Australian politics

Jan 23, 2013

Dumb and dumber. From “super Nova” to golden duck

Gillard's clumsy attempt to thwart the NT Labor Party's pre-selection process may have the good and the great shouting Peris's name from the rooftops as a political masterstroke by Gillard. It will play well down south but in the NT - where we'll have to make the choice to vote for her or not - it may just be seen as a cruel and cynical attempt to make a dish of very cold revenge of Trish Crossin and take a dump in the local party's lap at the same time.

Bob Gosford — Likes birds and people, not necessarily in that order.

Bob Gosford

Likes birds and people, not necessarily in that order.

Syd Stirling spent 18 years in the NT Parliament and was a long-term deputy chief minister and treasurer before retiring in 2008. Yesterday he went on local radio to slam the move by Julia Gillard to parachute Olympic gold medallist Nova Peris into the Senate — in the bluntest of language.

“I bagged Gillard and her absolute contempt for the NT Labor Party,” the Labor man told Crikey last night.

“I initially declined but I was persuaded otherwise by someone much smarter than me. Gillard has picked a person who has never had anything to do with the Labor Party, never done anything to support the Labor Party, she’s never done anything for the Labor Party. She’s not even a member of the Labor Party! She gets tapped on the shoulder for a prestigious, privileged and highly responsible position to represent the Territory in in the Senate.

“We know that Gillard has questionable judgement — look at the Slipper business — and for mine this just confirms that all that has been said about Gillard is true. She has no principles.”

There is a saying in politics — well, if there isn’t there is now — that what starts in tears will end the same way. Yesterday a nervous and tearful Peris stood next to the Prime Minister as she announced the stunt, lifting the hockey player and sprinter into the sinecure that is the Labor Party’s Northern Territory Senate seat.

So Gillard faced down the factions and put a grandmother, middle-ranked sporting “legend” and all-round good woman into the Senate. And to boot she’s black. What could be wrong with that?

The clumsy attempt — and that is all it is at the moment — to thwart the NT Labor Party’s preselection process may have the good and the great shouting Peris’ name from the rooftops as a political masterstroke. Certainly it will play well down south. But in the NT — where we’ll have to make the choice to vote for her or not — it may just be seen as a cruel and cynical attempt to make a dish of very cold revenge of current Labor Senate pick Trish Crossin and take a dump in the local party’s lap at the same time.

Earlier this month ex-NT Labor deputy chief minister Marion Scrymgour announced her bid to run against Crossin. Scrymgour is a tough and smart politician who stood down after 11 years in the NT Parliament that saw her rise — for two years — to be the most powerful elected Aboriginal woman in the country. In 2009 she resigned to spend seven months on the backbench as an independent, then returned to save Labor’s parliamentary skin following Alison Anderson’s defection in August 2009.

For some in the party Scrymgour is seen as one of those cheap Chinese Catherine Wheels: no matter how firmly you nail it to the post, you can never be quite sure that once you light the fuse it won’t shake itself free and explode in your face. Or stay fixed and give a memorable display of political grace and power.

Scrymgour stood down from her (then) safe seat at the 2012 election in August. For many a black mark on her political legacy is that she didn’t ensure her seat of Arafura was secure enough for Labor candidate Dean Rioli to take over. The CLP’s Francis Xavier took what should have been a safe Labor seat by just 62 votes.

Crossin has held the NT Senate seat since 1998 and due to the particular demographics of the NT — our status as a Commonwealth Territory means the NT only gets two Senate seats, notwithstanding the NT covers an area the size of several European countries — she has held that seat ever since.

She’s seen as a political plodder, never awarded a ministry or much above the (temporary) chairmanship of committees. And her greatest political sin — for these times — is that she was (and may still be) a supporter of ex-PM Kevin Rudd.

Despite Scrymgour’s political baggage she was seen as a good chance to roll Crossin in the preselection and take the Senate seat at the federal election later this year. Just how NT Labor will react to being (effectively) rolled by Gillard remains to be seen. Watch this space.

For all the mud thrown at preselection as an imperfect and bloody political science, it does serve some very good purpose: it subjects candidates to a degree of due diligence that rattles — or should — any skeletons in a candidate’s cupboard.

