How the Conservatives expelled Julia Banks from the Liberal Party


No wonder Banks warned of "reprisals" in his speech to leave the party on Tuesday.

Only one colleague - Craig Laundy - stood to listen when Julia Banks announced her decision to leave the Liberal Party on Tuesday.

Only one colleague – Craig Laundy – stood to listen when Julia Banks announced her decision to leave the Liberal Party on Tuesday.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

"Often, when good women scream or behave badly, reprisals, reaction, and comments portray them as evil-liars, troublemakers, emotionally unstable or weak, or someone who should be silenced," she said. .


The photographer never took Banks's photo to accompany the anonymous gossip, but she realized that conservative liberals were willing to pick it up. And the more they approached her, the more they kept her away from the party.

Banks, born in Australia to a Greek family, gave up a career as a Kraft corporate lawyer, GlaxoSmithKline and George Weston Foods to join the Liberal Party and run for Chisholm's headquarters in the suburb of Box Hill in Melbourne. She was the only liberal candidate to win a Labor Party seat in the 2016 election and felt she did so under her own control, thanks in part to her experience in consumer marketing.

Illustration: Matt Golding

Illustration: Matt GoldingCredit:

When Turnbull visited Melbourne during the campaign and attended a Greek festival, the party forgot to invite Banks. It seemed like a silly oversight for a party trying to win a multicultural seat like Chisholm and was only fixed when the banks called allies in the federal bureau to intervene.

Victorian liberal president Michael Kroger, an imperious figure with a larger profile than some elected lawmakers, said Chisholm was one of the party's victories, not a credit to Banks and his team. Liberals argue that the party spent $ 140,000 in cash on the campaign and helped with officials worth another $ 100,000, but Banks felt that some of the liberal tactics hurt rather than help.

The way Kroger has run the party has angered Banks ever since.

The August leak created a chasm between the Victorian banks and conservatives who supported Peter Dutton. She was loyal to Turnbull and could not believe that the Victorians – like Greg Hunt, Alan Tudge and Michael Sukkar – would want the conservative Queenslander as prime minister.

Banks was among the few in the party room to be with Julie Bishop as a candidate for leader when lawmakers were under immense pressure to vote for Scott Morrison. The moderate group, using a group called "Friends for Stability," calculated that many votes for Bishop in the first round would eliminate Morrison and improve Dutton's chances in the second round.

Banks voted for Bishop anyway. She voted for a woman she believed to be a better leader for a modern Australia, regardless of the Liberal Party's continued focus on its conservative base.

Ms Banks is welcomed by the crossbench.

Ms Banks is welcomed by the crossbench. Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

"The scourge of cultural, gender, intimidation and intimidation continues against women in politics, the media and business," Banks said Aug. 24, but she said she would be alongside Morrison and his new government.

It's her treatment since August that changed her thinking. The view of independent women in the lower chamber bed – Kerryn Phelps, Cathy McGowan and Rebekha Sharkie – showed that there was a better future than staying at a party that did not seem to want her.


Banks was clearly mysterious about his plans for the election. She said she will decide next steps next year. Will she contest the election as independent? It may be a symbol for a whole cohort that seems to be giving up conservatives.

In the last election, Banks was the woman who helped the liberals win. Next time, she may be the woman they could not lose.

David Crowe is the main political correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.


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