SPRING IN THEIR STEPS: Victorian Labor slowly rises from the ashes

jacintallanSwitched-on Victorian state rounds sleuth Peter Rolfe from the Sunday Herald Sun has identified former golden-haired girl of former Premier John Brumby as the new “attack merchant” of the Opposition. Victoria’s very own Julie Bishop perhaps.

Rob Hulls has formerly played the role of hard-man with distinction although many assume after decades in parliamentary service and ten years as minister that he won’t be going round again. There’s been talk of what happens when Hulls’ full superannuation entitlements kick in (later this year) but Labor insiders doubt he’ll cause a by-election unless in favourable political circumstances.

Rolfe has dug up some good quotes from Jacinta showing she’s having a go in the chamber. Daniel Andrews has an imposing presence but he’ll need more than just the power of one.

Other state Labor MPs are shaking off the disappointments of 2010 and are having a crack. We greatly enjoyed Fiona Richardson’s verbal carpet-bombing of befuddled Transport Minister after he announced that pets would be allowed on V-Line trains, with matching canine photo op, only to have V-Line contradict their notional boss. Richardson gave him some Cujo-love:

“Terry Mulder. What a wally. The Liberal Public Transport Minister’s most recent stuff up has given new meaning to the phrase a dog of an idea. Instead of worrying about having to install poo-catchers on V-Line trains, Terry Mulder should think about installing one in his own office to clean up this sort of mess. It begs the question, can the Liberal Public Transport Minister get anything right?”

Also muscling up is Tim Holding, the Shadow Treasurer and his hard-working chum Martin Pakula who have tag-teamed Kim Wells, whose approach to stakeholder management is somewhat curious. Some in Liberal circles think he’s a weak Treasurer, allowing the Premier’s Private Office advisers to actively meddle in budget formulation. Holding has claimed that he’s been “missing in action”:

“It is a disgrace the Treasurer won’t front the media,” he said. “Kim Wells can’t tell the difference between capital and recurrent spending, and almost caused a run on a bank.Kim Wells is not up to the serious job of being the state’s Treasurer.”

Standard fare until the killer line:

Treasurer Kim Wells yesterday ducked a planned media launch of a crucial report into Victoria’s finances and has now been dubbed “MIA Wells” in Spring St. Shadow treasurer Tim Holding, who famously got lost on Mt Feathertop, offered to lend the Treasurer his emergency distress beacon.

Clever. Self-deprecating. And encouraging to observers of Victorian politics who crave a contest. It’s coming.

That said, there’s still a reasonably sleepy and peaceful attitude in Spring Street at the moment, so much so that a member of the VEXNEWS Investigations Unit was not surprised to see former protagonists ex ALP State Secretary and new PMO Director of Strategy Nick Reece, ex Liberal party director now state Cabinet office czar Tony Nutt and Baillieu COS Michael Kapel all standing around having a very friendly yak on Friday afternoon on Spring Street. None were keen to detail the “private conversation” although our informant reveals Kapel was in animated story-telling mode, waving his arms about and bringing them down in chopping fashion, suggesting he was either talking about the coming state budget or the ministerial career of former Baillieu friend turned frenemy Richard Dalla Riva.



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30 responses to “SPRING IN THEIR STEPS: Victorian Labor slowly rises from the ashes

  1. Don't kill Victoria's golden goose

    The lack of action in the Parliament and the fear of the media by the ‘green horn ministers’ like Treasurer ‘MIA’ Wells is a continuation of what was a fairly lazy opposition. It is not secret that the Baillieu opposition relied on the Herald Sun and community groups to do their work.

    However, in contrast to the mute state of public discourse from our narrowly-elected state government we hear that there has been some feverish discussions and planning sessions with the development industry and Liberal heavy weights.

    We can only watch with interest over the next few years to see if the these not-so-public discussions result in public good or simply private rewards for corporate mates of the Liberal party.

    In the meantime the Government should listen to Former Premier Steve Bracks – development without investment in infrastructure will kill the golden goose of Victorian jobs growth. This was an ‘economic gift’ that was given to the Baillieu Government by 11 years of Labor.

    Hopefully, the Labor opposition will continue to hold the Liberals accountable for their broken election promises but the opposition’s key role should be to keep a ‘watching brief’ to protect jobs growth in the suburbs and regions. This impressive and wide-spread economic growth was state Labor’s real legacy and Baillieu’s personal laziness and the Coalition’s policy inertia should not be allowed to kill the golden goose of Victorian prosperity.

  2. Inga Binga

    All my boys spend too much trying to look up my skirt instead of working. I can’t help it if my voluptuous assets are too tempting for those naughty right winged boys.

  3. Ben

    The election result a surprise?

