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Big Bill hangs up the boots

By johnboy 26 August 2008 18

The ABC reports that Bill Stefaniak has found better things to do than run for re-election and will become one of two appeals presidents on the ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

His is a hard career to eulogise.

He’s been a tireless worker for charity and a conscientious champion of his constituents. He was always much more impressive in person than on television.

On the other hand very often he’s gone into bat for the old men’s club on issues which no-one should be allowed to bear the name “Liberal” and still put forward. Of course he is not alone on this in his party.

If you liked rugby, and beer, and a BBQ, and men who are men, and women who go along with it, then Bill was a politician for you.

But even for those of us who like these things there can be, at times, a yearning for more.

UPDATED: Simon Corbell has now announced Bill’s appointment.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Canberra Times is painting the move as revenge by Bill against his backstabbing colleagues. Many are pointing to Bill’s high first preference vote at the last election as a sign he is irreplaceable to the Liberal cause. I’d suggest that a high percentage of Bill’s first preference vote was a result of having been around forever and being the best recognised Liberal name. If that’s right then most of the votes will flow to the next best recognised Liberal name. We’ll find out the morning after election day.

They will, however, be hard pressed to replace his campaigning experience.

What’s Your opinion?


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18 Responses to
Big Bill hangs up the boots
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S4anta 12:23 pm 27 Aug 08

I think that Bill will perform swimmingly in this new role. It is one of those jobs where the occupant needs a disgustingly large amount of knowledge in regards to how things are done in the ACT re: all things legislation, which he has. Plus said individual will need that special mix intelligence, belligerance and the self confidence to apply all that one has learnt/know/understands, add to that to what is put in front of him, and then have the kahunas to make a hard decision and stand behind it. Bill has these qualities in spades.

Jakez,
As for Matt Watts, I reckon he would make a fine local politican for Canberra. Apart from the small hitch of being a lib, he is a highly capable and intelligent young man and I think Canberra would be all the better if he could throw his 20c in the mix.

jakez 11:08 am 27 Aug 08

amarooresident said :

I don’t know the liberal candidates in Ginninderra but if Vicki Dunne is the next most popular than God help us all.

Incumbency is quite the asset. However while I understand your point, the only reason vicki is the ‘next most popular’ is the other candidates have not previously run so there is no basis for comparison.

Personally, I recommend Matt Watts.

amarooresident 10:22 am 27 Aug 08

According to the paper Stefaniak approached Stanhope for a job back in january or February – obviously disappointed with losing the leadership. The cunning part from Stanhope is waiting until now to make the appointment.

The funny part is that Bill didn’t tell his colleagues until yesterday – revenge is a dish best served cold comes to mind.

I don’t know the liberal candidates in Ginninderra but if Vicki Dunne is the next most popular than God help us all.

Gungahlin Al 9:45 am 27 Aug 08

“Labor offerred him the nice cozy job though – coulda been a smart move.”

Hmm – the $100K job with my reputation slagged on a daily basis by everyone with half an opinion (but the reward of working for a better community) or the $200K job without the daily slagging (also with the reward of working for a better community).

Decisions decisions…

jvb 9:17 am 27 Aug 08

Sonic is a cunning old hedgehog

Jonathon Reynolds 11:42 pm 26 Aug 08

bd84 said :

Labor are just as hard up in that electorate with Wayne Berry retiring

Wayne Berry was elected on the flow of preferences so it is a completely a completely different scenario to Jon Stanhope and Bill Stefaniak who were elected outright on first preference votes.

bd84 10:14 pm 26 Aug 08

The nature of the ACT’s electoral system will likely see another Liberal take his place, we might see an independent take the 5th seat now though. Labor are just as hard up in that electorate with Wayne Berry retiring leaving only Stanhopeless and Mary Porter (who??).

Together with the likely loss of a seat in Brindabella, that’s fairly close to a new government or a hung parliament depending on who the new members are.. Reminds me I must do some research on these new candidates, too many morons on both sides still.

jakez 9:59 pm 26 Aug 08

Clown Killer said :

If the Liberals don’t win two spots in Ginninderra, I will literally eat my hat, at All Bar Nun, in front of the RiotACT faithful.

