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ADMIN FURY: Liberal party director Damien Mantach could be next to be boned over Tristan Weston

mantachnutt Tony Nutt will be boned as Premier’s chief-of-staff by new Premier Denis Napthine, most Liberal insiders believe. If not he’ll be certainly visiting the problems of the dying days of the Baillieu show upon his own. Party sources tell VEXNEWS that party director Damien Mantach faces a very hostile meeting tonight of their Administrative Committee. Some think he’ll be sacked too.

Liberal sources familiar with the situation tell VEXNEWS that there is epic outrage among members of the Victorian Liberals Administrative Committee that their party director Damien Mantach failed to tell them about employing former adviser Tristan Weston on a “no-show job” that caused him to be paid at least $22,000 from party funds.

They are outraged to be discovering such payments from the pages of the Herald Sun, insiders tell VEXNEWS.

Ominously for Mr Mantach, the Admin Committee meets this evening. We hear some members of the Committee are appalled at the lack of disclosure and risk management by Mantach.

Some have been concerned that his predecessor, the Baillieu chief of staff Tony Nutt who was caught on tape telling Tristan Weston that VEXNEWS had described him as a “bloody axe-murderer” (not true, btw) has – in effect – been running both the Premier’s office and 104 Exhibition Street.

This is a very dangerous perception to have arisen for Mantach given Nutt’s. Will he get boned and sent back to the Tasmanian convict colony? No-one seems sure as the morning tabloids the Herald Sun (which breaks news) and The Age (not so much) and the quality broadsheet The Australian are quietly considered, with much texting and gossiping going on.

Mantach kept the secret payment secret for obvious reasons. The leaking of it would have been highly damaging. A belief certainly confirmed this week’s astonishing events on Spring Street.

Mantach’s vulnerability arises because it’s hard to imagine a less careful way of managing the Tristan Weston employment issue than paying him from party coffers. Surely, a bit of effort could have found the highly accomplished bloke a job or to ask one of the party’s very generous donors to extend some love. The fact that they were that clumsy about it speaks volumes about how useless the Baillieu show has been as a political operation. Disloyalty to their own they seem to accept but for the sheer clumsiness and vulgarity of it has been remarkable.

The dynamic between Mantach and his Admin has been pretty good we hear but they’ll be keen to hear explanations about the “no-show” job for Weston and what else he’s not telling them about what they might very well see as financial irregularities in the multi-million dollar party organisation.

Most assume at this stage that Nutt won’t be continuing on as Premier’s chief-of-staff under Napthine, if he does, it will certainly create plenty of opportunities for Labor.

FRIDAY UPDATE: Mantach narrowly avoided boning as Admin members expressed concerns about the consequences for federal election campaign planning. He even claimed the hiring of temporary staff was minuted at the time, a move Sir Humphrey Appleby would salute. With previous concerns over the secret payment of David Davis’s huge defamation bills after he unwisely slagged the pugnacious Labor strategist Stephen Newnham, there is now louder than usual murmouring over money management matters and Mantach.

Like many in politics after this tumultuous week, he’ll be looking over his shoulder and thinking very carefully about whether he’s being recorded while on the job.


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  1. How many other secret payoffs with branch members’ money?? This is disgraceful and every branch member should be outraged as the careless unimaginative and sneaky manner Nutt and co have been running the Party!

    Posted by wtf | March 7, 2013, 10:02
  2. Mantach had an argument with staff at Geelong Post Office last year. What was he mailing out?

    Posted by Liberals know | March 7, 2013, 12:59
  3. Nutt must be cursing the day that he made promises to Weston that he never kept. What sort of bloke holds out an offer of help to someone in the depths of despair either never intending to make good on his promise or changing his mind . This whole mess lies at the feet of Tony Nutt pure and simple Weston warned Mantach that he would finish the fight so you can’t say they weren’t warned.

    Posted by Anonymous | March 7, 2013, 14:14
  4. Dumb and dumber caught out again. Will Simon Ramsay and the Libs see some balls and some truth from the Admin team tonight and kick them out of the party?

