Ex-Labor Boss Warren Mundine Finds Liberal 'Home'
Warren Mundine spent decades in the Labor Party but now says he's found a "home" in the Liberal Party as the federal candidate for Gilmore.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison introduced "my mate" Mr Mundine in Nowra on Wednesday as the endorsed Liberal candidate ahead of the upcoming federal election due by May.
Mr Mundine was Labor's national president from 2006 to 2007 and ran for Labor preselection several times.
"I've always been an honest speaker. I've always said what I believed in," Mr Mundine told reporters on Wednesday.
"The Liberal Party is the home for me because it is about creating jobs."
The indigenous leader said he wanted to change the date of Australia Day - in opposition to Mr Morrison - but he has "a hundred different things" he would like to fix first.
"I want to deal with those five suicides of those young (indigenous) girls that happened in the last few weeks," Mr Mundine said.
"We've got to deal with jobs in those rural and remote communities, where people are actually trapped in welfare traps.
"We've got to deal with incarceration rates of Aboriginal people in juvenile detention and jail."
Mr Mundine is looking for a house in the electorate but he pointed to his long family history on the NSW south coast.
"Warren's connection to the south coast goes back a long way. It basically goes back longer than the rest of us, who've shown up since settlement," Mr Morrison told reporters.
In 2009, Mr Mundine said he wanted to see Bill Shorten as prime minister, but 10 years on he says the Labor leader is attacking the nest eggs of working class people.
He listed Labor's changes to negative gearing and franking credits for share investors as issues that were going to hurt working class people trying to get ahead.
Mr Shorten was asked if Mr Mundine was a competent candidate, given his history as national president of the Labor Party.
"Well when someone's a Labor Party representative, I think their values and policies for Australia are very good," the Labor leader told reporters in Queensland.
"But the Morrison government values and policies are not policies that I think are in the interests of the Australian people."
Real estate agent Grant Schultz, who was the Liberal candidate until he was dumped on Tuesday, will now run as an independent.
"I don't know what interest (Mr Mundine) has in Gilmore, or if he's ever been here," Mr Schultz told Sky News.
"I just hope he hasn't been taken as a patsy."
The race for Gilmore is shaping up to be a crowded one, with Nationals leader Michael McCormack also saying his party wants to run a candidate, potentially former NSW minister Katrina Hodgkinson.