Bracks backs Lake for Hotham

Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks backs Cr Geoff Lake for Hotham. Photo: Jesse MarlowBarry Jones backs Gillard’s choice for Lalor

Former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks has entered the public preselection debate throwing his weight behind Geoff Lake to take Simon Crean’s seat of Hotham.

Mr Bracks has written to ALP members in Hotham urging them to support Cr Lake in the seat. In the letter, seen by Fairfax Media, Mr Bracks praises Cr Lake’s leadership and professional skills and says he can play a key role in party reform.

Cr Lake, 33, who is a member of the National Union of Workers, was elected to Monash City Council when he was just 20. In 2000, at 22, he became the state’s youngest mayor.

During his time on the council he has been president of the Australian Local Government Association and the Municipal Association of Victoria, where he worked closely with Mr Bracks.

”In those professional dealings I found his advocacy on behalf of local government and local communities to be thoughtful and insightful, demonstrating his strong grasp of policy detail,” Mr Bracks wrote.

”Together with his substantial local work as a councillor and his professional career as a lawyer, I believe he has the right blend of local experience and leadership skills to continue the great policy contribution of Simon Crean to the Australian Labor Party.

”Even more importantly I believe Geoff can play an important role in the vital renewal of the Labor Party as it moves into a new Parliament.”

Mr Bracks’ endorsement of Cr Lake follows that of the retiring member, Mr Crean. The Australian Financial Review on Tuesday reported that Mr Crean had written to local members endorsing the young councillor.

Cr Lake is competing against Rosemary Barker, who is also a local.

Ms Barker is from the right-wing Labor Unity faction, and Cr Lake is from the NUW who only have one seat in federal parliament, Hotham.

There is a debate in the Labor Unity faction about whether to support Ms Barker or allow the NUW, who are not part of the group, a seat for the sake of longer term stability.

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The original release of this article first appeared on the website of Hangzhou Night Net.

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