Last Updated: August 28, 2015

Weather: Canberra 3°C - 15°C . Showers.

Politics

Some Libs fear Sharman Stone may quit the party over SPC

Plea: Sharman Stone is fighting for the government to give cash to SPC.

Plea: Sharman Stone is fighting for the government to give cash to SPC. Source: News Limited

REBEL Liberal backbencher Sharman Stone says quitting the party would serve "no purpose'' if SPC Ardmona is not supported by her government.

Some senior party members are concerned the regional Victorian MP's "rabid campaigning'' to support the Shepparton-based company could lead to her quitting the Liberals and becoming an independent.

Dr Stone, who won Murray from the National Party in 1996, shares her eastern electoral boundary with new independent MP Cathy McGowan.

Liberal sources believe if SPC was not supported by Cabinet, a "Voice for Indi'' movement which swept Ms McGowan to power over Liberal Sophie Mirabella would be replicated in Murray.

They also believe if Dr Stone decided to contest the next election as an independent, her strong personal following and a likely three-cornered contest with the Nationals, would result in her return.

She has been re-elected with a margin of around 20 per cent on six occasions.

But Dr Stone said she viewed being an independent, in this parliament, as being "voiceless''.

"With a majority parliament it makes no sense to me - I am committed to being a member of the government.

"I wake up every morning to do the best for my electorate and that, I feel, is best served by me being part of the government,'' Dr Stone said.

"As noble as the independent's view and battles are, that I can call a minister directly, and brief cabinet and the Prime Minister, is the best outcome for Murray.''

Dr Stone has a long history of rallying against her party leadership and has crossed the floor both in government and in opposition.

Most notable she led the charge in the lower house in favour of overturning a ban on abortion drug RU486 - defying then Prime Minister John Howard and Health Minister Tony Abbott.

She was one of a handful of MPs to vote against the Murray-Darling Basin Plan in the belief it was not the best deal for farmers in her electorate.

She was Workforce Participation Minister in the Howard Government and served as shadow minister for the environment and immigration in opposition under Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull.

Since Mr Abbott won the leadership in 2010, Dr Stone has been relegated to the backbench where she now sits in government.

Her strong criticism of cabinet members in the past month has raised eyebrows among her Victorian colleagues.

Some Coalition MPs have said she was far too critical of the cabinet while others have lauded her courage.

Have your say

Skip to:
Read comments
Add comments

Add your comment on this story

Comments Form

1200 characters left

Your details
Post Options

Our Privacy Policy includes important information about our collection, use and disclosure of your personal information (including to provide you with targeted advertising based on your online activities). It explains that if you do not provide us with information we have requested from you, we may not be able to provide you with the goods and services you require. It also explains how you can access or seek correction of your personal information, how you can complain about a breach of the Australian Privacy Principles and how we will deal with a complaint of that nature.

Comments on this story

  • Gregory John Loechel (hobogreg) of Mooroopna Posted at 5:04 PM February 04, 2014

    I was a Labour voter all my life until Labour put the tax on beer & smokes, then I slid to the Greens, then Sharman asked me at the Cricketers Arms Hotel, Mooroopna to shake her hand!!>>since then I have watched what she had to say and do!!>> I can say she is for Goulburn valley through and through. If a branch of a fruit tree breaks around here Sharman Stone hears it. Sharam work your magic, you have my backing.

News

Don’t kill China deal: Hawke

Former Prime Minister Bob Hawke addresses the Griffith Asia Institute lunch where he talked about China and Federal Oppositio...

BOB Hawke has warned Labor and the trade unions not to oppose the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement.

Farmers take unions to task

New UDV President. Adam Jenkins

FARMERS are warning the unions to get out of the way of Australia’s free trade agreement with China.

Victoria trumps sunshine state

Victoria is now the 2ND best state for International Tourists

VICTORIA has overtaken Queensland as Australia’s second-most popular state among international tourists.

El Nino cycle not all doom

Generic Cracked dry earth , mud, dirt, in a empty dry dam floor also with a dried jaw bone from a skull , on a drought declar...

A STRONG El Nino weather pattern isn’t all doom for Australian farmers, according to climate experts.

Double-barrel bunny attack

Rabbitshoot

A FRENCH strain of the ­lethal calicivirus has been discovered in an infected rabbit near Canberra.

Weekly Times story tips

MP airs roo kill plan

Jumping For Joy

KANGAROOS would be hunted and killed by recreational shooters under a plan by a Victorian MP.

Fevola flies Pigeon coop

EJ Whitten Legends Game

YARRAWONGA president and co-coach pay tribute to Brendan Fevola, who will leave club at season’s end.

Lamb loot the toast of August

corowa prime lamb and sheep sale

A LATE winter buying spree for lamb has pushed Victorian values up by $40-plus for some weights.

Ahead on all fronts

Ahead on all fronts

THE Durus Quantum can be transformed to deliver crop flow in seven different configurations.

Leap of faith on horse

Leap of faith on horse

WE DIDN’T know that vaulting horse was a term that could be used literally.

El Nino cycle not all doom

Generic Cracked dry earth , mud, dirt, in a empty dry dam floor also with a dried jaw bone from a skull , on a drought declar...

A STRONG El Nino weather pattern isn’t all doom for Australian farmers, according to climate experts.