It was news to make petrol heads rejoice – we finally had a voice in Federal politics thanks to the freshly elected Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party.
The largely unknown party had secured a seat in the Victorian Senate, with 4WD-loving, father of five Ricky Muir winning 0.5 percent of the primary vote at the September election.
But before the AMEP could so much as examine a road rule, bitter infighting is threatening to undermine its unexpected success with the party today sacking its Victorian arm.
Based in Queensland, the AMEP’s founders have terminated its Victorian leadership – effectively leaving Mr Muir as the leader of a party that doesn’t exist.
The party executive has cited a number of breaches by the Victorian arm, including the creation of an unauthorised Facebook page and unauthorised contact with the media, as the reasons behind the sacking.
The Queensland-based central executive will fulfil a caretaker role until a new federal state council can be elected.
In a further twist, the former Victorian chairman of the AMEP, Scott McDonald, is claiming Mr Muir has disappeared since his election in September.
“Nobody’s been able to contact him since the 10th of September,” Mr McDonald told the ABC. “I’ve had no correspondence as to how he’s going, if he’s okay. To my knowledge he did not attend a meeting for newly elected senators last week. No one knows where he is, what he’s doing or what’s happening.”
McDonald is also claiming the sacking of the Victorian arm is a ‘power grab’ by the Queensland hierarchy which expected to win its Senate seat in its home state, not in Victoria.
More details as they develop.