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Monday, August 01, 2005

NSW Cabinet Positions: Start Your Engines

Though today's press is playing down the prospect of a cabinet reshuffle following the elevation of Morris Iemma to NSW Premier, there's still enough information to put out a preliminary ... cue William Tell Overture ... Cabinet Reshuffle Form Guide!

In the Right Corner ...

  • Frank Sartor - Ah, Frankie. He does it hiiiiis wayyyy ... his habit of enthusiastically scooping up whatever portfolio is lying around has led to suggestions he was being Groomed as Successor by Carr. However, his unconsultative style has left some unhappy - particularly those with whom he has come into contact in his capacity as Minister for Redfern Waterloo. Has he bitten off more than he can chew? Methinks he would secretly love to dump this troublesome portfolio and, as has been rumoured, take on Iemma's former portfolio of Health, having performed well as Minister for Science (Cancer).

    However, who'd want to take on the guardia-tainted chalice of Minister for Utilities?

  • Michael Costa - Personally, if I was Premier, I'd give it to Michael Costa. Wouldn't you love to see him muscle up against oldies for watering their petunias at 9:07am on a Tuesday when they should have been all done by 9:05am on a Monday? Choke down a glass of water that was poo ten hours earlier? Sadly, this isn't my world to control, and the rumour is that if the Right are going to muscle anyone into treasury, it will be the man once described as a cross between Austin Powers and Dr Evil.

    If Michael Costa is the next Premier of NSW - mate, I'll be on the next train to Melbourne. Twenty minutes late.

  • John Hatzistergos - The man with the hard-to-spell name has also been named as a contendah for Health Minister, but I'm tipping he'll stay in his current position as Ministers for Fair Trading and Justice (and who knows - maybe they'll flick Juvenile Justice over to him and lock Diane Beamer in Kariong ...)

  • Carl Scully - As has already been reported today, Scully will retain the Police portfolio, in which he has been doing pretty well. Don't be surprised if he's given some other fairly prestigious position to show there's No Hard Feelings, Is There?

  • John Della Bosca - Again, being named as a possible Health Minister, but he's more likely to gun for Treasurer. And who'd dip out as Minister for Industrial Relations at such a bloody interesting time for a portfolio like that??? Un-likely.

    And, In The Left Corner ...
  • Andrew Refshauge - It's difficult to see why a bloke who has consistently been earmarked by the public as their pick of the bunch for successor to Carr could be seen as past his used by date by his faction. Sure, recognition plays a large part in such public surveys, but Refshauge's a solid performer and has handled the Treasury portfolio sensibly and moderately. The trouble is, this isn't actually what people want. People would much prefer to add to their portfolios of off-the-plan apartments and to further expand their ever-growing luxury clubs with the fat of pokie punters, without paying a cracker to the government. Hence, sensible operators such as Refshauge, who begin to find new sources of revenue so the infrastructure everyone is clamouring for can be funded, is accused, by the good morons of Crikey, of being a `big spending Leftie'. As David Marr correctly identified in his Overland lecture of last year, this is why the Right is so afraid of the Left - keeping people happy, healthy and not killing each other is all so bloody expensive.

    OK, rant over. The word is that the Left will courteously allow Refshauge to hold onto his position as Deputy Premier he promises to hand over to Carmel Tebbutt afterwards. I have no reason to doubt this, especially given that Tebbutt would be a shoo-in to replace him in the seat of Marrickville. But it would be NSW's loss if this retirement came sooner rather than later. Traditionally, Deputy is held by the Left, but it remains to be seen whether the boat will be rocked by wresting Treasury away from Refshauge by the Right - but if it is, it will be a major blow for the Left. I'm divided on this one, but I think he might cling onto it.

  • John Watkins - Has also ruled out challenging Refshauge, after a brief flirtation with a run for the leadership (yeesh ... if the party machine ate Carl Scully alive, just imagine how they would have dealth with him ...). Is currently doing OK in Scully's old Transport Portfolio and is likely to stay put.

    Out Injured?
  • Craig Knowles - Once the heir apparent, now just `where?'. Knowles managed to make his way out of the `whistleblower nurses' controversy with only a few needlestick injuries, but it was the dodgy tipple that did him in. It's scary think that blowing 0.6 rather than 0.5 can ruin an entire career, but there you go. I'm tipping he'll stay put for the moment, but he of all people would know things could have been very, very different.

  • Diane Beamer - Nobody's beamed since poor Di took on Juvenile Justice. She'll either be moved to a less potentially embarrassing portfolio or given the flick.

And Jostling At The Gate ...
  • Eric Roozendaal - Ech, don't even get me started. The architect of such priceless ideas as Let's Win Town Hall, Roozendaal is the definition of powerbroker. Arch nemesis of the Left, he held Mark Arbib's position of State Secretary of the ALP before joining the Legislative Council after the departure of Tony Burke to bigger and more Federal things. If they have to create a position called Minister for Doing Stuff, they'll do so just to squeeze this creature into cabinet somewhere.

  • Kristina Keneally - The Member for Heffron (who famously ousted Laurie Brereton's sister Deidre Grusovin from the seat), who, given that her electorate covers the Redfern-Waterloo area, has been particularly attentive to Frank Sartor and his plans for the area. And if Frank left for `healthier' climes, they'd be looking for someone to take over that portfolio, wouldn't they? Hmmmmm ....


At 12:21 pm, Blogger Amanda said...

"Minister for Doing Stuff" aka "Special Minister of State."

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