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Dunne dumped — Mulcahy’s cause lost?

By Kerces - 10 February 2006 11

Liberal MLA Vicki Dunne was stripped of her portfolios yesterday after Tuesday’s altercation with Steve Pratt.

The Canberra Times reports Mrs Dunne was called into leader Brendan Smyth’s office yesterday afternoon and told she would no longer be the Liberals’ spokeswoman for education, environment, water, heritage and family services.

Mr Pratt reportedly came away with only a reprimand.

The issue once again brings to light the leadership battle that seems to be bubbling under the surface of the local Liberals’ every move these days. For those who do not remember, Mrs Dunne and Zed Seselja are supporters of potential challenger Richard Mulcahy while Mr Smyth has the other three party members behind him. It was thought for a while that Mr Pratt was a swinging voter, but this latest scuffle seems to eliminate that possibility all together.

Mrs Dunne’s demotion does not bode well for the prospects of a Mulcahy challenge and it appears Mr Smyth is trying to bring the dissenters into line.

UPDATED: The following snippet was in today’s Crikey:

ACT Liberals plotting: Was last week’s corridor contretemps a symptom of deeper divisions in the ACT Liberals? Three of the seven Liberals in the Territory Assembly have reportedly offered the leadership to current deputy Bill Stefaniak, the deal being that Richard Mulcahy, currently jostling top dog Brendan Smyth, becomes deputy.

Mrs Dunne said she had had a discussion with Mr Smyth earlier in the week about the leadership issues and that she told him she had lost confidence in the present leadership but she wanted to rebuild that. The Oppositions leader asked her to produce a letter of loyalty, which she gave him yesterday just before she was dumped from the front bench.

In October last year Mrs Dunne was sacked from the position of Opposition Whip after allegations she leaked a confidential document.

Yesterday Mr Smyth reportedly again accused her of leaking information, this time about the corridor fight earlier in the week and demanded an apology. Mrs Dunne denied the allegation and said she could not apologise for something she had not done.

She said she felt she had been “hung out to dry”.

“I have been reprimanded, but the person who did the shouting and the swearing got off unscathed.”

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11 Responses to
Dunne dumped — Mulcahy’s cause lost?
LurkerGal 10:55 am 13 Feb 06

I am officially off the shelf Thumper. “Rate a date with LG” is no longer a goer. I actually met him about an hour after I left the company of your good selves at the Riot Act party.

He’s no Sam, but he’ll do.

Thumper 10:51 am 13 Feb 06

Bonfire,

Sammy does go out in that sense, well, not unless its to go and see someone from 2CC in a shopping mall, oldies expo, hardware store opening, etc.

LG, is there something you are not telling us?

*g*

LurkerGal 10:34 am 13 Feb 06

lol bonfire. No, I was with adults. Who drive. And at least one of whom is extremely shaggable.

por 9:53 pm 11 Feb 06

Even if I can’t always spell.

por 9:52 pm 11 Feb 06

At least Mulcahy can proniunce his name!!!

bonfire 12:06 pm 10 Feb 06

lg – was sgs a hot date ?

Thumper 11:57 am 10 Feb 06

What I find interesting is the complete ignorance and reluctance of the Libs to address what is the real problem, and that is the fact that Brendan Smyth, as good and as effective as he may be as a politician, is not a good leader.

The sooner the Libs realise this and do something about it rather than feathering their own nests, ie, those from the Smyth camp, the sooner they will have a chance of governing.

Until they do Sonic the hedgehog can map out his future for a long time.

LurkerGal 10:54 am 10 Feb 06

Had dinner at El Rancho in Manooka last night when Pratt came in with Stefaniak and sat down. My food lost its flavour, but they soon moved to another table (I was with some particularly loud car racing type boys). Bit disappointed – I could have taken up from where Vikki left off.

bonfire 10:15 am 10 Feb 06

agreed – smyth is an idea free vacuum.

johnboy 10:03 am 10 Feb 06

What this is going to do is crystalise support for the Smyth and Mulcahy camps both within the Assembly and in the wider Canberra Liberal membership.

Brendan could still lose this fight but it probably doesn’t hurt him to bring it on early.

I’m not a huge fan of Mulcahy’s politics but I think he’s smarter and harder working than Brendan. My money’s on him in the long run.

barking toad 9:40 am 10 Feb 06

Does this mean she really doesn’t know shit from clay?

Smyth is organising the troops to fend off Mulcahy who is just as likely to jump ship and become an independant or a green or even join labor if it suits his ambitions.

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