Tuesday, 25 September 2012

What did Nationals candidate Kevin Hogan do?

This announcement was published online in The Daily Telegraph on the morning of 14 September 2012:

By breakfast on the 15 September a number of other media outlets ran with this same story, coupling Nationals Leader Warren Truss' name with that of Liberal Leader Abbott.

There was a rather odd alternative view to the two Coalition leaders' public statements, in that the NSW Legislative Assembly Hansard on 18 September 2012 records Nationals MP Chris Gulaptis praising a Nationals candidate at the next federal election, Kevin Hogan:

The Nationals candidate, paid his own way to Canberra to meet with the Federal Nationals to convince them to prioritise the funding for the Pacific Highway duplication. That is the sort of commitment you want from a local member.

Gulaptis further defined this supposed altruism by telling the Coastal Views (21 September) that Hogan and other candidates had flown to Canberra the week before at their own expense in order to convince the Federal Nationals of the need for a new funding arrangement.

If this was indeed the case, then the absence of any mention of Kevin Hogan and friends during Nationals Leader Warren Truss’ previously prepared 15 September keynote speech to the Nationals Federal Conference in Canberra was noticeable.

As late as 20 September Truss was still not publicly crediting Hogan with any role concerning the promised Pacific Highway funding, either to the party faithful or APN readers.

Indeed, the last time I can recall Warren Truss personally associating Hogan's name with a specific road funding announcement was during Hogan's failed attempt to gain Page during the 2010 federal election - and that $10 million election promise concerned Bangalow Road.

The official silence concerning Hogan's supposed intervention was hardly surprising to those living outside of the forced hothouse of National Party politics; given the party conference was probably the main reason Hogan was in Canberra that week as it commenced on the Thursday- Friday.

After all he was a delegate to this conference at which no specific resolutions regarding Pacific Highway funding were made.

As for any sighting of this particular Nationals candidate in the corridors of power? Well, some of the conference program was held in the Nationals Party Room and various committee rooms at Parliament House.

When one looks at the timeline, the assertion that Hogan saved the day falls somewhat short  and exposes Chris Gulaptis' statement to the NSW Parliament as a blatant attempt to gild the lily to such a degree that he might be suspected by the uncharitable of deliberately misleading the Legislative Assembly. 

Now Mr. Gulaptis may think it acceptable to collude in political fibs told to voters in his electorate when it comes to the matter of jobs to replace those lost when he and his colleagues closed Grafton Gaol. However, it may be very unwise of him to treat the NSW Parliament in the same contemptuous manner - it is a political animal known to have very sharp teeth.

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