New South Wales state Greens MP Jenny Leong has used parliamentary privilege to accuse her party colleague, Jeremy Buckingham, of “an act of sexual violence” against a former Greens employee. Speaking in the NSW Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, Leong urged the state Greens “to act so that he is no longer a representative or member of the Greens”. Leong’s statement was supported by federal senator Mehreen Faruqi, former federal senator Lee Rhiannon and NSW upper house Green David Shoebridge. In April, former employee Ella Buckland complained to the state Greens that Buckingham, who sits in the upper house of NSW Parliament, had groped her in 2011. A report from a workplace investigation consultant released in September found “insufficient evidence … that the physical incident alleged occurred”. In a statement on Tuesday, Buckingham denied Buckland’s allegation and said he would not step down.
Melbourne man James Gargasoulas has been found guilty of six counts of murder and 27 counts of reckless conduct endangering life for speeding along a footpath in the Melbourne CBD last year. A jury took just 57 minutes to convict Gargasoulas, who drove at speed along a pedestrian walkway on Bourke Street in January. Gargasoulas told the jury yesterday that he had a divine premonition before the attack, and that “a comet related to judgement day was coming”. He will be sentenced in January.
A study into workplace gender equality has found men take home an average of 21.3 per cent more annual pay than women. In a new report released on Tuesday, the Workplace Gender Equality Agency found the gender pay gap dropped 1.1 per cent from last year, the largest decrease on record. However, the report cautioned that “five-year data trends also show virtually no movement in gender segregation across Australian industries and little improvement in either access to paid parental leave or the representation of women at CEO level or on boards”. The disparity translated to an average take-home pay gap of $25,717, with gender pay inequality rising in the construction and health sectors.
And in the United States, drug lord Joaquín “El Chapo” Guzmán has gone on trial. The world’s richest and most powerful drug kingpin, Guzmán founded and ran the Sinaloa Cartel, a Mexican crime syndicate that continues to operate in his absence. Guzmán, who has escaped from prison twice, is being held under an unprecedented amount of security in lower Manhattan, with the Brooklyn Bridge expected to be shut down twice a day as Guzmán is transported to and from a court building in Brooklyn. Guzmán has pleaded not guilty to 17 charges, including conspiracy to murder, drug trafficking and operating a criminal enterprise. Authorities are seeking the forfeiture of more than US$14 billion in funds made through the drug trade, and have seized almost 200,000 kilograms of cocaine allegedly smuggled by the cartel.