Abalinx Newsletter 17
RELIGION & POLITICS OR FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION I don’t like people who use their faith as justification for doing what they know is wrong. Nor do I like people who say I pray for you when they know that’s not so. So many people have been hurt and we cannot let that go on.
The above words are not mine but those of President Donald Trump who spoke recently to the American people.
Those very words would resonate well within the borders of Victoria and yet they have not been listened to by the current administration led by Robert Clark. At night when sycophants, recalcitrants innocuous weeds plot to burn down our broad church of Liberals others are at working diligently to right the wrongs. In Victoria we have at our disposal assets worth millions that are not being invested wisely. Nor is the current location of the Secretariat in a place where it is accessible to all members.
We should be investing in our members by developing their skills and knowledge of how to win campaigns and subsequently win government. Unfortunately those currently tasked with the responsibility of leading our Liberal party towards a bright future have much to answer for and have let us all down.
From where I stand, I see nothing but committees with not set agenda that will culminate in potential worthwhile strategic policies. I do not see our brightest individuals being identified and selected for future roles. What I see is a ‘job for the boy’s and political storm troopers and wannabes seeking hangouts. I no longer see events being publicised, fund raisers, political debates, policies being discussed or groups acting in a professional manner. For those unsure of the reasons Abalinx ENEWS LETTERS were created, let me be blunt and call a spade a spade. ENEWS LETTERS have been created as a result of Ian Quicks disloyal and corrosive emails. If any member deserves to be suspended it is Ian Quick. Had I remained a delegate, I would have put forward a motion to suspend Mr. IAN QUICK for a period of six months. I would not seek to remove his membership because he like all freedom loving people has the right to express his opinion. ENews Letters tested and exposed that myth of democratic right of expression. In fact ENEWS Letters demonstrates the hypocrisy of the current administration. The Administrative Committee led by Robert Clark is devoid of integrity and has no credibility at all.
Although I am recovering from an operation, I relish the thought of being invited to State Assembly to face my peers and thus expose the exponents of change according to their ideology. An ideology that is not compatible with the values and beliefs of our broad church we call Liberal Party. If and when hypocrites come to their senses, maybe just maybe there will be no need for grass root opposition such as Abalinx ENEWS LETTERS. After all there comes a time when the large volunteer base stand up to be counted and say in one loud voice: ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
Let us not lose sight if what the Army of volunteers which make up our broad church was initially created for. It was not to dictate to the parliamentary party but merely to support it to win government. Let us put aside our differences and points of view to win government. That is our role as members of the party are responsible for. Do not stifle debate and do not attempt to censure someone for his passionate points of view. We are all one family.
Josh Frydenberg accuses Anthony Albanese of hypocrisy over sports rorts scandal (See also below)
A GRASS ROOTS POINT OF VIEW ROBERT CLARK BERATES MEMBERS Speaking at State Assembly at The Scots’ Church Hall on Friday evening, Robert Clark berated Members who signed the requisition/s for a Special State Council meeting, (originally initiated regarding the extraordinarily early federal pre-selections) sermonising that they were misguided, disruptive and irresponsible, and that their actions were deplorable. Members were incensed that the State President chose to use his address to State Assembly to launch a factional attack on volunteer Party members in such a sanctimonious, vindictive, unacceptable and un-presidential manner. Robert Clark and his factional clowns on the Administrative Committee appear to have completely lost the plot. Addressing delegates and members, Robert Clark said that while the Constitution provides for the requisitioning of a Special State Council meeting, on receipt of fifty or more signatures of State Council delegates, this provision has never been used before, and should not be used, except in exceptional circumstances. This is all true. However, the Special State Council provision has been designed as a critical check on the Administrative Committee, and protects the important principle of democratic decision making within the Party. In declaring, as he did, that the Special State Council provision should not be used except in exceptional circumstances, Robert Clark has taken it upon himself, and his factional clowns on the Administrative Committee, (think Ian Quick in particular) to dictate what exceptional circumstances are, and what are they are not. (Remember Ian Quick; once the great protector of the Constitution and the champion of democracy!) This is an extraordinarily situation, and most undemocratic. State Council is ultimate governing body of the Liberal Party; not the State President. Returning to the recent requisitions for a Special State Council meeting, Robert Clark and his