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Kerry Jones Loses Liberal Pre-Selection Bid

October 10, 2000

Kerry Jones, the head of Australians For A Constitutional Monarchy has been defeated in a bid for Liberal Party pre-selection in New South Wales.

Jones secured 18 votes on the first ballot and then lost by 99 votes to 63 in a contest to choose candidates for the NSW Legislative Council.

She was defeated by lawyer Greg Pearce, a partner at Freehill, Hollingdale and Page.

Jones attacked the Liberal Party as "elitist", according to reports in today's newspapers, and accused Opposition Leader Kerry Chikarovski of being a captive of pro-republic forces in the party.

Jones came to prominence during the republic referendum campaign in 1999. Despite a campaign that urged pro-republic voters to vote no if they wanted the chance to elect a president, she criticised Federal Opposition Leader Kim Beazley over the weekend for his announcement of a new Labor approach to the issue.

October 15, 2000

In an intriguing sidelight to Jones' preselection, it has been revealed that a New South Wales Supreme Court judge, Mr. Justice Barry O'Keefe, wrote a glowing reference for Jones that was distributed to the members of the preselection conference.

The judge's intervention in the internal political activities of a political party is unprecedented.

O'Keefe was formerly head of the Independent Commission Against Corruption in NSW.

Jones also received endorsements from:

  • Professor David Flint, chairman of the Australian Broadcasting Authority
  • former RSL president Major-General William "Digger" James
  • Chancellor of Sydney University Dame Leonie Kramer
  • barrister John Armfield
  • director of the Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, Rev Dr John Fleming
  • former High Court judge, Sir Harry Gibbs
  • medical entrepreneur, Dr Tom Wenkart
  • former mining magnate, Charles Copeman.

It is usually thought to be inappropriate for a serving judge to make a contribution to partisan political events of the day. O'Keefe claims he still has rights as a private citizen to express a point of view.

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