Christian Kerr writes:

Putting out political spot fires.
There’s a growing buzz on the NSW rumour mill that Rural Fire Service boss Phil Koperberg will replace Attorney-General Bob Debus as Member for Blue Mountains at the state poll next year. Labor state secretary Mark Arbib is said to be keen on the move – as will RFS volunteers and staff who are sick of the show pony.

Do you expect a minister to travel by bike? Shrubhuggers were surprisingly pleased by a presentation by Environment Minister Ian Campbell at Deakin University the other day on energy efficient buildings, increased use of solar panels and general green goodness. What they weren’t impressed by was his exit – via helicopter, we’re told.

Family affair? Tassie’s a small place – so there might be an innocent explanation to rumours embattled Deputy Premier Bryan Green received support in talkback calls to ABC Radio from the brother and father of one of his advisers.

Sauce of the Nile.
Next month’s national convention of Fred Nile’s Christian Democrats will be enlivened by special speakers. Top billing goes to Barnaby Joyce. Also down on the agenda is bush poet and Liberal fringe dweller of the right, Michael Darby, described as an “expert election campaign director”. Not that he was expert enough to have himself installed as the Liberal candidate for Manly.

Life on the margins.
The loss of Bass and Braddon was just the beginning of the bad news for the ALP on election night in 2004. Labor would love to win the two Tassie seats back – but the bruvvers seem more interested in the politics of putting local Missos machine man David O’Byrne into the Duncan Kerr’s seat of Dennison. Braddon MP Mark Baker is seen as vulnerable, but local Liberals seem set to keep party president Dale Archer and state director Damian Mantach in their jobs. It’s thought the pair have added a sharper edge to party performance – an important psychological boost.

Peter Fray

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