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Peter Adamis  22 August 2014. This a special revised edition of THE FILE -2 as a result of additional information that has come to hand. In previous editions of the BaillieuGate series, we advised readers that Ted Baillieu would be stepping down before the next State election. It would appear by recent reports that our prediction in this case was correct. A copy of the complete article may be downloaded by clicking on: THE FILE 2

Whatever the public may think of Ted Baillieu, in my mind, Ted was always a staunch Liberal who over the years has worked tirelessly on behalf of the Liberal Party. The unfortunate part of his many achievements has been overshadowed by the sycophants and recalcitrants’ that surrounded him. These unnamed individuals which hung onto the coat tails of Ted Baillieu will now be clamouring to identify his successor who ever that may be.

The recent BaillieuGate leaked tape affair was an unfortunate episode in a long line of positive achievements; Ted did not deserve such treatment. However Ted is also partly to blame because he had criticised his colleagues and as such ‘treachery’ in politics is akin to falling on one’s sword so to speak.   I have known Ted Baillieu since 1990 and during that time he has always been a gentleman. Many would not know or be aware of his many behind the scenes achievements with Melbournes diverse communities and/or of his good work with charities. Having said that, does not mean that Ted Ballieu is above criticism especially when one is in the public arena.   I, for one wish him all the best and hope to see him contribute further to the Liberal Party that he loves.

I am of the belief that despite the positive remarks concerning the looming State Election, Ted Baillieu has considered all the options and variables open to him and has realised that he is clinging to a rapidly sinking ship whose crew is working feverishly to man the bilge pumps and calk up the many holes to stop it from sinking. With this in mind Ted Baillieu has taken the attitude that its best to leave the ship while it is still afloat and swim while he can, leaving the rats and crew to struggle on their own. The question of succession is an interesting one and the possibilities and ramifications are enormous. Potential successors in waiting. The following are but some of those possibilities:

David Davis.             Will it be that David Davis who has always coveted the seat of Hawthorn?  He would be a good possibility and certainly the one to retain the sycophants and recalcitrants’ that surrounded Ted Baillieu. David Davis however may his own demons to haunt him and those being his management of the Ambulance and the Hospitals, which are  outstanding issues that keep dogging him from reaching a solution to the stake holders involved. He may however be hard-pressed to win the job should it go to a local preselection, given that he has many political enemies. In any event should David Davis take the spot for Hawthorn who will be given the nod for his vacant seat in the Upper house. The mind boggles at the possibilities.

Mary Woolridg.        Can it be possible that Mary Woolridg will finally get the nod from all sections of the Liberal Party bar a few, for the lucrative rights to the seat of Hawthorn. one may thinks so after being brutally bruised in the battle for Kew. Who know s what the outcome may be and again who knows whether Mary Woolridg would be content with being just the minister and not the job of Premier. Despite Mary Woolridg impeccable public persona, some are of the opinion that she is another Margaret Thatcher hiding behind a veil of political expediency plotting for the Premier job.  Mary is well known has many supporters across all political alliances and may have the skills necessary to take on a leadership role. This mantle of leadership should it ever occur will be contested by Matthew Guy (Planning Minister supported by Senator Scott Ryan) and Michael O’Brien (Treasurer supported by Peter Costello).

John Pesutto.          John Pesutto is relatively a young man who has over the years gathered the wisdom of years by embroiling himself in Liberal Party politics and having a hand in the changes to Liberal Party reforms. He has also been instrumental in supporting the Premier Denis Napthine and advising him on a number of portfolios. Whether the debacle over the Nurses issue is a matter than comes back to haunt him is another matter. All in all, John Pesutto has tried on a number of occasions to be preselected and of each occasion has been rejected by the local delegates. John is a good operator who deserves the opportunity to be presented with an electorate worthy of his standing. If John Pesutto fails to win pre-selection John can opt to attempt to fill in the either vacancy in the Upper house should Mary Woolridg and/or David Davis decide to contest Hawthorn. However if you were to ask me to make a bet (and I am not a betting man), I would place my money on John Pesutto to win the seat of Hawthorn

John Roskam.                     John Roskam the current Director Public Affairs is a canny and shrewd operator who deserves to be seriously considered as a candidate. John Roskam has an enormous amount of corporate and political knowledge whose skills would be an asset to any electorate and support to parliamentary colleagues. The only way that John Roskam would be offered the job at Hawthorn is via an Administrative Committee preselection where all the members are pro John Roskam and would have no problems in winning such an in-house preselection. That is, if he is acceptable to the current reigning premier, Denis Napthine.  Should John Roskam be unsuccessful he like John Pesutto can opt to attempt to fill in the vacancy in the Upper house depending who is preselected.

