Isobel Redmond’s gaffe last week, during which she outlined her desire to cut 25,000 SA public servants, could be the killer blow to her tenure as Liberal leader.
The subsequent claim several hours later that she “answered some questions incorrectly” has done little to stop the bleeding to her reputation or the damage to the Party. The timing for Ms Redmond could not have been worse.
Already under pressure from within her own Party to take a more robust fight to the Government, Ms Redmond has now alienated herself from potentially thousands of voters by declaring, albeit mistakenly, that she would consider slashing one in four public service jobs.
Before last week’s gaffe her problem was largely contained within her own Party.
But that bushfire has clearly jumped those containment lines and it now has the potential to race through the wider community. And the Labor Party will be on hand to fan the flames.
All this mess is of her own making. It will increase the pressure on Ms Redmond’s colleagues to act and it is difficult to see any amount of apologising and self- admonishment holding off the inevitable.
Traders left out
The Woodside Commerce Association didn’t share anything new with the Adelaide Hills Council last week when its president told elected members that the promised economic benefits from the Inverbrackie detention facility hadn’t been noticed locally.
Woodside traders are well aware that they are on the back foot when it comes to securing Federal Government business and have been talking about it among themselves for some time.
It would be annoying to know that you’re missing out, but you have the Government waving an economic study your face and saying “look how well you’re doing”.
In the end the definition of benefit comes down to what is “local” and whether it matters if the money goes to businesses elsewhere in the Hills or Adelaide.
When the study by independent university researchers came out earlier this year it found the Inverbrackie facility had injected $38m into the Hills economy and most of the direct economic impact was attributed to the salaries paid to employees.
That’s a lot of money but staff come and go and you can’t always guarantee that a significant percentage will be Hills residents.
Given the Woodside supermarket is no longer supplying groceries to the facility, it would be interesting to know just how much of the millions spent at Inverbrackie each year is flowing to the immediate neighborhood.