ALP Parramatta candidate Andrew Charlton to cast ballot in Wentworth

A NSW Liberal Party spokesman did not answer questions about when Kennedy moved to the electorate.

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He said Kennedy had signed a 12-month lease on a rental unit in Macquarie Park and was now enrolled to vote in Bennelong, meaning he could cast a ballot for himself against Labor challenger Jerome Laxale.

In the must-win seat of Parramatta, neither of the major party candidates will be able to vote for themselves.

Charlton told 2GB radio station on Tuesday that he was sleeping in his new Parramatta home “most nights” but it would take time for his family to make the move from their $16 million Bellevue Hill home.

“I’m in transition. I’ve bought a house in Parramatta. Right now, I’ve been living with my family in the seat of Wentworth … We’ve made a commitment to move there and we’re in the process of moving. As you can imagine, it has all happened very quickly, and these things take a bit of time,” he said.

“Like all Australians I’ll be voting in the place that I’m enrolled, which is Wentworth.”

But he said voters were more concerned with “the candidate who has the best plan for Parramatta” than his home address.

Charlton’s Liberal rival, Maria Kovicic, lives in West Pennant Hills, two kilometres outside the Paramatta electoral boundary. She will be voting in the north-west Sydney seat of Berowra, which is held by Liberal MP Julian Leser.

She told 2GB that she did not think it was an issue. “I think most Australians don’t live their lives within [Australian Electoral Commission] boundaries, right? We actually look at: where do you spend your life, what do you do?” she said.

“I live my life in Parramatta, in western Sydney, and that’s been the case for about 16 years.”

Last week, the Liberal MP for Reid, Fiona Martin, went head-to-head with Labor candidate Sally Sitou over where she grew up. Martin questioned Sitou over her ties to the electorate and accused her of “seat-shopping” in Reid after living in Cabramatta.

Sitou accused Martin of “making up lies”. She said she bought a townhouse in Homebush in 2019 and was committed to raising her family in the community.

Martin, on the other hand, grew up in Reid before living and working in Mosman for several years.

She now lives in Ryde, where she built a family home that is on the other side of the electoral boundary in Bennelong, but previously rented in Rhodes. Martin is a silent elector, so details of where she is enrolled to vote are not publicly available.

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It is not unusual for members of parliament to live outside their electorate, although research has shown parachute candidates are often unpopular with voters.

Keneally began renting a property in Liverpool in November, but her candidacy prompted outrage when it overlooked local lawyer Tu Le. The former NSW premier previously lived on Scotland Island, near Pittwater in the city’s north, and is now facing a challenge from independent Dai Le, who is campaigning on local issues.

with Jacqueline Maley

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