    Posted by Terminator | March 7, 2013, 14:47
  5. Has anyone got a vacancy for an ageing, balding over weight dimwit? If so I am your man!!!
    I should mention tact, truth and confidentiality aren’t my strenghts.

    Posted by Nutty | March 7, 2013, 15:22
  6. thanks to Helene Bender who fixed the Corio preselection for me with Mantach and the council elections for Cr Michelle Hegney, I like to apply for the balding overweight dimwit who by the way lives with mum in Highton

    Posted by Peter Read | March 7, 2013, 15:42
  7. Theana is far from happy I didn’t get the gig, I quite fancied myself as Premier

    Posted by Muzza Thompson | March 7, 2013, 15:46
  8. Ousting shows the lessons of Rudd lost

    THE Victorian Liberal Party has learned nothing from the problems faced by federal Labor.

    Removing a first-term incumbent leader should have been taboo after the turmoil that followed federal Labor’s decision to make such a move against Kevin Rudd.

    But like rats in an experiment that do not learn from their mistakes, Ted Baillieu’s caucus has not learnt, removing him as premier in just his first term.

    In the days to come, Victorian Liberals will try to spin what transpired last night as Baillieu’s decision, not a sacking.

    But of course he was pushed, or to use the appropriate discourse these days – he was knifed, assassinated, executed. Choose your own description.

    Baillieu’s gracious speech last night was only possible because his replacement, Denis Napthine, was an ally. None of his detractors wanted what looks like a poisoned chalice.

    Even if the Liberals somehow find a way to win the next state election under new leadership, as the Labor Party managed to (just) do federally, the implications of last night’s coup will linger on well beyond the next election.

    Voters do not like partyrooms removing elected leaders, especially when they are in their first term.

    The Victorian Liberal government has not been a good one, and it may well have failed to secure re-election.

    An unwillingness to make tough decisions has painted Baillieu as a weak leader who appeared headed for defeat after one term.

    Of course, he had time to turn things around, but even if defeat beckoned, at least the damage would have been contained to one person: Baillieu, allowing the remainder of the team to rebuild.

    Now the entire party will wear the result of Victoria’s next state election, not to mention the many tags that Tony Abbott and co have happily thrown federal Labor’s way for removing Rudd.

    Who were the faceless men? Why did they “assassinate” a first-term premier?

    What callous disregard for the voters. What chaos the government must have been in to do what it did.

    These tags will stick, and the individuals who pushed Baillieu will see their careers blighted by last night’s coup, as has happened to those who instituted Rudd’s removal.

    It will be difficult for Abbott to continue to run his lines that Gillard assassinated Rudd now that his own party has done the same thing to the Victorian Premier.

    Journalists will throw that back at him at press conferences if he tries.

    Equally, it will be hard for Labor to be too critical of the move the Victorian Liberals have now made, given that a Victorian deputy prime minister did the same thing to her federal leader in 2010.

    Oh, how inspiring politics in this country is at the moment.


    Posted by Peter Van Onselen | March 7, 2013, 17:22
  9. f#$K yourself, PVO! your fairweathered comments are not welcomed in the State of Victoria! Go and piss on some WA Libs – that is what you are good at.

    Posted by wtf | March 7, 2013, 18:06
  10. He’s only having a bob each way, must be a journalist, that’s all they do.

    Posted by Alison | March 7, 2013, 19:22
  11. So Mantach did not keep Admin in the loop about $22,000 payouts, so he probably did not tell them about the false Statutory Declarations he used to get rid. Of people. Oh and what about the selective financial audits he used to tarnish people’s reputations? Perhaps Mr Mantach has not been telling Admin Committee very much?

    Posted by Geelong | March 7, 2013, 21:03
  12. Me knows Admin knows and Snell is up to his testicals in it but too busy playing hide and seek with Tony’s Nutts?

    Posted by Mantach off like a Jewish foreskin back to Tassy | March 7, 2013, 22:33
  13. Family man, Damien Mantach, has helped us all at arm’s length. Family union is strength. Simony Ramsey knows the value of Damien’s labor for the party.


    Hi Kerry

    Can you submit this on vexnews for me? ‘Family man, Damien Mantach, has helped us all at arm’s length. Family union is strength. Simony Ramsey knows the value of Damien’s labor for the party.’

