Among the candidates, standing for preselection to be held on Sunday 26 November for the Senate spot vacated by Marise Payne, are lawyer Pallavi Sinha with a long track record of working for social cohesion and an inclusive multicultural Australia and a former federal MP Dave Sharma, an apologist for Israel, justifying its war crimes in Gaza as self-defence.
Pallavi, who has been a long time member of the Liberal party, was given number 12 spot in the NSW Parliament Upper House elections in 2019. She managed to get the second highest personal votes in the Liberal party in the Upper House elections at that spot.
Pallavi condemns the terrorist acts of Hamas.
She has more than 20 years experience in leadership positions and is Co-Chair Liberal Party Friends of India. She has previously been Vice-President of Australia India Business Council (AIBC) and has experience in developing relationships with partners in the Indo-Pacific region.
Pallavi has significant experience in domestic and family violence advocacy and is an Appointed Supporter of the Joint Federal and State Government campaign to stop Domestic or family violence (DV).
Stepan Kerkyasharian, former Chair and CEO of the NSW Community Relations Commission while endorsing Pallavi for the Senate position said, “she is a tireless worker serving and reaching out to assist the broader Australian community whose confidence she enjoys. She advocates and presents well in the media social and political issues, which promote an eclectic, fair and cohesive society.”
Currently Liberal Party holds power only in Tasmania mainly as young voters are flocking to Labor and more recently to Greens for their stand on social justice, gender balance, ethnic diversity and global peace.
The Liberals own review of the 2022 Federal election stated “To successfully win seats, the Party must reflect modern Australia. It is therefore important the Party, as a priority, has a greater gender and ethnic diversity in pre-selection candidates.”
Pallavi, a Liberal high achiever has all the credentials including popular support in various faith groups and multicultural communities, to be supported by the Liberal Party’s rank and file for the Senate preselection that will help the Liberals to increase their vote share in future state and federal elections.
Another hopeful for the preselection is Dave Sharma, former MP for Wentworth which has a large Jewish population, has been accused of being a divisive figure with a long track record of supporting pro-Israel policies and most recently for justifying Israeli war crimes being committed in Gaza.
A former ambassador to Israel, Dave Sharma has recently been criticised for his comments at ABC Q&A aired last Monday 13 November where he passionately raised the issue of anti-Semitism while completely ignoring Islamophobia in Australia.
Moreover he has supported the ongoing Israeli onslaught on Palestinians where Israel has reduced the Gaza Strip to a rubble with over 13,00o killed almost half of them children, tens of thousands injured and almost two million displaced saying, “Israel exercising self-defence does not make it guilty of war crimes.”
A divisive figure, Dave Sharma who has failed twice to get elected, entering the Senate through the back door does not bode well, neither in the interest of the Liberal Party nor for Australia to maintain a balanced position relating to the Israel-Palestine issue.