Damien Mantach

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Damien Mantach was the state director of the Tasmanian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia. He commenced in the position in October 2005[1] and worked into the position until March 2008 when he resigned and "returned to Melbourne to be with his family".[2] (Mantach's successor was Jonathan Hawkes.)[3]

Prior to commencing as State Director of the Tasmanian Branch Mantack worked for the Government Members Secretariat (GMS),[1] which had been dubbed as a 'dirt unit' by the federal Labor Party[4] Former Liberal party adviser and member, Greg Barns, said on Mantach's appointment that "one would hope that the GMS's rather shadowy role in political propaganda is not something that Mr Mantach brings to Tasmania, that he in fact focuses on putting issues in front of the people so they can make a decision about whether to vote Liberal or Labor at the next election."[1]

2006 Tasmanian State election

In the 2006 Tasmanian State election there were two campaigns which targeted the Tasmanian Greens -- a campaign by a business-funded front group, the Tasmanians for a Better Future, and one by the Exclusive Brethren. The Liberal Party denied any knowledge in what they referred to as a "cloaked campaign". "But their message of majority government is a good one as that is what the Liberals want to achieve at this election and we won't settle for anything less," said Liberal state secretary Damien Mantach.[5]

While Mantach was critical of the Tasmanians for a Better Future campaign, he was later implicated in having been intimately involved in anti-Green advertisements placed by the Exclusive Brethren. Both an advertisement by the Exclusive Brethren and a brochure of the Liberal Party both used the term "socially destructive" in referring to the Tasmanian Greens policies on same-sex marriages and transgender rights. At the time the advertisements first appeared in March 2006, Mantach stated that the Liberal party had not received funding from the group but he admitted meeting members of the group ahead of the election campaign. ABC News' reported that Mantach "will not say when or what was discussed but says to the best of his knowledge the Liberals have not taken donations from the group." It also reported that "Mantach says he does not ask what religion someone is when they make a donation."[6]

The following year Mantach denied there had been financial connections between the Liberal Party and the Exclusive Brethren. "I want to firmly put on the record again that the Liberal Party of Tasmania during last year's state election has at no time paid for or placed advertisements for any members of the Exclusive Brethren," he said. "It concerns me that the Greens and some of their allies keep pushing this nutter theory that somehow we have links at high levels with the Exclusive Brethren."[7]

The then Tasmanian Premier Paul Lennon said that "It appears that Mr Mantach has been involved in more questionable activity than I initially thought, it's a matter for the Liberal Party and the Opposition Leader in particular to deal with it and deal with it he should, and it's up to him to decide whether Mr Mantach remains a fit and proper person to be the Liberal Party's director."[7]

Subsequently, invoices revealing the ads authorised by the Exclusive Brethren had been billed to the Liberal Party came to light. Mantach told Matthew Denholm from The Australian, "I know it doesn't look fantastic."[8]

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Liberal director urged to ditch 'dirt unit' tactics", ABC News, September 14, 2005.
  2. Dale Archer (State President), "2010 Election: Tasmanian Liberals looking forward", Adlib, Liberal Party of Australia (Tasmanian Division), April 2008, page 4.
  3. "Canberra man appointed to Liberals in Tasmania", ABC News, April 22, 2008.
  4. Catherine McGrath, "Govt ministers deny existence of 'dirt unit'", AM, July 7, 2004.
  5. Sue Neales, "Mystery of the majority push", The Mercury, March 1, 2006.
  6. "Christian sect members attack Tas Greens", ABC News, March 15, 2006.
  7. 7.0 7.1 "Exclusive Brethren, Libs deny election ad deal", ABC News, January 25, 2007.
  8. Matthew Denholm, "Brethren's attack ads bite back at Libs", The Australian, January 27, 2007.

External resources

External articles

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