Member hacked   8/3/2006

Returning from a drive down the Great Ocean Road I learn that my Federal Member of Parliament has fallen victim to the shenanigans of Australian Labor Party branch-stacking.
Gavan O’Connor, the Opposition’s shadow minister for agriculture, has lost preselection for the seat of Corio which he has held for 13 years.
O’Connor, a thoroughly decent bloke, was a farmer and teacher before entering Parliament. He’ll talk to you knowledgebly, and with equal enthusiasm, about local footy results and his vision for a multi-transport export hub incorporating Avalon Airport and the Port of Geelong.
His replacement, Richard Marles, is described repeatedly by the media as a rightwing powerbroker in the Victorian ALP.
In contrast to O’Connor’s humble Irish-Catholic onion-growing background, Marles (scroll down) is a son of privilege who attended Australia’s most expensive private school before enjoying a guided career passage through activist legal firm Slater and Gordon and then the ACTU (formerly the peak body for achievers from Australia’s once-proud working class, now the plaything of ex-student politicos not smart enough to make it in the business world).
No one can deny that Geelong and district has been transformed in the period that O’Connor has been its major representative in Canberra.
He has played a pivotal role in seeing billions flow to the area for projects such as the Princes Freeway, the redevelopment of Geelong waterfront, the soon-to-be-constructed Geelong Ring Road, the Melbourne-Geelong rail upgrade and a host of other urban improvements that have made Geelong and the Surf Coast one of Australia’s fastest-growing regions.
He has pledged to fight the preselection result but it would appear an uphill battle. The dogs of Labor are already howling “rat” at reports O’Connor may even stand as an independent Labor candidate at the next Federal poll.
Marles’ candidature indicates how much the political wheel has turned. He’s a Geelong Grammar old boy with no work experience in the real world. These were once essential pre-requisites for a conservative seat in parliament.

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6 Comments for 'Member hacked'

    8/3/2006 | 5:06 pm

    This isnt to do with the above subject ,but as my informant comes from Geelong I thought I ‘d pass this on . My wifes cousin had tea with us last night and we spoke about the awful TV footage of the “Australian cattle being subjected to cruelty in Egypt ” . Our informant ,the cousin ,replied ,”of course it was cruel but they werent Australian cattle ,because all Australian cattle are dehorned before export . Oh ? What to make of this ,Slatts .? I’d love to have that smarmy bastard Carlton’s head on a stick for the blooper .

    Frank Quinlan

    9/3/2006 | 6:54 am

    I know marles and he is a nice enough, bloke, fairly smart and he would be ambitious, if he wasn’t so lazy. I don’t know O’Connor but we need MPs who can and do talk to everyday voters. Marles should stand in a safe seat or against one of the known logs, like Jenkins, but he views Geelong as home. I know Shorten as well, and if anyone thinks he is the new Hawkee, they must never have met Bob

    Bernard Slattery
    9/3/2006 | 7:51 am

    Frank, you’d think that would be the case, if just to minimise injuries enroute.Perhaps Halel practices demand bleeding from the horn? I’ll look into it. Isn’t it ironic how Australian luvvies get the vapours over Muslim practices in meatworks, but are stunningly silent on genital abuse of girls, general oppression of women and persecution of homosexuals.

    Wylie Wilde
    9/3/2006 | 2:31 pm

    What I find ridiculous were the commentators – reported on the ABC- who screamed at the minister? or officials? who questioned whether the cattle were even Australian. They screamed- because horror of horrors- the Aussie govt should have spoken up and acted for the cattle even if they weren’t Australian. What a bunch of dingbats!!!

    10/3/2006 | 11:52 am

    Did Mr Marles go to school in Sydney? That’s where they keep all the really expensive private schools.

    11/3/2006 | 8:00 pm

    I have watched O’Connor at work on and off on agricultural policy matters. He is a a bit of a rarity in the modern ALP, someone who actually knows a bit about agriculture.

    The best story I have involving O’Connor was when he and O’Brian (an ALP senator with rural roots) were attending a wool industry forum and that nutter Bob Katter from FNQ walked in. Both immediately leaned back and crossed their arms. Why would the Opposition need to do anything when Bob the mad Hatter would turn up to spray his mindless vitriol. Talk about colateral damage. I’d love to know what O’Connor and O’Brian were thinking, but the smirks on their faces gave a pretty good clue.

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