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Thursday, 30 April 1987
Page: 2359

Mr MOORE(10.44) —The speech of the honourable member for Calwell (Dr Theophanous) would bring everybody to the House to see how much they are worth these days with a call like that. Tonight I want to speak about the incredible mess that has developed in the Australian Labor Party in Queensland. The great factional deal has fallen apart. Only 10 days ago the Federal Executive of the ALP decided that it had to be called in to sort out the problems of the honourable member for Bowman (Mr Keogh). He had been contested against by Con Sciacca, one of those famous Queensland would-be politicians who always fails. He managed to get up for preselection against the honourable member for Bowman because he used certain influences on unions voting in the preselection. Not that the influences he used included money; nevertheless, the honourable member for Bowman lost his endorsement.

What happened? They had to stitch together this great factional operation. They brought them all down here and went to Curtin House and cooked up a deal: Sciacca would withdraw his nomination and dear old Tom Burns, who has been sitting in the Queensland Parliament for years-the guy who went with Whitlam to China; that is really what made his name-was off to Greece. Poor old Tom did not know where Greece was. He got the atlas out and saw that it was in the sun. It could have been north Queensland. He rang Andrew Theophanous and asked: `What's Greece like?' After what Andrew told him about Greece, he decided not to go. So the deal is off. Suddenly Sciacca now wants his endorsement back.

Dr Theophanous —On a point of order, Madam Speaker: This speech is fantastic. Anyone who knows anything about Greece would love to go there.

Madam SPEAKER —The honourable member will resume his seat. There is no point of order. I call the honourable member for Ryan.

Mr MOORE —The deal is off. Poor old Sciacca withdrew his nomination. One thing that is quite sure in politics is that one never takes a politician's guarantee; one should ask for it in writing. Sciacca withdrew his nomination; the honourable member for Bowman is in the clear; Burns is safe because he has not resigned his seat. He has turned down the trip to Greece; he is staying; and he has his seat. Sciacca has missed out everywhere. Quite a deal! That is what is called management in the ALP in Queensland. It is no wonder it is going backwards. In the last State election the ALP in Queensland went back another 2 per cent, down to 30-odd per cent. There is little wonder. Poor old Sciacca! He put up his money, got the nomination but was rolled by the Federal Executive. Andrew talked Tom Burns out of going to Greece, so he will stay in the State House and Sciacca does not have any- thing. What a performance!

The story does not end there. In the factional deal there are so many edges that no one quite knew which one to rub next. The next corner that had to be rubbed concerned Peter Beattie, the State Secretary. He had another invitation as part of the deal. He was off to the seat of Brisbane, and Manfred Cross was on the boat. He was out; he was going off on a trip somewhere around the country. Suddenly, because of Andrew telling Tom Burns to stay at home, Manfred is safe. Now they cannot get rid of Beattie. What a great organisation in Queensland! It is looking around for something to do.

There is a job left. There is one last hope for all these people. It is an ALP nomination for the lord mayoralty of Brisbane. It has had it advertised for three months, but it still does not have anyone to put in. Here is Sciacca's great chance. He can nominate for the lord mayoralty of Brisbane--

Mr Sullivan —And lose again.

Mr MOORE —And lose again. He has not won yet, and here is a great opportunity. Andrew had done us all a service and given the ALP in Queensland the public perception that it so thoroughly deserves.