9 February, 2015. 13:30
EDITORIAL | Contact
Prime minister Tony Abbott has declared the Liberal leadership speculations are now over, after he survived the crucial secret ballot vote in the party room this morning.
Liberal MPs voted 61 to 39 against making the leader’s position vacant to contenders.
Media commentators have suggested the result was set in stone after a long weekend working the phones – making backdoor deals and silent partnerships.
Mr Abbott took a leaf out of the US presidential manual and made statement to camera, addressing the Australian people, and banned journalists from making direct eye contact.
Meanwhile, The Betoota Advocate‘s editors were invited in to the media pack outside the front of Parliament House by some powerful old friends from the early days.
After a gruelling 28-hour drive down from the desert country, our reporters were “shoo-ed” away from the House of Representatives entrance by the Australian Federal Police.
Taking it in their stride, editors Clancy Overell and Errol Parker spoke to a variety of Australian political identities to try to see what they thought about what was going on inside the party room.
The Editors first spoke with a passionate Young Liberal member, who urged party members to “give the bloke a go”.
It was the scoop that opened the floodgates as some of the nation’s biggest media and political heavyweights formed an orderly queue – waiting for their opportunity to be interviewed by the “softly-spoken desert-dwelling journalists” from Betoota.
— Nick Xenophon (@Nick_Xenophon) February 9, 2015
Veteran political mind and host of ABC’s Insiders, Barrie Cassidy, was keen to hear from the boys as they brought him up to speed with what this morning meant for Australia.
As the interview with Mr Cassidy wrapped up, co-anchor of Channel 9’s Today Show and Betoota proponent Karl Stefanovic was next to step up to the plate – where he reminisced about his early days as cadet reporters up north with Errol and Clancy.
Mining magnate and rule bender, Clive Palmer asked his driver to stop the Bentley as he noticed the boys wrapping an interview nearby. In a whistle-stop talk, Mr Palmer professed his enthusiasm for rural affairs and declared that he always puts regional Australia atop his personal to-do list – the rightful King of the North Country.
This is just a small sample of the interviews The Betoota Advocate were able to secure, simply by being the only independent media present in the Parliament House press pack.
With additional reporting from AAP