    Kindest regards

    Director Bendcorp

    Posted by Read between the Lyons | March 7, 2013, 22:48
  14. well, well, well, isn’t all this too familiar. Surly boys and girls you’re not that naive? Mantach was up to his old tricks in Tasmania but they kicked him out. Last year he fixed the Corangamite preselection and this week destroyed the Victorian Liberal Party. When will you all learn?

    Posted by Big Brother from Tasmania | March 7, 2013, 22:55
  15. Liberals & Anti Corruption Commission fishing will catch Mantach red handed time and time again. One hand in the cash register and the other playing with Tony’s Nutts. Ronnos clitoris will be twitching about now.

    Posted by GONE FISHING | March 7, 2013, 23:18
  16. Mantach has lost the faith of many libs. Too bad he can’t fire us all like he did his membership department.

    Posted by Julie R | March 7, 2013, 23:25
  17. Safe: Victorian Liberal Party director Damien Mantach won the backing of the party’s administrative committee last night, as he prepares to face the state’s anti-corruption commission. It’s understood the endorsement for him to remain in the role came despite calls from some quarters for him to go. Some in the party are concerned Mantach will be too distracted to prepare for the upcoming federal election. Former premier Ted Baillieu referred Mr Mantach to the state’s Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission following the release of secret recordings revealing he provided Police Minister Peter Ryan’s former adviser Tristan Weston with a short-term job funded by the Liberal Party.


    Posted by Ben Packham | March 8, 2013, 8:23
  18. No wonder the Victorian Liberal Party is a basket case when you have an Administration who endorses corruption and pissing members money up against the wall. I wonder what Norma Wells – Country VP and Robyn Cox – Corangamite Campaign Manager have been promised for their loyalty to the devil?

    Posted by True Liberal | March 8, 2013, 9:15
  19. Why did Mantach and the Administrative Committee cover up a falsified Statutory Declaration alleging misconduct on the part of the Corangamite Electorate Chair simply because he did not support Sara Henderson? Who are they protecting?

    Why did the Liberal Party pay legal fees associated with a private involving Sara Henderson?

    Why is Damien Mantach’s father-in- law working on the party payroll in a job that was never advertised?

    Posted by get real | March 8, 2013, 10:36
  20. In the photo it looks Nutt is using his hand to ‘assist’ Mantach.

    Posted by MK | March 8, 2013, 10:38
  21. The “ADDY” is nothing short of a pathetic joke and is no more worthy of considering itself a ‘Newspaper’ than a ‘D’ grade “Porn Star” is thinking of his or her self as a ‘Method Actor’!!! It’s a nasty, lying, filth mongering little shit stain on Melbourne.An inbred,dirty whore, shamelessly in bed with the blue uniformed nazis of Geelong!! With their “Don’t let the truth get in the way of a good story…or of adding/exaggerating/manipulating charges!” philosophy The two fill their time trying to justify their ineffective and inadequate existence by making up filth, slandering anyone who’s cursed enough to be dragged through the Geelong court,manipulating people and the truth with an “in your face” FUCK YOU assault on peoples (other than their own’) right to privacy!!! Hmmm…Yeah well done ADDY! Proud??!! NOT!! PATHETIC!!

    Posted by PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR "JOURNALISM" | March 8, 2013, 14:25
  22. Even people on the street in Birre know its time for a clean sweep.

    Posted by dam the man | March 8, 2013, 23:04
  23. I am frankly disgusted at some comments here. They look like they’ve been put up by someone who has been recently in a mental institution. Man up.

    Posted by AT | March 8, 2013, 23:28
  24. The normal practice in political parties is to define and contain the rot to the lower levels. In Victoria we now have the tail wagging the dog. A premier is boned to prop up a coalition that is rotten to the core.

    Posted by Democracy upside down | March 9, 2013, 4:25
  25. The Colac Herald and a political news web site received information backgrounding a Corangamite candidate. Questions were raised related to preselection leading to a Stat Dec. I understand Mr. Mantach did not disclose the identity of that person (despite colourful language being used) because the maker of the Stat Dec was present at the same meeting. Internal investigation exonerated the former Corangamite chair. Reliable sources indicate that a ‘dirt file’ does exist justifying Mr. Mantach’s personal involvement in Corangamite.

