First independent challenger declares run against Abbott 

Renewable Energy

The new candidate supports a move to 100 per cent renewable energy.

“I don’t understand why we can’t move into a space of renewables. I feel that we can be 100 per cent renewable in this country,” she said. “We have all these wonderful natural resources, why do we keep having to pull coal out of the ground?”

Ms Moylan-Coombs has pitched to not just take over Mr Abbott’s seat, but his role as special envoy on Indigenous affairs.

The self-funded candidate supports a First Nations’ voice in Parliament.

“I have an ability to understand the unique need of First Nations people in this country,” she said. “If we genuinely had a voice and a seat at the table to be able to truly inform what is required then I think we have a chance.”

Removed from her family as part of the stolen generations, the new candidate forged a broadcast media career, becoming head of production at dedicated Indigenous affairs channel NITV.


Ms Moylan-Coombs went on to found The Gaimaragal Group, which amplifies the voices of Indigenous elders with hopes to “create a new story of connection and wellbeing for all Australians”, according to the organisation’s website.

Ms Moylan-Coombs said she would also pay tribute to her “adoptive family’s renowned Australian public service pedigree” – she is the daughter of former NSW Bar Association president John Coombs, and granddaughter to H.C. “Nugget” Coombs, the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Community groups Voices of Warringah, Vote Tony Out, Think Twice Warringah, People of Warringah and North Shore Environmental Stewards have all organised against Mr Abbott ahead of the federal election.

The solar industry hub in Manly – which has developed some of Australia’s largest solar farms – has also begun lobbying against Mr Abbott.

Progressive campaigning outfit Get Up has started door-knocking, and will roll out cinema advertisements in the new year.

Ms Moylan-Coombs will be running against Labor’s Dean Harris, as well as Mr Abbott, who retained Warringah in 2016 with 61.5 percent of the two-party preferred vote.

Voices of Warringah president Louise Hislop praised Ms Moylan-Coombs for running.

“It’s wonderful to have a local Indigenous woman putting her hand up to get involved in local politics.”

Asked whether Voices of Warringah would endorse the new candidate, Ms Hislop said they would wait until all independents had announced.

“We’ll wait until all the candidates are announced and we’re going to go to them with our issues that we’ve collated from our conversations,” she said.

The group will then produce scorecards for each candidate and encourage constituents to get involved with the independent that most aligns with their views.

Max is a trainee for The Sydney Morning Herald.

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