Disability advocate Ali France tapped to take second tilt at Peter Dutton | Alds

Disability advocate Ali France tapped to take second tilt at Peter Dutton

Peter Dutton will again have to fight off a challenge from Ali France after the disability advocate was tapped by Labor for a second tilt at a key Queensland seat.

Ms France failed in her bid to topple the Home Affairs Minister in the seat of Dickson in 2019 as Labor suffered a shock defeat to the Coalition.

Announcing her candidacy alongside Labor leader Anthony Albanese on Friday, she said she was “grateful” for a second tilt at Dickson after suffering a swing of nearly 3 per cent in 2019.

Ms France had a leg amputated after being hit by a car in 2011, going on to become a world champion outrigger canoeist and advocate for people with disability.

“I’m not somebody who gives up easily. After 20 years of Peter Dutton, I am hoping to convince the people of Dixon that it’s time for a change,” she said on Friday.

Mr Albanese promised it would be the “first of many” candidate announcements in Coalition-held seats.

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The announcement came as Mr Dutton faced questions from Labor over why he did not disclose the Brittany Higgins rape allegation to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Dutton has held the seat since 2001 and, despite predictions he was under serious threat in 2019, boosted his margin to nearly 10 per cent.

Labor conducted a review into its 2019 failure, and Ms France said she was prepared to “work even harder” before the next election.

“I came away from the campaign feeling quite positive about the efforts we put in on the ground,” she said.

“The party has obviously done its own review, and I think we’ll be working even harder.

“This time, I’m ready to get going.”

Mr Albanese said experience from the 2019 campaign had battle-hardened Ms France.

“I’m convinced that standing again for the second time, when we’ve already done all the name recognition issues you have with a first-time candidate, she has a great prospect of success,” he said.

Mr Dutton was forced to apologise during the 2019 campaign for suggesting Ms France had used her disability as an “excuse” to not live in the electorate.

She had been living just outside Dickson but said she was looking for a property with wheelchair accessibility in the electorate.

She confirmed on Friday that she had bought a property “close to her current house” inside the electorate.

“It’s got a bit of work to do to it, but it’s my home and I’m really excited about it,” she said.

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