Concerned Liberals 6
Dear Liberal Members,
The Victorian Liberal Party’s Administrative Committee, under what Senator Van called the “tyranny” of the Clark-Quick cabal, is sabotaging the Federal Election. They have not begun preselecting marginal seats, they have made poor decisions regarding funds and plan to tightly limit State Council. Ian Quick and his mouthpiece Robert Clark are spending time instructing the State Director to frame people as part of a witch hunt to purge any perceived enemies from the Liberal Party. Members should expect a long list of suspensions and even expulsions of well-known respected Liberals who have dared speak out against the menace of Ian Quick’s rampant factionalism.
Respected local leaders of the Party, Fred Ackerman and Jack Sullivan, have been arbitrarily suspended by the dysfunctional Administrative Committee in absentia. They have been unjustly charged with allegedly informing members about the Party via informative widely distributed newsletters that give measured assessments of current happenings.
This vainglorious and self-absorbed Party leadership are more interested in trying to kick people out and secretly change Party rules than fundraising or winning elections. No wonder the Liberal brand is sliding into irrelevance in Victoria. We can blame the Clark-Quick cabal enablers: Owen Guest, Russell Joseph, Karen Egan, Amy Johnson, Sean Armistead, Holly Byrne, Shilpa Hegde and Michael O’Brien.
The reports of Ian Quick’s behaviour are certainly cause for concern with his factional messaging. We shake our heads at it. Mr Quick needs to be stripped of office for abuse of power. How does Sam McQuestin justify wasting months using his JobKeeper-supplied quarter million dollar annual salary following Ian Quick’s orders to frame and now punish Party stalwarts?
We are very hopeful Scott Morrison’s and Victorian ministers’ actions signal a calming of the Quick-Clark chaos and lawlessness. The Party needs to be moved away from the mismanagement and divisions rife under Robert Clark’s sorry leadership. We can only hope a new President can restore order and quell the factional infighting, whether it be Mr Kennett, Mr Stockdale, Mr Rawlings, Dr Kemp or Mr Carson. Members are also hopeful for a speedy resolution to ongoing leadership tensions in Spring Street.
The Clark-Quick cabal is on one side trying to remove good members while on the other condones the activities of factional branch stackers Bill Rizopoulos, Peter Angelico and Greg Mirabella. In the case of Mr Mirabella’s proven branch stacking, evidence has come to light that he paid for the memberships of several new people in Indi. Mr Mirabella is an Ian Quick supporter and has not been disciplined. On the contrary, apparently Secretariat staff were instructed by Mr Quick to alter records to cover up the fact that Mr Mirabella had done the wrong thing. Like the Labor Party, the lesson here is if you are Mr Quick’s mate, you are protected. If not, he will try to move against you.
This has been shown many times in the past months. Slanderer Karina Okotel, who admitted to working against sitting MPs and Matthew Guy when he was leader, has been rewarded by Admin for her treachery. The Bishops, who violently threatened to shoot up the office of a respected Federal MP, are likewise protected by corrupt and self-serving Administrative Committee members. Mrs Bishop even turned up to a recent State Assembly to support Mr Quick’s undemocratic alterations of the meeting’s standing orders.
We have been quite concerned about a reported Dingo character who has made some comments in social media. On further enquiries about some misogynistic comments, we were told that a Mr Everist and a Mr Renyard are involved in creating profiles on social media that apparently degrade Party members. We are told that two sitting female MPs have been slandered by Mr Renyard’s “Dingo” false Facebook account. Again, the Admin Committee seems to have condoned these activities.
We need a clean sweep of the Administrative Committee. We need a new President. We need new Vice-Presidents. What good is Mr Quick’s faction doing if it is just enabling the destruction of the Party?
Factional Party members need to realise that we don’t need lectures from Robert Clark. We don’t need Mr Quick’s new constitution which is designed to destroy democracy and take away members’ rights. Rather, as Abraham Lincoln said, “Democracy is the government of the people, by the people, for the people”. Members need to realise that they are being used in Mr Quick’s factional power games antithetical to democracy and freedom. “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Ronald Reagan’s words mean even more if you substitute the word “generation” with “State Council”.
Our committee encourages your Branches to discuss these matters, and to reinforce our commitment in upholding our Federal representatives. We are an informal group of Liberals who value good governance and accountability. We were formed in response to concerns arising from the management of our Party. Most of our members have been involved in the Party for decades.
Party members have shared your contact details with us, and if you wish to be removed from our lists, please let us know. If you did not wish to receive our correspondence, we apologise for including you. We have chosen not to publish our names as the Party’s current Administration has declared communications such as Concerned Liberals are punishable by expulsion. We believe that if he could, Mr Quick would try summon us to his star chamber.
Stand with those being unfairly persecuted by this current regime. We call on loyal members of the Party to provide safe harbour to these good people now under attack. Have them at your meetings. Listen to what they have to say. Let us recall the terms Senator David Van has used to describe this Quick-Clark-led Admin: “tyranny” and “unconstitutional”.
Regarding the need for State Council, Darryl Williams’ legal advice has been trumped by advice supplied to Senator David Van by a QC senior to Mr Williams, who in the politest terms slapped down the constitutional acrobatics of Mr Williams, exposing him for providing factional information for Robert Clark, the very man who elevated his career. See the postscript.
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Yours in Liberal Fellowship,
Concerned Liberals Committee
As you know, I hold concerns about the erosion of democracy within the Victorian Liberal Party that has occurred under the veiled excuse of COVID-19. The key platform that underpins our Party’s democracy is the annual State Council. This vital part of our democratic process has not been held for nearly two years now and all members should be appalled by this situation. Every day, I am contacted by party members expressing concern about this lack of open consultation.
While COVID-19 has presented some challenges to hold a physical gathering whilst under lockdown, the excuses given to date are simply not valid. My reading of the Party’s Constitution and standing orders, suggest to me that the legal advice being relied upon isn’t strong and to test this I engaged with one of Australia’s best QC’s to provide another opinion – one that was INDEPENDENT of the Party and at my own private cost.
Ms Wendy Harris QC, immediate past president of the Victorian Bar and one of Australia’s most eminent barristers, has provided me with advice which can be found here for your information. In essence, it says is that the Constitution and standing orders state that party members must be able to attend State Council but, that attendance is not defined as being ‘in person’ and as such, virtual meetings are permissible. The advice also sets out that the Administrative Committee MUST conduct a State Council every year, with only the smallest latitude as to when it is held. There are no constitutional grounds for State Council not to be held. I have also sent this advice to State President Robert Clark for his immediate attention and action.
Given that the Administrative Committee did not hold a State Council in 2020 I believe they have acted unconstitutionally. As a result, I call on the committee, at its meeting tonight, to call a State Council at the next weekend following the required 14 day notice period. Administrative Committee should then suspend itself and stand aside until the election of a new committee at State Council, if not the President must resign as his position is no longer tenable.
I trust you will join with me in this call for our Party’s democracy to be restored.
SENATOR DAVID VAN
Senator for Victoria