Yesterday the NT News reported Peris was approached by Labor’s national secretary George Wright just six weeks ago and asked if she’d like to run for Crossin’s seat. Crossin was given the bad news late on Monday night while in Sydney preparing for the first public hearing of the Joint Select Committee on Constitutional Recognition of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, of which she is the chair.

Whether Gillard caught the cruel irony of the moment we don’t know, but you can be sure of Crossin’s discomfort, as would her fellow committee members George Brandis and fellow NT Senator — and likely federal indigenous affairs minister in an Abbott government — Nigel Scullion.

Despite Peris’ apparent inside run at the NT Senate seat, she may have a hard time convincing local Labor rank and file to support her in the very necessary grunt work involved in a Senate election battle in the NT. As one local commentator pointed out last night, Peris is, as far as Crikey is aware, not a current resident of the NT nor a member of the Labor Party and “if Peris really was a local hero the local people would be out saying ‘go, good girl’. And as for the stupid idea that sports people are ‘rolled-gold’ political candidates — Jesus.”

The rank and file of the NT Labor Party will hold fire until after the byelection for former NT chief minister Paul Henderson’s Darwin suburban seat of Wanguri (he announced his resignation yesterday). Others, like Syd Stirling, are not so shy or constrained.


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50 thoughts on “Dumb and dumber. From “super Nova” to golden duck

  1. Mr Tank

    There is only one question here. Is she worth it? Only time will tell. Good luck comrade(?)

  2. Hamis Hill

    Far more serious, unfortunately, than all the political argy-bargy, is the sobering fact that the Royal Commission may turn up victims who can point to a connection with certain religiously oriented unions,(Not limited to the NT, but the isolation is surely conducive)
    There has been a cover-up, which nobody can deny; will any complicity come to light?
    We are still talking about power and prejudice.

  3. izatso?

    Rupe is pulling the rope on his own neck …… and he soooooo wants to control our NBN …… Bye , Rupe …..

  4. Hamis Hill

    Madame La Gillardtine who led the introduction of the NBN, which will put The Big Rupe under the blade.
    Should do wonders for the First peoples and others in The NT. Thanks PM.

  5. Hamis Hill

    Patriot, you will enjoy reading foremost Victorian Historical Novellist Thomas Carlyle’s “The French Revolution”, 1837.
    Should be on the net somewhere.
    Apparently your”rich” were deeply in debt and by trying to increase taxes in a famine were i fact “killing the poor”.
    A national parliament,the first in almost two centuries was called to solve the money problem,
    Carlyle has a bit of a reputation as a rightard, but you will enjoy the origin of the terms left and right.
    Men In Black, The Fourth Estate, For Love or Money were all coined in his “The French Revolution”.
    Indigenous Australians have had to wait a couple of centuries for national representation.
    I blame the religious rightards in the ALP, too sly and cowardly to call themselves The DLP.
    Oh! just like Mr Abbott.

  6. Patriot

    How touching. Feuding lefties bury the hatchet and unite behind the old standby – kill the rich!

  7. Gorgeous Dunny

    Posted January 24, 2013 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Andrew Bolt seems to be suggesting today that Nova is not even of Indigenous heritage

    Don’t tell me Bolta’s back on his “darkies should be dark” theme again?

    Very good posts from Hamis Hill put it all in perspective.

  8. izatso?

    Hamis fer Prez….. the presidential patriot slapper ! patriot yer such a fake discountable human

  9. Hamis Hill

    Come now, Mr Patriot, there were unions before Marx, some of them sent to OZ as criminals.(history of ‘straylya die, anyone??, no didn’t think so)
    I prefer that one which starts with: “Enfants de la Patria, le temps de gloire est arrivee.”
    It is easy to see why a certain side of politics wants to bury a past where the original “Rightards” all went for the chop.
    Ouch! Liberty, equality and brotherhood. Ouch!
    But you are not really a child of the motherland are you “patriot”.
    More of a mercenary opportunist in disguise, just like Mr Abbott?

  10. Patriot

    @Bob the builder

    “…there was also a large anti-rac_st presence – indeed, unions have historically been significant supporters of Aboriginal people’s struggles.”

    You’re absolutely right. Nobody can accuse unionists/socialists of being anything less than hysterical about racial sensitivities and equity. Hamis has obviously forgotten the words to The Internationale. I suggest some revision is in order, comrade.