factional clowns on the Administrative Committee, (supported by the Constitution Committee) having received three requisitions for a Special State Council meeting, and having denied two of the same, eventually acquiesced, and allowed the third requisition, however not before ruling the proposed motions of any substance inadmissible. Hence, the recent revocation of the requisitions for a Special State Council meeting by the requisitions. Sadly, it can now accurately be said, that the Victorian Division of the Liberal Party has reached the lowest point in its seventy five year history, where the prevailing climate is one of dismay, division, dysfunction, frustration and anger. The Party is paralysed and moribund. A remarkable achievement by Robert Clark and his factional clowns in just seven months! Remember, Robert Clark and his factional clowns, supported by a gaggle of members, including, “I’m with Clarky!” The Fumbler, promised to unite the Party and provide good governance. That went well; didn’t it! Party members are now counting down the days to the Annual General Meeting / State Council in May to unceremoniously remove Robert Clark and his gang of factional clowns. Meanwhile, Members are left wondering what ever happened to the sense of Liberal camaraderie, fellowship, and common purpose and can do attitude that once pervaded the Victorian Division. The conclusion appears to be, that Robert Clark and his factional clowns on the Administrative Committee, are still completely eaten up by anger over the loss of the 2018 Victorian state election (including and particularly their own positions) and spend every day hell bent on seeking retribution (that is the actual word they use) from those they blame for the loss; including humble Party volunteers. This is a particularly insidious situation for the Victorian Division, and one which, on current settings, will almost certainly result in a loss of ground in Victoria at the 2022 federal election, and no gains at the 2022 Victorian state election. Commenting on Friday evening’s performance by Robert Clark at State Assembly, a long term Party member and regular volunteer, said they wonder if it has ever occurred to Robert Clark and his factional clowns, that members of the Liberal Party pay money to belong to the Party, and in turn many volunteer their services and resources to support the Party in its work. i.e. Liberal Party Members working voluntarily for the Party actually pay to volunteer! Surely it is not too much for Party Members to expect be treated with respect; more respect than is currently the case in the Victorian Division. Robert Clark concluded his withering address on Friday evening referring to the magnificent work being undertaken by his voluminous and ever growing number of committees, and how we will win the Victorian state election in 2022. Amazing!
Robert Clark should heed the advice of senior elders of the Liberal party and realise that it is all over. In fact Jeff is on record stating that when he lost the election when he was the premier he should have left earlier and allowed a successor to take over, Furthermore Jeff known for calling a spade a spade suggested in January 2019 that other Liberal Party members of parliament should consider resigning. Although
Robert Clark is no longer a sitting member his position as President is precarious indeed, propped up by Ian Quick and others of his ilk. I remember Michael Kroger being criticised because he allowed alleged branch-stackers to run amok with new recruits, undermined by those close to him and now we see Robert Clark and his sidekicks allowing branch stackers to expand in the west, dividing members, suspending members, failing to investigate allegation of misconduct and failing to abide by the Constitution. Grass roots members are wondering who is calling the kettle black. It is clear that Robert Clark has failed to unite the Liberals in Victoria and has done great damage to the infrastructure and to the Liberal Party itself. Jeff Kennett to his credit praised Michael Kroger for putting the interests of the Liberal party first by resigning in December 2019. “I take no joy in the fact that people who have served the party well ultimately have to resign under the circumstances that exist, but yes it was necessary, but Michael (Kroger) has recognised that, and for that alone I thank him.” High praise indeed. A pity that Robert Clark a former Attorney General cannot see the writing on the wall and resign in the best interests of the party.
Members have since realised that much deception, undermining and disloyalty towards Michael Kroger and Matthew Guy led to a decline. The Liberal Party since the State Election have come to regret the resignation of Michael Kroger in December 2018.
It is apparent to members that the democratic rights of the Liberal Party have been blocked in a deceptive and innocuous manner. It is no wonder that grass root members have rebelled and have gone viral on social media platforms and newsletters such as Abalinx ENews. Some time ago, members voiced their concerns immediately after the State election loss and it was no wonder that Liberal Party members such as Felicity Frederico — a former mayor of the Bayside City Council, said in 2018 that she had been advised by a large number of traditional Liberal supporters that they had voted against the party for the first time in their lives. This is indeed a catastrophe and nothing has changed since Robert Clark was installed as President. Time for a change!
