CBD Melbourne: Dial M for Maxsted at Westpac

Westpac sources said the meeting had been set up months in advance. Dialling in: Westpac chairman Lindsay MaxstedCredit:Shakespeare Still, with pitchfork-wielding shareholders at the doorstep, every positive recommendation will count. As it stands, there is little enthusiasm about backing Hartzer’s bonuses or re-electing former Allens partner Ewen Crouch, the head of the board’s risk and compliance committee. With five directors up for election, Maxsted intends to dial in to Monday’s proxy advisory meeting. We’d have thought he’d be wearing out his Ferragamos up and down Sydney's Martin Place… OUTSIDE OF THE BOX The Liberals inside Melbourne’s Burwood branch found themselves in the headlines on Wednesday after electing LSD advocate Greg Kasarik as the branch’s new treasurer. Sadly on Thursday, senior branch members leaned on the former army tank driver to resign from his post, with a new treasurer to be appointed at the next branch meeting. Party officials including new state director Sam McQuestin declined to comment on the decision, as did former Burwood MP Graham Watt. Supporters of Kasarik in the branch, however, were quick to express their disappointment in the decision. After all, he’d been a member of the branch for almost two years. His antics are unconventional, they say - such as his decision to repeatedly take LSD on state parliament’s steps. But his cause is rooted in Liberal doctrine, apparently. Kasarik calls himself a campaigner for religious freedoms, arguing that LSD is a religious experience and vital for spirituality. And while the Liberals profess to be the party fostering freedom of thought, worship, speech and association, Thursday’s decision shows they’ll always draw the line somewhere. Just ask party veteran Andrew Robb, who revealed on Thursday he had joined the board of Mind Medicine Australia, a body researching the psychological benefits of medicinal psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms and ecstasy. Robb has been frank about his own battle with depression, and how medication he had used for nine years had suddenly ceased to work. But he’s not used psychedelics: “they’re illegal,” he said. PARLIAMENTARY PLUS ONES Silly season has arrived in the Canberra bubble. For the Capital’s most exclusive social grouping, the Parliamentary Partners Association, Christmas-time heralds the arrival of its popular end-of-year lunch as well as its annual general meeting. This year’s administrative showdown is set to be a doozy. Convenor Robyn Coulton is stepping down, along with secretary Teresa Ramsey, which will open up the floor to two new office bearers. Robyn is the wife of Nationals MP Mark Coulton, and Teresa is married to South Australian MP Rowan Ramsey. Charlotte Gillespie, who is married to Nationals MP David Gillespie, is treasurer and is staying on in the bean-counting role. So far, there are no nominations to take over the two top positions, but members are hopeful. Either way, the long-running association has supported partners of pollies to build friendships while they navigate a new life spent with one foot inside the Canberra bubble. And of course, there’s always the parties. This year the Christmas bash will be held at Canberra’s Rubicon Restaurant in Griffith, immediately after the AGM. LOTTA TORQUE ABOUT A CAR This week’s coverage of the state’s corruption watchdog hearing into planning decisions in the City of Casey has made much ado about minted developer John Woodman’s vehicle of choice - the Ferrari. The pre-occupation with Woodman’s flashy Italian sports car hasn’t been lost on readers, including subscriber Barry Brown who requested on Thursday that reporters covering the IBAC hearings also detail cars other people appearing in the hearing drive. (Brown himself volunteered that he drives a Magna manufactured in 2000.) But details of the Ferrari first came from Woodman himself. A series of articles printed in The Age in 2017 linked the developer to Italian mafia boss Antonio Madafferi, through a Greensborough development which Madafferi owned and Woodman consulted on. The articles also volunteered that Woodman drove a Porsche. The allegations were provocative and triggered a response at the time. But it wasn’t suggestions about his alleged links to the mafia that got Woodman’s back up. His only criticism conveyed to reporters was that he had upgraded to a Ferrari, and the Porsche was yesterday’s news. Presumably he’s now got bigger issues to fixate on. Samantha is the The Age's CBD columnist. She recently covered Victorian and NSW politics and business for News Corp, and previously worked for the Australian Financial Review. Kylar Loussikian is The Sydney Morning Herald's CBD columnist. Most Viewed in National Loading
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Westpac sources said the meeting had been set up months in advance.

Dialling in: Westpac chairman Lindsay MaxstedCredit:Shakespeare

Still, with pitchfork-wielding shareholders at the doorstep, every positive recommendation will count.

As it stands, there is little enthusiasm about backing Hartzer’s bonuses or re-electing former Allens partner Ewen Crouch, the head of the board’s risk and compliance committee. With five directors up for election, Maxsted intends to dial in to Monday’s proxy advisory meeting. We’d have thought he’d be wearing out his Ferragamos up and down Sydney’s Martin Place…

OUTSIDE OF THE BOX

The Liberals inside Melbourne’s Burwood branch found themselves in the headlines on Wednesday after electing LSD advocate Greg Kasarik as the branch’s new treasurer.

Sadly on Thursday, senior branch members leaned on the former army tank driver to resign from his post, with a new treasurer to be appointed at the next branch meeting.

Party officials including new state director Sam McQuestin declined to comment on the decision, as did former Burwood MP Graham Watt.

Supporters of Kasarik in the branch, however, were quick to express their disappointment in the decision. After all, he’d been a member of the branch for almost two years.

His antics are unconventional, they say – such as his decision to repeatedly take LSD on state parliament’s steps.

But his cause is rooted in Liberal doctrine, apparently. Kasarik calls himself a campaigner for religious freedoms, arguing that LSD is a religious experience and vital for spirituality.

And while the Liberals profess to be the party fostering freedom of thought, worship, speech and association, Thursday’s decision shows they’ll always draw the line somewhere.

Just ask party veteran Andrew Robb, who revealed on Thursday he had joined the board of Mind Medicine Australia, a body researching the psychological benefits of medicinal psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms and ecstasy.

Robb has been frank about his own battle with depression, and how medication he had used for nine years had suddenly ceased to work.

But he’s not used psychedelics: “they’re illegal,” he said.

PARLIAMENTARY PLUS ONES

Silly season has arrived in the Canberra bubble. For the Capital’s most exclusive social grouping, the Parliamentary Partners Association, Christmas-time heralds the arrival of its popular end-of-year lunch as well as its annual general meeting.

This year’s administrative showdown is set to be a doozy. Convenor Robyn