Ellem wants Labor preselection
THE rumours were true - Yamba resident Peter Ellem, policy advisor to Page MP Janelle Saffin and former Daily Examiner editor has put his hand up for Australian Labor Party pre-selection in the upcoming Clarence by-election.
Mr Ellem confirmed late yesterday he had lodged his nomination form with the ALP but declined to comment further until the close of nominations at 9am on Friday.
An ALP source told The Daily Examiner yesterday that NSW Opposition leader John Robertson would be visiting Grafton on Friday, presumably in support of Mr Ellem, but this has not been confirmed through official party channels.
NSW ALP Country Organiser Courtney Roche declined to comment if there were any other potential ALP candidates.
Asked where and when the actual pre-selection would take place, Ms Roche said it would probably be Sunday at a local venue. Where exactly?
"We'll work that out if it's required," she said.
Hours before Mr Ellem's confirmation, former ALP candidate Colin Clague told The Examiner he would not run for the seat and that he was a signatory for the nomination of another person.
Mr Clague would not be drawn on the identity of the would-be candidate but it is understood to be Mr Ellem.
Mr Ellem attended Lismore High School and worked at the Northern Star newspaper for 20 years before becoming editor of The Daily Examiner from 2002 to 2008.
He has also worked for the Sydney Morning Herald and was editor of the Queensland Times in Ipswich for a short time.
Mr Ellem became a policy advisor for Janelle Saffin in March 2008 several months after she won the seat in November 2007.