Newman precedent: Sallyanne Atkinson. Campbell Newman’s unorthodox push to transform himself from Brisbane lord mayor to Queensland premier has a precedent, albeit an unsuccessful one. Sallyanne Atkinson once enjoyed an even higher approval rating than Newman as the city’s first Liberal lord mayor and encouraged by a motley bunch of white shoe property developers and academic sycophants she began testing the water 20 years ago on how to ride in and wrest control of the Liberal parliamentary team.

Her property developer friends commissioned some shonky research which showed she’d become premier in a canter (even with the infamous gerrymander still in place). But Atkinson was cautious ( a pity she didn’t show similar caution when asked some years later by Eddie Groves to chair ABC Learning ) and sought the advice of some political hard-heads who warned against her infamous hubris. She listened and didn’t run, although a few years later the same white shoe boys convinced her to seek a federal seat. She lost — it seems popularity in one political arena doesn’t necessarily transfer to another. Are you listening Campbell?

Are Supercars subsided by us, too? Amid the debate about financing Melbourne’s increasingly unpopular Grand Prix, remember lots of money is also splurged on the support category, the V8 Supercars.¬†They’re boasting about $500,000 prizemoney for those cars. Without a sponsor for the V8 races is the prizemoney being provided by taxpayers?

The GP and the missing TV. Further to your article yesterday about the Grand Prix, not satisfied with bumping community sports clubs out of their Albert Park grounds for the whole of March last year they resorted to ripping off their equipment. On receiving its clubhouse keys back from the Grand Prix corporation (who use it for staff) the club’s flat screen TV — which was mounted high on a wall so it’s not just idly picked up from a table top in error — was found to be missing.

It took many months and many emails before the corporation could be persuaded to replace it; their excuse being that they were struggling to get a (sub-standard it turned out) replacement from one of their sponsors. You’d have thought with all the “gate receipts” they could afford to throw an impoverished sports club a few hundred dollars to buy a new TV.

Peter Fray

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