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Government MP Ann Sudmalis is battling to retain Liberal preselection for her marginal seat, setting the scene for another showdown over the government’s dearth of female representatives in parliament.

Sudmalis, who holds the New South Wales south coast seat of Gilmore by a margin of 0.73 per cent, is being challenged by real estate agent and former Australian Federal Police officer Grant Schultz. While Sudmalis is expected to win preselection, Schultz reportedly has the backing of state parliamentary secretary for the Illawarra, Gareth Ward. The challenge to Sudmalis continues the government’s struggle with female representation, following the surprise ousting of assistant minister for disability services Jane Prentice from her Queensland seat of Ryan …

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