O’Byrne’s absence a telling sign

John Tucker,Liberal Member for Lyons

Labor leadership aspirant David O’Byrne’s silence yesterday is a telling sign he is preparing to challenge current Labor leader Rebecca White.

Yesterday he stood by while Ms White misled Tasmanians with claims her party was not ready for an early election – a further sign he is biding his time to put himself forward for the leadership mantle.

While Ms White on Thursday said her party had only three weeks to prepare for an election, it was in December last year, she said:

“We are ready for an early election if the Premier calls one,” and “we can win the next election.”*

At Saturday’s election the Labor primary vote went backwards in every single electorate, to record a third disastrous loss for Labor, the second on Ms White’s watch.

Ms White also misled Tasmanians yesterday suggesting the Labor leadership is a matter for the caucus alone, when the ALP rules are clear – the position of leader is spilled after an election defeat ** and there is an equally shared ballot between the caucus, unions and members.

Ms White appears to be trying to game the Labor rules to avoid Mr O’Byrne’s membership and union supporters from having their say.

Mr O’Byrne’s silence on the matter is a clear indication that he does not agree with Ms White’s excuses for their shocking election results, because he knows Labor has had years to shore up a credible alternative government – not three weeks.

Mr O’Byrne needs to step out from Ms White’s shadow, or he will forever be known as a could-a-been.

*The Advocate, 23 December 2020

** https://taslabor.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Australian-Labor-Party-Tasmanian-Branch-Rules-2018.pdf (section 16)

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