Mentee Labor Senator Kimberly Kitching (wife of long-time friend of Crikey Andrew Landeryou) is tipped to have a “meteoric rise” by many inside the party.
As Guy Rundle chronicled in these pages, Kitching’s powerful political ties helped her into the Senate spot vacated by Stephen Conroy in 2016 and, according to recently departed Labor power broker Sam Dastyari, she’s the only first-term backbencher who can expect visits from Shorten at her office in Canberra.
Despite that, she’s yet to come to wider public notice — something we at Crikey are keen to put right. This week, she gave an indication of just what Shorten sees in her, the rhetorical force and policy nous pushing her up the Labor ranks. At the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade References Committee she asked a defence representative a slightly … abstract question:
You might have to take it on notice, but could I ask, in the region, are we able to track … climate change to the extent that, given, for example, in one program … most of the submarines that are coming online in the region, they’re moving to nuclear. Obviously that might effect … well … I was going to say emissions but I guess they’re oceanic, but I mean there will be more nuclear-powered defence vehicles or defence resources — will that lower climate change in the region? And would you be able to have an assessment of that that’s meaningful?
If the answer contained anything that could credibly associate itself with the word “meaningful”, we suspect it would be one up on the question.