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IT’S TIM? Could Peter Costello’s brother crash the Liberal party in Higgins?

timcostellorudd Peter Costello’s surprise decision to go early from the federal seat of Higgins has prompted speculation that his brother would run for the seat as an independent candidate.

Reverend Tim Costello, the CEO of World Vision, former Australian Democrats member and local council mayor, is believed to have an ongoing keen interest in politics and we understand is aware of the speculation about his candidacy and is being pushed to consider a bid. He’s currently overseas but is believed to have been in phone contact with backers about the by-election today.

Political observers say it would be unlikely that Labor would run a candidate against Tim Costello in the event he nominated, although he is considered very unlikely to join Labor or serve in any capacity other than as an Independent. If elected, it is expected he would sit on the “cross-benches” with the country independent House of Representatives MPs.

Some have discounted the plan, saying he enjoys a very well salaried position of considerable influence at World Vision as its CEO and is unlikely to want to risk his prestige on a highly speculative bid for public office against one of the strongest local Liberal machines in the nation. Higgins Liberals also say that Kelly O’Dwyer and Peter Costello are “great mates” and that bro-Pete would be able to prevail upon bro-Tim to “pull his head in.”

However, Tim Costello enthusiasts say he’d be almost certain to win the seat, given how badly the Liberals are travelling with voters expected to want to send Turnbull a message to get his act together and to his restive party room to start acting with a sense of unity.

It would be an incredible twist if Costello’s brother accepted the proposition put to him by backers today. And it would give the Liberals’ highly regarded candidate Kelly O’Dwyer the fight of her life in what is a blue-ribbon seat by tradition but has been slowly whittled away to a 7% 2PP margin due to considerable demographic change in the seat.

Malcolm Turnbull is truly cursed to be living in such interesting times. While the government will be able to schedule the two by-elections on the same day, they’ll be under no obligation to do so, with there being no adverse cost implications if they have them on separate days.



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  1. I wish I had stayed under my doona with Luce today, I should have remained a merchant banker.

    Posted by Mal Turnbull | October 7, 2009, 15:17
  2. “he is considered very unlikely to join Labor or serve in any capacity as an Independent.”

    So what would he be running as? A Democrat?

    Posted by Anon | October 7, 2009, 15:20
  3. Sorry that should have read ‘serve in any other capacity than as an independent.’ Now corrected.

    Posted by VEXNEWS | October 7, 2009, 15:40
  4. Anything that hurts Turnbull politically is fair nuff in my book. Getting another costello into parliament couldn’t hurt anyone but Turnbull.

    Which = Brilliant!

    Posted by anonski | October 7, 2009, 15:40
  5. Out of interest, when was Tim Costello a member of the Democrats?

    Posted by Question? | October 7, 2009, 16:05
  6. t costello came very close to being nominated by the democrats as a senate candidate in i think the 84 election when he was mayor of st kila. no way could an independent win no matter who it was

    Posted by anon | October 7, 2009, 17:09
  7. Wow – now they’re all (officially) abandoning the (sinking ?) ship – Peter Costello (has Kevvie offered you a job yet- like Brendan – nothing like self-interest huh ?) , Fran Bailey (Scott Morrison will be sooooooo pleased ! – from his Tourism (Council) Australia days – she (when Tourism Minister)had him ‘removed’ (to put it ‘politely’)& who’s next ?

    Will Bronnie (Bishop) & the father of the House(’lucky’ Phil (Ruddock))now have the ‘blowtorch’ (of public opinion) applied to them – courtesy of Bruce Baird (on Channel 10’s Meet the Press last Sun 4 Oct program – igniting that flame ?

    And what’s Bruce Baird (the ‘resurrector’ – not of Christ,as per his Prayer group – BUT of factionalism (& for the Group)- a la Stephen Mutch in 1998 & (the Federal seat of) Cooke – now occupied by that Scott Morrison (the 2nd ‘worst’ candidate after Michael / dis-endorsed Towke was ‘eliminated’ by John Howard in that 2007 Cooke pre-selection.

    Morrison , by the way, was a former Director of the Liberal Party – & who got that post by (according to (the late) Judith Barton) appointing himself from the ’short-list’ when he was at KPMG (the ‘head hunters’ for that job)- talk about a conflict of interest. I wonder why you haven’t mentioned that on your Wikipedia entry ?

    And then there’s Towke’s involvement in massive branch stacking in Wentworth in 2004 – that led to Turnbull’s ’success’ – though we’re not sure for how long !

