Thursday 9th of February 2023

cash being given out for "no purpose at all"...


Gambling lobby group Clubs New South Wales must explain why it donated money to the Victorian MP and federal minister Kevin Andrews, Independent senator Nick Xenophon says.

The organisation donated $30,000 to the Menzies 200 Club, which helps fund Mr Andrews' election campaigns, between 2013 and 2014.

During that time Mr Andrews led the Government's repeal of Labor's gambling laws.

Senator Xenophon said the donation raised questions.

"Clubs NSW should explain to its members, to the public at large, why it made such significant donations to Menzies 200, 750 kilometres away," he said.

In a statement Mr Andrews said it was "wrong and offensive" to suggest his decision-making was influenced by donations.


undeclared jackpot...

But the Menzies 200 Club failed to declare another $10,000 donation from Clubs NSW, made in June last year, for eight months after the deadline set by the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC).That donation came three months after Mr Andrews' bill to repeal Labor's tough poker machine regulations passed the Parliament.
Fairfax Media does not suggest the donations directly influenced Mr Andrews' decision making.
But they are the latest in a long string of controversies that highlight problems with Australia's notoriously lax federal regulation of political donations. Such donations would be prohibited in the US, Canada, and - due to their size - in state elections in NSW.
Responding to written questions, a spokesman for Mr Andrews said that any suggestion Mr Andrews' decisions were influenced by the donations was "wrong and offensive".
Mr Andrews' spokesman stressed that the Coalition had released a discussion paper on gambling reform in November 2011. The policy taken to the election varied in a minor way only from the discussion paper, he said.
The spokesman said the gambling policy was determined together with the Coalition Policy Committee, shadow cabinet and opposition party room.A Clubs NSW spokeswoman denied the contributions were intended to influence Coalition gambling policy, saying they were given for "no particular purpose".

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nothing to see here ....

A spokesperson for the coalition frontbencher, Kevin Andrews, has claimed that any suggestion Mr Andrew’s decisions in the formulation of the Coalition’s industry-backed poker machines policy for the 2013 election were influenced by donations Clubs NSW was “wrong & offensive”.

The only thing more offensive than Mr Andrew’s claim is the suggestion that the donations were made for “no particular purpose”.


no CONtext at all...

Dumped Abbott government minister Kevin Andrews said today's opinion poll suggests the honeymoon is finished for Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

The latest Newspoll published by The Australian has Labor leading the Coalition after preferences 51 per cent to 49 per cent.

It is the first time the Turnbull Government has trailed the Opposition since Mr Turnbull came to power last year.

"Polls go up and down, when any new leader comes in there's a honeymoon period," Kevin Andrews told the ABC.


Mr Andrews was dumped in the reshuffle following Tony Abbott's overthrow as Prime Minister.

He made the comments while participating in the annual Pollie Pedal fundraiser with Mr Abbott.

The Newspoll has particular significance for Mr Turnbull's detractors, because he used Mr Abbott's sustained poor showing as part of his justification for replacing him.

Senior Ministers Michaelia Cash and Christopher Pyne both acknowledged the week leading up to the poll was "messy", given it culminated in a divisive income tax debate with the states.

Mr Andrews drew attention yesterday after comments to a local paper indicating he would be prepared to serve as prime minister.

He later clarified the remarks saying his leadership ambitions were "hypothetical" and the comments were taken out of context.


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kevin andrews had to go...

Veteran Victorian Liberal MP Kevin Andrews has lost preselection for the federal seat of Menzies in Melbourne.


Key points:
  • Keith Wolahan defeated Mr Andrews 181-111, despite expectations of a close vote
  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says it represents a "new chapter" for the party in Menzies
  • Mr Andrews says it has been the "greatest privilege" to serve in Parliament


He was defeated by commando-turned-barrister Keith Wolahan at a preselection ballot of members on Sunday.

Mr Andrews had been backed by senior MPs including Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, and the defeat is being viewed by some Liberals as a rejection of their tactics.

He also had the support of former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott.

Mr Andrews is the first sitting Victorian Liberal MP to be ousted by members in more than two decades.

Speaking to reporters after the vote, Mr Wolahan said the preselection vote "was never a referendum" on Mr Andrews's record, which was one the Liberal Party was very proud of.

"Today was a vote by the members for the future, and I am extremely humbled by that," he said.

The preselection was due to be held last year but was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Liberals were predicting a close race but expected the status quo to prevail given it is rare for sitting MPs to be dumped.

But sources have told the ABC that Mr Wolahan won 181-111.


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Kevin Andrews had to go... From his treatment of workers to his advices to married people, he has been a massive pain in the butt... His replacement is a former army captain who could be as bad as Andrews on the political front, but a bit more truly liberal on the religious bigotry — though he could be as nutty-gritty as Jim Molan or the Western Australian army bloke with Jesus in his pants.





Josh Frydenberg steps up to save a shaky Kevin Andrews from preselection defeat

The federal treasurer has opted to support Australia's longest-serving MP. But is that a wise move for the aspiring PM?

At 5.30pm today [31/01/2021], federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will turn up at a Woolworths-controlled pokies venue associated with the Carlton Football Club in an attempt persuade local Liberal Party members in the safe seat of Menzies to save Canberra’s longest-serving MP Kevin Andrews from preselection defeat.

The Manningham Hotel & Club in Bulleen — which, like Andrews, has an uncertain future as the $16 billion North East Link project gets under way — is a favourite pokies venue of Andrews, although its owner (Woolworths and its billionaire partner Bruce Mathieson) hasn’t offered a discount for tonight’s meet-and-greet

It’s not a fundraiser as the 90-minute booze-up is free — given the main aim is to have Menzies’ preselectors attend and persuade them to give the capital-C conservative another three-year term.

Andrews is facing a COVID-delayed preselection challenge on January 31 from Keith Wolahan, a Cambridge-educated barrister and former army captain who is touted as a future defence minister, just like Andrews was back in the day.


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whistleblowing into the wind...


Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar argued strongly that a Finance Department report into allegations he was involved in rorting public resources for political purposes be kept secret.

The department has revealed in response to a freedom of information request by The Age and Sydney Morning Herald that Mr Sukkar, a federal minister and Liberal Party conservative faction leader, had “made strong representations that release is not authorised”.


The main reasons provided for refusal of the request were that release would breach legal professional privilege, that the report contained material obtained in confidence and that it could breach personal privacy. Overall, the department said releasing the report would “on balance, be contrary to the public interest”.

The investigation was requested by Mr Sukkar after he was accused in August 2020 of encouraging an improper scheme in which factional operatives were given taxpayer-funded jobs in Mr Sukkar’s office and the office of fellow Victorian Liberal MP Kevin Andrews in 2017 and 2018.


Evidence suggests the operatives did not only undertake electoral and constituent duties that they were paid by taxpayers to perform, but also worked to increase the power of the Sukkar conservative faction, including by mass recruiting Liberal Party members.

The Finance Department last year released a one-page statement saying it had found insufficient evidence of any wrongdoing by Mr Sukkar.

Had the department’s full inquiry report been released, multiple sources say, it would have revealed that investigators failed to interview or contact key witnesses. Those witnesses say they could have given evidence alleging Mr Sukkar’s faction and his office rorted taxpayer-funded electorate office jobs as part of a scheme to boost factional power.

Three witnesses, including one who contacted the department but was never interviewed, have claimed to have critical evidence about the alleged rorting. They have requested anonymity for fear of repercussions.

“It’s a disgrace,” said one of the witnesses about the extent of the department’s probe.


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