Federal member for Indi and Coalition industry spokesman, Sophie Mirabella, has triumphed in local elections in the Wangaratta council, local political insiders say, helping elect a raft of conservative candidates after a vigorously contested campaign.
They are set to sack the incumbent council CEO Doug Sharp and – it is strongly rumoured in Wang – could potentially replace him with Greg Mirabella, the ambitious husband of the feisty MP.
Mirabella staffer legend Adam Wyldeck – who previously achieved greatness by running up a $906 taxi fare and paying for it using Commonwealth Cabcharge – co-ordinated the push according to local press reports, identifying candidates, raising funds and directing the successful political strategy.
Greg Mirabella, a former Army colonel turned jazz festival director, house-husband and reputed carer for Mrs Mirabella’s former elderly lover and patron Colin Howard, has been reportedly looking for gainful employment for some time and is considered by Liberals in the town to be an excellent choice to lead the council into the future after their enemy, Doug Sharp, is boned or encouraged to move on to another council. Local government insiders say there are a few vacancies coming up at the top of Victorian councils so Sharp may not be greatly inconvenienced by being given his marching orders.
One of the Mirabella faction successful candidates, a GP and former Army whistleblower, Julian Fidge has apparently called for Sharp’s CEO salary to be slashed by as much as 50%, giving an early hint to observers that a move would be made on the council CEO, early in the term of this council.
Some believe the appointment of the MP’s husband could be quite controversial, should it occur. Locals were critical of Mr Mirabella’s stewardship of the local Jazz Festival and say that a move to sack the council CEO would create quite the scandal.