May 18, 2004 | Jeff Wall

The Queensland Liberal Senate team – sitting ducks for electoral payback?

NOWHERE is the electorate’s suspicion of, and contempt for, politicians, and politics, more pronounced than it is in regard to the “perks and privileges” of public office.
The defeat of Merri Rose in the Queensland State Election only confirmed that politicians seen to be having a good time at public expense risk political oblivion.
The two Queensland Liberal Senators up for re- election later this year have recently received the kind of media coverage that would cause most politicians to have nightmares.
But it seems that Senators Brandis and Mason are happy to risk electoral wrath given their very ordinary defence of their overseas travels together at taxpayer expense.
They no doubt do so because they hold positions one and two on the Liberal ticket – positions that would ordinarily secure their easy re-election.
My “newsagents poll” yesterday confirmed that the “Courier Mail” front page story on the Senator’s travelogue went over very badly with voters. As one newsagent told me, customers would pick up the paper, read the front page story – and accompanying colour photographs – and mutter words such as “typical” and “bludgers”.
The Queensland Senate poll could be fertile ground for their opponents, especially minor party opponents, provided they get their act together.
Perhaps the only Senator capable of maximising advantage from the revelations is Senator John Cherry. Senator Cherry’s only real prospect of re-election is to take votes from the Liberal and National Parties.
The sugar issue, and the sale of Telstra, may be fertile ground he could till to undermine the National Party vote in regional and rural Queensland.
The indulgence of Liberal candidates one and two could well be just as fertile in Brisbane and South East Queensland.
A final point. Senators Brandis and Mason won’t be alone in having their indulgences paraded in the media. Today it has been revealed that South Australian Liberal MP, Trish Draper, took out an injunction against “Today Night” to block a story on her overseas travels, accompanied by her boyfriend.
High risk stuff that……….especially as the daily press has taken up the story already!
In recent months, the “Daily Telegraph” has had both Bob Carr and John Brogden, and their MP’s, on the back foot through the exposure of the overseas travels of NSW State MP’s.
Given the responses by Senators Brandis and Mason to the revelations about their travels, the media will no doubt be encouraged to delve further – and that will be of little comfort to all sides of politics.

Posted by Jeff Wall at 10:11 am | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Any more dirt on Brandis?
    All i know is that he thinks the greens are NAZIs.
    Thats enough for me to petition against him vigorously in the upcoming federal election. Not that i’m a green voter, but such reckless analogies are pathetic in the extreme, real gutter politics. They shows no understanding of history, simply somebody who can read C- grade andrew bolt columns.
    I thought brandis might have been more intelligent.

    Comment by alphacoward — May 19, 2004 @ 5:06 pm

  2. Politicians ‘trip’ easily and regularly in line with an approved schedule. Senators Brandis and Mason are two of the most intelligent and best educated members of the Parliament. In consultation with appropriate authorities, they carefully planned where to go and who to see. Robert McNamara was in my view the most effective US Defence Secretary the world has known in living memory. Other contacts appear to have been selected for the valuable insights they could share.
    Brandis and Mason are also young. It is probable they will one day be part of an Australian cabinet. Give the global challenges future Cabinet Ministers will have to deal with if educating Members of this caliber is not an investment in good government, then we should never approve overseas trips by any politicians ever again.
    Lampooning pollies is an easy grab. Their expenses pale into insignificance against the taxpayer funded Melbourne Underground Film Festival which amongst other racist events, promoted David Irving’s film debunking the Holocaust. This year, taxpayers funded a tour by Islamic extremist Yvonne Ridley who inter alia told her Australian audience at our expense that killing Israeli babies was ‘legitimate’. The incidence of tax payer funded scandals is a fertile field for a truly investigative journalist. Why settle the cheap shot?

    Comment by Colin Lamont — May 24, 2004 @ 5:11 pm

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