More stirrings in the Canberra Liberals’ party room as the three sitting members who don’t back Brendan Smyth are revealed (at least to those, like me, not on the inside).
After last week’s sacking of Vicki Dunne amid allegations of leaking confidential documents, Mr Smyth offered the job of Opposition Whip to his Jacqui Burke and the Manager of Opposition Business to Zed Seselja.
The ABC got in first to tell us that Mr Seselja refused to accept this offer yesterday. He is the third of the trio of party room dissenters, the other two being Mrs Dunne and favoured leadership challenger Richard Mulcahy.
The Canberra Times goes into some more detail, explaining that apart from merely just wanting to make trouble, Mr Seselja refused the job because traditionally the two jobs have always been assigned together. The reason for this is that while the Whip position attracts the $10,000 salary, it is the Manager of Business who actually does the bulk of the work.
So essentially what Mr Smyth was doing in splitting up the jobs was giving his supporter the position with the money and little or no work and giving the other bloke’s guy the job with no money and all the work.
Mr Smyth was forced to back down from this position because Mr Seselja, Mr Mulcahy and Mrs Dunne threatened to cross the floor if he didn’t.
So now the battle lines are plainly drawn for all to see. One wonders just how long it will take the Liberals to get sorted and follow Jon Stanhope’s advice to “get behind their leader or get a new one”.