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Leadership spills divide MPs Neil Walker A BRUTAL week in Canberra as the Liberal Party bickered over its leadership has seen local federal MPs support different potential leaders. Dunkley MP Chris Crewther nailed his vote publicly to incoming prime minister Scott Morrison who defeated Peter Dutton 45-40 in Friday’s second Liberal party room leadership spill. Flinders MP Greg Hunt kept a lower profile but it was widely reported he was positioning himself to run as deputy to Mr Dutton. Mr Hunt started the week as both Health Minister and “a supporter” of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and ended the week outside of cabinet losing a bid to become deputy Liberal Party leader. Mr Hunt voted for challenger Mr Dutton in the first leadership spill ballot on Tuesday morning, then pledged loyalty to “the Prime Minister” in Parliament on Wednesday, before again voting for Mr Dutton on Friday. The Flinders MP handed in his resignation letter as Health Minister to Mr Turnbull on Thursday morning citing “an irretrievable loss of support for the leadership and loss of Party unity within both the Ministry and broader Party Room”. Mr Hunt’s decision not to support Mr Turnbull in the first leadership spill vote on Tuesday came three years after he told The News he believed in cabinet loyalty during leadership votes. When Mr Turnbull ousted Tony Abbott as prime minister in September that year, then environment minister Mr Hunt said: “I supported Malcolm Turnbull when I was a member of Mr Turnbull’s shadow cabinet in 2009 and equally, as a matter of deep personal principle and duty, I remained loyal to Mr Abbott as a member of his cabinet and voted accordingly.” Questions sent to Mr Hunt’s office asking why he did not vote for Mr Turnbull as party leader

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AN elderly Hastings resident is calling for public assistance in finding a motorist who ran into her car and then drove off without exchanging names and addresses. Trish Allen, of Peninsula Parklands retirement village, parked her car behind Kmart, in the area bounded by Queen, Elizabeth and Victoria streets, 1.30-3.30pm, Thursday 23 August, while she visited her doctor. While there her royal blue Holden Barina was side swiped by the other car which was quickly driven away. “There is a whole piece missing,” she said. “I called my insurance company and was told I could not claim until I got the registration number of the other driver.” Ms Allen reported the incident to Hastings police who are looking for CCTV footage. Anyone knowing the culprits should call 5970 7800.

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ment. “I do support the Prime Minister. Let me be absolutely clear,” Mr Hunt said in Parliament before the second leadership vote. In the immediate aftermath of the 45-40 vote in favour of Mr Morrison, ABC News political editor Andrew Probyn said Mr Hunt’s “integrity” over the past week was “questionable”. Mr Hunt put his hand up to be deputy leader to Mr Morrison in Friday’s party room votes, but lost up to Josh Frydenberg. Former deputy leader Julie Bishop was eliminated in the first ballot to become prime minister before Mr Dutton and Mr Morrison faced off to be leader of the federal Liberal Party and prime minister. On Friday afternoon, Mr Hunt released a media statement praising Mr Morrison and Mr Frydenberg as “great friends”. He was later reinstated as health minister.

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TAKINGS from next week’s Crib Point community market, 9am-1pm, Saturday 8 September, will go towards helping needy farmers. This includes money raised from stall fees, Devonshire teas, community stall, Cribby Koala coffee and the raffle. The market, held on the second Saturday of every month, is at Crib Point Community House, 7 Park Road, Crib Point. It has a relaxed, social atmosphere in a rural setting, with stalls outside and inside the old school building and hall. On sale are hand-crafted and upcycled products, local produce, party plan items, and items from small home businesses. There will be a raffle and a silent auction. Organisers are hoping for more than the usual 30-40 stalls to help boost the amount they can donate. Stall holders are invited to email Michelle at to book a stall. Businesses willing to donate to either the raffle or silent auction can call Mary 5983 9888.

Plea for identity of hit-run driver

while in cabinet last week went unanswered before publication deadline. Fellow federal Liberal MP Mr Crewther publicly expressed support for Scott Morrison before Friday’s leadership spill vote. ”If there is a party room meeting, a spill motion is successful, and the PM chooses of his own volition to resign and not contest, then there would be an open contest,” Mr Crewther wrote on Facebook on Friday morning before the vote. “In that situation, I would support Treasurer Scott Morrison for the leadership.” Mr Crewther said he voted for Mr Morrison because “he is a man of principle, faith and values” who “will best unite conservatives, moderates and those in-between in the party room, in the Liberal Party, and in the wider community”. Mr Hunt was widely criticised for voting for Mr Dutton on Tuesday morning before publicly backing Mr Turnbull the following day in Parlia-




Only way is up? Flinders MP Greg Hunt, left, Dunkley MP Chris Crewther and new Prime Minister Scott Morrison, right, at Frankston Hospital in May. Picture: Gary Sissons

Market digs deep for farmers

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