McGauran won?t be missed: Causley

By ADRIAN MILLER

amiller@dailyexaminer.com.au

FEDERAL Member for Page Ian Causley believes Victorian senator Julian McGauran will not be missed by his Nationals colleagues after his defection to the Liberal Party.

Speaking to The Daily Examiner yesterday, Mr Causley said he always believed Senator McGauran leaned more towards the Liberal Party than the Nationals and only sought selection with the Nationals because of his connections.

"It was a matter of convenience that McGauran had particular influence in the Nationals in Victoria and I think it was a matter of convenience that he could use that as a conduit to parliament," he said.

"(It could be) maybe even that he donated his way into parliament because I think he contributed to the party in Victoria."

Mr Causley said by attempting to switch parties, Senator McGauran had ended his parliamentary career.

"I'm still trying to figure it out because effectively what he has said is this is my last term in parliament," he said.

"He's not going to get a nomination from the Nationals and I can guarantee he won't get a nomination from the Liberals.

"The Upper House ... is an incestuous club as far as getting nomination and ... I'm sure there will be many Liberal party people who have wanted to be a senator for a long, long time and (will) make sure Senator McGauran doesn't get a nomination."

Mr Causley said Senator McGauran's decision threatened the Nationals' representation in the ministry, a fear proven to be well-founded when Prime Minister John Howard announced his ministry reshuffle yesterday.

The Nationals' representation in the overall ministry was reduced by one, with Mr Howard dumping veterans affairs minister DeAnne Kelly and appointing Liberal Bruce Billson.

However the number of Nationals in the cabinet remained the same at four.



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