If there is one candidate this election who is running purely to be a wrecker it is Julia Banks. Elected as Liberal MP for the inner Melbourne seat of Chisholm in 2016, she spat the dummy when Malcolm Turnbull was removed as Prime Minister in August 2018.
She first announced she would not recontest Chisholm citing bullying in the Liberal Party and a culture against women. After the Liberals loss in the Wentworth by-election Banks announced she was quitting the Liberal Party to sit on the crossbench. She then voted with Labor and the rest of the crossbench on the asylum seeker MediVac bill.
Despite announcing she would not recontest Chisholm she announced she was moving seats from inner Melbourne all the way down south to the Mornington Peninsula to contest the seat of Flinders.
She chose the seat because it is held by Health Minister Greg Hunt who ran to be Peter Dutton’s Deputy in the leadership spill. She admitted this was her primary motivation to run in Flinders, she also added in real action on climate change .
Banks does have somewhat of a local connection to the area, her holiday house is located on the Mornington Peninsula, one of five properties she owns.
Even though her campaign in Flinders is motivated simply by spite, she is campaigning heavily in the Mornington Peninsula area traveling to various suburbs meeting voters. She has posted all these voters meet and greet on her new Facebook page and has collected 500 followers.
Banks also has many volunteers with her on the campaign trial and at prepoll booths. Many wondered how she has been able to amass these campaign resources in such a short space of time?
She is of course independently wealthy due to her business and law career. But many suspected GetUp was assisting her, as they have with other independent candidates challenging sitting Liberal MPs.
While the GetUp connection has not been able to be established she has been receiving campaign assistance from Malcolm Turnbull’s son Alex. He is a part of lose alliance of people who are assisting Liberal aligned centrist independents in providing corporate structures and software for their campaigns.
This is part of Alex’s wider campaign against conservative politicians and media outlets who he blames for his father’s demise. Alex Turnbull and Julia Banks is a vengeful match made in hell.
Even though she’s done her best to reinvent herself as a progressive Julia Banks cannot escape that she gladly entered politics as Liberal Party endorsed candidate.
The main person to call Banks out on this is her former Liberal sister Senator Jane Hume. Hume first did this when Banks worse Stop Adani earrings highlighting she never objected to the mine in the party room and laughed when Scott Morrison held coal in the parliament.
@juliabanksmp you giggled and cheered when ScoMo reminded Labor that coal is Australia’s second biggest export. You never once spoke out against Adani in the Party Room. Your principles are breathtakingly selective. I’ve let you off the hook for your hypocrisy long enough. pic.twitter.com/1Ipa5R9K3j— Jane Hume (@SenatorHume) April 7, 2019
Hume wasn’t done calling out Banks, next correctly highlighting that she is not a local to Flinders but lives in the electorate of Higgins.
Banks clearly couldn’t handle any more home truths being dished out to her by Hume and blocked her on Twitter. Hume was a bit hurt by it.
Next I noticed many of my Liberal aligned friends deciding to give Banks a piece of their minds. So Banks went on a Twitter block-a-thon.
As someone who is enrolled to vote in Flinders I thought I would see if Julia Banks would block me. I admit I was baiting her to block me, but I was never nasty or resorted to personal attacks.
Thankfully I was nowhere the Hastings Main Street that day.— Tim Wilms (@wilmsfront) 25 April 2019
I did criticize her on policy highlighting that her opposition to the AGL gas terminal in Westernport Bay will deny my locals jobs, adding they were not her locals.
I’d prefer my locals, not yours to have jobs.— Tim Wilms (@wilmsfront) 22 April 2019
Echoing Jane Hume’s tweet I replied to her that her home on the Mornington Peninsula is just one of her multiple properties.
It’s one of your four houses you own and sometimes live in.— Tim Wilms (@wilmsfront) 22 April 2019
It seemed that it was third time lucky and she finally blocked me.
Although she can block her critics Banks cannot avoid scrutiny. Jane Hume is still on Twitter to haunt her. First commenting on Banks’ final betrayal of the Liberal Party by preferencing Labor on her how to vote cards.
Julia Banks says she wants to protect retirees income…yet she is preferencing LABOR??— Jane Hume (@SenatorHume) April 28, 2019
Labor’s retiree tax will
hit around 900,000 retirees with 84% on taxable incomes below $37,000.
It’s official: a vote for Julia Banks in #Flinders is a vote for Bill Shorten. #Hypocrisy pic.twitter.com/V2pIRQM6bS
Though that how to vote card had to be pulped as Banks forgot to include the printer authorization as required under Australian Electoral Commission laws.
Yikes Julia. A careless rookie error but also an expensive mistake. Who will pay for reprinting? @Getup? Maybe @alexturnbull? After giving him preferences surely @billshortenmp could chip in? pic.twitter.com/pwgaOhXZ9T— Jane Hume (@SenatorHume) April 30, 2019
While her campaign is somewhat resourced, she will not win Flinders but is hoping to achieve her goal of ending Greg Hunt’s political career through her preferences going to Labor.
Banks’ own political career has been short, but she has made an impact no one can doubt it. But she has not achieved anything worthwhile for Australian people nor will be fondly remembered.