What a week for the NSW Liberals. What a flood of emails.
There was everything but divine intervention – and we all know David
Clarke is working on that.

It’s said that the prime minister gave the party a real serve about
pre-selections at the farewell lunch for Senator Tierney last Monday,
telling them how they should select candidates who would actually
appeal to voters – as opposed to holy warriors. Will it make any
difference when the Liberal state council discusses candidate selection?

Perhaps it’s best if we wait until that’s over before discussing
internal faction matters, and just look at a couple of aspects of this
week’s NSW opposition reshuffle.

John Brogden is the most cogent and convincing Liberal leader in the
country after the Pprime minister – and the NSW Coalition dodged a
bullet on Monday by not detailing $20 billion in infrastructure
spending. They unveiled their Rebuild NSW project before an
audience of 800, but Brogden’s decision to link into this and make
himself Shadow Minister for Planning and Infrastructure raised some

Maybe the guy doesn’t understand what being a premier really is all
about. There’s concerns that the Libs’ chief fundraiser over the next
two years will also be talking to developers and others about major
projects. Isn’t this a recipe for conflict of interest allegations – or
worse? Planning and donations can be lethal mix.

Virtually all sides of the party recognised that the leaders got more
in Brogden’s reshuffle
– Gallacher,
Stoner, Ryan and Seaton. Too much, some ask?

Fortunately, another leader may have had too much – Bob Carr. The
rumour mill has been predicting his retirement for a long time. It’s
cranked up again this week. Can any of the bruvvers really fill his
shoes? The gos around Craig Knowles has died down, but can’t have been
helpful. That takes us back, though, to the old maxim that oppositions
don’t win elections, but governments lose them. That’s helpful for a
divided party trying to get across the line – but not much use if they
make it.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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