So, the PM has just spent 90 minutes meeting with Family First founder Andrew Harris and senator-elect Steve Fielding. Check out The Age’s coverage here. The development comes as a potential rival to Family First, People Power, prepares for its national launch in Sydney on Saturday.

The appearance of whistleblowing former NSW detective Deborah Locke as People Power’s candidate in the Werriwa by-election has aroused the interest of some media and the major parties.

One Labor staffer based in Western Sydney emailed the following comment to Crikey:

“I was very impressed with their web site. I await the result in Werriwa with interest, also, the formation meeting this weekend at Burwood may give us some idea of the new party’s appeal.”

The People Power boosters are billing the launch as an opportunity for those curious about the new party to come along and hear a few speakers. Any other political professionals or ordinary punters who want to find out more can crash the launch. The details are as follows:

National Launch of People Power – Saturday 5 March 2005

2.00pm to 4.00pm
Burwood RSL Club First Floor Auditorium
(96 Shaftesbury Rd, Burwood, Sydney)

The speakers include:

Deborah Locke, People Power Candidate for Werriwa By-Election
Vern Hughes, People Power National President
Mary Lou Carter, Parent and Carer Activist
Nell Brown, Parent and Carer Activist

People Power rather self-importantly describes itself as a new movement in Australia for the empowerment of ordinary people, especially those who have become invisible or powerless. The line up of speakers would suggest they regard the carers community as a core constituency that feels disempowered.

Whilst Deborah Locke is quite an appealing candidate, the fact she will only appear on the ballot paper as an independent (because the AEC is yet to register People Power) will make it difficult for her to get more than 5 per cent of the primary vote. But what would Crikey know, he only flopped trying to launch an earlier incarnation of People Power in 2001 and now just observes from afar.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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