Koosache quits Liberal Party after censure for speaking to Advertiser

Resigned: Mark Koosache, pictured in 2012, campaigning for travel entitlements for Australian soldiers visiting their families.
Resigned: Mark Koosache, pictured in 2012, campaigning for travel entitlements for Australian soldiers visiting their families.
Resigned: Mark Koosache, pictured in 2012, campaigning for travel entitlements for Australian soldiers visiting their families.

Resigned: Mark Koosache, pictured in 2012, campaigning for travel entitlements for Australian soldiers visiting their families.

ONE-TIME hopeful Werriwa candidate Mark Koosache has quit the Liberal Party after bosses slapped his wrists for speaking out of line.

After the September 7 federal election, Mr Koosache hit out at the party he had once hoped to represent after Labor MP Laurie Ferguson retained the seat.

He said a local candidate such as himself would have had a better chance of loosening the ALP's long-time grip on Werriwa than the party's chosen candidate — former Sutherland Shire mayor Kent Johns.

The way was cleared for Mr Johns after Mr Koosache, a high school librarian from Bow Bowing, was ruled out as a candidate due to a technicality.

Liberal Party state director Mark Neeham wrote to Mr Koosache last week saying he had breached the party's rules by speaking to the Advertiser.

He faced a state executive hearing and a five-year ban. But Mr Koosache resigned instead.

Mr Koosache insisted it wasn't "sour grapes" which prompted him to speak out after the election, but rather his firm belief that Werriwa should be represented by a local. "I don't care, I really don't. It had to be said and I stand by it," he said.

Mr Koosache cited Kent Johns' loss in the seat, controversial Liberal candidates such as Greenway's Jaymes Diaz, and Macarthur MP Russell Matheson's convincing win, as reasons the party should choose more competitive candidates.

The ALP's recent decision to allow local branch members to choose candidates in a primary-style selection process would also have "a huge impact", Mr Koosache said.

"Out of 186,000 people there's no-one local who could represent Werriwa? Really? To me it's a wee bit insulting."

Though disillusioned, Mr Koosache said he will consider running as an independent in the next federal election.

He wants to start a petition on Change.org to campaign for legislation which would mean only local candidates could represent voters. "It would mean people couldn't be parachuted in," he said.

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