How the conservatives drove Julia Banks out of the Liberal Party


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No marvel Banks warned about “reprisals” in her speech to give up the social gathering on Tuesday.

Just one colleague - Craig Laundy - stayed to listen as Julia Banks announced her decision to quit the Liberal Party on Tuesday.

Only one colleague – Craig Laundy – stayed to hear as Julia Banks introduced her determination to give up the Liberal Get together on Tuesday.Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

“Usually, when good ladies name out or are topic to dangerous behaviour, the reprisals, backlash and commentary portrays them because the dangerous ones – the liar, the troublemaker, the emotionally unstable or weak, or somebody who must be silenced,” she mentioned.


The photographer by no means bought the pictures of Banks to go together with the nameless gossip, however she may see that conservative Liberals had been out to get her. And the extra they backgrounded towards her, the extra they drove her away from the social gathering.

Banks, born in Australia to a Greek household, gave up a profession as a company lawyer at Kraft, GlaxoSmithKline and George Weston Meals to hitch the Liberal Get together and run for the seat of Chisholm, centred on the Melbourne suburb of Field Hill. She was the one Liberal candidate to win a seat from Labor on the 2016 election and felt she did so underneath her personal steam, thanks partly to her expertise answerable for shopper advertising.

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit score:

When Turnbull visited Melbourne through the marketing campaign and attended a Greek competition, the social gathering forgot to ask Banks. It appeared a silly oversight for a celebration attempting to win a multicultural seat like Chisholm and it was solely repaired when Banks known as allies in federal cupboard to intervene.

Victorian Liberal president Michael Kroger, an imperious determine with a much bigger profile than some elected MPs, claimed Chisholm as one of many social gathering’s victories moderately than a credit score to Banks and her staff. Liberals argue the social gathering spent $140,000 in money on the marketing campaign and helped with employees price one other $100,000, however Banks felt a few of the Liberal ways hindered moderately than helped.

The best way Kroger runs the social gathering has grated on Banks ever since.

The August spill created a gulf between Banks and the Victorian conservatives who backed Peter Dutton. She was loyal to Turnbull and couldn’t consider any Victorians – like Greg Hunt, Alan Tudge and Michael Sukkar – would need the conservative Queenslander as Prime Minister.

Banks was one of many few within the social gathering room to stay with Julie Bishop as candidate for chief when MPs got here underneath immense strain to vote for Scott Morrison. The social gathering moderates, utilizing a bunch known as “associates for stability”, calculated that too many votes for Bishop within the first spherical would get rid of Morrison and enhance Dutton’s possibilities within the second spherical.

Banks voted for Bishop anyway. She voted for a girl she believed was a greater chief for a contemporary Australia, whatever the Liberal Get together’s fixed deal with its conservative base.

Ms Banks is welcomed by the crossbench.

Ms Banks is welcomed by the crossbench. Credit score:Alex Ellinghausen

“The scourge of cultural and gender bias, bullying and intimidation continues towards ladies in politics, the media and throughout enterprise,” Banks mentioned on August 24, however she mentioned on the time she would stand by Morrison and his new authorities.

It’s her remedy since August that has modified her considering. The sight of impartial ladies on the crossbench within the decrease home – Kerryn Phelps, Cathy McGowan and Rebekha Sharkie – confirmed there was a greater future than staying in a celebration that didn’t appear to need her.


Banks was pointedly mysterious about her plans for the election. She mentioned she would determine her subsequent steps subsequent 12 months. Will she contest the election as an impartial? She could also be a logo for a complete cohort that appears to be giving up on the conservatives.

On the final election, Banks was the girl who helped the Liberals win. Subsequent time, she could be the girl they might not afford to lose.

David Crowe is the chief political correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

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