Buddy, I’m there! Are talking an Akubra, baseball cap or one of those plastic numbers they hand out at Oktoberfest?

Baseball cap.

Thumper said :

Yep, count me in….

Me and my big mouth…hopefully that same trait will come in handy if I’m wrong.

Thumper 9:51 pm 26 Aug 08

Yep, count me in….

Clown Killer 9:48 pm 26 Aug 08

If the Liberals don’t win two spots in Ginninderra, I will literally eat my hat, at All Bar Nun, in front of the RiotACT faithful.

Buddy, I’m there! Are talking an Akubra, baseball cap or one of those plastic numbers they hand out at Oktoberfest?

jakez 9:18 pm 26 Aug 08

Aurelius said :

I think JR’s comment explains very clearly why Corbell’s offered Stefaniak a job. Bill’s consistently polled extremely strongly for the Libs, and taking down a flagship like him will only help Labor.

If the Liberals don’t win two spots in Ginninderra, I will literally eat my hat, at All Bar Nun, in front of the RiotACT faithful.

…unlimited sauce and beverages though.

Aurelius 8:57 pm 26 Aug 08

I think JR’s comment explains very clearly why Corbell’s offered Stefaniak a job. Bill’s consistently polled extremely strongly for the Libs, and taking down a flagship like him will only help Labor.

sepi 8:50 pm 26 Aug 08

Labor offerred him the nice cozy job though – coulda been a smart move.

NickD 8:29 pm 26 Aug 08

Given that Stefaniak would have been in line for a ministerial spot if the Liberals win, I wonder what this says about what the latest findings in the Liberal Party’s polling…

futto 7:58 pm 26 Aug 08

I remember when Bill was advocating the removal of City Walk to be replaced with a lovely car friendly street (can’t seem to find a reference too it on Google). Glad he didn’t get a chance to see it through.

New Yeah 7:19 pm 26 Aug 08

Does this mean that the last of the class of ’89 has left the assembly?

From all accounts Bill is a good bloke and based on the analysis above the Libs will miss the big fella.

Jonathon Reynolds 5:47 pm 26 Aug 08

At the last election Bill was responsible for just over 50% of the first preference votes cast for the Liberal Party in Ginninderra.

Total first preference votes for Liberals In Ginninderra = 19,269 (32.44% of total electorate votes)
Total first preference votes for Bill Stefaniak = 10,204 (17.18% of total electorate votes)
Only 9901 votes was needed for a quota to ensure election.

The nearest Liberal candidate was Vicki Dunne with 3,367 1st preference votes (representing only 5.67% of total electorate votes).

Both Jon Stanhope (1st) and Bill Stefaniak (2nd) were elected outright.
After flow of preferences, Vicki was elected in 3rd place, Wayne Berry 4th and Mary Porter in the final 5th seat.

With Bill out of contention this could represent a serious blow for the Liberals:
(a) they are losing a popular member that was elected on first preference votes alone.
(b) they are losing one of their few members that has had previous government (ministerial) experience
(c) if the remaining team (plus likely new candidate to be announced) is not seen to be as popular as Bill was, the overall Liberal vote could be diminished on a simple flow of preferences.

This could strengthen the position for the Greens candidate Meredith Hunter who is running again in 2008.
Meredith made it through all 57 preference distributions/exclusion rounds and ultimately lost out to Mary Porter.

Source: http://www.elections.act.gov.au/elections/2004/voting_04.html

jimbocool 2:40 pm 26 Aug 08

Hmmm – not entirely convinced that this is a good idea. For the Riot Act community perspective I think he would be better on the supreme court – then you’d get to see some real sentencing and the prison would fill up very quickly. For my 2c I think Bill’s been in one scrum too many to be trusted with a senior job that will actually affect people – much safer to have him as a politician.
Interesting to see what effect this will have on Libs vote in Ginninderra as Bill was always good for a quota – his departure means that Vicki “lips” Dunne will be the lead candidate!

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