July 22, 2008
Here are Stephen Mayne's four stories from the Crikey edition on Tuesday, 11 July, 2006.
7. The curious timing of Ian McLachlan
By Stephen Mayne
Ian McLachlan never made the front pages during his political career like he's done this week – and he was supposed to be a supporter of John Howard.
So what's behind the timing of Sunday's confirmation-of-deal-notes to Glenn Milne? Could it be that the chairman of Australian Wool Innovation (AWI) wants to be seen as a major political player at the World Merino Conference which starts in Perth tomorrow.
Have a look at the program and you'll see that Ian McLachlan AO has a 15-minute spot on Thursday afternoon titled "Influencing the Influencers". Who better to give such a talk than a kingmaker of conservative prime ministerial succession deals. All those hundreds of international delegates gathering at Burswood casino will be most impressed.
The only problem that McLachlan now faces is the small matter of the Prime Minister having his photo on a dart board in his office. Does that mean an attempt by AWI's sister company Woolmark to push a multi-million dollar pension liability onto the public purse might now be something of a dead duck?
Glenn Milne has done well with his seriously good scoop but it is baloney to suggest that McLachlan has sat tight on this information. Several other former Ministers have been informed and some corporate boardrooms are even claiming to have heard McLachlan talk about it.
And if obscure Liberal Party backbenchers like Alex Somlyay are even claiming to have read the notes, surely we're talking several dozen people who are aware of it. If so, why on earth has it taken so long for someone to put the meeting, the presence of McLachlan and his note-taking on the record before now?
It's all very well for people like Paul Kelly to claim this story is not new, but where did he actually report the detail? McLachlan has clearly been itching to get this into the open for up to three years and, just like everybody else, we missed it as well.
14. Sacked councils and more mayoral misadventures
By Stephen Mayne
As well as tracking colourful councillors, Crikey is also examining whole councils who have been sacked over the years. Excluding Jeff Kennett's sacking of all 210 Victorian councils in 1993-94, here are seven names to kick-start this list:
Cockburn: sacked by the Court Government in June 2000, a $1.8 million inquiry found 66 incidents of unlawful activity involving eight councillors.
Glen Eira: Liberal council in Melbourne's southern suburbs that was sacked by the Bracks government in 2004-05 after ridiculous in-fighting.
Melbourne City Council: sacked by the Bracks Government in 2000 amid claims of bullying and harassment, travel rorts and expenses fraud.
Nillumbik: the council in Melbourne's north east was sacked in October 1998 by the Kennett Government after infighting and taking a strong anti-development stance.
Maitland: this Hunter Valley council was sacked by the Carr Government in 1997 after an inquiry revealed some councillors had drawn up "hit lists" of those in rival factions.
Tweed Shire Council: sacked in 2005 over developer donations and control over certain councillors.
Wanneroo: began as a secret police inquiry into a corrupt council but then turned into a $5 million Royal Commission which even featured on Four Corners.
Another five councillor misadventures
John Kenny: charged with having sex with a 15-year-old whom he picked up on a chat line, but stayed on Randwick City Council so his vote could be used to keep the Green/Liberal coalition together.
Maryann Lindsay: elected to Hobsons Bay Council as an Independent while a member of the ALP. A local Community group, Hobsons Bay Community First, claimed she was really a dummy candidate for ALP candidate Peter Undy. The Municipal Electoral Tribunal, after a four day hearing, decided there was not enough evidence to unseat her, but she was definitely the dummy candidate who ended up winning.
Brad Matheson: Hobsons Bay Mayor, former high profile president of the Municipal Association of Victoria and right wing ALP member was forced to resign after The Age revealed he wrote letters under fake names supporting new electoral boundaries for Hobsons Bay.
Phuong Ngo: the Fairfax councillor in Sydney was given leave of absence and continued to receive his councillor's salary when facing charges over the murder of Cabramatta MP John Newman in the mid-1990s.
Dick Prendergast: the Moyne councillor was charged with assault and recklessly causing injury, after a fight with the Council's planning director, Greg Anders, and will appear in court in August
Check out the rest of the names here and keep the entries coming to email@example.com.
26. Stand by for Seek's Packer-backed real estate offensive
By Stephen Mayne, shareholder in Seek, Fairfax and News Corp
We ran this fascinating unsubstantiated tip yesterday:
PBL is at advanced stages of launching a broad attack on the property classifieds market by a combo of internally developed property services and acquiring remaining property classifieds businesses. They will merge this with Ninemsn's distribution network, lower prices for the agents and really squeeze Domain and realestate.com.au etc. It will have the financial backing to make a big dent in the market!Apparently the assault will be launched through PBL's 25% owned associate Seek, which has bought large volumes of free to air television and outdoor media to market something large in September and October. It seems very unlikely that Seek would be planning to extend their "lotto" campaign in a multi-million dollar FTA TV campaign two months after launching it.
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