Tasmanian Times


Keeping it in the Family?


Labor politics is certainly a family business. Very clannish. Think Bacons. Think Polleys. Think Lennons. It certainly appears to be for the Ritchie-Brown clan …

The Aunty of Labor MLC Allison Ritchie, recently elevated by Premier Bartlett to be Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer (Michael Aird), is Senator Carol Brown, sister of Allison’s mother.

I’m told Senator Brown employs family members, one full time and at least one part time. While others may have filled in vacancies from time to time.

In the public interest there are questions Allison Ritchie should answer:

Is it true that two of your sisters have worked for you, and still may be?

Is it true that you previously have employed your mother as researcher and speechwriter?

Was this, one Christine McPherson?

If it is true, what were her qualifications? Did she work in your office, or from home?

Is it true Premier Bartlett’s Chief of Staff Terry Field thought this was both unusual (a speechwriter for an MLC???) and not on … and suggested the arrangement end?

Is it true you are the only Legislative Council member to have employed three staff?

Has this been a cause of envy among fellow Legislative Councillors?

The power base for the Ritchie-Brown clan is the Warrane branch of the ALP. Such is the power of this bloc vote, they can get whoever they want elected anytime. Kevin Harkins is a product of this power bloc.

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  1. David Obendorf

    June 20, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Caryn Johnson, the Hag, bless her heart gets around Hobart Town sipping her absinth poison dregs. The ol’ luv meets many lads and lasses in & out of Government circles.

    Sadly she indulges in many wicked ways but her ears are always open for the whispers of public intrigue. Maybe this ol’ gal has been out with some fed up DPaC employee eager cleanse themselves of the toxic association with the current Labor cabal.

    Whistleblowing and witch-hunting are set to become the new sports that will define the dying days of this crumbling fascade.

    How many days to 20 March 2010, Linz?

  2. Caryn Johnson

    June 17, 2009 at 6:39 pm

    In my researching of hag only one name keep on coming up over and over again, Micheal Thompson you are Hag.

    I Believe you go around telling people you brought down ex premier paul lennon down single handly for david barlett. Hag can only work in the excutive building , micheal thompson you work in that building. In one of Hag artical by Micheal Thompson, you quote Mr. Terry Field saying he called Ms Ritchie . Only someone can say that if they work in the Excutive Builing or even your brother or you was privvy to Mister Field call….it is time come clean micheal thompson you are hag.

  3. Luca Vanzino

    June 16, 2009 at 3:12 am

    So the Labor MLC for Pembroke was not aware of the Upper House policy.

    Alison Ritchie did not need to know the rules if there was one single shred of decency let alone an iota of ethical nous in her.

    For the vast majority of Tasmanian parliamentarians their educational standard did not surpass Year 12 and if they were in the private sector they would likely not be able to command 1/3 of their current salary.

    Pigs in the trough.

  4. devilface

    June 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    The prevailing whine from the incumbent government is that they don’t get the benefit of the doubt. They don’t seem to realise that they’re well into the red on that score. On their disastrous track record, everything they do should and will be viewed with extreme suspicion.

  5. Jon Ayling

    June 15, 2009 at 9:05 am

    I clearly remember Ms. Allison Richie wandering up my driveway looking for my vote, just prior to the last state election. Unfortunately for her she couldnt have come at a worse time as I was in the midst of the TCC scandal as a builder who refused to pay the fees. Once I let my opinion be known in regards to the conduct of Kons, Green, Lennon and their Labor mates, she told me that yes she agreed, their conduct was disgraceful and that these members of the ‘old guard’ of Labor had to go. As I watched this self promoting new face of Labor telling me all this, it dawned on me that Ms. Richie was quite willing to say whatever it took to get that vote so I politely suggested she get off my property.

  6. Geraldine Allan

    June 15, 2009 at 12:05 am

    A few new names enter the TT commentators list.

    Of course it is not compulsory to declare one’s family heritage, but being mindful of the topic — it would be indeed interesting and maybe even revealing to inspect the family tree of the new contributors.

    Oh, I am ever thus a cynic.

  7. Jane Gray

    June 14, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Dear In the Know;

    Those of us who really are in the know, understand that the despicable lies and rumors being put about in relation to Alison Ritchie are simply a calculated response by those who are upset since Ms Ritchie has requested that all Members of Parliament be required to declare all earnings and time working outside of their Parliamentary duties.

    Easy to see she would not be very popular isn’t it?

  8. Matt Collins

    June 14, 2009 at 6:44 pm

    In the Know;
    I dont think that Legislative Council Staff are the responsibility of Premier and Cabinet. Also I believe that Ms Ritchie was a Parliamentary Secretary before she was a Minister so there is nothing too surprising or ‘sudden’ that they would reappoint her now that she has recovered.

    Also I believe that the reason why no self respecting journalist has touched on this rubbish is because it would have to be fact (truth) unlike rumor or speculation such as what you have obviously based your opinion on.

  9. Joan

    June 14, 2009 at 6:33 pm

    Isn’t the only matter of import here the ability of any person to carry our the work that forms the position to which they are employed? A great example of this is current Liberal leader Mr Will Hodgman. Will has shown himself to be more than capable of carrying out his duty as Leader of the Liberal Party despite his relationship to his father, Michael.

    There are also many people with family relations that work for the Government. It is well known that Terry Field, the Premier’s head honcho, is the brother of former ALP Premier Mr Michael Field. Family members of Dick Adams, Heather Butler, Lyn Thorpe, Brenton Best also work within Government (and probably many others). I can’t understand the use of commenting on just two families.

    The entitlement of anyone to fill positions within Government should not be based on the blood they share with any particular MP but their capacity to do their job.

    It is also worth noting that among the most memorable and beloved politicians in history have come from a family known as the “Kennedy’s”.

  10. Darren West

    June 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm

    Strangley, at the Legislative council elections for her seat a few years ago, the Greens best results were in Warrane…

  11. In the know

    June 14, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Hag, the real questions is:

    Did the Premier’s Office only discover that Ms Ritchie had been employing her mother after Ritchie had already been appointed a Minister and was the real reason why she then abruptly resigned as Minister due to “ill health” because Bartlett and Aird quietly moved her aside to avoid yet-another Ministerial scandal?

    This is the worst kept secret in Tasmanian politics, its just that no Journo has had the evidence to drop it and no MP has had the balls to raise it in Parliment.

    Her sudden appointment as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Economic Development, announced quietly on budget day of all days, is more about now trying to cover the fact she has twice the resources and staff of other MLCs. It’s a bloody disgrace.

  12. Buck & Joan Emberg

    June 14, 2009 at 1:16 pm

    Bet a quid she does not answer your penetrating questions.

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