19 July 2010

Crucial Liberal AGM on Tuesday

| Innocent Bystander
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Canberra Liberal powerbrokers are working the phones this weekend ahead of the critical Central (ie Molonglo) branch AGM this Tuesday night at Menzies House.

The main contest will be for the Chairmanship of the branch between incumbent Jimmy Kiploks and challenger Christian Dunk.

Kiploks is being backed by Party Leader Zed Seselja and is critical to Zed’s efforts to keep control of the Party’s Management Committee. The CEB automatically has a seat on the Committee.

Christian Dunk is Chief of Staff to Gary Humphries and former staffer of Liberal leadership aspirant Jeremy Hanson MLA. It is likely that Humphries and Hanson will be actively canvassing for Dunk in the lead-up to the meeting.

It is no secret that some of Zed’s backers are keen to remove Humphries at the pre-selection for the 2013 Federal election and Humphries would be keen to shore up his support in the party organisation. Getting his man to run the party’s biggest branch would be a real coup.

Dunk’s election wouldn’t do Hanson any harm either who will be wanting to strengthen his base in the party ahead of the election for party leader after the 2012 Assembly election.

All branch positions are being contested at the AGM and it will be interesting to see if Hanson supporter June O’Donnell is able to win the social convener spot, thereby strengthening Hanson’s position on the Branch Executive.

Tuesday night will be a watershed for the ACT Liberal Party. May the best man (or woman) win!

[ED – As with all internal party speculation this should be taken with a grain of salt.]

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I was at the AGM on Tuesday night and the Chairman, Jim Kiplocks and his group had a clean sweep of all positions. Dunk back downed in the end and didn’t even challenge.

The only person to have egg on his face was former party power-broker Gary Kent who informed Kiplocks’ people that he was going to vote for Christian Dunk because he felt he had to disrupt the current committee so he can remain relevant. He was a little red-faced when he turned up at the meeting to find that there was no challenge on.

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