Adams weighs up shot at Lyons

TASMANIAN Labor stalwart Dick Adams has not ruled out attempting to win back the seat he lost last year, as the party rushes to lock in candidates more than two years out from the next federal election.

ALP state secretary John Dowling said the party planned to have candidates for all five electorates in place by the end of July to allow them to build a profile.

Party factions have already begun their own preselection processes but have been hampered by a lack of interest from anyone willing to challenge the Liberal incumbents in the northern electorates Bass and Braddon.

 The Examiner  understands former newspaper editor and political adviser Brian Mitchell has the backing of the left faction, which controls the party in Tasmania, to contest Lyons.

Jane Austin will again challenge independent MHR Andrew Wilkie in Denison after claiming 24 per cent of the primary vote in 2013, while the only Tasmanian Labor MHR to hang onto her seat, Julie Collins, will be endorsed for a fourth term in Franklin.

Dick Adams held the seat of Lyons for 20 years, before a 14 per cent swing against him saw him lose to Liberal Eric Hutchinson.

Mr Adams has questioned the urgency around preselection, as the party recovers from the bruising losses at federal and state level.

``There seems to be some people hell-bent on getting people preselected. I think it's a very bad idea to preselect too early,'' Mr Adams said.

 ``There needs to be contemplation.

``At the moment there just isn't any open discussion taking place, people have pretty rigid positions that they're not willing to change.''

He is also calling for further party reform to give the rank and file the power to select the candidates, rather than factions.

``I think the party really needs to open itself up.''

He said it was too early for him to make a decision on his political future.

Former Bass MHR Geoff Lyons is not expected to put his hand up.

It's also understood dumped state Labor MPs Brian Wightman and David O'Byrne are not interested in making a switch to federal politics.

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