November 22, 2005 | Graham

More on Broadwater preselection

The reason that Jim Nicholls was vetted out of the Broadwater preselection is supposed to have something to do with the accuracy of his application form. Nicholls says he is a “consultant”, the party says he is “unemployed” (well, what else does “consultant” mean?). Nicholls claims to be an active member of some community groups, the party says he might be a member, but he’s not active. How would they know – do these community groups send their minutes to LP HQ?
The decision to disqualify him was unanimous, so there must have been some cross-factional support for it, but surely not on the basis of a couple of fig-leafs like that. If exaggeration were a disqualification, then the pool of potential Liberal Party candidates wouldn’t be deep enough to slake the thirst of the average back-yard mosquito. Exaggeration is the life-blood of politics – if you don’t have some skills in that area you probably won’t be any good.
A google search on the successful candidate, Christopher Stear, also raises some questions about his suitability. It looks like he might have exaggerated a profit figure by $2.764 million in the context of an equity raising in Child Care Centres Australia, a listed public company. Or if he didn’t, he should have known that it was exaggerated by that figure. In any case, he left the company at around the same time the profit downgrade was announced.
Child Care Centres Australia was floated by J T Campbell, the Merchant Bank of prominent Victorian Liberal Michael Kroger predicting $2.8 M profit for 2002/2003. It then made a subsequent capital raising of $8.5 m without apparently changing the profit advice. Then, just after it banked the money from the share issue it revised its profit down to $64,000 (on turnover of $19.64 m) making the investors and their advisors very angry.
If Nicholl’s exaggerations were enough to have him knocked out, Stear must tell a good story, or perhaps Kroger put in a good word for him. Of course, he does come with qualifications for the job: he’s run for parliament before – as a Democrat.
Broadwater is one of the 6 seats subject to the dual preselection arrangements between the Liberal and National parties. All of this must make it more likely that the National’s candidate will win the preselection, unless of course he is an exaggerator too.

Posted by Graham at 11:02 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. The blue ribbon seat of Broadwater was evidently too good a prize for a bloke who is principled, who is passionate about what he believes in, who believes in people politics, not factional politics. All I wanted was a fair go but even that was too much to ask. I was always going to be rolled.
    I was told at the outset by a very senior party figure that I need not apply to stand for Broadwater because I would not get through. I was told that even if I did win the seat would be gifted to the National Party.
    I believe the preselection was nothing but a charade. The factions had earmarked the seat for their own. The people who really mattered, the ordinary rank and file members, were never going to be trusted to make their own choices. They were denied a full field of candidates from which to choose. They were even denied their request to appoint a scrutineer to oversee the no vote. How crass is that?
    This is cronyism running wild. The outcome is that candidates are chosen behind closed doors according to their ability to brown nose their factional masters. The losers are the ordinary party members and the electors of Queensland who have to make do with Party stooges.
    Exaggeration – baloney.
    For the record, I am prepared to allow interested persons to sight my qualifications and C.V. first hand. You can’t say fairer than that!

    Comment by Jim Nicholls — July 7, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

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