Still in his mid-30s and cautious by temperament, Julian Sheezel was greeted with suspicion when he became state director of the Victorian Liberal party a few years ago.

Since then the party’s fortunes have not improved, but Sheezel has put a few runs on the board. Phone calls and emails to head office are now returned and members are saying the party’s administrative wing could have stumbled across a capable administrator.

According to an insider at HQ, Sheezel recently negotiated a pay rise with his chief backer Peter Costello. So how much is a detail man worth in a bearpit of egos? Well thanks to an uncharacteristic slip, everyone at 104 Collins Street now knows.

When he received a memo confirming the boost, Sheezel went to copy it. But rather than entering his copier code he seems to have set the photocopier to do that number of copies. According to our source the multiple copies left on the machine showed an increase of between $30,000 and $40,000 to take his package to over $200,000.

They have now been passed around among staff who are scratching their heads over such an extravagant “performance” bonus to someone whose party is in disarray and about to face an election thumping.