Tasmanian Times


Senator dodges staff queries

PAUL CARTER, AAP, June 30, 2009 09:00am

A TASMANIAN Labor senator with links to a nepotism scandal has refused to answer questions about her staffing.
Senator Carol Brown left a Hobart news event yesterday without fronting the media.

Senator Brown also refused to answer questions about family members employed on her staff.

“I have no comment to make,” was all she said before getting into a car.

It is understood Senator Brown has at least one sister employed on her staff and other family working for her on a voluntary basis, whose efforts are subsidised by an electoral allowance.

Senator Brown has refused more than six requests for comment about her staffing arrangements since her niece, Tasmanian Labor MLC Allison Ritchie, abruptly quit politics on June 20.

She quit as a scandal grew about her employing her mother, two sisters and a brother-in-law on her staff.

Premier David Bartlett has banned his MPs from employing family and the state’s Auditor-General is investigating the propriety of Ms Ritchie’s and other MPs’ staff appointments.

Denison Labor MHR Duncan Kerr attended the same news event yesterday as Senator Brown and was willing to answer questions about his staffing.

Mr Kerr said he had never employed a family member on his staff.


CAROL BROWN – Wikipedia

Carol Louise Brown (born 19 July 1963), Australian politician, has been an Australian Labor Party member of the Australian Senate, representing the state of Tasmania, since 25 August 2005. She was appointed by the Tasmanian Parliament to the casual vacancy created by the resignation of Senator Sue Mackay, as required by section 15 of the Australian Constitution.

Brown comes from a family with a long Labor tradition. Her great-grandmother Mary Butler was a founding member of the Hobart branch of the ALP, her grandfathers and father were strong trade unionists, her late uncle Leo Brown was a Tasmanian state ALP president, and her niece Allison Ritchie is a member of the Tasmanian Legislative Council.

Brown was an administrative Officer with the Tasmanian ALP from 1984 to 1996, an advisor to Senator Mackay 1996 to 1998, and a senior public servant in the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet from
1998 to 2002. In 2004 she was appointed to the Office of the Minister for Infrastructure, Energy and Resources.


Senator Carol Brown belongs to the Senate Standing Committee on Regulations and Ordinances (the Senate’s oldest committee).

The committee’s job is scrutinising legislation for compliance with principles of personal rights and parliamentary propriety.


Senator Wortley (Chair)
Senator Ronaldson (Deputy Chair)
Senator Carol Brown
Senator Cormann
Senator Moore

Author Credits: [show_post_categories parent="no" parentcategory="writers" show = "category" hyperlink="yes"]


  1. brad

    July 5, 2009 at 3:31 am

    Au contraire, Calaire and Charles, woody’s speaking fluent redneck. Whenever you hear the word “misinformed”, what you’re hearing is shorthand for “you seem to have a pretty good idea what’s going on, prepare to be misinformed, after which you will encounter a barrage of mostly incoherent lies and spin, some gleaned from various “scientific reports” commissioned to confuse the issue as much as possible in much the way that smoking wasn’t bad for you all those years.

    Don’t blame woody, like most redneck footsoldiers, he’s just doing his best to pass on spin that he’s most likely thick enough to believe himself. Note that he doesn’t actually mention what exactly he thinks Bob Brown said that was stupid and misinformed, he is simply conditioned to launch into one of his diatribes every time he sees a trigger like “Bob Brown” or “forest destruction”.

    It’s quite endearing when you understand it.

  2. Claire and Charles Gilmour

    July 2, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    We are yet to be convinced that Dr Jekyl and Mr Hyde, aka woodworker is actualy submitting some of his own work – When he can pretend to be lucid – too off the mark in comparison to his normal all destroying nature.

  3. George Harris aka woodworker

    July 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm

    Fine, thanks Emily.

