It’s the kind of come-from-nowhere victory that could only happen in Melbourne during Spring Racing Season, but instead of horses and winning against the odds, we’re talking about Kimberley Kitching and the workings of Victorian Labor’s factional warlords. Last night the Public Office Selection Committee announced that close friend of Labor leader Bill Shorten, Kimberley Kitching, would be replacing Stephen Conroy as a senator, giving her a plum job for the next six years. Kitching’s name was only thrown around publicly yesterday morning, and it became clear that the former Health Services Union official would win out among the other seven candidates (all female) for the role. There haven’t been many positive comments made about Kitching to the media, with one telling the ABC, “This will not end well”. She is a failed council candidate and has run for Labor preselection before. She is seen as very powerful within Victoria’s Labor Right. Her husband is Andrew Landeryou, a disgraced ex-blogger, whose words may come back to bite his wife in her now powerful position. Everyone comes to Parliament with baggage, but Kitching’s is already looking heavy.

Peter Fray

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