Concerned Liberals 5
Dear Liberal Members,
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The more that comes to light about Robert Clark’s Administrative Committee and their involvement with bad governance practices, the more plain it is to all and sundry that we are living in a failing Party system.
A recent newspaper article by Alex White in the Herald Sun revealed the extraordinary animosity which now exists in the State Parliamentary Party and the Party bureaucracy against our Federal Liberal MPs.
We thank members for contacting us. The picture is now clear that dysfunctional Parliamentary Leader Michael O’Brien is being backed in the Party by an enigmatic figure who has thus far escaped close attention. This is Mr Ian Quick.
Many older members simply could not believe that Robert Clark is solely responsible for such bad decision making and the lack of precision in his communications. We have come to understand that Mr Clark is being guided by Mr Quick in all matters. Ian Quick is the numbers man and power broker for the divisive and implacable Clark regime.
During the Menzies preselection, Mr Quick disregarded any semblance of impartiality by openly supporting, briefing and manipulating the system to help his preferred candidate against a sitting Member of Federal Parliament.
Mr Quick has used official Party organs to bring accusations against long time Party members who have been critical of his role and methods.
We have been informed that the agenda for meetings such as State Assembly and the Administrative Committee as well as communiques put out with Robert Clark’s signature are all largely written by Ian Quick. Members of the Party have been told officially on a number of occasions that there is a secret substantive rewrite of the Party’s constitution in progress. This is being managed by Mr Quick.
A source close to current State Director Sam McQuestin said that Mr Quick is spending an inordinate amount of time watching the State Director and hanging around in the Secretariat’s membership department observing staff as they work. Loyal servants to the Party are being pushed out unceremoniously.
Mr Quick has also granted himself authority to access all Party records, including confidential member and financial lists. Mr Quick’s control goes further than Robert Clark in that he runs a faction across the Party, interacting with Denis Napthine on one side of the State and the Mirabellas on the other side.
Mr Quick has a secret committee made up of Administrative Committee members that meets privately and decides Party policy.
Mr Quick has boasted that they have signed up over 200 members through invite-only drinks events hosted by Michael Rixon. Guests include friends of Owen Guest, Georgie Crozier, Frank Greenstein and inner city up-and-comers.
While at the same time attempting to expel other Party members and constantly rejecting new members not signed up by his faction, Mr Quick plans to wheel out his own new members with how-to-vote cards to future AGMs and preselections, in a bid to punish Federal Members in the Morrison Government for not coming behind the Clark-Quick cabal.
A recent item of correspondence from Mr Quick has been exposed by former ally who has now defected from his faction because of disgust at how Mr Quick is manipulating ballots. The correspondence demonstrates Ian Quick emailing factional delegates at State Assembly where he instructed members to vote for Anthony Mitchell and Shilpa Hegde against other capable candidates. Mr Mitchell is a consultant allegedly was recruited by Karina Okotel, while Ms Hegde is a loyal factional supporter of Frank Greenstein who has travelled overseas with him.
Mr Quick, who worked hard to undermine Michael Kroger’s presidency, argued at that time there should be 30 minutes of questions and answers at State Assembly. He has now hypocritically moved to amend the standing orders for State Assembly so that the Steering Committee can be used to remove question time, allowing himself and his pet president to escape scrutiny. Mr Quick is working secretly on other projects to de-democratise the Party.
Who is Ian Quick? He is a peculiar man who exists within his own distortion field. He joined the Party 20 years ago and was part of the Melbourne FEC faction until he had a spectacular fallout with Sean Armistead. Mr Quick then moved to the electorate of Burwood where he found and mentored now former Member of Parliament Graham Watt.
Over the years Mr Quick built a power base among disaffected and more moderate members of the Party. He was largely seen during the Kemp-Snell era as a socially awkward oddball who needed to be kept from any position of power for what many believed was destructive and erratic behaviour.
Tony Snell confided several years ago with one of the Concerned Liberals Committee members that Ian Quick must be kept away from Admin at all costs. While Mr Snell had some failings, he is decent man with the Party’s best interests at heart.
During Michael Kroger’s presidency Ian Quick ran an aggressive smear campaign against Michael and his Federal parliamentary supporters such as Josh Frydenberg MP. As a member of the Kooyong executive, Mr Quick would regularly put up motions to access financial records, run tickets at Kooyong AGMs and went as far as telling members he would challenge Josh for preselection. Besides Josh being Victoria’s most senior Cabinet Minister, Ian Quick still persists in running a systematic campaign against him and others such as the respected Ron Wilson, Party identity Jan Dimmick, firebrand State Liberal Tim Smith, and the very well-liked and respected Carolyn Inge.
Throughout the Kroger presidency, Ian Quick coordinated a series of motions designed to centralise power, and provide himself access to Party records. Mr Quick boasted to members that given a chance he would rewrite the Party’s constitution within an afternoon. Some of his former allies have informed a member of the Concerned Liberals Committee that Mr Quick wants to increase the barriers of entry for members and to make punitive action against members easier to achieve.
Ian Quick is a man who seems to believe that the ends justify the means. Even though he ran the Party’s ailing policy fora, he abused his position to email Party members with poorly formed narratives against the then Party President.
Despite his very public dislike for fellow Admin member Sean Armistead, Mr Quick still relies on Sean’s factional support in the electorate of Melbourne to be elected the Party’s Vice President. Mr Quick also made an arrangement with Karina Okotel, gaining a few additional votes from her small group in the Western Metro.
Mr Quick’s political ambitions have always been below the surface. Before the successful preselection of Gladys Liu, Ian Quick sound-boarded allies around the Party whether he would have their support for a tilt at the seat of Chisolm. Most members thought he was joking because the prospect of Ian Quick in Federal Parliament was beyond the imagination of even his most enthusiastic supporters.
Later, when Simon Frost moved from the State Director’s role to Josh Frydenberg’s chief of staff, Mr Quick put his name into the mix to become State Director. Senior Liberals at the time were aghast that Robert Clark would consider such as man of seeming peculiarity to take on the role. While the appointment of Nick Demiris had ruffled the feathers of Eastern suburbs identity Bruce Atkinson, the prospect of Ian Quick at the helm of the Party was, as to other senior Liberals, a sure way to commit electorate suicide.
Today Ian Quick runs the most powerful faction in the Liberal Party ably abetted by long term factional warlord Frank Greenstein. Mr Quick picks winners and losers on the Admin Committee and is also working on upcoming preselections. The question Liberals must ask themselves is whether a man of Ian Quick’s personal qualities and character is the sort of person they want making decisions about the Party’s future, and whether his great enabler on the Party’s Admin, Robert Clark, should continue to allow Mr Quick the control and access he has been permitted to date.
During a recent State Assembly, whenever flagging Robert Clark ran into difficulties around questions of procedure or practice, Mr Quick would take to the microphone uninvited and proceeded to begin to chair the meeting while Robert Clark meekly stood by. Ian Quick’s grasp on Robert Clark is truly concerning.
For as long as the irritable Mr Quick runs the Party from his iPad things are only going to get worse. Our advice to Robert Clark is: resign. But if he will not resign, and if he is the good man he says he is, he will do something about the current triumph of evil. It is in his power to divest the Party of tyranny.
On a positive note, we are happy to announce we have been approached by a small team of independent journalists who are long term critics of the Chinese Communist Party. They have strong connections to the Party and have offered to help ensure our newsletters are distributed to an expanded audience within the Party, and to a wider audience of those who support transparency and accountability. They provide a news website service called Real Freedom News which promises us a more reliable voice.
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.
Yours in Liberal Fellowship,
Concerned Liberals Committee
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