All in the family
If you need to know why New South Wales is in urgent need of a change of government, and why the ALP there is in urgent need of intervention, go no further than this SMH story about how a change of policy to support prison privatisation was pushed through a party committee.
A victory for the Government was assured. The committee chairman is Richard Tripodi, the brother of the Minister for Finance, Joe Tripodi, and husband of the Drummoyne MP Angela D’Amore.
Another committee member is Anna Collins, the wife of Mr Robertson’s chief of staff, Chris Minns, while another member is Mark Hay, the son of the Wollongong MP Noreen Hay.
A member of the party’s powerful administrative committee told the Herald that “a fix [was] in” to prevent embarrassment to the Government and to advance Mr Robertson’s status as a future leader.
“It’s a complete stitch-up, sending it to a dodgy committee run by a minister’s brother, an MP’s son and a key apparatchik’s wife,” the member said.
This kind of nepotism is rife in Australian politics, but in the NSW Labor Party it’s beyond a joke, on both (all) sides of the factional fence. People like Belinda Neal and Martin Ferguson would never have made it into Parliament on their own merits, and would probably have been on the other side if not for their family ties, but Neal made it to the shadow ministry back in the 1990s, and Ferguson is now a senior minister.