JOSH FRYDENBERG ACCUSES ANTHONY ALBANESE OF HYPOCRISY OVER SPORTS RORTS SCANDAL Anthony Albanese pictured in Canberra in 2011. The Australian Richard Ferguson FEBRUARY 6, 2020 The Morrison government has accused Anthony Albanese of “hypocrisy” over the sport rorts scandal, pointing to an Auditor-General’s report that found the Labor leader administered a grants program that “disproportionately” gave money to Labor seats when he was infrastructure minister. An Australian National Audit Office report in 2011 found ministers “waived” the eligibility criteria for projects funded by Labor’s Regional and Local Community Infrastructure Program, and that a number of projects from Coalition seats did not get funding. “Whilst the majority of applications received related to projects located in a Coalition-held electorate (55 per cent of all applications), the significant majority (some 82 per cent) of these were not approved for funding,” the 2011 audit office report reads. “Whilst 40.3 per cent of all applications related to a project in an ALP-held electorate, just under 60 per cent of approved projects were in an ALP-held electorate. The approval rate for these applications was 42.1 per cent, which was more than twice that of projects located in a Coalition-held electorate. “Projects located in electorates held by the ALP and independent members were more successful at being awarded funding than those located in electorates held by the Coalition parties.” The report also found Mr Albanese’s office had set out the projects by electorate, in a similar way to the colour-coded spreadsheets former minister Bridget McKenzie used for the controversial sports grant scheme. “In addition to the data originally provided by the department, two new columns were added to the worksheet to identify the electorate in which the project was located and the political party that held that electorate,” the report reads. “The individual project risk assessments provided to the minister’s office by the department on 15 April 2009 had identified the electorate in which each short-listed project was located.” Mr Albanese has for weeks accused the Morrison government of “corruption” for handing out sport grants disproportionately to target Coalition seats ahead of last May’s federal election. The 2011 report into the infrastructure grants does not mention the same distribution bias towards marginal seats as the most recent audit office report into the sports grants scheme. Mr Albanese defended his scheme on Thursday and pointed out the audit office had not found there was an “intention” to boost one party over another. “I quote from the report: ‘In addition to providing what was considered to be a reasonable geographical spread of approved funding’ — tick — ‘stopping the proportion of total funding awarded on an electric basis was consistent with the proportion of seats in the House of Representatives — tick,” Mr Albanese said. “Four largest grants, none of them in a Labor seat — not one. “The fact is, the reason why Josh Frydenberg had to go back a decade and didn’t use a single example of a single project was because there isn’t one.” The Treasurer had used the report in federal parliament to attack the Opposition Leader and accuse him of hypocrisy. “I’m reminded that there was an ANAO report number 3, 10-11, into a $550 million infrastructure program,” the Treasurer said. “The Auditor-General went on to say on page 48, and I quote: ‘The awarding of funding to projects disproportionately favoured ALP seats.’ In fact, the Auditor-General found when it came to funding, ALP electorates had a success rate almost three times the Coalition.
STATE DIRECTOR CORRESPONDENCE
From: Sam McQuestin Date: Mon, Feb 10, 2020 at 4:10 PM Subject: Referral to State Assembly To: Peter Adamis
Dear Mr Adamis
At a meeting of the Administrative Committee held on Friday 7th of February the following motions were passed;
Motion 1: That in accordance with clause 4.1(b) of the Constitution, the Administrative Committee submit the following motion to State Assembly:
‘That Mr Peter Adamis be found guilty of conduct gravely detrimental to the best interests of the Party on account his repeatedly sending to large numbers of Party members newsletters defaming, denigrating and harassing a wide range of Party members.’
Motion 2: That in accordance with clause 4.1(c) of the Constitution, Mr Peter Adamis be suspended from the Liberal Party until the next meeting of State Assembly at which the motion submitted by the Administrative Committee is eligible to be considered.
In light of these motions passing you have the right to be heard at this State Assembly meeting?
Please note that while you are suspended from the Party you remain subject to the obligations of a Party member to comply with the constitution and with the National Code of Conduct.
The next meeting of the State Assembly is scheduled for the 20th of March. Confirmation of the time and location for this meeting will be provided to you once the Steering Committee has confirmed it. For your reference I have included a copy of the standing orders for State Assembly.
Sam McQuestin State Director Liberal Party of Australia (Victorian Division) Level 2, 60 Collins Street, Melbourne VIC 3000 P: (03) 9654 2255 EA: (03) 9652 3114 M: 0409 314 486
ABALINX NEWS RESPONSE
NOT A PROBLEM! LETS FIGHT THE GOOD FIGHT
Peter Adamis Director Abalinx & Associates
SENIOR LIBERAL LASHES CENTRAL COMMITTEE IN PARTING SHOT
Benjamin Preiss and Sumeyya Ilanbey February 10, 2020
A senior Victorian Liberal has slammed the party’s central decision-making committee as dysfunctional and self-interested in a sensational parting spray as she quit her leadership position. In her resignation letter, obtained by The Age, administrative committee member Jean Hawkins said she was “ashamed” of the decision to hold pre-selections early this year with the next federal election possibly two years away.
“A majority of committee members have proven to be focused on self-interest and factional interest, not the best interests of our great party or our great country,” she wrote. “In my view, the current administrative committee is dysfunctional.”
