SA Greens Circle Sarah Hanson-Young in Senate Preselection Challenge

Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young speaks into a microphone.

South Australian Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young is facing a preselection challenge from five fellow Greens members.

Six candidates including Senator Hanson-Young have nominated for the party’s prized top spot on the Senate ticket, which is opened to internal contest after each election.

Last week, the ABC revealed the party’s sole South Australian senator would face a challenge from her former running mate, ousted senator Robert Simms.

He will be joined in the contest by four other potential candidates, each of whom ran at the recent state election.

They are Dami Barnes who ran for the state seat of Black, Harriet de Kok who ran in Dunstan, Jennifer Harness who ran in Wright and Brendan White who was the Greens candidate in Waite.

All six nominees for the number one spot on the Senate ticket will first be vetted by the party’s Probity Panel before being offered as candidates to a secret ballot of Greens members.

The party has asked members to “communicate any relevant concerns” about any of the candidates in writing by Thursday. A vote of all SA Greens members will follow over April and May.

In a statement released last week, Senator Hanson-Young reaffirmed her intention to “recontest the Senate race” and welcomed the vote of local members.

“Preselection contests are the way that members ensure their senators are not just working hard, but working hard on the issues that matter to them,” she said.

But her position in the federal Greens’ partyroom has been under scrutiny for some time, especially after she lost the high-profile immigration portfolio in 2016.

Earlier this year, the NSW Greens voted to dump senator Lee Rhiannon from top spot on the party’s Senate ticket, following a dispute with her colleagues.

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