Vics wack WA Liberals. The WA Liberals at the Party’s federal executive were heavily rebuked by their colleagues at the meeting of the federal executive held on Monday in Melbourne. Insiders, annoyed at the dominance and arrogance of the WA Liberals, said the decision to reject a proposal to have a mini-executive within the federal executive and disquiet about the WA division’s decision to push through with an early endorsement of a candidate in O’Connor against the Independent-National, Tony Crooke, meant WA Liberals left the meeting having to lick some serious wounding by the presidents of other divisions and a prominent (and very experienced) state director.

The rebuttal is a serious blow and nuisance to WA deputy federal leader Julie Bishop and state president Barry Court. The rebuttal is part of broader positioning of prominent federal Liberals in anticipation of the federal council next year and the election of new federal office bearers for the party. Court is expected to have to step down from the presidency of the WA Liberals in June and speculation is mounting that Bishop will face a leadership “challenge” in the first quarter of next year.

The challenge is expected to come in the way of a firm encouragement to make way for a Hockey or Robb candidate. The decision to endorse a candidate against Crooke is evidence that Bishop has ostracised key party members in her home state and has no influence over the Liberal’s state council. Federal Liberals are frustrated at the constant referencing of the $1.7 million campaign contribution made to the Liberal’s federal election campaign. Privately, Liberals have said the WA representatives have conveniently ignored the fact the Victorian division had provided almost $4 million to the federal election campaign in 2007.

More on the WikiLeaks blacklist. Australia-based employees of US defence giant Raytheon have been instructed to not view the cables, lest they jeopardise their security clearances.

Aunty’s printing press seizes up. Expect another review into the future of ABC Books early in the new year following another disastrous year for Aunty’s publishing arm. It hasn’t been helped by almost negligible sales of books by former ABC staffers — such as Bob Wurth’s chest-puffing Capturing Asia. Questions are being asked in Aunty’s corridors of power as to why such books are published when the only criteria seems to be they’ve been written by fellow ABC flunkies.

Your complaint is important to us … If you go to the Privacy NSW website and try to ascertain what you do in special circumstances (like seeking to complain out of time), this is what comes up …

Privacy NSW Complaints Protocol

The Complaints Handling Protocol has been removed for revision. If you have any inquiries contact Philippa O’Dowd on ph. 02 8688 XXXX.

Part 4 of the PPIP Act is the statutory source as to complaint handling by Privacy NSW.

Barry’s worried Gallacher promised too much. NSW opposition leader Barry O’Farrell is not happy with one of his senior shadow ministers and is already considering dumping him after the Coalition wins the March election. Former police officer and shadow police minister Mike Gallacher has been active in opposition, so much so that O’Farrell fears he has already promised more than the new Coalition government may be able to afford.

Among Gallacher’s promises are a “21st century Neighbourhood Watch programme” with at least one watch group for each state local area command. He has also backed an improved death and disability scheme for police injured or killed on duty and fair wage deal for every NSW police officer.

Perhaps it is this last commitment whih has put the wind up O’Farrell. Despite Premier Kristina Keneally’s assurances in November that Cabinet wouldn’t act on a Treasury commissioned report by consultancy firm KPMG to trim the state police force budget by 10%, senior police continue to be unconvinced. “They need the money,” a very senior police officer told Crikey, “and 10% will cut into wages. When Barry O’Farrell comes in he’s going to find that the cupboard is bare.”

Peter Fray

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