  11. Hamis Hill

    YES, Bob the builder, I’ll admit to your being the victim of my being insensed beyond reason by the remembrance of that particular NT Union.
    But, as others have pointed out, the union movement has not been very successful in promoting their indigenous members to federal parliaments.
    Hence the PM’s intervention and the subsequent organised complaint of the “DLP” unions notorious for their religiously inspired prejudice and xenophobia?
    I am hearfully sick of this crew hiding behind the shield of tolerance in our democracy, and behind closed doors sabotaging democracy at every turn.
    History should have a more prominent place in discussions, but this, understandably, is resisted by those without as very much less proud past to celebrate.
    And yes, as you point out NT unions do have somethings to celebrate from the past.

  12. Psycadis

    Andrew Bolt seems to be suggesting today that Nova is not even of Indigenous heritage.

  13. Ian

    Having have spent time in the Territory I reckon it wont be too long before the spivs,drunks, bludgers and other long grassers who infest the NT labor party get distracted. In fact, just as soon as a shiny bauble catches the sunlight.

  14. Ralf Kluin

    The ALP surely belongs to the members according to the charter they’ve agreed to uphold. Whilst Ms Gillard PM took her individual oath of office, firstly, as Member of The Australian Parliament House of Representatives, and, secondly as holding the Office of Prime Minister; nevertheless she is a member of the ALP and surely will uphold the constitution of the ALP. Some people, like myself, may argue, that all politics is local. Local in that we select from amongst our local community ALP Membership any one who may wish to volunteer or be nominated as a candidate for party selection to publicly elected offices in Local/State and Federal elections. Whilst PM Gillard, including other ALP Members, may favour a particular person to be nominated as preferred candidate, surely other members can also nominate or be nominated. After all, throughout the history of the ALP different candidates have been nominated at the national/local level, some of whom have been very good and some not so good law-makers. In the end it is a competition between different people with different experiences and new ideas, who’ll either advance the cause of all Australians or frustrate it.

  15. Bob the builder

    @ Hamis
    I hope you’ve taken your medication since last hitting the keyboard.
    Maybe read the short post I wrote again. It was UNION people who supported the Wave Hill walk off – as well as church and other groups, but the unions played a huge part and are still remembered by Aboriginal people from Daguragu.
    I do not doubt that there was a large racist presence amongst sections of the union movement in the NT, but there was also a large anti-racist presence – indeed, unions have historically been significant supporters of Aboriginal people’s struggles.
    My point really is that it’s a nuanced picture and to say “NT unionists” are racist is incorrect.
    By the way, Bob the builder is a children’s character.
    Look at bobthebuilder dot com !

  16. Peter Evans

    15 years is long enough for Crossin. The whole point of the Senate in a party dominated political system is to install your top talent and let em get on with it.

  17. Hamis Hill

    The “Bob” in the offending post, if you haven’t already “learned” from the context, a reply to a previous post, was an anonymous person identified only as “Bob The Builder”.
    Apologies for the confusion, and thanks for your efforts in providing the blog inthe first place.
    The common negative stereotype of the “Builder” is a beer gutted “character” given to flashing an arse crack about.
    Someone whose posts, as opposed to your article, might not carry much weight.
    When most of their weight is carried in their beer guts such people do not deserve to wield the weight of authority.
    Racism might be more easily indulged in by those carrying such unearned, indeserved and unchallenged authority.
    Can an isolated “territory” provide a refuge for such empire building?
    Cicumstances explain more than the red-herring of personality and this is very relevant to the subject of the article.

  18. Hamis Hill

    That single anecdote, and that single opinion on what appears to be continuing racism the union ranks of the NT contains more evidence.
    In pre- voting discussions it was obvious that the indigenous man was the best candidate for union rep and when this information was relayed back to the union the flabby flunkey deliberately introduced the “aborigines are unable to read and write” stereotype in order to deliberately destroy his candidacy.
    So the manipulation was pre-meditated and the racism implicitly, deep and ingrained.
    Your piece, Mr Gosford is set in the present day, and apparently unchanged NT, and that is relevance enough.
    Learn?, you have no idea.
    There is also the religious complexity to take into account in certain unions which, to those who pay attention, informs these unions “modus operandi”, their prejudices and the level of their intellectal ambitions.
    Some of us who do pay attention have already learned what others, like pigs happilly wallowing in ignorance, will never, voluntarilly, have any idea about.
    She’ll be roight, moight?
    Down another tinnie and go back to sleep.

  19. Bob Gosford

    I have no idea what Mr Hill is on about but whatever it is the best we could say about hm is that he is a “flabbist”. And for mine – even after the second read – I can find nothing he has said that is relevant to the piece.
    We live & learn.

  20. Hamis Hill

    Ouch! not sporting a well earned, unsightly and unmanly beer gut perchance, Bob.
    The anecdote described the treatment of an indigenous person inside the union at the hands of a piece of filth.
    And you described action on behalf of people outside the unions.
    Get the difference or are you thinking with your gullet?
    Just wear the truth like a man, not a beergutted coward.
    With apologies for any inaccurate aspersions.
    In an other place and time, the ancestors of many “white” Australains would fine any man proudly parading a “Gut”, mainly because it gave the impression of a community of pathetic pushovers.
    Remember the Coalition Defence Minister who rightly complained about Warrant Officers turning out on ceremonial parades with what appeared to be pillows stuffed beneath their shirts.
    What? Nobody noticed,Flabby body, flabby minds and flabby standards?
    Hope you’re not in those ranks, Bob.

  21. Bob the builder

    @Hamis HIll It was also NT unionists who provided massive and sustained support for the Wave Hill walk-off and other indigenous struggles.
    @Gavin Moodie Your logic makes no sense and displays a basic ignorance of the Australian parliamentary system. I’ll save the history lesson for another time, but all the states have equal numbers of Senators – there is no relationship to population.

  22. Gorgeous Dunny

    Well said, Hamis. I think that suggests the problem and the need for a remedy. As a southerner, I don’t know the exact figures, but I’d make a guess that indigenous people could represent up to 40% of Labor’s NT vote.

    And in the last 40 years, they’ve had, how many nominated for the federal House seats or Senate? Canberra is where it all starts if there’s to be any significant reform. I’m not saying they all should be chosen that way, but … there’s got to be some way of overcoming the closed shop approach.

    There’s a lot more to Peris than just being a dual-sport international (not too many of them from the NT and indigenous community either). She’s already slammed the Intervention, which is not a bad start to redeeming support among the indigenous voters.

    Face it, Syd and his mates lost out big-time at the NT elections – so much so that Snowdon is threatened.

    Labor simply can’t afford to have that Senate seat as a sinecure.

  23. SBH

    Ah Patriot, Thanks for standing up for white men, I mean they’ve been so left out of power and influence for so long now……
    One black woman and you run shrieking

  24. Patriot

    Indigenous Territorians good, white Territorians bad.

  25. Hamis Hill

    I learned from direct experience working for the council in Katherine forty years ago that NT unionists are racists.
    When a vote was called for union rep the shambling, Beer-gutted, tin pot AWU “God” blow in from Darwin, dressed up in a King Gee outfit as if he actually did any bloody labour, a sorry specimen of humanity if ever there was one, insinuated that the one indigenous worker present should not be considered, quote:”because a rep would need to be able to read and write”.
    It just happened to be that the best educated and hardest working permanent worker was, in fact, that local indigenous man.
    It has always stuck in my craw that I did not get up the sorry piece of shit for his vile, born to rule prejudice.
    So I’m not buying all this “we was robbed” bulshit from a bunch of unreconstructed, racist scum.
    Wear the truth scum bags, without this intervention you’d never have gotten around to proper representation of the NT population.

  26. Gavin Moodie

    I agree with D M SMITH.

    The Northern Territory has 1.03% of Australia’s population. Its share of the 76 Senators should be 0.78 of a Senator, so it is grossly over represented with 2 Senators.

  27. Patriot

    The Australian Labor Party seeks a candidate for election to the Senate. The successful applicant will be indigenous and female. No whites or men need apply!

  28. Steve Clarke

    I feel a bit sorry for Nova, she has been selected by Gillard for the wrong reasons.
    Gillard needs an indigenous candidate to serve as a Federal Labor representative, because Labor has never had one before (unlike the Liberals), and frankly, it has become embarrassing.
    I wish the best for Nova, but this interference in democratic process by Gillard is not how she should have been chosen.

