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WA this week – 10 years ago

Federal libs asked to end WA clash TURMOIL within the Western Australian branch of the Liberal Party prompted calls for federal intervention following the failure of a compromise deal on preselections, this week ten years ago. The party’s former State president, Ian Viner reportedly said the party’s federal organisation had to become more involved in the situation in WA, to end in-fighting over a series of preselections. The comments followed a weekend meeting that failed to resolve the position of Noel Crichton-Browne, who agreed to stand down from the top of the Senate ticket, while the future of Paul Filing was in doubt, after he appealed against his disendorsement for the seat of Moore. Mr Viner had reportedly been targeted by Senator Crichton-Browne’s supporters, who held him responsible for the circulation of copies of a domestic violence restraining order sought six years earlier by the senator’s wife. That document forced Crichton-Browne to resign as the Senate’s deputy president. It was also reported there were suggestions within the party’s State branch that the senator was pushing to take third place on the ticket despite earlier apparently bowing to demands from the then federal Opposition Leader John Howard, that he quit politics after his admission over the restraining order. Meanwhile, the political career of former Premier Carmen Lawrence was in doubt as she admitted that the Easton affair had “very considerable potential” to damage her political career. She refused however, to concede any fault in her role or flaws in her recollection. Legislation covering the establishment of Australia’s first major direct reduction iron ore project was expected to be introduced in the WA Parliament in the coming month, causing speculation of an early go-ahead decision by BHP for a landmark secondary processing project which was estimated to cost up to $1.3 billion. Kerry Stokes continued his quest for control of the Seven Network, letting everyone know of his plans to increase his stake in the company. This plan was under threat however, as the Australian Broadcasting Authority investigated claims that Mr Stokes was involving Publishing and Broadcasting Corporation in his acquisition attempt. Police charged a 16-year-old schoolboy and a share clerk over an alleged $5 million share fraud. The pair was alleged to have been involved in 20 instances of forging share transfer documents to obtain share certificates.

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