Flying in and out of Australia’s capital cities is a lifestyle well known to many political staffers, but there’s usually someone who gets to avoid the FIFO life — the electorate officer. This isn’t the case for Don Farrell’s new electorate officer, who is making a weekly trip from Melbourne to fulfill her duties at the front desk. Ms Tips has learned that Dimity Paul, a former staffer in the Victorian government and member of Farrell’s Shoppies’ union faction, is doing the long commute — although we are assured she’s funding the flights herself.

If Paul’s name sounds familiar, it is because she was previously chief of staff to former Victorian Small Business Minister Adem Somyurek, who was stood down from the role after Paul’s complaint that he bullied her by shaking her chin while reprimanding her was upheld. It’s an interesting choice for Farrell to get a ring-in, — he is so dedicated to promoting South Australians he makes an effort to drop stories or give comment to journos from his beloved home state.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey