Neither Labor’s NSW premier turned star candidate Kristina Keneally nor the Liberals’ tennis legend incumbent John Alexander will vote in the upcoming Bennelong by-election.
The reason why is simple: they don’t live in the electorate, so Tom Rogers’ Australian Electoral Commission won’t allow them.
Keneally — recently of Sky News fame — lives just outside the electorate in Trent Zimmerman’s seat of North Sydney. She and her husband Ben Keneally moved into the rented Hunters Hill digs last year after they sold their Pagewood home for $2.27 million in 2015.
But don’t expect the Liberal machine to make a lot out of the fact that Labor’s candidate lives about 800m outside of Bennelong.
Publican scion Craig Laundy, the Liberals’ member for the nearby marginal seat of Reid, also lives in Zimmerman’s electorate (in a $8.3m, three-level Parramatta riverfront mansion).
And then there’s Alexander himself, who as we wrote yesterday has been living on the other side of the Harbour with his partner Debbie Chadwick in her $5.2m Bondi pad.
That’s gone on for almost eight months, since Alexander sold his Putney home for $2.7m in March.
Assuming the Bondi resident is up to date — far from a sure thing — Alexander should be registered to vote in Malcolm Turnbull’s seat of Wentworth, although his $4.845m estate Iona Park in the Southern Highlands could place him in Stephen Jones’ seat of Whitlam.
The NSW Liberal division wasn’t able to clarify to us yesterday where Alexander is registered.
Considering it has taken Alexander more than seven years to sort out his citizenship paperwork, that’s not a great surprise.
Sky News boss Angelos Frangopoulos was on a plane, somewhere above the great sandy deserts of Western Australia on his way to a TV conference in
Holland, when the text came through from Kristina Keneally.
The heads-up — delivered through Emirates’ in-flight communication system before breaking on Frangopoulos’s TV network — was that Keneally’s move to Canberra to host a weekday Sky News political analysis show was off. Keneally’s move on John
Alexander’s spilled seat of Bennelong was on.
It’s been that sort of year for Frangopoulos.
The career change means he has to make still more changes to Sky News’s 2018 line-up, which had already been completely rejigged after
Armando Nunez- led CBS’s swoop on Ten, in the process upending grand plans of a merged Sky-Ten news operation.
By comparison, this latest change is minor stuff. Still, it’s something for the kinetic TV boss to mull over in between sessions at the News Xchange TV conference in Amsterdam over the next two days.
Handbags at dawn
Team Garry Hounsell claimed to be untroubled by billionaire
Solomon Lew’s latest missive to Myer shareholders.
“I would not say it’s quickening pulses at Myer HQ,” one of chairman-elect Hounsell’s lieutenants told us.
And, in return, it would seem the billionaire’s team aren’t too worried about Hounsell’s indication that he was considering a defamation case against Lew.
“I’m speaking to my lawyers,” Hounsell told us at Myer’s marquee at the Melbourne Cup last Tuesday.
That was after Lew said that Hounsell’s claims that people close to Lew had sounded him out to be the chairman of Premier Investments a decade ago were a “lie and a fabrication’’.
The news that Hounsell was considering legal action clearly hasn’t troubled Lew, who two days later, doubled down. “Mr Hounsell has lied to you,” Lew wrote to his fellow Myer shareholders.
Many have sued over less, as we know only too well.
For now the embattled retailer wants to keep the focus on its recent run of good news: the support of proxy firms CGI Glass Lewis, ISS Governance and Ownership Matters, not to mention the retailer’s secondlargest shareholder, Anton
Tagliaferro’s Investors Mutual. So don’t expect Hounsell to launch any legal action against his 10.8 per cent shareholder — at least this side of Myer’s AGM in Melbourne next Friday.
Kroger goes nuclear
Even by the recent standards of
Michael Kroger’s Victoria, the outlook is explosive.
Lawyers representing Victorian Liberal president Kroger — with the authority of the party’s administration committee — on Friday sent
Charles Goode and his fellow Cormack Foundation directors a deed to arrange arbitration over their contested $70m fund. Kroger, always a man in a hurry, has given them an ambitious timetable. The Cormack crew have been told to agree to the dates, terms and arbitrator for the process by November 21 — that is, next Tuesday.
For now Goode, the former ANZ chairman, and his fellow directors of Cormack, which was until this year the Libs’ biggest donor, haven’t indicated what they will do.
But few at the Liberal Party headquarters at 104 Exhibition Street seem to believe they will meet the timetable Kroger has set for them.
If the Cormack crew don’t, Kroger has the authority from his administration committee to launch action in the Federal Court. And we hear that could begin as soon as November 22 — the day after the arbitration deadline. As revealed this week in The
Australian, Kroger has personally pledged to pay up to $1m in legal expenses if the party were to lose in that action.
That would appear to suggest both confidence in his case and the rude health of his personal finances.
It seems whispers about Kroger’s losses at The Australian Club’s Cup Eve Calcutta were exaggerated. We always thought $24,000 seemed a big number.
State Opposition Leader
Matthew Guy will get a sense of what impact the Victorian Liberal family feud is having on donations next Friday.
Guy — an intrepid walker who we learned over the weekend gets into the bush whenever he can — and his shadow cabinet are booked in for a fundraising dinner at the Sofitel, which sits just on the other side of Collins Street from the Melbourne Club.
We understand the Lobster Cave was booked out.
Despite the convenience to his club, don’t expect Charles
Goode or any of his fellow Cormack directors to pop in for the $175-a-head dinner.
John Alexander lives miles from Bennelong, while Kristina Keneally is a short stroll away
Myer’s Richard Umbers and Garry Hounsell on Cup day