ALP's Kamper 'ready to bounce back'

Rockdale state seat candidate Stephen Kamper
Rockdale state seat candidate Stephen Kamper

STEVE Kamper has been preselected unopposed as Labor's candidate for Rockdale at the state election next year.

Mr Kamper hopes to erase bitter memories of the 2011 election, when he was defeated by John Flowers, giving the Liberal Party the seat for the first time in 70 years.

The principal of a Rockdale accountancy firm, Mr Kamper, 49, is married with five children and has four grandsons.

He grew up in Sans Souci and lives at Taren Point.

Mr Kamper's campaign for the 2011 election got off to a bad start when Labor's national executive caused friction in Rockdale branches by choosing him as the candidate, rather than holding a rank and file ballot.

Nominations were called for the election next March, but Mr Kamper was the only nominee.

"It was my desire [that] there be a rank-and-file ballot this time," he said. "I think the fact I was the only one to put up my hand shows I have good support across the branches."

Mr Kamper said he was pleased to have 12 months to engage voters, compared with six to seven weeks at the last election.

"I have got the commitment to bounce back to where we were previously," he said.

"People are starting to see through the O'Farrell government and, at the local level, they want a greater presence in terms of representation."

Mr Kamper promised to fight for the restoration of train services to Rockdale railway station and secure funds to rebuild St George Hospital.

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Former government minister Kevin Greene is believed to have rejected overtures to return as Labor’s candidate for the seat of Oatley.

It is believed Mr Greene’s wife Frances was also approached, but declined.

Party sources said former Hurstville mayor Steve McMahon was focusing on trying to win preselection again for the federal seat of Barton.

Preselection for Oatley is expected to be finalised next month, with Kogarah councillor Jacinta Petroni and hospital nurse unit manager Obray Smith believed to be among contenders.