    Posted by David Harris | March 9, 2013, 12:49
  26. i bet mantach is a busy beaver in damage control.

    Posted by sarah | March 9, 2013, 13:34
  27. Thank you David Harris, who ever you might be, but if the Electorate chair was exonerated, why did Mantach write his resignation letter, before his enquiry. AND if the Stat Dec was deemed so conclusive that it required an immediate resignation, why was it never sighted by another person, and if not the identity, why were the allegations never revealed to the defendant. I wonder who your reliable sources are, as the Colac Herald published a whole editorial claiming it knew nothing of the back grounding, and that the claims against the Electorate chair were a nonsense! Of course Mantach new they were a nonsense that’s why he then launched his phoney financial audit of the Electorate chair, which insiders tell me has, as everyone suspected amounted to nothing, BUT as it was an external auditor from South Melbourne, then he must have been paid for by the party out of the same slush fund as Tristan Weston got his money. It’s the financial account Admin does not know about!

    Posted by Geelong | March 9, 2013, 20:23
  28. Isn’t the Geelong Addy and The Herald Sun one of the same who exposed the corruption in 104? Oh that’s right PATHETIC EXCUSE FOR “JOURNALISM”! and we didn’t need to look far to find the author of the falsified Statutory Declaration. Revealing their identity would incriminate the Corangamite Candidate, the used furniture salesman in Colac and his sisters sugar daddy, the Patron Senator and his nerd gay staffer who is busy writing letters for the Geelong Addy on behalf of Bendcorp. But in Corangamite it’s not all work and no play – former Bellarine Candidate left his wife and new born baby to sure up his preselection with the Corangamite Campaign Manager and Madam of Barwon Heads. Don’t be disgusted! it’s the norm in the Victorian Division if you want to be promoted – just ask the Patron Senator and the Corangamite Candidate about the good old days in journalism and television.

    Posted by Corangamite Adviser | March 10, 2013, 0:21
  29. OMG! What a scoop from the Corangamite Adviser. Didn’t Cox back Nockles at the last preselection and is also a member of Admin? That’s my girl, money must be running out since the inheritance and when the ex got screwed more than one way. Looks like Mantach is still up to his old tricks with members money, but no cash could save Harris and Smith when they sent Retravision bankrupt? who needs enemies when you have rogue Liberals within.

    Posted by Robert 'not the gay one' | March 10, 2013, 4:26
  30. Mantach isnt the smartest tool in 104 launched his phoney financial audit of the Electorate chair. By no means did he think of it himself when he was investigated in Tasmania http://www.rodneycroome.id.au/comments?id=2335_0_1_0_C. Finally he was kicked out of Tasmania when the then Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon said that “It appears that Mr Mantach has been involved in more questionable activity than I initially thought, it’s a matter for the Liberal Party and the Opposition Leader in particular to deal with it and deal with it he should, and it’s up to him to decide whether Mr Mantach remains a fit and proper person to be the Liberal Party’s director.”[7] Today Mr Mantach is subject of an anti-corruption probe so why wouldn’t the administrative committee of the party, the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott and the Premier stand him down, unless he has dirt on them too?

    Posted by Norm Bender | March 10, 2013, 12:30
  31. Mantach has more problems with the exposing of his role in the City of Greater Geelong council elections in 2012.

    Posted by newsflash | March 10, 2013, 14:25
  32. i wont be surprised the media hasn’t said much about how mantech helped g3et some of the Geelong counsellors elected $$$ Probably Helen Bender is gonna get a few calls soon, maybe from the Electral Commission

    Posted by nardiville | March 10, 2013, 16:57
  33. Mantach has no intention of resigning — just like cancer has no intention of resigning. The only way out of this is a scalpel. If Norma Wells is too squeamish for the operation, then perhaps it’s time for someone else to take on the position. I know some very qualified Victorian ladies whose names begin with the letter “M”.

    Posted by People Power | March 10, 2013, 17:28
  34. Mantach deserves to get a terminal disease.

