Expert: Premier's racehorse drama 'storm in a teacup'

A Monash University political researcher says the outcry around Premier Denis Napthine (pictured) and his relationship with Midfield Meats management is "a storm in a teacup".

A Monash University political researcher says the outcry around Premier Denis Napthine (pictured) and his relationship with Midfield Meats management is "a storm in a teacup".

CONTROVERSY over Premier Denis Napthine’s (pictured) involvement with Midfield boss Colin McKenna has been described by Monash University political researcher Nicholas Economou as a storm in a teacup. 

The senior lecturer in the school of political and social inquiry said recent events in New South Wales had put fresh focus on political leaders and corruption.

“If Denis is seen at the races with the meat king of Warrnambool, well big deal,” he told The Standard yesterday.

“I think what we have here is a metropolitan paper (The Age) sensing the vulnerability of Napthine.

“This is a replacement premier with serious factional problems trying to fend off a tea party element.

“He is a sitting duck. I’m not that troubled by revelations Dr Napthine is involved with a local businessman. What is politics if you don’t interact with people and as the local member I’d expect him to be a member of various local organisations.”

Dr Economou said it was strange Dr Napthine was hailed as a hero after announcing a $22 million assistance package for troubled SPC Ardmona in Shepparton and yet was being painted as suspect over a $1.5m grant to Midfield.

“The Liberal Party is all about helping small business so it is not surprising he would be supporting new investment in his electorate,” Dr Economou said. “Premiers are entitled to involve themselves in decisions outside their portfolios.”

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