Party turmoil: ‘I was going to call a spill today’

WIDE Bay MP Llew O'Brien stood up in the Nationals party room yesterday and declared, "It was my intention to call a spill today".

Politicians are known for their fluency in BS, especially those who talk a big game, before turning to water when the heat is on. No one could accuse Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien of being "big swing, no ding".

While many Nationals were ropeable over Nationals Deputy Leader Bridget McKenzie's handling of the dairy code of conduct, it was O'Brien who got up in a party room meeting yesterday to vehemently voice his disgust over McKenzie's handling of the matter and take aim at her leadership style.

O'Brien accused her of capitulating to One Nation, reminding the room just days before that McKenzie said the code could not be brought forward until April at the earliest but days later wrote to Pauline Hanson to say it would be brought forward to December.

It was a kick in the guts for MPs like O'Brien, who has been banging on about dairy farmers and their plight since he got into parliament.

There was no spill called for her position - although it came close - because McKenzie was in estimates.

O'Brien has form in having the gumption to raise issues that are important to his electorate and his community.

If it wasn't for he, George Christensen and Barry O'Sullivan, there would have been no royal commission into the banks.

Several sources have told The Courier-Mail that O'Brien sprang to his feet after Capricornia MP Michelle Landry whinged about Nationals leaking to The Courier-Mail.

Landry was misinformed and missed the point.

There was no happier politician than Hanson last week when she achieved something the Nationals could not - a code brought forward because she decided to go on strike on voting for the Government's non-crucial legislation.

Hanson went on Alan Jones, revealed what she had secured and broke down on air. Jones, clearly concerned, championed her tireless work and told her to get some rest.

McKenzie, who is Agriculture Minister, had already told The Courier-Mail the week before that "The code of conduct is due to be in place by at least mid next year in line with the election commitment".

Many Nationals engage in a daily whinge-fest about getting shafted by the Liberals, under threat from One Nation and are unhappy with their current leadership team. But the Nationals are unlikely to fix the issue. They will continue to self-inflict as they are cannibalised by their own stalemate.