Lennox Lib at party crossroadsJOHN BROGDEN: Suicide
By ALEX EASTON
IN her darkest moments since the resignation and suicide attempt by former Liberal leader John Brogden, Catherine Cusack wondered if she might have to leave the party she loves.
It wasn't Mr Brogden's inappropriate comments describing former Premier Bob Carr's wife, Helena, as a 'mail-order bride' ? although that was bad enough ? that drove the Lennox Head-based Liberal MLC to despair.
Instead it was the now heavily-publicised 'whisper campaign' by the party's right wing that savaged Mr Brogden's character and then turned on his deputy and heir-apparent, Barry O'Farrell, before Mr O'Farrell backed away from the leadership race.
On Monday Ms Cusack told The Northern Star that if people within the party accused of running the campaign could not clear their names, or if the party could not deal with them, she would have to 'consider her position' within the party.
Yesterday, after a long chat with NSW Liberal Party state president Geoff Selig, Ms Cusack said she was confident the party would work to heal the wounds created over the past week-and-a-half.
However, she stood by her earlier comments that the party was in dire trouble if it could not put an end to the tactics used against Mr Brogden and Mr O'Farrell.
"The savagery has rocked us," Ms Cusack said.
"Many people find those tactics repulsive."
Ms Cusack said using unsupported rumours to cut down opponents and win power would ultimately turn people away from the party.
"There won't be a Liberal Party," she warned.
While standing by those comments, Ms Cusack yesterday said Mr Selig had promised her the party would address the whisper campaign tactics and put a stop to them.
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