  29. Plane

    Maybe all the comments above are correct or valid would or will, any of the above stop Ms Nova Peris to gain pre-selcetion and be elected? Plesae, what is Trish Crossin actually going to do (or can do) except to effectively defy the PM?

  30. B.C.

    Funny how everyone bags Labor for being the party of political insiders and union hacks. How they say the party should seek new blood. Then when they do just that they get attacked again.

    I don’t recall seeing any of this criticism of Tony Abbott when he wanted to make Alison Anderson the CLP candidate for Lingiara (she turned him down).

    I guess the difference between the two is that Gillard succeeded where Abbott failed.

  31. Julia

    So it’s only smart to have sport celebs like Pat Farmer and John Alexander, or to parachute Arthur Sinodinos into a senate sport, or elect Campbell Newman before he is even in parliament, or tout Alexander Downer as the next SA LOTO or whatever, as long as it’s the libs doing it. Oh silly me, here I was thinking they were all as stupid and self-serving as each other. Tsk, tsk.

  32. Suzanne Blake

    Another Gillard out of touch mess up

  33. Psycadis

    Nova Peris could really make a difference by rejecting Gillard’s offer and teaming up with Marion Scrymgour, Trish Crossin and Kris Keogh to all run as independent senate candidates.

    This may well see the end of Nigel Scullion and send a clear message that the days of the duopoly of Australian politics is nearing its use by date.

    Imagine if we had TWO independent senators from the NT. And if they were both Indigenous women, then politics in this country would never be the same again.

  34. Diana Rickard

    I had such high hopes for Julia Gillard. Sigh. What a clash of wills that would be – Marion Scrymgour and the PM!! My vote would go to Ms Scrymgour as NT Senator – or even as Lingiari MP – if/when she’s properly preselected by the NT ALP branch. Can’t say I’m thrilled with the stodginess of Trish or Wazza. They’ve had a good run and should leave gracefully. Nova went to school with my son – to the now non-existent Tiwi Primary School – given over to private interests by the CLP. Maybe the Federal Executive of the ALP should ask my son to preselect. Like Nova, he represented the NT as an elite athlete here and abroad, he lives interstate and has been discriminated against as a non-mainstream person. Mind you, he was a strong, long-termst ALP member until recently. If I give the PM his interstate address, can she see if he’d be interested in standing for the NT? She’d have to be quick (as only she can be). He’s got other offers to consider!!

  35. geomac62

    The Nova Peris Girls Academy is in Darwin . Peris was born in Darwin so why use the term parachute ? Barnaby was born in NSW but is a QLD senator . Sidonis didn,t even have to worry about getting enough votess as like Carr he replaced a retiring senator . Separate parties , same procedure .

  36. David Hand

    Yet another example of hamfisted public relations from Labor. Peris will be a poster girl and nothing more. Even if she has political acumen, the faceless men will ensure we don’t see her use it. Another Garrett and look what they dud to him.

    And they really think trashing the brand like this is smart.

  37. IMOHO

    As for Syd’s outburst,

    “We know that Gillard has questionable judgement — look at the Slipper business — and for mine this just confirms that all that has been said about Gillard is true. She has no principles.”

    I believe he should be expelled from the Party for such ill-discipline. He would be well aware that the media and the Opposition will pick it up and use it against Federal Labor, and not as representative only of one disgruntled person’s mischief-making, but as an endorsement of their own malicious claims. Reprehensible!

  38. IMOHO

    “Gillard has picked a person who has never had anything to do with the Labor Party, never done anything to support the Labor Party, she’s never done anything for the Labor Party. She’s not even a member of the Labor Party! She gets tapped on the shoulder for a prestigious, privileged and highly responsible position to represent the Territory”

    Claire Martin, our first, and very successful female Chief Minister, was not a member of the Party when she was first approached either. So there is a precedent.

    As to the timing, and the predictable outcry through the media and the Opposition, I’m a little bewildered. There is something to be said for change and for a new look at some of the entrenched stalwarts, especially of small electorates, where it’s difficult to recruit new blood, and where, although usually very much deserved, gratitude for hard work and support sometimes takes priority over practicalities.

  39. Madonna

    Gillard’s behaviour makes me want to puke!

