Is it like musical chairs or toppling dominoes? NSW Liberal state director Scott Morrison has gone. South Australian and former Queensland state director Graham Jaeschke moves to take his place. And the rumour mill now suggests that Queensland Liberal boss, South Australian Geoff Greene, may move home to take over Jaeschke’s old job.

Greene has strong links with the dominant right faction in South Australia. He has worked for former party president and Nick Minchin loyalist, Senator Alan Ferguson, and put in a strong effort on the ground in SA for the monarchist cause in the 1999 referendum. It’s plausible.

There’s plenty to want to get away from in Queensland, too. Nationals’ leader Lawrence Springborg is pressing on for his Pineapple Party, a unified conservative force – despite enormous scepticism from the public, the Liberal Party and a Newspoll on Monday that showed that only 14% of voters considered him the better choice of premier.

Then there’s the chronic factionalism that plagues the Queensland Libs. Senator George Brandis – who has made George Washington-like “I could never tell a lie” statements in the past – claimed in the Brisbane Courier Mail earlier this week that factions aren’t a problem for the local Liberals.

Liberals involved in the Pineapple Party debate – Senator Santo Santoro, former federal party president Ashley Goldsworthy, former state Liberal leader and deputy premier, Joan Sheldon, and MPs Alex Somlyay, Warren Entsch, Peter Slipper and Cameron Thompson – must think this is one of the most amazing things they’ve ever heard since Brandis didn’t say anything about “lying rodents”.

No wonder there’s speculation that Greene might return to his own state and his own factions.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW