Brian Loughnane has been an outstanding servant of the Liberal Party and a fine colleague to all the leaders he has served: John Howard, Brendan Nelson, Malcolm Turnbull and me.
He was the campaign director for the 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013 elections. In 2004, he was instrumental in securing a fourth term for the Howard Government and a Senate majority.
In 2010, he helped to deprive a first term government of its majority for the first time in almost 80 years.
In 2013, he ran a textbook campaign that gave the current government a thumping majority in the House of Representatives and removed the Labor-Green majority in the Senate.
In all his dealings, Brian has been decent and honourable; in his work he has been thorough and meticulous; and in his judgments he has been considered and steady.
We need strong political parties to make Westminster democracy work. Party discipline is essential for effective government. Party processes are vital to deliver quality MPs. Party organisations are indispensable in running effective campaigns. Brian can be very proud of the work he has done for the Liberal Party and for Australia over two decades.
Prior to becoming the Liberal Party’s federal director, amidst much else, he had been chief of staff to the defence minister at the time of the liberation of East Timor.
At the daily leadership meeting he constantly focussed on the “main game” – not playing politics but delivering prosperity and security to the Australian people.
As the son of a Galway immigrant and the product of small town Victoria, he had a sure sense of what really mattered to most Australians.
He is one of the Liberal Party’s longest – serving directors and one of the longest-serving directors of any conservative political party.
His advice is sought around the world and he is well-respected across the political divide here in Australia.
I look forward to his ongoing friendship and continuing counsel and hope that he finds many further opportunities to serve our country.