The state’s most spiteful political branch has been axed after a long history of violence, intimidation, and a ‘wee ban’ at meetings.
The state’s most spiteful political branch has been axed after a long history of violence, intimidation, and a ‘wee ban’ at meetings.

Political branch axed after violence and ‘wee ban’

The state's most spiteful political branch has been axed after a long history of violence, intimidation, a death threat and a "wee ban" at meetings.

But members of the former Moorebank branch of the Liberal Party fear they will be blocked from joining the nearby Liverpool branch because "being an Islamic branch they have a history of rejecting ­Christian members".

The party's state executive voted to dissolve the Moorebank branch on November 27 after police were called to a meeting in January 2020 - the third time officers have been involved since 2015.

While that meeting was described as a "big s**t fight" with shouting and intimidation, police did not lay any charges.

In a February 2020 letter to branch members, NSW Liberal Party state director Chris Stone rattled off a shopping list of infantile and bizarre behaviour, including a "wee ban" that prompted the branch's closure.

NSW Liberal Party deputy state director Simon McInnes talking to police at the Moorebank branch meeting.
NSW Liberal Party deputy state director Simon McInnes talking to police at the Moorebank branch meeting.

"Members have been denied the use of bathroom facilities by the homeowners of the meeting premises, and have been directed to 'get out' when meetings become disorderly," Mr Stone said.

"Branch meetings are repeatedly held in cramped conditions in domestic garages.

"Members have expressed concern for their safety due to their treatment by the homeowners."

Other accusations include dodgy minutes, meetings held during business hours to exclude some members, unauthorised recordings and shutting down meetings to stifle debate.

The decision leaves Holsworthy Liberal MP Melanie Gibbons without a branch after the Holsworthy state executive council was also dissolved.

In 2015 Ms Gibbons, who is now Parliamentary Secretary for Families, Disability and Emergency Services, was subject to a death threat by a party member.

That man was convicted of the offence of stalk/intimidate, sentenced to a nine-month suspended prison sentence and expelled from the party.

Former Liverpool councillor Peter Ristevski, cooking pork sausages at Bicentennial Park. Picture: Tim Hunter
Former Liverpool councillor Peter Ristevski, cooking pork sausages at Bicentennial Park. Picture: Tim Hunter

In an email sent to the state executive, obtained by The Saturday Telegraph, former Liverpool councillor and party member Peter Ristevski warned of further violence.

"With Liverpool being an Islamic branch they have a history of rejecting Christian members," he said.

"I can only see this turning nasty when the members of Moorebank branch who are Christians apply to join Liverpool branch and get rejected because they are not Muslim."

Mr Ristevski declined to comment when contacted.

The Liverpool branch will decide who gets preselected to run on Liverpool Council.

Branch president Ned Mannoun declined to comment but a Liberal insider told the Telegraph: "There is no religious or racial tension bias; as evidenced by the fact that following the last Moorebank branch meeting all three factions of the Liberal Party agreed to dissolve the Moorebank branch."

Originally published as Political branch axed after violence, 'wee ban'

Former Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun, who is the Liverpool branch president of the Liberal Party.
Former Liverpool mayor Ned Mannoun, who is the Liverpool branch president of the Liberal Party.

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