Has Tamworth Nationals candidate Kevin Anderson been caught sending out his election material using Senator Sandy MacDonald’s taxpayer-funded postage allowance? The matter has been referred to the electoral commission for investigation.

The hustle and bustle of Qld Liberal politics is under way for the newly vacant senatorial position after the demise of Santo Santoro. Already candidates are on the hustings with Mark Powell wanting to take the number two position, but this is being howled down because of his closeness with Santoro. Number three Sue Boyce is ramping up her women as chair of the Women’s Council but there seems to be an anti-Sue push from the women as she is losing friends from her group. Only one executive member has maintained their position on the Women’s Council Executive since their last AGM (see correction below). This dislike flows through the organisation. Former Vice President Phil Blain is being talked about as he has been waiting for a seat in Toowoomba for a while and the retirement of Ian Macfarlane does not seem imminent. He is stained by the last Convention which saw him lose his VP position and he may not garner the support of the party as a whole because of this. Steve Dixon from Hervey Bay is another Santo person, and like Blain, has no seat to call his own. Word is that he will not take this opportunity as Herbert is likely to be vacated in the short term and become available to the Liberal Party to contest from the Nationals. Still being talked about. Word is going round that Michael Caltabiano is keen to run, but this seems unlikely as he has already ruled out Bowman should Lamming take a walk. Also his closeness to the big S will work against him. People are talking John Caris up, but this is unlikely after he failed in Southport in last year’s State election and failed to get the support from his own FEC in Fadden. Word is that the leaders of the new dominating faction are tired of his aggressiveness and this will affect his support. Other than that, the field is wide open as it normally is.

I work for in the NSW Hospital system. Morris Iemma has been advertising that 12 new “after hours GP Centres” are opening in NSW hospitals. This is somewhat misleading, as the GPs will not be stationed at the hospital. They will be phoned to come in to the hospital once a certain quota, of about ten patients, has been reached in the Emergency Department. I guess it will reduce waiting times for ”Emergency” patients but I’m not sure how long the “GP” patients are going to be waiting for…

What is Senator Chris Ellison’s connection with the Festival of Light? He will attend a dinner in Perth on 3 April run by the Festival of Light. Tickets for the dinner at $100 each have been paid for by Skills Advantage Australia – so we’re told… whoever they are – and all proceeds are going to the support Richard Egan of the Festival of Light. Is Senator Ellison currying favour with the religious right too?



Sue Boyce, President, Liberal Women’s Council (Qld), writes: Obviously your “tipster” on Queensland Liberal Party matters dislikes me but unfortunately they’ve let their spite get in the road of the facts. Far from “all but one” of the Executive leaving at the last AGM, only two of the seven of the Liberal Women’s Council officebearers changed. A reasonable balance, I would have thought, between retention of experience and development of new talent. Also, evidence I would have thought that the rest of your tipster’s comments are less than factual.

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