    LOL: Labor is becoming irrelevant. Their obsession with lowering world temperatures, creating more fatherless marriages, and appeasing every Islamist gang with a made-for-SBS discrimination story, is beyond pathetic (and parody).

    Labor needs to reach out and listen once again to the working-classes but they’re too focused on impressing their university friends. It’s amazing how one soy latte can distract one party.

    Paul Kelly’s latest piece in The Weekend Australian says it all.

  4. what a fizzer

    Add Josephine Cafagna to the list of non performing Tories. Life is a bit busier than the cruisy one-story-a-week-cooked-up-with-hubby days of Stateline isn’t Jo?

    Nice to see the tradition of double teaming continue under Josie Taylor with Deputy Ombudsman Daddy helping out his humorless daughter.

  5. partyhack

    What a pity the ALP didnt make moves whilst in Govt instead of allowing cheats and branchstackers control who got what for backdooring one another. Whatever happens they will have at least 8 years to wait before the public will forget just how much of a mess they left the state in. It may be a good idea to invest in infrastructure but really with projects like Myki,Leap & Desal plants you dont want teachers or union delegates making financial decision that will cost us for the next 20 years and for what gain. I would prefer someone like Wells who might be a bit slow and more cautious than Holding who could only correct Grammar not contracts/

  6. it is about jobs - idiots

    It is amazing how little the Victorian Liberal political elite care about economics. I suppose if your are born rich you do not have to care about how the dollars add up.

    How did Victoria prosper for that last decade without a resource base?

    Managing a balanced economy is not easy and Victoria outperformed other state governments in this regard for 11 years.

    But going on Liberal comments on this site – the Liberals are still fixated on personality politics.

    Victoria’s future rests on growing and investing in the western and northern suburbs and in the regions.

    But nasty and petty class politics will see the Liberals cut back these very regions that are our state’s future.

    Ignore transport, education and health in the west and north and you will put Victoria’s overall prosperity in danger.

  7. ex ALP

    They are hopeless state and federal Labor. The ALP brand has been damaged beyond recognition. Bill Shorten you are responsible for the rise of the Liberals. Grass roots will never forget that.

  8. Ben

    “It is amazing how little the Victorian Liberal political elite care about economics.”

    To “it is about jobs – idiots”:

    And, yet remarkably they’re still smarter than Labor.

    But seriously. Turn it up. We all know how the humble Premier Jeff Kennett left Labor with a massive treasure chest. (A gentleman and a scholar he was!)

    Thanks to Labor’s feral pirates, our Andrew Bolt can’t even express a scientific opinion without a kangaroo court jumping on him.

    PS> And if you still feel depressed – visit Beyond Blue.

  9. Inspector Gadget

    Beware the fury of a Police Association Scorned. The Liberals were warned not to take the Police Association lightly. They have walked away from their undertakings Many a marginal back bencher should steel themselves for the eviscerating onslaught from a cashed up and angry union. One with an active membership and a media darling as a leader. Woe unto ye all Libs & Nats. Only at the end will you understand the true power of the force……..

  10. Bollocks

    The present ALP leader in Victoria, Daniel someone (I forget), is notable by being absent from TV news for months.

  11. Anon

    Remember, Inga Binga’s naughty right winged boys kicked some Labor ass in November 2010!

  12. Anon

    What about RTR?

  13. Dacks

    I dont know who has been more of a disappointment – Kim Wells or Cafagna. Both are headed for the chop once Ted grows some plums.

  14. inga binga

    why didn’t teddie give me a ministry? big question, even bigger answer

  15. Giuseppe De Simone

    Obama is dead. God will judge him.

  16. Don't you mean Osama?

    Obama & Osama?

  17. Giuseppe De Simone

    It was a typo. Well picked up. I meant Osama who probably has done less damage to the USA than Obama.

    I haven’t seen the birth certificate for myself. It could be a forgery.

  18. Giuseppe De Simone

    When staffers from different parties get together for a private chat, they discuss all the good things the new mob can do now that they are in power that the old mob couldn’t do because of the necessary political expediency of protecting foolish positions taken by their political masters.

    Usually, the first few decisions of an incoming government are those the outgoing government knew were the right ones to take but was unable to do so – because of vested interests that would go ballistic just before the election or some idiotic statement made by a Minister who should have kept their mouth shut before getting a proper briefing from their staffers.

    The chopping movements relating to those necessary and important decisions were no doubt accompanied by private bipartisan approval (even if later they would be “condemned” publicly).

  19. Are you for real?

    Giuseppe De Simone – are you seriously saying that a non US born person should not be president?

    So someone from Italy shouldn’t be able to be PM of Australia?

    And I am pretty sure obama did not kill thousands in a terrorist attack.

    Why don’t you go to the local shops and see if you can do that Cornetto trick again and bite a copper on the arm?

