Pru Goward seems to have got a consolation prize – Goulburn – but who are the real winners and losers of from the Epping preselection bout?

Greg Smith is the endorsed Liberal candidate, but he’s in plenty of strife. The Daily Telegraph set a wonderful trap for him, and now he’s caught up in their war with the Office of the DPP:

The NSW Liberal Party’s star recruit warned a colleague that child pornography had been found on his computer – before alerting police.

The Liberal candidate for Epping and would-be attorney-general, prosecutor Greg Smith, is now at the centre of a controversy at the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

A briefing document shown to The Daily Telegraph by sources close to the office of the DPP reveal Mr Smith phoned senior Crown prosecutor Patrick Power on July 4 and asked him to come into the office “urgently”.

He then informed Mr Power that explicit material – a video – had allegedly been found on his PC by an IT technician.

Mr Smith then asked Mr Power to resign and allowed him to go home. But it was not until later that day Mr Smith called the office of Police Commissioner Ken Moroney – and another two days before Mr Power was arrested by police and charged.

The Tele is still crowing today – egged on by the NSW Government.

That, of course, should open the door for a counterstrike. Police Minister Carl Scully was out on Sydney ABC Radio this morning pushing the party line about Smith and Power – yet when he was asked if he was happy with PC Plod’s performance in not searching Power’s house for two days, he automatically said they’d done a wonderful job.

Advance notice makes no difference if the coppers don’t do anything for a couple of days – but that’s another yarn. Greg Smith clearly isn’t an Epping winner.

With this mess, Liberal leader Peter Debnam doesn’t come up all that well, either. His law and order lines for next year’s poll are all tangled up. The preselection of a member of the hard line religious right may also spark an independent challenge, local Liberals fear.

The real Epping winner may well turn out to be former Ku-ring-gai mayor Adrienne Ryan – even though she came third on the day.

Ryan mopped up most of the uncommitted vote and made a mark on folk from all factions. She played a clean game – and didn’t make any public scenes.

Thanks in part to the Epping outcome, it’s likely the Liberals will be stuck in opposition for another four years. If there’s the usual raft for mid-term resignations, keep an eye out for Ryan.

Peter Fray

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