THE HAG

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.