Former MP puts her hand up for Aston



CATHRINE Burnett-Wake, a former Victorian Liberal Party Upper House MP for Eastern Victoria, has put her hand up to run in the by-election for the federal seat of Aston, vacated by former Coalition government cabinet minister, Alan Tudge.

Ms Burnett-Wake, who is also a former Yarra Ranges councillor, made the announcement in a Twitter post on Monday.

“I have been overwhelmed by the volume of encouragement and support from many within the Aston community, which has come swiftly following Mr Tudge’s announcement,” Ms Burnett-Wake said.

“I thank them for their support.”

Ms Burnett-Wake touted her local connections to Aston, a seat in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

“The Eastern Victoria Region, which I represented in the State Legislative Council, overlaps Aston,” she said.

“My children are at a local school in Wantirna South and have been for the past 11 years, and they play sports in the community. My business services clients throughout Aston, and it’s where my family shops.”

Ms Burnett-Wake said she believed her “community ties, career and lived experience” put her in the best position to retain Aston for the Liberals.

“In line with pre-selection rules, I will make no further comments on my candidacy.”

Cathrine Burnett-Wake represented Eastern Victoria from December 2021 until November 2022.

In a controversial pre-selection in July, Sale’s Renee Heath defeated Ms Burnett-Wake in a close vote of 53 to 55.

This was despite federal Liberal leader, Peter Dutton, backing Ms Burnett-Wake.

As the first on the Upper House ticket for the Coalition, Dr Heath was elected easily at the November state election.

Alan Tudge resigned from federal Parliament last week, after nearly 13 years as a Liberal MP, citing family and health reasons.

Former Federal Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, who was defeated in the seat of Kooyong close by, ruled out running in the seat.

Mr Frydenberg has publicly backed Melbourne City councillor, Roshena Campbell.

Former Victorian Premier, Jeff Kennett, has endorsed oncologist and Walkley Award winner, Ranjana Srivastava, who is also a columnist for The Guardian.

In the May federal election, Mr Tudge beat Labor candidate Mary Doyle by 52.8 to 47.2 on a two-party-preferred vote. It was a 7.3 per cent swing to Labor. The margin at the 2019 election was 10.1 per cent towards the Liberals.

The 2.9 per cent swing that Labor needs to win Aston may seem possible with favourable national polling for the government, but psephologist, Kevin Bonham, has said there has been “no government gains from the opposition in federal by-elections” since 1920. Labor is yet to announce a candidate.

A date for the by-election is yet to be announced.

Victorian Senator, Sarah Henderson, has become the Coalition’s education spokesperson, after previously serving in the communications portfolio.