The Victorian Labor Party will soon announce who will be replacing Senator Stephen Conroy after his shock resignation last month, with the ABC reporting that it looks likely that the party will adhere to its affirmative action policy and appoint a woman to the almost full six-year term in the upper house. A tipster tells us that while the Right is looking the other way, there are also power plays in the industrial Left in Victoria, with Senator Kim Carr’s faction also in a period of unrest:
“Senator Gavin Marshall stands on fast sinking sand. A few weeks ago he hit the news for the first time in his fifteen years in the Senate. It wasn’t for his length of service, Marshall was rolled from his position as Deputy Senate President and in return received two paid committee spots and a three month sojourn to New York to visit the UN next year. Only one of the committee spots came from the left, the rest came from the right. He may be the only one who doesn’t realise it yet, but these are considered a retirement gift from his longtime benefactor Kim Carr, and Carr’s former right wing counterpart Stephen Conroy — himself now retired.”
Kim Carr formed his own faction with Gavin Marshall, Lisa Chesters and Maria Vamvakinou in the wake of the election in reaction to the wider Victorian Left refusing to nominate Carr for the opposition frontbench. He was later saved by party leader Bill Shorten, with MP Andrew Leigh taking a pay cut to allow Carr to retain his higher frontbencher salary. Our tipster says we should expect another resignation before the next election, as part of Kim Carr’s succession planning:
“That is why Marshall is likely to be tapped before the next election and his Socialist Left Senate spot given to Victorian Labor Assistant Secretary and Labor intellectual Kosmos Samaras.
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Samaras is well regard across the party, and with a couple of years under Kim’s tutelage in Canberra, he will have no problem taking Carr’s cabinet spot and protecting the legacy Carr has built for himself.”
Relations between Left and Right factions in Victoria are governed by the infamous “Stability Pact”, but that doesn’t do anything for intra-factional rivalries.