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BREAKING NEWS: Marco Bolano has just conceded defeat in the Victorian HSU Number 1 branch elections, meaning the Jackson faction has failed in all three branches. Peter Wicks reports.

The end of the line for Marco Bolano?
The end of the line for Marco Bolano?
IT ALL LOOKED so promising – people had been intimidated, the membership files tampered with – the stage was set for a Marco Bolano win in the HSU Number 1 branch election.

Unfortunately for Bolano and his factional backer Kathy Jackson, they forgot one little thing — the mood of the membership.

This was the Jacksonville ticket that was sure to win, the one piece of power that Jackson was going to be able to clutch onto with straining fingers. However it seemed HSU members had other ideas.

In a clear indication that the long-suffering members are tired of the Bolano bully boy antics – and the strongest of indications that the membership support the police investigation into Kathy Jackson and the decimated finances of the Victorian branches of the HSU – Bolano has been tossed out on his ear.

Maybe it was the lack of fake ballot boxes, maybe it was the desperate bid to pass the Bolano team off as a “new” — whatever it was, the final result was a victory for the membership.

Diana Asmar has succeeded in her campaign to become the Secretary of the Number 1 Branch, and the membership will be relying on her to deliver. Diana has a monumental task ahead of her in terms of rebuilding a shattered Inion and reinvigorating a downtrodden membership.

It must come as a relief to Diana, as well as Craig McGregor and Gerard Hayes, that Kathy Jackson – despite all her shock-jock mates, buddy press packers, and expensive hair stylings – has failed to deliver a single election victory. Zero out of three — a fine display of how much it helps to have friends in inconsequential places. Kathy and her propagandists complete failure to produce a single result will no doubt make Diana and the other secretaries’ jobs much easier, as they will have less interference to deal with.

In what has been an intensely close election, while Diana Asmar has had a clear victory as Secretary of the HSU Number 1 Branch, it seems the members may yet have more turmoil to deal with as the results are indicating the possibility of a mixed ticket finish. The assistant secretary position may fall to a Jacksonville candidate, which would put them in charge of the purse strings. Having someone from a Jackson faction in charge of the Union’s finances would be like putting Andrew Bolt or Alan Jones in charge of the UN Refugee Convention — a recipe for disaster. This is not yet confirmed, but is a possibility, despite the overwhelming majority of positions looking like going Asmar’s way.

I hope that anybody from the Bolano ticket who is elected can think of the members rather than their factional puppet-master. It would make for a nice change.

Clearly the members are calling for a change, as this election has seen Jacksons lead candidates knocked out in each of the elections in both states.

As for Bolano and Jackson’s backer, Labor Senator David Feeney, I hope this makes him think twice before backing a Liberal Party horse again. Laying down with one’s enemy rarely produces a satisfactory result.

For Kathy Jackson, it would appear that the gravy train has reached its final destination and the only passengers left on board are the Victorian Police. This was the last stop for the Jacksonville Express, and it looks like the membership caught the train headed in the opposite direction.

I wish Diana all the luck in the world, and I hope the Union – for its’ members sakes – has finally been able to turn the corner and see a glimpse of light on the horizon.

[Read the full saga of Jacksonville on our dedicated page.]



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