1 March 2024

Canberra Liberals’ empty chair woes over, GoBoat founder Nick Tyrrell voted in as party president

| Claire Fenwicke
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Nick Tyrrell

GoBoat Australia founder Nick Tyrrell is the Canberra Liberals’ new president. Photo: GoBoat Australia.

Canberra Liberals members appear ready to put the past behind them following a decisive vote for its new party president.

GoBoat Australia founder and former NSW party staffer Nick Tyrrell won the position 177 votes to 116.

It appears to be a win for the party’s more moderate members, with the tone overall appearing to shift away from its harder right.

The desire for change was first signalled at a rowdy AGM last November where longstanding president John Cziesla, who had the backing of Zed Seselja and Jeremy Hanson, was booted for an empty chair 117 votes to 122.

Mr Cziesla launched an appeal against the decision, which was ultimately unsuccessful.

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At Wednesday (28 February) night’s meeting, Mr Tyrrell was up against party stalwart Arthur Potter.

It’s understood Zed Seselja wasn’t at the meeting, although several of his family members were. Jeremy Hanson appears to have kept out of this contest as well.

Mr Tyrrell’s victory seems to signal to the party’s more hard-core conservatives that times are changing.

“It was obvious by the margin that even some of the old guard switched sides to back change,” one member at the meeting told Region.

“The mood in the room was positive about moving on from a difficult few years with a united and energised party.”

Canberra Liberals leader Elizabeth Lee said Mr Tyrrell brought a “wealth of experience” to the role.

“He is a successful local business owner raising a young family here in Canberra, and he has previously held a number of political positions – as councillor, in the office of former NSW Premiers, and working in campaign headquarters,” she said.

“Nick will be a big asset to the Canberra Liberals as we head toward the election in October this year and I look forward to working closely with him to bring about a Liberal government.”

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It follows a continued message from the party that it is more moderate than in previous years.

Mr Hanson lost his deputy leadership position in a party spill in early December.

Ms Lee’s shadow cabinet had a big shake-up a few days later when Mr Hanson lost all his shadow portfolios.

He was relegated to the backbench along with Ginninderra MLA Elizabeth Kikkert.

It’s understood that their more conservative lean was part of the reason the changes were made.

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Ok so more of the same. So nothing changes. Where are the women?

Check who the party leader is…

Go Nick!

It will be a centre right Liberal Party that wins government again. The hard right of the party has led the party to accept comfortable losses. The truth is the Party was rarely competitive, even though good sensible policies were put forward. It is important to reflect the nature of the Canberra polity. Elizabeth Lee is a quality candidate who will give Labor their biggest test for years in the next election. There is now a mood for change.

It appears that Wednesday’s meeting to elect a new President for the Canberra Liberals was quite a social gathering for the party, with a few unexpected turns I hear.

Current and past MLA’s and many other high-profile members of the party were there. Members of the extended Seselja family were also there with some finding time to skip over the border back to Canberra from their new digs in Queanbeyan. Jeremy Hanson didn’t quite make it, still sulking after being spectacularly dumped as the party’s deputy leader!

There was a bit of disappointment amongst my friends that acting female president Megan Fox, and other potential female candidates, did not put their hands up for nomination for the President position. Unfortunately, women in the Liberal party are not supported in seeking such positions. I am told that Ms Fox is well liked by party members and has done an exceptional, although difficult job whilst acting in the position.

Party president Arthur Potter, who nominated for re-election at the meeting but lost to Nick Tyrrell is an interesting and characterless character. Especially his attitude towards women in the party. These shortcomings are apparently common knowledge amongst party members and were revealed rather spectacularly in a question to him during the meeting.

One could only imagine the uproar in the media if these revelations were made about a senior member of the Labor Party!!

Jack D. Were you there were you?

GrumpyGrandpa5:56 pm 01 Mar 24

Jack D, you make me laugh at times. 😂

The partisan Jack D. having friends who are members of the Canberra Liberals.

Oh stop it Jack. 😅😂🤣.

Yep, a bit like some others here that are cheer squads for the ALP 24/7 yet offer advice to the Conservatives how to be more like the ALP to win elections. Yep, that always works……NOT!

Maybe if you listened to us your party might do better electorally Rob!

Elizabeth Lee was interviewed on the ABC news last night. She had her customary fixed smile revealing no ideas and policies going into this year’s election. In her usual theatrical, rehearsed and clipped tone, she claimed the Liberals have ideas and a social conscience and actually care about those doing it tough. She was vague in her ideas and constantly obfuscated, trying to turn the questioning around to focus on Labor.

But I probably can’t do better than Ian Warden in today’s Canberra Times. Mr Warden laments that generousness is seldom dreamt of in Liberal philosophy. He calls for red-hot radical reform, bigger, more humane and generous-spirited ideas than those given to us by Liberal politicians. He likened the conservativeness inherent in Liberals to the diversity found in bat species. The cold, shifty vampire-bat DNA of the party’s John Howards, Tony Abbotts and Scott Morrisons.

He imagines life in the Canberra Liberals as a miniature world of living in a pond. Appearing serene on the surface but bustling hives of activity for countless organisms underneath. A world where tiny water fleas dart through the water, algae blooms create floating gardens, and microscopic bacteria play crucial roles in nutrient cycling. A life where frogs, turtles, insects, and countless other creatures find shelter, nourishment and a breeding ground!

*written by Jack D, authorised by A.Barr, ALP Canberra.

What a surprise, chewy14 sticking his head up for the angry Zed mob! Those angry wreckers who have done so much to damage the Liberal brand and keep the party in opposition in Canberra for over two decades!!

Once again Jack, can’t see where anything I’ve said remotely supports the Canberra Libs. Perhaps you can point something out?

But of course you are so blindingly partisan that anything but slavish support for your “team” must be support for the other mob.

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