Jean Hawkins has resigned from the Victorian Liberal Party Administrative Committee. CREDIT: FACEBOOK
The preselection decision has left long-serving conservative MP and former minister Kevin Andrews exposed to a challenge for his eastern suburbs electorate of Menzies. But supporters of the administrative committee have rejected Ms Hawkins’ criticism and described her decision to quit the committee as a stunt. In her resignation missive, Ms Hawkins accused the majority of committee members of focusing on themselves and their factions rather than the party’s best interests. “More than anything else, I am ashamed of the decision on the timetable on federal pre-selections,” she wrote. “As you know, the federal members of parliament were effectively forced to beg the administrative committee to amend their timetabling decision; beg privately, beg in writing, and beg in public.”
Kevin Andrews will have to defend his seat from a challenge by a former soldier. CREDIT: ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN
Victorian Liberal president Robert Clark emailed committee members, saying he was sorry about Ms Hawkins’ decision to resign but rejected her criticisms. “Needless to say, I strongly disagree with the reasons you give, which are based on numerous fundamental misconceptions,” he said of the decision. One senior Liberal dismissed the resignation, insisting it was unlikely to have any practical consequence.
The Liberal said there would be only a handful of administrative committee meetings before they face elections in May. “I think it’s another stunt in a long line of stunts from people who want to destabilise the party,” the figure said. Mr Andrews is the only sitting federal MP in Victoria who is facing a preselection challenge. His challenger, Keith Wolahan, is a barrister and former soldier who completed three tours of Afghanistan.
Victorian federal MPs, led by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, were outraged by the administrative committee’s decision to proceed with its preselection timetable. The administrative committee opened pre-selections for sitting MPs early this year despite fierce protests from internal opponents, who have threatened a campaign to have them voted out in May. Mr Andrews won his seat in a by-election in 1991 and now holds it on a margin of 7.5 per cent. He has the endorsement of Prime Minister Scott Morrison but party insiders say it is still too early to say whether Mr Wolahan has enough support to topple Mr Andrews.
Victorian Liberal Party president Robert Clark.
CREDIT: CHRIS HOPKINS
Observers expect it will be a tight race to gain enough support from local party members, who will vote for their favoured candidate. The preselection battle for Menzies comes after several internal attempts to overturn the early timetable and hold a special council meeting of hundreds of party delegates to turf the administrative committee.
Allegations of Members of the Administrative Committee leaking to the media it appears have now become common knowledge. What is not known is the member or members responsible. What they said about the resignation of Jean Hawkins is inexcusable.
The Administrative Committee in their wisdom is hounding a long time grass roots Liberal and procrastinating if not bypassing the allegations against Ian Quick, Robert Clark and Bernie Finn. Just disgraceful. No wonder Bernie Finn has suddenly gone quiet.
Allegations of misconduct, harassment of female members, suspension of members, defying the Prime Minister, creating division within the party and allowing branch stacking to be revived can all be traced back to poor leadership, procrastination and incorrect use of the National Code of Conduct. Allegations of poor governance, a dysfunctional Administrative Committee, deception, misuse of the Constitution, procrastination and self-interest appear to be correct according to a recently resigned member of the Administrative Committee. Comments leaked to the media downplaying the member’s resignation as a stunt is poor form indeed and uncalled for.
But last week Mr Clark confirmed the special council meeting would no longer go ahead because some party members who had signed a “requisition” had withdrawn their support.
“The withdrawal of these requisitions means the party can now return to focusing on more productive activities, such as getting target federal seat candidates into the field and building our party profile and presence in marginal and traditional Labor areas,” Mr Clark told members. The administrative committee would have faced a no-confidence motion if the special council meeting had gone ahead.
Robert Clark as a former Attorney General must return back to basics and remember that members of the Liberal Party have a right to criticise, question and discuss in a robust manner any decisions of the Administrative Committee.
Robert Clark should stop seeking out scapegoats and creating martyrs, when within his own Administration there are members who have clearly demonstrated disloyalty, erosion of Liberal Party beliefs and values.
The early pre-selection has created such headaches for members of parliament, it has also split the party into two. The very diverse threads that once bound the Liberal party have become frayed at the edges and the fabric big enough to shelter everyone under its broad church concept.
The member who recently resigned is a long time Liberal who was disgusted with the inner workings of the Administrative Committee. A committee led by Robert Clark. The member who resigned is well respected by her peers, colleagues and members at large. Denigrating her performance is not the best form of reconciliation, uniting the party or conducive to relationships.
It has become increasingly embarrassing to find that Federal Members of Parliament are being forced to beg Robert Clark and his Administrative Committee to amend their divisive pre-selection ideas and concepts.