Letter to the editor | Campaign to ‘discredit’ Darren Chester

Jenny Hammett, Traralgon

RECENT letter writers have tried to make sense of Darren Chester’s sacking at the hands of Barnaby Joyce by blaming Chester himself.
In their desperation to discredit Chester, they refer to anonymous sources and claims he wasn’t doing his job but that’s not the feedback from ex-service organisations and the mainstream media.
Here’s what respected Canberra press gallery journalist Denis Shanahan had to say about the sacking, and note, he actually puts his name to the story.
“Chester was the Minister for Veterans Affairs — a position he loved and a job he undertook with diligence and the support of almost everyone representing returned servicemen and women.
“The peak bodies covering veterans – the Alliance of Defence Service Organisations, the Australian Defence Association and the Defence Force Welfare Association – urged Joyce not to dump Chester.
“This didn’t matter.
“Chester’s card was marked the moment he made it clear he didn’t want Joyce back and was sticking with Michael McCormack.
“Dumping Chester is the worst and ugliest act of nasty vengeance in the Joyce ministerial “reshuffle”.
“A popular, hardworking and successful minister is pushed out of the way for someone of less experience and talent – in this case central New South Wales politician Andrew Gee – who failed to make any impression as junior minister for decentralisation and regional education.
“If you want a brutal example of why the public hate politics and politicians, just look at the way Chester has been treated.
“It’s an act of bastardry with no justification and no redeeming feature.”
So please stop trying to blame our local member of parliament for being the victim of another Barnaby Joyce act of revenge.