The Queensland wash-up.
Prime Minister John Howard and Nationals leader
Mark Vaile will sit down with their Queensland counterparts
for peace talks tomorrow, after successfully staring down the proposal for the
Queensland conservative parties to merge. But who will Howard and Vaile be meeting? The
failed merger has given Queensland Premier Peter Beattie fresh stocks of
political ammo. The details of the plot
have created plenty of bad blood amongst both parties. So much so, in fact,
that members of both are calling for resignations.

The way to go
out.
David Oldfield announces his resignation with his usual finesse in the
Manly Daily:
“The wife of Manly-based
Upper House MP David Oldfield has defended his decision to take leave from
State Parliament to take part in a celebrity television show in Vanuatu. The co-founder
of One Nation, former One Nation NSW MLC and current independent, decided to
take part in the show, known as Celebrity Survivor, because he had the chance
to raise $100,000 for charity, his wife Lisa Oldfield said yesterday. The MP
will miss two sitting days of parliament and will not be at Macquarie Street
when the State Budget is handed down on Tuesday. Filming began on Tuesday and
the show is expected to air later this year. Mrs Oldfield said her husband
would not recontest his Upper House seat at the election next March, leaving
behind a salary package of $110,650 plus an electorate allowance of $41,655.
However, he will receive a substantial superannuation package…” All class.

Quick turnaround. Seconds after Parliamentary
Secretary Chris Pyne was booted out of the House yesterday, Makin MP Trish Draper was clambering into his spot – one of the much
envied “TV seats” directly behind the PM.

Peter Fray

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Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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