Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Broad leaves the building

Nationals member for Mallee, Andrew Broad, will not contest the next federal election because of a sex scandal. Speaking on Tuesday, Broad said “it is clear that the people of Mallee will be best served in the next parliament by a different Nationals candidate” and that he had “let them down”. Broad’s resignation came after deputy prime minister Michael McCormack said Broad should “consider his position”. McCormack was criticised for claiming he had known about Broad’s behaviour for “a couple of weeks”, despite an Australian Federal Police statement confirming Broad had referred his conduct to them on November 8.

Federal Labor has pledged to ensure the Fair Work Commission prioritises closing the gender pay gap if it wins government. At its national conference in Adelaide, the party voted on Tuesday to compel the FWC to consider gender equity in pay orders, with a priority on traditionally low-paid, female-dominated professions. “One of the key drivers of the gap is the fact work in traditionally female-dominated industries is undervalued”, deputy Labor leader Tanya Plibersek said. “The average woman working in the most feminised industries, such as healthcare, social assistance and education, is paid around $30,000 less than the average man working in the most male-dominated industries such as mining and construction.”

In the United States, president Donald Trump’s charitable organisation, the Trump Foundation, has been ordered to dissolve as part of a lawsuit by New York attorney general Barbara Underwood. In a statement, Underwood alleged “a shocking pattern of illegality involving the Trump Foundation – including unlawful coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing, and much more. This amounted to the Trump Foundation functioning as little more than a checkbook to serve Mr. Trump’s business and political interests”. The agreement means the foundation’s assets will be distributed, under judicial supervision, to other charities. New York attorney general-elect Letitia James, who takes office next month, has vowed to investigate Trump’s business interests, real estate holdings and presidential campaign.

And the headquarters of the New South Wales Labor Party has been raided by the Independent Commission Against Corruption. Members of the NSW Labor executive were caught unaware by the raid, because they were in Adelaide attending the party’s national conference. In a statement, a NSW Labor spokesperson said the raid related to “an investigation into historic political donation matters”, reportedly a Chinese Friends of Labor fundraising dinner held before the 2015 state election.



“Sensationally titled ‘Australia’s cooling housing market; is the economy at risk?’, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s latest economic survey of Australia triggered a slew of headlines filled with words such as ‘crash’ and ‘collapse’. The country’s economy, it seemed, was just an affordable two-bedroom unit away from falling over. It was a good reminder of Betteridge’s law, which states that any headline ending in a question mark can be answered by the word ‘no’.”


“What a jolly old giant! He just can’t take it seriously. And how could you expect him to? There he sits, in black and white, arms splayed on leather rests, the toothy grin on his face that of grand doyen but also wolfy grandmother – utterly at ease, an already winner. He’d bet his life, as he’s said, on poetry; here is the prize. Les Murray is 80 and his Collected Poems, nearly 800 pages, is a magisterial achievement.”


“The idea for Too Much Lip was planted in 2015, after Lucashenko spent time with Alice Walker, and read the African-American author’s novel The Third Life of Grange Copeland. But it was the spirit of Lucashenko’s great-grandmother who really informed the story. ‘I’d known for years she had shot a man who had stalked and tried to rape her, but it was only in 2015 that I discovered it was on record. In the court transcript, she said, “I did shoot him. I meant to shoot him. I aimed for his heart. I am only sorry I did not kill him.” ’ ”


“While spending an evening in the company of blonde beauty Amy – who uses the online alias ‘Sweet Sophia Rose’ and is almost 20 years his junior – the MP bragged about his ‘important’ position in parliament, practised his official speeches and even referred to himself as ‘James Bond’ in an attempt to seduce her.”


Name: Peter Dowling.

Age: Old enough to know better.

Appearance: Top half: the model of authoritative respectability. Bottom half: a close-up of a penis plonked in a glass of wine.”


“The 1996 Paul Kelly folk-song doesn’t concern itself with Santa, or mistletoe or a roaring fire, but instead focuses on a quintessentially Australian aspect of the holiday season: being unable to make gravy for your extended family because you’re in jail ... What did Joe, Christmas’s most festive convicted felon, actually do to end up incarcerated? I listened to the song twice and canvassed the possibilities.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.