MEMBER for Indi Cathy McGowan has been accused of behaving like a queen by choosing a successor.
Victorian Liberal Party state executive member Greg Mirabella made the claim on Friday after Voices for Indi launched a move to find an “orange independent” candidate for the North East.
“She is saying whether she stays or goes depends on whether she likes the person that is chosen,” he said.
“This is a queen’s behaviour, even political parties’ retirees don’t get to choose their successor.
“It is imperial behaviour.”
Ms McGowan on Friday named qualities she would be seeking in a successor.
“I will only pass this job on to someone whom I believe can do it really well, who is kind and generous, who has a work ethic, who is actually going to get out there and represent the community, who’s got courage and has got the skills to really carry on what we’ve begun,” she said.
Ms McGowan envisaged two succession scenarios.
“They could come with me during the campaign and learn how a campaign works and then potentially we’ve got three years to train them into the job or (they could be)….ready to go now,” she said.
Ms McGowan anticipates a decision will be made by mid-January, to allow a successor to build a profile before an election in May.
A forum will be held at Benalla on January 12 for prospective candidates.
Mr Mirabella believes the method is not as open as the Liberal Party’s preselection routine.
“The proposition that this is a democratic open process is nonsense, utter nonsense,” he said.
On the state of the parliament, which saw Liberal MP Julia Banks turn independent this week, Ms McGowan said it was “not my job” to “bring the whole lot down” as some constituents wanted.
“I’m not going to bring the government down early, assuming everything goes as it should...and I think we’ll go full term,” Ms McGowan said.
She met Prime Minster Scott Morrison on Tuesday for 30 minutes to discuss the anti-corruption bill she introduced on Monday.
“I spoke to him about the national integrity commission, where was that on his agenda, cause..I think he had called it ‘fringe’ and I said ‘well I don’t think it’s fringe, could we please discuss this?’,” Ms McGowan said.
On Ms Banks, Ms McGowan said her staff were aiding the Melbourne MP adapt to an independent workload.
She declined to say when she first became aware of Ms Banks’ plan to leave the Liberal Party.