Top cardiologist takes another tilt at parliament


By Michael Woodhead

10 Mar 2022

Former CSANZ president Professor Michael Feneley is hoping it will be fourth time lucky in his bid for federal parliament after winning nomination as Liberal Party candidate in the NSW Central Coast seat of Dobell.

Professor Feneley is Director of Heart Lung Clinical Stream, Director of Cardiology at St Vincent’s Hospital, Sydney and has an interest in Cardiac Investigations & Echocardiography.

He is no stranger to the hustings, having previously stood as Liberal candidate for the Sydney seat of Kingsford Smith, losing to Labor’s Peter Garret in 2010 and to Matt Thistlethwaite in 2013 and 2016.

In previous elections he was a key figure in trying to refute Labor’s campaigns, defending Medicare and accusing the Opposition of running an unfounded scare campaign.

When standing for Kingsford Smith he promoted himself as a local candidate, telling voters: “The option is between a strong and stable Coalition government with a clear and costed economic plan or a hung parliament, a recipe for dysfunction and chaos”.

“I have lived here for over 40 years. This is where I went to university, this is where I chose to bring up my family. I have devoted my life to working in our great public hospital system, the envy of the world made stronger by Liberal governments — as a doctor, a researcher and a teacher.”

According to a report in the Australian, the selection process for the Dobell seat was riven by factional fighting within the Liberal Party, with Professor Feneley’s candidacy backed by former PM John Howard. He is reported to have described Professor Feneley as an “outstanding person” and “ideal candidate”.

“The Liberal Party is in need of candidates who have achieved —esteem and success in the real world. Professor Feneley certainly falls into this category,” Mr Howard said.

However current PM Scott Morrison is reported to have backed a local coffee shop owner and Pentecostal preacher Jemima Gleeson for the marginal seat currently held by Labor.

Professor Feneley was CSANZ president. He was recently awarded the CSANZ President’s Medal in recognition of his service as Clinical Practice advisor and for work on the MBS review.

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