This sorry Admin Committee
Recently a professional analyst and another senior factional figure had a discussion about a photo of the Victorian Liberal Party’s Administrative Committee which was distributed around the party.
Starting from the left of the photo is the independent-minded Anthony Mitchell. Third from the left, dominating the table in a dark blue polo tee sits a dour-looking Ian Quick. Although an ordinary member of Admin, sitting across from the President indicates that Mr Quick is the power in the room (at least in his own mind).
Next along, right next to the central plexus of power, is open-necked Holly Byrne. Next to her in trademarked white jacket is Amanda Millar. Amanda has been on Admin before so appears comfortable in this setting.
Behind her, off to the side, reclines Russell Joseph.
At the end of the table, projecting a Trump-like strength, is newcomer and oppositionist Andrew McNabb. He is backed by understudy Roxanne Liemareff, coolly staring down the camera lens.
To her left, literally, sits social justice campaigner and ardent feminist Alice Hill.
Next to her sits the sanguine Councillor and party favourite Andrew Bond.
James Paterson has placed himself both in front of the Australian flag and next to the unpopular party president Robert Clark. Paterson, a master of public relations, is taking his position as representing the Prime Minister very seriously, but his voting record on Admin is, according to insiders, “very interesting”.
Robert Clark sits hunched over forcing a smile, visibly ageing and increasingly the victim of various political forces which are continually pulling in different directions.
Second from the right is Owen Guest, who’s disinterest in the minutiae of meeting protocols and disengagement from intellectual matter is obvious.
Finally, crossing her body, is Shilpa Hegde, whose location in the room indicates she feels out of place. Women are not front and centre on Robert Clark’s Admin “team”.
Former President Michael Kroger and Young Liberals President Andrew Masanauskas are also part of the Admin Committee. State Director Sam McQuestin is responsible for staffing the minute-taking of the meeting.
The Admin Committee has always operated “behind the scenes” which makes this picture of their meeting quite valuable and what it reveals is quite telling. If in one word it could be described, it is “dysfunctional”.
“Basically the smiles are lies, either they don’t want to be there or if they do, the look like they don’t know what to do,” said one observer, in the context of the massive financial hole the party now finds itself in.