The Brogden leaks and a real story of sleaze

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Christian Kerr writes:

Members of John Brogden’s own party leaked information to Labor in 2001 to cruel his career, Liverpool MP Paul Lynch told the New South Wales Parliament.

Really? Or is the NSW ALP is trying to distract media attention from the Smartpole scandal that poses a real threat to former Sydney lord mayor turned Labor Minister Frank Sartor?

In 2002 Brogden was criticised by the Labor Government for accepting public relations consultancy fees the previous year while he was opposition planning spokesman.

Lynch told Parliament that documents relating to Brogden’s consultancy work were identified as having been faxed from the office of the opposition’s upper house leader Mike Gallacher:

People on that side of the house were running around giving documents to the Labor Party to make sure John Brogden could be brought down. That’s the level to which the internal fractional (sic) blues within the NSW Liberal Party had descended. That is a clear example of what the ultra-right of the Liberal Party have been up to.

Nice yarn — except Gallacher isn’t a member of the ultra right. He’s denied the claims, too. NSW Liberal sources are being uncharacteristically quiet this morning, but the real story seems to be something like this.

First, this has nothing to do with the leaks that brought Brogden down last year.

There were concerns within the party of Brogden’s involvement with PriceWaterhouseCoopers. Brogden appears to have been a little economical with the actualite over the finer points. Gallacher and another
MP, Chris Hartcher, supposedly raised these matters with then leader Kerry Chikarovski. She investigated them, but found no reason to proceed against her rival.

End of story — until an Opposition attack on the Labor MP Eddie Obeid over contracts his sons’ firm secured from the City of Sydney when the Planning Minister, Frank Sartor, was running the Town Hall.

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Peter Fray
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