Andrew Peacock found himself back in the nation’s consciousness on Saturday after The Australian Magazine decided to profile the chief executive of Boeing Australia, who receives a tidy salary of about $1 million a year.

One point the feature didn’t mention was Peacock’s loyalty to some of
his old Liberal Party mates. Take Alister Drysdale as an example. The
former racing journalist who came from relative obscurity to become
Malcolm Fraser’s press secretary in the 1970s has popped up in recent
times as a consultant to Boeing.

Drysdale is the ultimate Liberal Party journeyman, having spent time
working for Fraser, Peacock and Jeff Kennett, plus some decent stints
within the party machine.

In fact, it was Drysdale who was employed by John Elliott to try and
mastermind his run at the Lodge in the late 1980s. When this didn’t pan
out, Drysdale returned to Jeff Kennett’s staff when in opposition, but
only after Foster’s agreed to top up his salary and let him keep the
company car.

Drysdale was Kennett’s gaming adviser during the period when the
Foster’s-associated Hudson Conway picked up the casino licence and he
then left to work for pokies and lotteries outfit Tattersall’s on a
package worth more than $500,000 a year just after Kennett’s Treasurer,
Alan Stockdale, indicated he wanted a retrospective pokies licence fee.

Whilst working for Kennett, Drysdale also picked up a discounted
apartment from Hudson Conway in the so-called Tower of Power on St
Kilda Rd, but despite all these riches he clearly needs to maintain
some cash flow, so who better than to turn to an old mate like Andrew
Peacock for a bit of consulting work.

Drysdale probably doesn’t know much about military contracts, but his
Liberal Party contacts run deep and he remains an excellent door opener.

Peter Fray

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