  20. Don't you mean Osama?

    Have a good look at the website Politifact Gieseppe. It might help you with the allegations of the ‘birther’ movement.

  21. Jacinta's calling

    Well Ms Allen likes talking about animal organs!She should be a vet not an MP!

  22. partyhack

    If Jacinta is so good why hasnt she demanded a coronial court decision on her uncle????
    Come on girlie sort this one out.

  23. La La land

    Yes…untrained political staffers who have never worked in a real job all know best…if only political staffers ruled the world…but just a second some of worst MPs and Ministers are ex staffers…

    Giuseppe, for a conservative your blind faith in the political class is astounding.

  24. anon

    The US Constitution provides that to be eligible to be President a person must be a natural born citizen of the United States, but it doesn’t apply to those alive when the Constitution was ratified in 1789, to protect some signers of the Declaration of Independence.

    There are also question marks about John McCain who was born in Panama and George Romney, a candidate in 1968, who was born in Mexico. Neither Swarzenegger, born in Austria, nor Kissenger, born in Germany, are eligible to be US President. Obama probably was born in Hawaii, so is a natural born citizen of the US.

  25. Adrian Jackson

    Anon (7 May 11) that is spot on but in the 21st century it is archaic.

    In the late 1700’s when the insurgent George Washington and his cronies had there “beer hall putsch” they, as the more wealthy slave owning plantation owners and the like, did not want relatives of King George 111 immigrating to become a candidate for President but times have changed 200 in year plus.

    Even the current US system is dysfunctional as the Head of State is also the Head of Government not the Congress and his ministers (secretaries) are unelected.

    This was also designed to ensure the masses in Congress did not have much real say in decision making. Another reason not to have a republic in Australian.

    Finally what is the most dangerous job in the world? Answer US President; 3 shot dead so far and others wounded or shot at. They are not good odds and it is an indictment of the US system if there is so much dissatisfaction within the masses.

  26. anon

    Thanks Adrian. There are actually four US Presidents who have been assassinated. They are Lincoln 1865, Garfield 1881, McKinley 1901 and Kennedy 1963.

    We haven’t had an assassination of any important political leader in Australia, but Arthur Calwell came close in 1966 when the poet Peter Kocan fired the shot, and of course John Newman, the New South Wales Labor politician was murdered, but he wasn’t in the same category as Calwell.

    Then there was a NSW Minister known as the Minister for Murder, T.J.Ley, who was convicted for that offence in the UK after committing at least one murder in Australia for which he wasn’t even tried, our legal system being such, even in the 1920s, that criminals get too fair a go. Ley would have been hanged, but he died first.

  27. Adrian Jackson

    Thanks anon (08 May 11) I knew there was a US president was murdered in the late 1800’s but I did not know there was two in addition to Lincoln and Kennedy. My grand parents gave my late mum (born 1915) a middle name Garfield after the US President who was shot.

    Agree with all the rest. Newman’s tragic death was a gang land killing not a political one as you note while the attempt on Calwell life was by a right wing nutter.

    I have seen the ABC TV doco on the NSW Minister for Murder. Wasn’t Ley arrested in the UK sometime after he moved there over another murder?

  28. anon

    Thanks again Adrian. You are correct about Ley. He was probably responsible for two murders in NSW, and it was a subsequent murder in the UK, as you correctly state, that got him convicted there.

  29. Juliar must go

    John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 am. While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN HONG KONG). He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes

    After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA) he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO)
    to see how much he could spend today. After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN ) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA )
    he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY ) filled it with GAS (from Saudi Arabia ) and continued his search for a good paying AUSTRALIAN JOB.

    At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his Computer ( made in MALAYSIA ), John decided to relax for a while.
    He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL ), poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE ) and turned on his TV (MADE IN INDONESIA ),
    and then wondered why he can’t find a good paying job in AUSTRALIA.



  30. DaveB

    Juliar must go,

    Good story, pity that the facts contradict it. Australia’s unemployment peaked at a little over 5% despite the worst global recession in decades, and has been steadily decreasing since then. In fact at 4.5% it is one of the lowest in the worlds. All of that under the government who is going to introduce a carbon tax designed to modernise our economy so we aren’t left paying for ever increasingly expensive oil.

    If your story had finished “and then he turned on the TV (made in INDONESIA), saw a story on the ABC about how towns in regional areas are finding it impossible to recruit enough workers for skilled and unskilled positions and then wondered why he can’t find a good paying job in AUSTRALIA” it would have been much more amusing.

    P.S we generally fill our cars with petrol in Australia rather than gas.

    P.P.S with oil mined from Australia, and the cars are made from iron mined in Australia too. Of course while the oil is taxed and nobody bats an eyelid if anyone suggests we tax the iron then those on the opposition benches howl ‘we’ll be ruined’.

    P.P.P.S What kind of unemployed person can afford wine to drink?

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