    Posted by anon | March 10, 2013, 18:24
  35. Tony Nutt is not wearing a seat. This is unlawful if the car is moving or about to move off.

    Perhaps his office chair should have been fitted with one too.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 10, 2013, 20:20
  36. The real dissapointment is how weak the Administrative Committee is. They sit back and allow a critical preselection like Corangamite to become a farce and for Mantach to spend Party funds as he pleases. The problem is too many of the Committee are time servers like Snell, Wells and Mercer-Moore, or self servers like Ross Fox. And this is the mob we hope will lead the Party.

    Posted by The Modest member | March 10, 2013, 21:15
  37. The Victorian Administration of the Liberal Party is a self licking ice cream. They will say and do whatever it takes like Sarah Henderson did last year at the preselection and Tony Abbott did tonight on 60 minutes.

    Posted by Cold Rock | March 10, 2013, 21:41
  38. This is underbelly for real.

    Mantach’s corruption smears all who tolerate him, especially those in Australia’s most marginal seat who protect him.

    The rot goes down deep the food chain. I’m calling on Aaron Lane to make an active stand on this issue instead of hiding in Gideon Rozner’s bedroom.

    Posted by Janus | March 10, 2013, 21:50
  39. Victoria is now a a rort-ocracy where rorters trash an elected Premier and naked self-interest is a shaw thing.

    Posted by anon | March 10, 2013, 21:58
  40. It’s ironic that Simon Ramsey can gloat about replacing Mr Clean Baillieu, but when it comes to Mr Corruption Mantach, Ramsey and cronies do nothing.

    “What happened last night happened.” Well, nothing happened. Damien’s been having a lazy day on the beach near Barwon Heads.

    Posted by Appraisal | March 10, 2013, 22:13
  41. Mr Abbott, a devout Catholic who once studied to be a priest, tonight on 60 Minutes supported carpetmunchers. This shows how desperate and to what lengths his office went to get Henderson preselected for Australia’s most marginal seat. Henderson produced a high quality colour glossy brochure with the leaders and deputy leaders endorsement. Is anyone curious who paid for her printing, enveloping and postage?

    Posted by Robyn Reiter | March 10, 2013, 22:59
  42. So David Harris maintains a genuine Stat Dec exists – no problem, just release it. This won’t happen of course because the identity of the individual who made the false claim, confirmed as false by the Colac Herald frontpage, will cause embarrasment to Senator Michael Ronaldson and Sarah Henderson.

    Posted by Ronnos Roundup | March 11, 2013, 18:57
  43. My mate of a mate Dean Kennedy let it slip that this Mantach paid for his election pamphlets a few months back. They would have been worth a few grand easy.

    Posted by Sugardaddy | March 11, 2013, 20:27
  44. Just watched ABC TV Four Corners on NSW ALP. What a bunch of low life scum bags

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | March 11, 2013, 21:20
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    Posted by Duane | March 11, 2013, 21:21
  46. Shout out to Morris, Steven and B. Carr

    Posted by Blind Freddy | March 11, 2013, 22:59
  47. Quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | March 12, 2013, 0:29
  48. How big is that 104, non admin approved slushfund? It seems to be paying for an awful lot. Tristan Weston, Candidate Campaigns in Corangamite, Protecting false or nonexistant Stat Decs, Mailouts for council, Jobs for family members. Surely the Liberal Party Admin Committee is not approving such things with members funds? Because if they are not, it means someone at the top is running amock.

    Posted by Geelong | March 12, 2013, 15:13
  49. What an explosive story! Is Admin actually allowing Mantach to authorise funneling Liberal money through an external for-profit corporation?

    With all those funds coming through, no wonder Pakington St coffee sales have increased.

    Posted by Rule bender | March 12, 2013, 16:00
  50. A reliable witness states that Mantach’s handpicked hench-person took control of part of a VEC process in October 2012.

    This is naughty because the VEC is supposed to be independent from political interference.

    Posted by Lowlife | March 12, 2013, 16:41
  51. I don’t this is going to turn out good for Robin COx.

    Posted by Hungry Jacks | March 12, 2013, 16:48


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