Melbourne’s Herald Sun splashed yesterday with some exclusive extracts from former Victorian premier Steve Bracks’ book A Premier’s State, co-written by Sunday Herald Sun deputy ed Ellen Whinnett (whose ex-partner, Tim Holding, served in Bracks’ cabinet).

The circumstances surrounding Steve’s sacking in 2000 of Sir James Gobbo piqued the little paper’s attention — Bracks had apparently discovered that Sir James liked to schmooze at The Athenaeum Club with fellow members of the ridiculously named “Rumour Tank” — a convergence of local Tory tongue waggers.

But buried in the extract itself was the bald-faced admission that Bracks and crack spin doctor Sharon McCrohan specifically denied boning Gobbo for his Liberal connections. The then premier “stuck to his guns” because “I … didn’t want to cause any controversy for the Governor’s office”. Makes you wonder what other fibs Bracks and McCrohan cooked up during their eight years managing Melbourne’s slavering press pack. –

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW