The Sunday Herald Sun reported this weekend that their intrepid newshound James Campbell had uncovered evidence that the Greens party had entered into a conspiracy with prominent Victorian Western District Liberals to defeat the endorsed Liberal candidate Dan Tehan in Wannon.
The famished VEXNEWS Investigations Unit has leapt on a few crumbs from the Campbell feasting table and has also obtained documents from disgruntled sources within the Greens party that do much to undermine the false image presented by aging Greens party leader Bob Brown as being above political scheming and letting voters make up their own minds about where their preferences should go. Brownâ€™s most trusted confidant, Christine Milne, as we will see, has been intimately involved in this plot.
â– Tasmanian Greens party Senator Christine Milne met with Peter Small, â€œthe president of the Horsham Liberal partyâ€ according to Greens party documents but in fact the president of their Hamilton branch in secret discussions about undermining the Liberal candidate in Wannon;
â– Small has a big scheme to defeat Tehan, described by a senior Greens activist and candidate Marcus Ward: â€œIn a nutshell, heâ€™s (Small) working on a deal to sink the liberal candidate in wannon and get the Labor candidate over the line. He thinks he can get most independents to preference each other, and the(n) preference the labor party.â€
â– The Greens candidates Lisa Owen (Wannon) and Marcus Ward (Western Victoria â€“ Legislative Council) discussed demanding that the old Fletcher Jones site in Warrnambool â€“ a very prominent location in the town â€“ be converted into a â€œrefugee processing centreâ€ in return for being part of the preference plot to defeat Tehan.
It is not known whether they have obtained secret commitments on the refugee processing centre from Labor, although it seems unlikely.
The endorsed Liberal Dan Tehan is enduring a withering campaign of character assassination from opponents, including failed Wannon Liberal preselection candidate Katrina Rainsford who are urging voters to make the long-time safe Liberal seat marginal. While some in the local press have lapped this up, loyal local Liberals reckon Tehan is expected to poll strongly and see off the challenge from independents, Greens and Labor who are seen by many as acting in concert, a conclusion certainly supported by the emergence of these secret Greens party emails.