While Baz was hitting the phones to find out who was getting elevated to the frontbench, factions were meeting in person to thrash out the changes. Perhaps a few of those meetings should have been held in better ventilated rooms, given those struck down by the lurgy in the following week.Lisa Neville, who was retiring, couldn’t even make it to caucus to get a send-off, while new Deputy Premier Jacinta Allan was soon isolating at home. The Socialist Left held lengthy meetings about the backroom manoeuvrings, which may account for why so many of its members were soon calling in sick.Sonya Kilkenny had to miss the swearing in ceremony at Government House and another new Cabinet addition, Harriet Shing also went down with the spicy cough. It’s hardly surprising so many are sick given Victoria’s case numbers climbed back above 10,000 last week.But with so many MPs about to set off overseas, led by Treasurer and minister for spruiking Tim Pallas, Labor’s caucus will be sweating over more RAT results in coming days.Name your price Ever wonder how Daniel Andrews and Matthew Guy know so much about whether your playground needs a new swing set come election time? Turns out the parties crowd source these sorts of announcements from their candidates and you best believe aspiring politicians are already writing their wishlists. Whispers on the wind say Victorian Labor has already asked candidates for their 10 “asks”, which is political speak for the 10 projects they think the local community would want as an election commitment. If you live in a marginal seat, ask and you shall receive. If not, best to be tactical with your requests. If you’re listening, faceless men and women, Baz wants to see upgraded facilities at Flower Drum.MP for StormJust days after receiving two very big titles as Mental Health Minister and Treaty and First Peoples, Gabrielle Williams has another qualification to add to her LinkedIn profile. The Labor MP has just been named Number 1 female ticket holder for the mighty Melbourne Storm. The news kicked off the Women of Storm campaign which the club is using to further the cause of equality through multiple big events over the year. Williams told Baz she hoped the Storm would knock off the Panthers come finals time and that she was a Jesse Bromwich fan, even if he is leaving to go to the Dolphins later on.Carlton nuff nuffMinister for all the fun stuff, Martin Pakula, has packed his bags and retired from cabinet. Naturally for someone so obsessed with sport, the rumours have flowed about his next job being in racing or footy, with the replacement for Gillon McLachlan as AFL supremo even put about by some. Sports journo Caroline Wilson was quick to shoot that down on a Nine News podcast, however. “It would be very difficult to have, no offence, such a Carlton nuff nuff (in the role).” Pakula told friends that no offence was taken, and that this shout was actually a bit of a compliment. Not the bit about being nominated as a potential McLachlan replacement, but that he’s known as a genuine “Carlton nuff nuff”. Then again, when you’re posting photos with Val Perovic from Port Fairy and hashtagging “woof (the original)”, the obsession with all things baggers would be kind of hard to miss. Nuff said. Guess whoWhich Labor MP appears to be distancing himself from the party on official election material, potentially fearing the teal wave?
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