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Hanson considers position as Coe waits in wings

By Charlotte Harper 16 October 2016 23

Jeremy Hanson and Alistair Coe

ACT Opposition Leader Jeremy Hanson will take time in coming days to consider whether he should contest a likely leadership contest with his deputy, Alistair Coe, in the next couple of weeks following the Canberra Liberals’ defeat in yesterday’s ACT election.

Mr Hanson noted that it was the protocol and tradition that the leadership would become vacant once the full make-up of the Assembly was known and then MLAs would be invited to stand for leader and deputy leader.

“Whether I stand or not is a decision I’m yet to take, and it’s something I’ll discuss with the other members of the Liberal Party and my family over the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Was Alistair Coe a potential alternative?

“I think he’s a fantastic guy. We may end up being rivals for the leadership, but what I would say is that there’s no question in my mind that Alistair will lead the party one day, and I’m sure he’ll lead it to success.

“He’ll be the next leader of the Liberal Party, whether it’s in two weeks or further down the track, that’s just a matter for us to see.”

Mr Hanson reflected on his time as Opposition Leader to date positively, but noted that making his concession speech last night was tough.

“It was really disappointing to have to stand up in front of people who’ve worked so hard for so long and say that we hadn’t won. That was one of the hardest things I’d had to do in my life, to be honest,” he said.

“There have been highs and lows. The destination wasn’t where we wanted to end up, but the journey’s been fabulous and it’s been a real honour and a privilege to work in the Assembly with such good parliamentarians, such great staff, to work out there in the field with such wonderful candidates, to be part of a Liberal Party that has such a fine tradition both here in Canberra but also across Australia.

“So I have certainly enjoyed it, whether I continue on or not is a matter for decisions in a couple of weeks, but I’ll do what I think is right for the party.

“The other thing is, it might not be my decision … that’s the way politics works.”

Mr Hanson said he didn’t think there was much more he and his team could’ve done in their attempt to oust Labor and that the party would take some time to consider why it couldn’t form government over the next few weeks.

As to whether the Canberra Liberals’ strategy to focus their campaign on their opposition to light rail had been the right one, Mr Hanson held the line.

“Well, I suppose we’re not forming government, so that’s a point for future analysis, but the reality is that we stand by our view that light rail is the wrong option for Canberra,” he said.

“The politics of it might have been wrong, that’s for others to judge, but the policy was right.”

Asked about the performance of his deputy in Yerrabi, where the Liberals look likely to take only two seats, Mr Hanson praised Mr Coe.

“I think Alistair’s done a fantastic job and I think throughout the term, he has been the star performer in the Opposition,” he said.

“It was always going to be a difficult ask in Yerrabi, there’s no doubt about it, because people understand that south of the lake, the tram is very unpopular, there is a mood against the government, and that’s reflected in out vote.

“North of the lake, it’s somewhat different … I think Alistair did as best he possibly could.”

Meanwhile, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr was celebrating with colleagues in Ainslie this afternoon.

He told journalists during a press conference that while it was possible one of the two likely Greens MLAs could join his cabinet, it would be unlikely that both would do so. He said he hoped to be able to hold one position in cabinet for a few months in order to later promote one of the new ALP members of the Assembly to the ministry.

“On a personal level, I’m delighted to no longer be the youngests member of Labor caucus,” he said.

“We’ve got new fresh faces who will be elected this time around.”

“I am considering in terms of the number of ministers, being able to leave a position vacant and bring someone in later on, once they’ve had that experience, so all of those options are available. We have seven ministers at the moment, Simon Corbell is retiring, so there are already vacancies.”

He described the Sex Party’s result in Brindabella, where Steven Bailey is still in contention for a seat, as “extraordinary”.

Greens leader Shane Rattenbury and Caroline Le Couteur, the candidate most likely to join him in the Assembly, stepped out of a party function to discuss the make-up of the Assembly and their agenda this afternoon, also.

What’s Your opinion?


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Hanson considers position as Coe waits in wings
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Obiter_Dictum 4:01 pm 18 Oct 16

Actually, the Libs found a few socially liberal moderate candidates, all with solid careers outside of politics, this time around. Problem is, many have lost out to conservatives who have been endorsed by organisations like the ACL and Right to Life (the latter’s website has a list of preferred candidates who are mainly Libs).

Clearly the result says something, although whether about the Liberal Party itself, the kind of person who votes for the Liberal Party in the ACT, or just the advantage that comes from having lots of churchy help (the Lib’s version of union minions, although they have clearly helped Ramsay too), I don’t know.

It is a serious problem for the libs that Canberrans think of them as social conservatives. That might be fine elsewhere, but not here, in highly educated, open minded Canberra. There were undoubtedly many people this election who would have loved a more economically rational government, but not at the expense of their social rights. Kate Carnell, Jeremy Hanson and Elizabeth Lee have all done well here, but they have been successful at promoting themselves as moderates outside the usual party channels. Others havent had that option. I had to seriously research to find the moderate candidates. I doubt many other people could be bothered, even if they were able. Too risky to vote Liberal when you may be voting for an Abbott or an Abetz. That leaves mainly only the true conservatives voting Lib, the true conservatives getting up as a result, and the party becoming increasingly less electable in the Territory as a result.

Ghettosmurf87 3:29 pm 18 Oct 16

JC said :

Acton said :

So now you’ve got your tram, how are you going to pay for it? Where is 1.78 billion dollars going to come from? Borrowing money today means you and your children have to pay off that debt tomorrow.
I don’t care.
What impact will raising rates by 10% every year have on families, the elderly and young couples with big mortgages?
I don’t know.
Do you care that landlords will pass on 10% rates rises to tenants as higher rents? The cost of living goes up and housing affordability goes down for everyone, including you.
It’s too hard to think about. I’ll just have another latte and send a tweet to show how clever and progressive I am. Maggie who?
[[“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”]]

Whilst $1.78b looks like a big scary number, do remember that that is an indexed figure over 20 years. The figure in today’s dollars is $939m, of which $707m is the construction cost, which includes $117m of contingency (so may not be spent) and $232m is the running and finance costs over 20 years.

Of that $939m $305m is a one off payment on completion of which $60m is from the asset reclcying scheme. And then the remainder is paid off at the rate of $64m (on average over the course of 20 years). The actual figures though are $47m in first year (line won’t be open the full year, $54m in second year, increasing through to 2038 where it is $75m.

So what the budget needs to find is $245m for the one off payment, and in 2016 terms $47m p/a for the next 20 years.

So there are 155,000 households in Canberra at present. Taxes make up 32% of the annual territory budget and rates make up 27% of taxes. So in 2016 terms based on the $54m, payment the ‘hit’ to rates if you will is actually a one off payment of $137 per household, plus $30 per house hold per year, or 58c per week over 20 years. In 2016 terms.

So your point?

His point is that big numbers are scary and surely will convince the electorate to vote the Liberals in….

Mysteryman 2:34 pm 18 Oct 16

Acton said :

So now you’ve got your tram, how are you going to pay for it? Where is 1.78 billion dollars going to come from? Borrowing money today means you and your children have to pay off that debt tomorrow.
I don’t care.
What impact will raising rates by 10% every year have on families, the elderly and young couples with big mortgages?
I don’t know.
Do you care that landlords will pass on 10% rates rises to tenants as higher rents? The cost of living goes up and housing affordability goes down for everyone, including you.
It’s too hard to think about. I’ll just have another latte and send a tweet to show how clever and progressive I am. Maggie who?
[[“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money”]]

What happened to Labor being the party that cared about low income earners? ACT Labor seem to be diametrically opposed to how their Federal counterparts want to be seen.

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