    Oh God ( literally Bruce !) – what have you done with resurrecting all this factionalism again ? You’ve put the Party out of office for another 10 years (it hasn’t got any better – with police ‘call-outs’ to MP’s offices etc) – BUT we’ve yet to see how that familial involvement (Mike – for those lacking a vocabulary)) will rise to the occasion ? or perhaps someone else ? – as we just can’t see the (NSW) State Libs winning under F O’B. Judging by all the callers to talk-back radio today, the Liberal Party has to start from ‘ground up’ (i.e by re-building itself again)

    Anyway- speaking of & getting back to F O’B (Freight on Board = Fatty Overboard) – he betrayed the Liberal philosophy (read their ‘values’)by rejecting the (NSW) electricity privatisation in Aug/Sept 2008 – & thereby aiding & abetting the lack of finances in NSW for any major (heavy) rail projects & infrastructure (again – the subject of that Four Corners program – see our entry immediately above).

    What’s the State (NSW) Liberal Party going to do in 2011 (assuming they win) – with an Upper House / LC going to ‘hypocritically’ throw it back in their face because of F O’B’s 2008 opposition to it ? In any event – it’ll be worth far less than it was (then) , not to mention when Carr 1st tried it in 1998 (at the Labor Party conference – as also featured in that Four Corners program.

    Yes folks – we (the Forgotten People) know where (all) the bodies are (to be ) buried – & it ain’t nice at all ! They’re a sick lot – such a shame because the public are crying out for good government – with people of integrity & the Labor ranks doesn’t look any better ! Unless they do something soon (incl at the NSW Liberal Party (State & Federal) pre-selections – the public will abandon them in droves !

    Posted by Forgotten people | October 7, 2009, 17:20
  8. Word on the street is that Steve Michelson of LU was a bees dick away from preselection to run against O’Dwyer in the general election. He would have been very strong, but given KRudds experience in Gippsland last year, won’t get a go this time.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2009, 17:26
  9. First time for a Costello to lose Higgins

    Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2009, 17:40
  10. I’m here.

    Posted by Race Matthews | October 7, 2009, 18:43
  11. Mocca is of a similar age to Kelly O’Dwyer, would run an aggressive but sensible campaign and has plenty of young and old conservative friends to rally in Higgins from his Geelong Grammar days. A big learning curve, but he would handle the media pack well.

    Posted by We should run | October 7, 2009, 18:49
  12. SEE YA, COSTELLO. Your daughter is still the most annoying pain in the arse I ever met. Ruining my camp sneaking out with boys nights. Bitch

    Posted by dreamie | October 7, 2009, 19:34
  13. should we start rumours about mr costello going to run the afl or a rival code to the nrl?

    Posted by rumours | October 7, 2009, 19:34
  14. Always vowed would leave country if Peter Costello ever became PM so looks like you’re stuck with me.

    Posted by Rom Walker | October 7, 2009, 19:35
  15. I believe this a ploy for Cossie to return to leadership so I can return to relevance.

    Posted by Glenn Milne | October 7, 2009, 19:37
  16. It’s sad to see Peter go. He handled his retirement with absolute class today

    Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2009, 20:08
  17. Agree, as did Mr Jackeson of the HSU. All class. Sad to see both men go.

    Posted by Anonymous | October 7, 2009, 20:10
  18. the real story here is if the nrl has offered the same position to costello

    Posted by anon | October 7, 2009, 20:11
  19. look I’m not doing anything useful right now after being made redundant maybe I could represent the Liberal Party?

    Posted by elephantandrat | October 7, 2009, 20:28
  20. I am almost certain that the ALP will not run in Higgins (nor will they run in Bradfield).

    Running in these seats where they have a limited chance to win will only help to give the Opposition a boost if the ALP do not win it.

    As such, I would have thought the best course of action for the ALP would be to not run at all and back a surreptitiously back a Tim Costello-like independent.

    Posted by ground zero | October 7, 2009, 20:44
  21. Interesting. Rudd’s office issues warm statement on Costello. Turnbull’s only releases one thanking Fran Bailey for her work.

    Posted by ROTFL | October 7, 2009, 20:45
  22. Posted by cossie's last smirk | October 7, 2009, 21:19
  23. Peter Dutton- how quick did he raise that white flag

    Posted by gutless cnut | October 7, 2009, 21:34
  24. Bring it on

    Posted by Barnaby for Leader | October 7, 2009, 21:36
  25. Peter Van Onselen on Lateline saying Turnbull is going.. not if but when

    Posted by dead meat | October 7, 2009, 21:39
  26. poor malcolm all those people saying that he has their full support

    Posted by miserable job | October 7, 2009, 21:46
  27. Turnbull is living proof that business people have almost no chance of success in politics.

    He’s dead. Give him six months.

    Posted by Mal-function | October 7, 2009, 21:52
  28. I am another Costello option, I could unite the Liberals and Tony Abbott and myself were very close at University, thanks to my hidden talents he changed his mind on the Priesthood.

    Posted by Tanya Costello | October 7, 2009, 22:25
  29. So long Peter Costello, and thanks for all the fiscal…

    Posted by Mal-function | October 7, 2009, 22:32
  30. I admired the Howard Costello partnership but blame Howard for ignoring renewal & succession planning by seeing off all potential rivals

    Posted by we pay the price now | October 7, 2009, 23:04
  31. Just remember he could still change his mind. A week is a long time in politics. I’m certain if Costello changed his mind the party would endorse him unanimously and return Kelly O to her role as “research assistant”.

