Labor frontbencher Mark Dreyfus (Image: AAP/JOEL CARRETT)

Is Labor’s shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus about to leave parliament for a gig at the Victorian Supreme Court? If you believe the Financial Review, yes he is.

A detailed report today from gun gossip columnist (and Fairfax stable’s best writer) Joe Aston suggested Dreyfus had met with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews about an appointment to the Court of Appeal down in the jurisdiction where it rains suppression orders. Given Dreyfus’ stolid silence on the government’s harassment of Witness K and Bernard Collaery, it seems he’d fit right in.

Even prior to the election, there was speculation Dreyfus wouldn’t be around long as attorney-general if Labor won, so it all makes sense. Only… this exact issue actually came up just a few weeks ago, and Dreyfus issued a clear-cut denial that he was interested in changing jobs for a judicial gig. “I am absolutely committed to serving out this term of parliament and that’s the end of the matter,” he said, “and I don’t know where those ridiculous suggestions come from.”

The source of these “ridiculous suggestions” is within a Victorian ALP with too many candidates and too few seats. Potential prestige spots like Dreyfus’ Isaacs (a margin of 6.4% after Vic Labor’s good-but-not-good-enough effort in May) are trailed to keep the talent interested, regardless of plausibility.

Of course, many a politician is absolutely committed to serving a full term right up until they announce their mid-term departure, and Dreyfus’ statement in late August was clear, but not quite Shermanesque. Helpfully, this morning he made his intentions clear: “I’ll be staying and fighting the next election,” he tweeted. So that’s Isaacs occupied until 2025, presumably.

Peter Fray

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