Kevin Donnelly.       Kevin Donnelly is a smart operator who is no stranger to the political minefield and well versed with the machinations of the Liberal Party. Currently an adviser to Christopher Pyne, Kevin may also consider an attempt for the Upper house should Mary Woolridg and/or David Davis decide to contest the seat of Hawthorn. In the event David Davis wins Hawthorn and Kevin Donnelly wins the Upper house vacated by David Davis it will be bring back bitter sweet memories of a preselection battle of a bygone era.

Sue Smethhurst                  A journalist by profession, Sue Smethhurst stood against Margaret Fitzherbet for an Upper house seat (Southern Metropolitan) and lost. She is a relatively newcomer to the Liberal fold, but is keen to make an impression but may consider contesting the Upper in the event Mary Woolridge wins Hawthorn. Despite some local support Sue Smethhurst has a long way to go to achieve her political ambitions, but having said that, the future may look even more rosier post the State election in late November.

Greg Hannan.          Greg Hannan was once a staffer who worked for Nick Kotsiras (a protégé of Frank Greenstein – the current Metropolitan Male President; whose star is slowly being extinguished) also stood for the Upper house seat (Southern Metropolitan) against Margaret Fitzherbet and lost may consider contesting the Upper house should Mary Woolridge win Hawthorn. Greg Hannan has also ambitions to become a parliamentarian and should he become unsuccessful again, he will require to reconsider his alliances and mentors in order to be worthy of any future consideration.

Jason Aldworth.     Jason Aldworth’s name has also been touted as a potential contender but insider sources indicate that Jason is enjoying what he is doing in his current role as a public relations consultant and may be reluctant to join the growing ranks of hopefuls. Mind you, Jason Aldworth is a smart operator whose mentor is none other than that political gladiator and Liberal power Broker, Michael Kroger.  

Tony Snell.               The Liberal Party President may decide it’s time to shed the mantle of leadership and take on the cloak of a parliament. Tony Snell has the political experience, the rungs on the boards, huge network amongst the Socialist left of the Liberal Party, well known amongst Melbournes diverse communities, well versed in parliamentary procedures and has the potential for growth as a Minister in Government. Should Tony Snell decide to take the plunge it will create a leadership vacuum within the membership and at this stage there is no known candidate that will be able fill his shoes.

Jan Kronberg.         The stepping down of Ted Baillieu has also ramifications for Eastern where Jan Kronberg could consider the third spot. Jan Kronberg was dumped in favour of Mary Woolridg to take the first spot at the request of the Premier Denis Napthine. Jan Kronberg is currently contesting the number four seat at eastern Metro and stands to be given a golden handshake in the process. Jan Kronberg has been a quiet achiever, working behind the scenes building up the assets and resources of the lower house electorates. It is my guess that Jan Kronberg will contest the fourth spot as she has not been pre-selected and it may be up to the Administrative Committee to decide the fourth and fifth spots.

Vasan Sirinivasan.                         Vasan Sirinivasan, a local Indian businessman and well known amongst Melbourne and Australia’s Indian community may also consider throwing his hat in the ring should Jan Kronberg not stand for the third spot in Eastern Metro. Vasan Sirinivasan stood unsuccessfully in the past for a number of electorates, Forest Hill and Northern Metro are two cases that come to mind. Vasan Sirinivasan once a supporter of Ted Ballieu fell out of favour when his advice to Ted Baillieu over the Indian students and taxi driver incidents was criticised. Vasan Sirinivasan is a shrewd operator who has been able to galvanise diverse communities in supporting the Liberal Party but these achievements have not always been acknowledged by the Liberal Party and one wonders why he still perseveres. Vasan Sirinivasan is also considered to be a close friend of Matthew Guy, the Planning Minister.