    Pours long glass of gin.

    Posted by Glenn Milne Part II | October 8, 2009, 2:07
  32. ROTFL, you should have been at the lib dinner tonight, where malcolm praised peter very handsomely

    Posted by Astounded of Melbourne | October 8, 2009, 3:38
  33. Who is going to break the news to Glenn Milne?

    Posted by Close to the storm | October 8, 2009, 6:34
  34. When Tim Costello was Mayor of St Kilda (for 8 months) just prior to the council amalgamations that council bought a $10 million debt to the new Port Phillip City Council while South Melbourne and Port Melbourne brought no debt. I notice Tim flew overseas last week so he could hand a bag of rice to an Indonesian and for the TV self promotion shot too. Tim will get as many votes in Higgins as I did in Albert Park electorate in 2006 and 2007 (about 2.9%)

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 8, 2009, 13:53
  35. With Peter Costello going that is one less high profile republican in the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia.

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 8, 2009, 13:56
  36. This will piss Maguire off, he will have to take Kooyong on now for labor as Tim Costello will make a great candidate, Friedy is gone before he started, and he still has 2.5 million to raise for him and Dicky

    Posted by Kooyong and Higgins, squandered on Staffers | October 8, 2009, 14:04
  37. I am waiting for job offers.

    Posted by Granny Fanny Bailey | October 8, 2009, 14:28
  38. Labor should run in Higgins. If we achieve any sort of swing at all (likely) then Turnbull is in deeper shit with no credible alternative in the wings.

    Posted by Ben Davis | October 8, 2009, 14:47
  39. Labor should run in Higgins to put yet another blade into Turnbull. Highly likely that we would get at least a small swing. An electorate where we hold at least two of the state seats should always be contested.

    Posted by Ben Davis | October 8, 2009, 14:49
  40. If Tim was to stand for the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia surely he would stand in his old stomping grounds, Melbourne Ports which includes drug and boooze enriched St Kilda. Even self promoting Tim would be an improvement on that ineffective permanent backbencher Michael Danby

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 8, 2009, 14:50
  41. I just bought a second hand Range Rover (Toorak tractor) so perhaps I should stand in Higgins

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 8, 2009, 15:12
  42. Don’t sell yourself short, Adrian.

    Tim would easily get 10%.

    Posted by Steve Sensible | October 8, 2009, 15:43
  43. Timmy has been busy converting World Vision into a branch office of “Global Warming”, and will no doubt be keen to sell bulls and indulgences to the Australian taxpayer:

    “For I’ll absolve you, by my special power
    You that make an offerring,….”

    Watch him carefully – will Tim be part of the jetset to turn up in Copenhagen – you bet he will !

    Let the electors of Higgins warn him off well in advance.

    Posted by Donald in SA | October 8, 2009, 17:54
  44. How much is he paid from charity donations? Is him getting rich what donors have in mind when the graciously give?

    Posted by Anonymous | October 8, 2009, 18:10
  45. Seems Kelly is a banker, Josh is a merchant Banker, Tim is involved with money and Eddy just swims in it.

    From Staffer to Banker to preselected no wonder the liberals are in strife

    Posted by Kelly is a banker too | October 8, 2009, 20:05
  46. the blokes a wanker

    Posted by Anonymous | October 8, 2009, 21:20
  47. I heard Turnbull speak tonight at the Parliament of Victoria with a dinner in Queens hall after. Turnbull spoke very well as did Sir Robert Menzies daughter. At the dinner Josh and Kelly also spoke. Josh was very impressive and had done a lot of research on Menzies and the Liberal scene. He spoke calmly and slowly while Kelly read from her notes and a bit to quickly and just attacked Rudd. Hair tied back in a bun too – not a good look. I left the Menzies Trust Lecture and by coincidence walked back to cnr Bourke & Exhibition St with David Kemp and had a chat about my former like as a Liberal member. The Menzies Trust Lecture is not a Liberal function as I explained to him, after he asked how I knew about it, to which I said I am on the mailing list. Catering at Parliament and the steward service was great too

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | October 8, 2009, 23:38
  48. Kelly O’Dwyer is a nervous nelly and not the best public speaker. Labor should run Steve Michelson of LU in the by election. Strong public speaker and some media experience

    Posted by Anon | October 9, 2009, 11:19
  49. I’m sure David Kemp was really pleased to be seen with you too, Adrian.

    Posted by Steve Sensible | October 9, 2009, 12:11
  50. How on earth did someone as crap as Kelly o’dwyer get preselected for a seat like higgins?

    She was discpicable at the Menzies lecture. That should have been a piece of cake. Costello and Kroger should hold their heads in shame.

    Posted by anyone but kelly | October 9, 2009, 20:08
  51. scroll down to blog by ‘forgotten people

    Posted by Anonymous | October 18, 2009, 17:57


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