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

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