Kooyong is not the only part of the country where former Alexander Downer staffers have been assertive. Across the Nullarbor there’s the seat of Pearce, Fred Chaney’s old turf, held since 1993 by Judi Moylan.

The former minister lined up with Petro Georgiou against mandatory detention of refugees last year. She provided the public face of the campaign while Georgiou, ever the backroom boy, went about twisting some arms. Alas, she seems to lack the same stomach for a fight as her comrade in arms from Kooyong.

There’s been a lot of talk that former Downer staffer Brad Haynes will challenge her. Haynes is essentially regarded as a moderate who fell into bad company while young and impressionable, but is still the subject of suspicion.

Now, there’s also talk that Downer has done a deal with Moylan so she’ll pull out of the race once nominations have closed if Haynes is the only other contender. In exchange, she’ll become a consul in China.

A rather sad and shabby way to end a career if it’s true, one would think.

Peter Fray

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