A veteran firefighter from western Sydney is fanning the flames of Labor’s hopes of a pathway to government.
Trevor Ross will run in the marginal seat of Lindsay at the federal election in 2022, taking on the Liberals’ sitting member Melissa McIntosh.
He has been a firefighter for 36 years, first picking up the hose at 14 when he started with the bushfire brigade.
Labor’s path to government includes flipping seats in western Sydney as well as inner Melbourne and Queensland, making Lindsay – held by the Liberals on a five per cent margin – a prime target for the opposition.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese took a swipe at Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s lack of accountability when announcing Mr Ross as a candidate, saying he was someone who actually “held a hose”.
The jab referred to Mr Morrison telling bushfire victims he does not hold a hose when one expressed dismay he would holiday in Hawaii while Australia suffered through an unprecedented fire season in 2019-20.
“Scott Morrison says that he didn’t want Australians to look in the rear-view mirror (when emerging from COVID-19) – if I had his record as prime minister I wouldn’t want that either,” Mr Albanese said.
“He certainly does not want Australians to look back at what he did during the bushfire crisis when he went missing.
“Trevor Ross is someone who’s never gone missing.”
The government’s pre-election blitz has included the prime minister attempting to sandbag votes in the electorate, with Mr Morrison visiting the area twice in one week just before parliament sat for the last time until next year.
Ms McIntosh joined the prime minister on his trip to the Bathurst 1000 race.