Liberals sound out former Turnbull staffer Matt Moran to stand in Moore preselection against Ian Goodenough
The Liberals are sounding out former journalist, Turnbull staffer and Afghanistan veteran Matt Moran to run for preselection in the Federal seat of Moore, which would free up plans to install Basil Zempilas in Churchlands.
Mr Moran is understood to be considering his position after multiple people approached him about challenging incumbent Ian Goodenough.
He would not comment on the preselection, and party rules prevent candidates from speaking publicly.
The WA Liberal council is expected to throw open preselection races for all State and Federal seats when it meets on Saturday.
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The party has a mammoth task ahead of it to find new candidates for the 53 WA and 11 Federal seats it does not hold.
It is tipped to finalise the preselections for electorates with incumbent members by mid-January and Curtin — held by independent Kate Chaney — shortly afterwards.
Other seats will progressively close from then, starting with those where Liberal candidates are likely to have the best chances.
The task is compounded by both elections expected to be held within months of each other in early 2025.
Mr Goodenough holds Moore by a slender 0.7 per cent after the overwhelming swing to Labor in 2022, shaving almost 11 points off his margin.
He intends to run again in the seat.
But he has faced months of internal scrabbling in the seat, facing an insurgency from powerbrokers Simon Ehrenfeld, Colin and Cheryl Edwardes and former Federal MP Vince Connelly.
Multiple senior Liberal sources have told The West Mr Goodenough will struggle to hold the endorsement for the seat.
Under party rules changes, all lower house candidates are now chosen through a vote of local Liberal members, who must either live or work in the seat where they are a branch member.
Mr Connelly narrowly lost a bid ahead of the 2022 election to dislodge Mr Goodenough from Moore after the Australian Electoral Commission abolished his seat of Stirling.
Preselectors backed the incumbent by a margin of 39-36.
But the challenge left a sour taste in the mouths of some Liberals who questioned whether Mr Connelly was the right fit for the Federal team.
Now multiple sources have told The West Mr Moran has been approached to instead run in Moore against Mr Goodenough and an anticipated candidacy from Mr Connelly.
Mr Moran was previously a reporter in Perth, part of the Federal press gallery and an Army reservist who served in Afghanistan before moving into politics, where he worked for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne.
He now works in government relations for shipbuilder Luerssen.
He’s also a board member of the RSL WA, where Mr Connelly is the chief executive.
Mr Moran was previously linked to the preselection race for the State seat of Churchlands.
Perth mayor and columnist for The West Basil Zempilas is also widely tipped to put his hand up for that spot.
He said there was an “Opportunity for someone like me to contribute” last month but insisted he was focused on the mayoral role through the summer.
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