GP Bastian Seidel set for tilt at Tasmanian politics

CANDIDATE: Dr Bastian Seidel is likely to be Labor's candidate for Huon in the Legislative Council election in May.
 CANDIDATE: Dr Bastian Seidel is likely to be Labor’s candidate for Huon in the Legislative Council election in May.

Prominent Tasmanian doctor Bastian Seidel is set to make a bid for politics.

The former federal president of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners is expected to stand for the Labor Party in the Legislative Council seat of Huon.

Dr Seidel, a former clinical professor at the University of Tasmania, rose to national prominence representing more than 40,000 members across Australia.

He will challenge sitting independent member and former Huon Valley mayor Robert Armstrong who was elected in 2014.

Labor Party secretary Stuart Benson would not comment on speculation Dr Seidel would be Labor’s star recruit for the seat.

“We’re still going through the (pre-selection) process,” Mr Benson said.

“We hope to make an announcement on our Huon candidate in early February.”

Dr Seidel lives and works as a GP in the Huon Valley and is highly regarded in the local community.

He moved to Australia in 2007 after studying medicine in Germany and South Africa and doing post graduate training in the United Kingdom, United States and Hong Kong.

In a letter to college members he said being president “had been humbling on many levels”.

“My presidency was transitional, taking the RACGP from the periphery of reacting to health policies to the centre of actively shaping them,” Dr Seidel wrote.

“The relevance of the RACGP is increasingly obvious to GPs, our political decision makers, the press and the Australian public at large, as we are increasingly asked about direct health issues of public interest.”

The Liberal Party is yet to announce whether it will stand a candidate in Huon against Mr Armstrong who replaced former independent turned Liberal Paul Harriss.

Pat Caruana will stand for the Greens in Huon.

The Liberals also have not named a candidate for the seat of Rosevears which is being vacated by long-serving independent member Kerry Finch.

The Liberals have not returned calls about whether candidates will be run in the two elections which will be held in May.