  4. George Harris aka woodworker

    July 2, 2009 at 2:37 am

    Ooops! another late night indiscretion. (#9). Broken my new year’s resolution – again! I didn’t remember typing that expletive, and then I saw it late this safternoon… Geez, it really gets ’em going, doesn’t it?
    I really do mean it, though. In the last couple of weeks he has said something so fundamentally stupid and misinformed it breaks records, even for him. I am sure many Green supporters will think he has gone too far when they fully comprehend the implications, but then they will forgive and excuse him. What will they say? Will they say he didn’t mean it? (which is bullshit), or will they say he doesn’t have executive power so it doesn’t matter? Don’t you feel sorry for Nick McKim for the situation it puts him in, when Bob Brown says something that stupid? (if this is too cryptic for you, see my post on June 29, headed ‘Pathetic!’)

  5. Annie

    July 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    So your ideal pollie would be someone who says absolutely nothing – just sits there like a log of wood, eh Woodjerker? Until some ALP heavy (AKA the CFMEU) flicks the on-switch and provides the song sheet. I must say I agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment expressed in comment #9.

    And give me ten Senator B. Browns any day – at least the man has a conscience. But you just view life through foul-mouthed ALP coloured glasses, don’t you George, so it is pretty pointless engaging with you.

  6. Christopher Purcell

    July 1, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    #9; the pot calling the kettle black…

  7. dev

    July 1, 2009 at 1:30 pm

    Er, woody, I’d be looking a little closer to home to find someone who fits that description if I were you, and I do daily give thanks that I’m not you.

  8. George Harris aka woodworker

    July 1, 2009 at 3:24 am

    Re #7, But what about the Green Brown? Opening his mouth ad nauseum, endlessly spouting the greatest load of utterly indefensible utter fucking nonsense!

  9. Bob McMahon

    June 30, 2009 at 9:19 pm

    It would come as a surprise to many Tasmanians that this island has two Senators Brown. The one on this thread has been keeping a very low profile. That’s the thing about Labor isn’t it? Liberal too. Keep your bum on the seat and keep your mouth shut until told what to say.

  10. Mike Bolan

    June 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Excellent summary Greg.

    Sadly these unfortunate characteristics appear in many ALP organisations around Australia.

    It’s impossible to see how a country run by a party that exhibits these characteristics can be described as a ‘representative democracy’ unless it means representative of the worst in our ‘culture’.

  11. Peter

    June 30, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Woody, you’d better dispute the caption with your union brotherhood, as it was uploaded by the National Executive of the ASU (Australian Services Union).


  12. dev

    June 30, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    Maybe females in the ALP are just more capable of taking responsibility for their mistakes.

  13. dev

    June 30, 2009 at 3:44 pm

    I don’t suppose they got the bit about the senator refusing to answer perfectly legitimate questions about how taxpayers’ money is being used wrong too, did they woody? That would be a comfort.

  14. Greg James

    June 30, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    Why would Seantor Brown want to co-operate with commenting, as soon as she does the ALP with their typical mysogyny will demand her resignation, while leaving Kons and Green ‘in situ’.
    It is obvious to anyone outside the ALP that the treatment of their female members is vastly different to their treatment of male members of parliament.
    Note Kons an admitted liar, stays, Ritchie goes with parts of her family ASAP, Brian ‘not innocent’ Green, stays, and Wriedt gets exposed and eliminated.
    Is this how we want Tasmania to work, with a ruling political party that behaves like a bikie gang. Codes of silence, forced co-operation, intimidation of members to stand together, sending recalitrants to Coventry and persecution of the members at their weakest moments. Favors for party helpers, nepotism, cronyism. Factional fights, selection of thugs mental and physical to keep the members in line and its all ok until someone finds out. What type of person actually finds membership of this organization attractive.
    The ALP has truly failed here and the results are a state with the worst education system in Australia, the worst health system and gaming out of control, big business receiving benefits, the poor sidelined, infrastructure a total failure in terms of applications and forsight, corruption in many forms, ignorant and untrained Ministers of State, Ministers and ministries fighting the public.
    Senator Brown, should be running scared, as far away from her ‘brothers and sisters’ as is possible.

  15. George Harris aka woodworker

    June 30, 2009 at 1:42 pm

    They can’t even get this right. Sean Kelly, on the right in the picture, is not, and never has been the State Secretary of the Labor Party in Tasmania. He is a former President of the state branch. The current State President is Geoff Butler. The State Secretary is John Dowling.
    An examination of the Tasmanian Branch website would have revealed that in a matter of seconds…

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