FORMER Tasmanian Greens leader Nick McKim is expected to be announced as outgoing Senator Christine Milne’s replacement on Thursday, following a ballot of party members.
Mr McKim is heavily favoured to have topped the poll in a field that also included Save the Tarkine campaigner Scott Jordan and Launceston lawyer Vanessa Bleyer.
The party’s executive ratified the ballot on Monday evening, but has kept the result a closely guarded secret in the days since, with the result to be announced at a press conference in Hobart this morning.
Senator Milne will outline the timing of her departure at the press conference.
Her successor would face voters at the next federal election, due next year.
Candidates would not comment on the ballot when contacted by The Examiner on Wednesday, and Mr McKim could not be reached.
Mr McKim was Australia’s first Greens minister, when in 2010 he became Corrections Minister in a minority Labor government.
However, his decision to support Labor put a number of Greens members offside, and the upset over that decision looks to be the only possible spoiler in his tilt for the Senate.
The Franklin MHA would have to resign his position in State Parliament to take up the Senate position, creating a vacancy that would have to be filled by a recount of last year’s ballot papers.
Dr Rosalie Woodruff, a Huon Valley councillor who was also in the ballot for the Senate position, would be the likely replacement for Mr McKim.
It would mean a dramatic change of personnel for the Tasmanian Greens, following the sudden departure of Bass MHA and former leader Kim Booth in May.