The DLP state seat of Western Metropolitan, occupied by Rachel Carling-Jenkins, has been poached by Cory Bernardi and the Australian Conservatives.
Neither Bernardi nor any member of his party have made any contact with the state or federal executives of the DLP. We were recently made aware that Rachel and Cory Bernardi have been ‘in discussion’ for some time but her decision to leave and take the DLP seat with her was only advised on Saturday evening.
The party naturally expects Rachel to vacate the seat to allow the DLP to continue representing the people of Western Metropolitan as per their intention when they voted for the DLP at the last state election.
While the DLP has no way of removing Rachel from the seat we call upon her to do the right thing and step aside. Rachel has every right to leave the DLP to join the Australian Conservatives and to stand for them at the next election. However, what we do not accept is her intention to take a DLP seat to a party that has never stood for election in Victoria and is not even registered.
The DLP acknowledges that Rachel has been an outstanding Member of Parliament and to date has carried out her role as a DLP representative with dignity and integrity. The friendship and support offered and shared with her by the party and its members has been a uniting factor after a previously troubled time. We will always be grateful for Rachel’s time with us, though clearly, we are disappointed to see it end in this manner.