The Liberal candidate for Greenway, Jaymes Diaz, has been embarrassed by an awkward interview with a Channel 10 reporter in which he was unable to articulate the party’s policy on stopping asylum seeker boats.
Interviewed by John Hill, Diaz repeatedly referred to the Liberal Party’s “six-point plan” to “stop the boats” but was unable to itemise the six points. Diaz said: “Here’s the thing. The boats started under Kevin Rudd. Under the Coalition government, we’d stopped the boats.”
- Watch the Diaz interview (7m)
Diaz was also unable to provide much detail about other areas of policy. The interview was eventually brought to an end by a Liberal Party official.
Diaz, a controversial candidate not supported in some sections of the Liberal Party, is contesting the outer metropolitan Sydney electorate for the second time. In 2010, he secured a swing of 4.79% against the new Labor candidate, Michelle Rowland, losing by 1402 votes and reducing her margin to 0.88%.
Greenway is one of the seats the Liberal Party hoped to win in 2010 and needs to win this year. As with the seat of Lindsay, criticism of the candidate selection process has been widespread.
SEPTEMBER 15 UPDATE: Following Diaz’s interview, the Liberal Party severely restricted his public appearances. The ALP ran a strong campaign using the interview to argue that Diaz was unsuited to being a member of parliament. On election day, trucks carrying large screen videos of the interview circulated around polling booths.
Diaz lost the election by over 5000 votes and Michelle Rowland was re-elected with a 2% swing towards her. She was one of only a couple of ALP members who received swings towards them in an election that decisively defeated the Labor government.