many people believed the party had a woman problem.

“I’ve worked in that building, the Federal Parliament, and felt the same way,” Mrs Jones said.

“I’ve felt the sadness about the fact that we’re not further along in that debate. Women do bring something different to politics.

“I know at the Assembly, when we changed from less than 50 per cent to more than 50 per cent of shadow cabinet being women, it really changed the dynamic, and it was for the better.

“From the leadership of the Liberal Party all the way down, there has to be promotion of having more women preselected.”

Mrs Jones said she would campaign on the cost of living, housing and the geopolitical situation.

“How many of our decision-makers are focused on how much the groceries actually cost? How many of them live that day-to-day life I do?”

“It’s really important to me that we don’t forget people who are genuine good human beings living on low incomes who are trying to aspire to a decent life in this city.”

The Liberal Party will conduct its preselection ballot for the Senate ticket on 28 April.

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I’d prefer Gary Humphrey’s to her.

good luck with that. How local council members think they can just be parachuted into federal politics is a statement on how blind they think the electorate is.
David Pocock has represented the ACT better in the short time he has been in than any of the ALP or libs have this century.

Several have become Senators after time in the ACT Assembly, Gary, Katy, Zed all did so.

Giulia Jones is a public servant not a “council member”. She nominated recently seeking preselection for the Liberals vacant Senate position.
Canberra Liberal members will elect a Senate candidate at its party meeting later this month.

All other voters can make their voting intentions clear when they vote at next year’s federal election.

Better choice than Zed the Red by about 0.000001%. No chance to beat Pocock however.

I am sure the moderates in the Canberra Liberals will be overjoyed at the prospect of the ultra-conservative Giulia Jones making a comeback. The apparently new and reformed Canberra Liberals struggling to appeal to the nation’s most socially progressive voters in order to regain the party’s only senate seat.

I really think the Canberra Liberals should change their party name to the “Canberra Conservatives”. How appropriate for Mrs Jones, one of the most prominent and socially conservative Liberal MLA’s ever elected to the ACT assembly, again putting herself forward for a party that continues its lurch to the far right. Mrs Jones’ views are firmly aligned to those of Zed Seselja, taking a stridently conservative position on social issues including drug law reforms, women’s health, end of life choices and same-sex marriage laws.

Don’t you love how she slipped in traditional values and families – code for supporting families that match her idea of a family composition, while reserving the right to oppose anything that doesn’t.

Liberal Party still haven’t got the memo obviously. Zed didn’t move on, so he was moved on. Don’t think I’d be going out on a limb in saying that Canberrans have moved on.

I’m happy she is well once again and is enjoying life after what must have been a real struggle. But has a reputation as a rent a candidate. Just needs to let it go.

Ian De Landelles4:57 pm 08 Apr 24

While Jiulia Jones certainly meets the criteria for pre-selecting women as Liberal Party candidates, she fails miserably when it comes to being sellable to an educated Canberra electorate and will fail in her attempt to unseat Senator Pocock. In short, she’s no Kate Carnell.

I argued vehemently for years that attempts, originally by the Democrats, and in more recent time, the Greens, to unseat the incumbent Liberal would fail as the primary vote of either major party had to fall below 30% in order for their Senate seat to be lost.

In doing so, Zed Seselja achieved what I believed to be impossible, and ideologically, Jiulia Jones is a Zed Seselja clone.

It’s always extremely difficult for an independent to win any seat, anywhere, anytime, however, once they have secured the seat, if they work hard, the seat is theirs’s for as long as they want to be a member.

The recent example of Cathy McGowan and her successor, Helen Haines, are a case in point.

She hasn’t outlined what she, personally, achieved while part of a party machine in the ACT Assembly; nor how she, personally, will achieve more in the Senate than any other Liberal senator from the ACT did. If she expects the people of Canberra to vote for her, she has to address how she will get the federal Liberal party to stop treating the people of Canberra with contempt. We are more than just a platform to get a party hack elected.

RDS hitting, Mrs Jones? Yes indeed, David Pocock is a nice fellow. Also smart, thoughtful, collaborative and principled. His voting record would disappoint only voters interested in the narrow, right-wing foolishness espoused by the ACT Liberal Party. I exclude Elizabeth Lee from that judgement; she, too, is smart and principled but is unfortunately enmeshed in the mire that is ACT Liberal politics. She would make a creditable Senate candidate and a very good senator in a way that you, sadly, if your performance in the Assembly is anything to go by, would not.

Well she won’t get my vote!

Capital Retro2:05 pm 08 Apr 24

Occasionally, the conservatives (call them right-wingers if you wish) have to be re-elected to sort out the mess that the progressives make.

Unfortunately, Giulia isn’t tough enough to be a conservative Senator.

Lol because your buddies never make a mess hey CR? Like ever hahaha.

ChrisinTurner1:58 pm 08 Apr 24

But how does she avoid being associated with Dutton?

Ok I’ll vote for Pocock again if she gets the nod!

Trish O'Connor1:34 pm 08 Apr 24

Unfortunately more right wing, perhaps another Zed in the making

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