Keith Wolahan.        Keith Wolahan is an interesting chap who I am of the belief has the potential makings of becoming a very good parliamentarian at the Federal and State level. Keith is a barrister by profession and came into prominence when he defended two soldiers who were charged for actions whilst operating overseas in a hostile environment. Keith Wolahan has also seen two tours of Afghanistan and one tour of East Timor and as a result of has been decorated for his superb actions whilst on operation. It is not a surprise to find that Keith is well thought of and respected by his military colleagues and peers alike.

He along with Eddie Gawonda (local power broker in the seat of Bulleen who is a close friend of Matthew Guy the Planning Minister) has been working quietly and diligently behind the scenes in the Federal seat of Menzies. Keith, who is well liked by many; is at times misunderstood as a result of his actions  and some believe that he may be moving too fast without realising that engagement and consultation are the key ingredients in any political aspirations. I am of the opinion that Keith Wolahan would be the ideal choice for an Upper house seat should either Mary Woolridg and/or David Davis win Hawthorn. I for one wish Keith Wolahan all the best in his endeavors to achieve his full potential in the political arena.  We will hear more of Keith in the future.

Andrew Ananievski.                       Young Andrew Ananievski is a protégé of Anthony Fernandez, a local war lord in the Ivanhoe electorate and considered a good friend of the Michael Kroger. Andrew is also close friends with Matthew Guy the Planning Minister and Richard Dalla-Riva  who is currently in the Eastern Metropolitan region (Upper house) and dumped by the former premier Ted Baillieu. Andrew Ananievski while currently the secretary of the Ivanhoe electorate supporting Carl Ziebell, is also university student whose ambitions are to become a minister in  a Liberal Government. I am of the belief that Andrew Ananievski will want to contest the number four and/or five spot in Eastern as a means of gaining experience as a candidate in a preselection. My guess is that he will have a difficult time obtaining the necessary numbers to achieve his objectives and should look elsewhere.

Recalcitrants and sycophants.               The stepping down of Ted Baillieu is also an sign for the many recalcitrants and sycophants that have been dragging down Ted Baillieu down over the years with their ill conceived and wrong advice. Now with Ted out of the picture, these unnamed individuals should take a good look at themselves and decide that its time they went back into the shadows and took up farming mushrooms fed on manure. Many of these are in staffer positions and others are the hangers-on and lobbyists who stand to lose much should the downhill trend continue. The trend to remove these individuals one could say, began with the Battle over the Kew preselection. A battle that saw the rise and fall of political careers and influential personalities within the Liberal Party. Whether these same individuals have seen the writing on the wall remains to be seen but let me be the first to advise readers that a political blood bath of biblical proportions will occur post the State election no matter what the result may be. These recalcitrants and sycophants have been put on notice.

Rise and fall of political alliances.                      These same individuals have poisoned the mind of Ted Baillieu over the past 25 years and have not allowed Ted to see other points of view.  There are many of us who like and respected him throughout the years and yet for the sake of political alliances were kept at arms distance. Ted as indicated above had all the hall marks of a fine leader and would have still been Premier had he realised that some of the advice been provided was detrimental to his political platform.

With Ted stepping down, it may also mean the demise of the alliance of which David Kemp is  considered to be the  titular political leader. Should this alliance disintegrate, over time, you can be sure that the recalcitrants and sycophants will seek to be absorbed by the three remaining groups whose leaders are allegedly, Liberal power broker Michael Kroger , Senator Scott Ryan and the former Federal Treasurer Peter Costello. Whatever the outcome of the State election, whatever is to occur will happen according to political plans and deceptive plots that were conceived and mapped out some time ago. There are rumours around the old windmill that those who are aligned with David Kemp and his entourage are doomed to political oblivion. It is now just a matter of time as to who will make the first move to achieving their political ambitions.

Authors note:                      Apologies to the purists for the grammar and punctuation.

Peter Adamis Australia Day iconThe Voice from the Pavement – Peter Adamis is a Journalist/Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum.  He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News.  He holds a Bachelor   of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health  & Safety, (Monash),  Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538

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