O’Brien appoints new chief of staff amid leadership rumblings07/30/2021
Victorian opposition leader Michael O’Brien has elevated his former communications director to the role of chief of staff in an office shake-up ahead of the November 2022 state election.
The appointment of Mitch Grayson, a former ABC reporter who also served as senior press secretary to former Queensland premier Campbell Newman, to the role of chief of staff was announced on Friday afternoon in an email to Liberal MPs.
Opposition leader Michael O’Brien. Credit:Joe Armao
It comes one month after Mr O’Brien’s former chief of staff Brett Hogan left the role by mutual agreement following an internal review of the Opposition Leader’s office by former Liberal Party federal director Brian Loughnane.
At the time, several Liberal MPs told The Age that they had raised concerns about the functioning of Mr O’Brien’s office, citing poor communication and difficulties when trying to get meetings for stakeholders and would-be donors.
Liberal sources confirmed that during the month-long recruitment process, Mr O'Brien approached his former ministerial adviser Rachel Obradovic, who is currently working for Liberal party pollster Crosby Textor, about the role.
Ms Obradavic served as a media adviser to Mr O’Brien when he was Treasurer before moving to Canberra where she worked as a staffer to foreign minister Julie Bishop.
Another candidate, Luke Tobin, who worked for former Victorian senator Mitch Fifield was also sounded out for the job.
Mr Grayson joined Mr O'Brien's office in August 2019 after serving as the manager of communications and engagement for the Nillumbik Shire Council.
The appointment comes as Liberal MPs were forced to abandon a new push to replace Mr O’Brien as Victorian Liberal leader next week due to health restrictions banning large gatherings at Parliament House.
In order to challenge Mr O’Brien’s leadership, half-a-dozen Liberal MPs would need to back a motion to suspend standing orders and bring on a secret ballot at a meeting when Parliament resumes next week.
But several Liberal MPs, speaking to The Age on condition of anonymity, said that meeting was now expected to be held online, halting any challenge.
The Morning Edition newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.
Most Viewed in Politics
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article