  40. Simon

    As a percentage of population, two senate seats might be more representation than the Northern Territory needs…

  41. Phillip Monk

    Ultimately we get the politicians we deserve. If most people can’t be bothered to exercise their free will then nothing will change.
    If ALP-voting Territorians object to the heavy-handed treatment of the Prime Minister to their senate ticket, why not just put a 1 next to the ALP no. 2 on the ballot? It’d be the last time the Federal ALP take the NT for granted.

  42. Apollo

    I think Eva might be right that Scrymore might not get elected. But I find the whole thing so bizarre, announcing before the National Executive approval even taken place, making it so blunt against Crossin.

    I guess they do have reason to worry about NT, because the execution style of the intervention by JH was wrong. It would have been better if they trained local people to carry out the intervention and minimize the number of outsiders, the locals would have been much more comfortable and the local officers have more knowledge and understanding of local situation. Labor continued the intervention without understanding this fact. Then they had the super shire thingy which made even more communities feel disenfranchised.

  43. Bob Gosford

    This just in thanks to my friends at the NT News:

    The NT News

    OFFICIALLY A MEMBER: The Labor National Executive has unanimously resolved to admit Nova Peris to the NT Branch.

    In a statement, Labor says: “Earlier today the ALP National Executive met to consider Labor’s Senate preselection in the Northern Territory. Members of the ALP National Executive unanimously resolved to admit Nova Peris as a member of the NT Branch and credential Nova to stand for preselection for the first position on Labor’s Senate Ticket in the Northern Territory.

    The Executive also unanimously resolved to reopen nominations for the position until 5pm (Darwin time) on 28 January 2013 and to decide the preselection by a ballot of voting members of the National Executive on 29 January 2013 should this be required.”

  44. Greg Chapman

    Course we all love Nova BUT not as a Labor candidate for the NT. She knocked back membership of the party when she had three small kids but she’s had plenty of time to join from then on. Marion Scrymgour is the obvious choice for Gillard to pick IF she wants a fierce and independently-minded NT indigenous woman in parliament. Maybe she’d be too much for Gillard, eh? Intelligent, politically-astute, tough and very much in tune with indigenous matters – as well as being a local indigenous woman well-respected by traditional elders. No, I agree, that’d be courting trouble for the non-traditional Interventionalists and Assimilationists – both non-indigenous and indigenous. They’d rather speak for our First Nation peoples – not give them a strong voice in parliament.

  45. Bob the builder

    I’m assuming the photo with Peter Garrett was deliberate – another parachuted ‘celebrity’ candidate who’s done bugger all since getting into office.
    Labor is such a tired, empty carcass that instead of doing some real political work and having real candidates and real policies they try and win easy votes with a celebrity.
    Woman – tick. Indigenous – tick. Sportsperson – tick. Local – (kind of) tick.
    Gillard may yet learn that such contemptuous tokenism isn’t smart politics – particularly as relationships in the NT are more real (i.e. based on actual contact rather than belonging to abstract identities) than in the large urban centres of the south and being Indigenous probably won’t mean a whole lot to most people in the NT, black, white or green with polka dots.

  46. D M SMITH

    Bob laments that “our status as a Commonwealth Territory means the NT only gets two Senate seats, notwithstanding the NT covers an area the size of several European countries.” He’s probably correct; however, more people live in Parramatta than the whole of the NT. It’s people who vote!

  47. John Belward

    The Senate seat belongs to the Northern Territorians, Ms Gillard should keep out of it. Who can have faith in the Labor Party of today when the the power brokers do nothing other than manipulate affairs for themselves. Our Prime Minister seems to have no ability with policy and public affairs.

  48. Eva Cox

    Was Scrymgour’s lack of clear support for much of the intervention maybe her reason for rejection? The politics of this is classic ALP game playing, not principled change.

  49. Brian Johnstone

    Bob, unfortunately what Gillard wants she will get. Its ironicshe has to rely on the faceless men on the National Executive to install Peris. As ever the timing appears to be the key. It looks to me as though it’s all about stopping Ms Scrymgour in her tracks. The hard heads in Canberra know they can impose their candidate because the person on top of the ALP (and CLP)ticket only has to secure a small quota to get elected. The second placed ALP and CLP candidates never garner enough votes to get over the line. One wonders if Mr. Snowdon was consulted before the Gillard announcement and who else in Territory
    Labor was advised. Politics is a tough business but the public treatment of Trish Crossin, and the disregard for the normal pre-selection process, is, to say the least, shabby.

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