Bridget McKenzie’s sports rorts defence is wrong

Simon Longstaff, Executive Director of The Ethics Centre, is very clear. While what Bridget McKenzie did may not be illegal, ethically it was wrong. Politicians are elected to serve the public interest, not indulge in behaviour to promote private interests, or further the interests of a political party.

Quite simply, she should resign, or be sacked.

Part of Longstaff’s argument in his AFR opinion piece is that corrupt politicians tend to corrupt others:

    Their dodgy behaviour distorts the judgment of citizens. They deploy power in ways that punish the virtuous and reward only those who play their game. We begin by being compromised and end up being complicit.

He says that McKenzie may be a wonderful person, but she has shown herself to be an irresponsible minister who has done wrong and refuses to acknowledge this.

Then:

    Fortunately, we have a Prime Minister who stood for office as a principled man. Hopefully, we can rely on him to uphold the conventions of ministerial responsibility – even when it is difficult or inconvenient to do so.

    The honourable course of action would be for the minister to resign. However, if she fails to do so, then she should be dismissed by Scott Morrison.

PM Scott Morrison gave his answer to Sabra Lane this morning (from 6:30 on the counter) – there are some legal issues the Attorney General is “clarifying”, we may learn from this, but the rules were followed, no ineligible projects were funded, the minister has made the decisions, and they were “actioned in an endorsing way by Sports Australia”.

In a sense he’s right about that last bit. Sports Australia should have refused to action decisions improperly made, and so they have become complicit.

The bottom line is that it looks as though the government is going to get away with this scam.

Which is why legal action should be considered.

Here an opinion piece in the AFR Why McKenzie’s sports rorts defence is wrong by Anne Twomey, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Sydney, becomes relevant. The lead-in summary is:

    Australia’s constitutional rulebook doesn’t allow federal governments to splash money on local sports groups without parliamentary approval.

Twomey says that there are at least three areas in which rules are likely to have been broken. Firstly, there is a legal obligation on ministers when acting within the scope of their powers to behave in a manner that is procedurally fair. They can’t take into account irrelevant considerations and they must not act for an improper purpose or in a biased manner.

Clearly there is a basis for what happened to be challenged legally in this regard.

Secondly, there is a question as to whether the minister had any power at all to make these grants. She says:

    The Australian Sports Commission (which includes “Sport Australia”) was established by statute as a corporate entity with its own independent legal powers to enter into contracts and make sporting grants.

    While Bridget McKenzie had power under section 11 of the Act to give “written directions to the Commission with respect to the policies and practices to be followed by the Commission in the performance of its functions and the exercise of its powers”, this did not allow her to exercise its function and decide who got the grants. In any case, she made no such direction.

Twomey says:

    If the minister had no power under statute to make the grants, then this was an invalid expenditure of public money, which is an extremely serious matter.

The third reason relates to the constitution itself. The constitution lists the areas where the Commonwealth Parliament may legislate, for example, external affairs, defence and banking. These are known as “heads of power”. There is no head of power for sport.

She says that the school chaplaincy program ran into a similar problem. The High Court found that direct funding by the Commonwealth was invalid.

So the funding must be channelled through the states which tend to have “more stringent accountability measures, such as codes of ethics for MPs and ministers, strong anti-corruption bodies and legal sanctions.”

In NSW what McKenzie did would likely end up with ICAC (the Independent Commission Against Corruption). Furthermore, in NSW it is a criminal offence to give any property or benefit to any person to influence votes.

That is section 209 of the NSW Electoral Act. If breached a Court of Disputed Returns must declare the election void, as actually happened in 1988 in the case of Scott v Martin.

It seems that who won and why is not relevant, it is the act of attempted influence itself that matters.

I’m not sure if that would fly under Commonwealth law, but truly, this matter is quite egregious and there should be some form of restitution. Here’s exhibit A, from the Longstaff article:

Earlier post: Bridget’s dreaming and broken democracy

75 thoughts on “Bridget McKenzie’s sports rorts defence is wrong”

  1. Michael Pascoe traipsed through the whole list of Morrison interviews with the media on the sports rort issue in Anatomy of a snow job: Scott Morrison whitewashes corruption:

      Every time, the nub of the question avoided. Every time, a sly sidestep, a deflection about process using words without much meaning and careful not to have much meaning.

      There’s no honest answer because the honest answer would be damning.

      It’s rare to see such sustained evasion – evasion that would take a skilled barrister and time upon the stand to break down and demolish, not the hurried minutes of a live interview with other issues on the agenda.

    It looks as though the Government is home free. Much now depends on the Senate inquiry.

  2. Bridget McKenzie didn’t have legal power over sports grants, law expert Anne Twomey says. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-21/bridget-mckenzie-didnt-have-power-in-sports-grants-says-twomey/11885018.
    “Senator Bridget McKenzie did not have the constitutional power to make decisions about the $100 million community sports grant program, says a leading law expert who has also cast doubt on the lawfulness of the entire process.
    Key points:
    Professor Anne Twomey says the Minister “does not have the power” to make decisions on the sports grants
    The entire Commonwealth sports grant program may be unconstitutional, she says
    A Nationals MP has called for “increased transparency” around grants to restore public trust
    University of Sydney professor of constitutional law Anne Twomey said the Commonwealth had limited powers under the constitution, and these did not extend to sport.
    Senator Bridget McKenzie did not have the constitutional power to make decisions about the $100 million community sports grant program, says a leading law expert who has also cast doubt on the lawfulness of the entire process.
    Key points:
    Professor Anne Twomey says the Minister “does not have the power” to make decisions on the sports grants
    The entire Commonwealth sports grant program may be unconstitutional, she says
    A Nationals MP has called for “increased transparency” around grants to restore public trust
    The key question is ” Did this illegal activity change the outcome of the election? And if so, does this mean we should go back to to the polls or at least have a by-election in relevant electorates?

  3. Little evidence that this sort of activity actually makes the slightest difference to election results – Politicians like to think that it does but it mostly provides psychological gratification for the exercise of power & influence

  4. John, I don’t think the key question is whether the outcome is changed. It was the attempt to change the outcome that mattered.

  5. They’re going to get away with it, we all know. The Murdoch press will declare it all a beat up, they will say it’s all Labor’s fault and besides they’d do it anyway, and democracy dies a little bit more.

  6. Hi wilful

    You used to post at Larvatus , si?

    Cheers

    But pray tell, how do you explain your (rather quaint) affection for democracy?

  7. Brian: “John, I don’t think the key question is whether the outcome is changed. It was the attempt to change the outcome that mattered.”
    The current rules seem to be saying that if you cheat and win, no-one can take away the win even if you would have lost if it hadn’t been for the cheating. Have a go get a go?

  8. Why the Federal Government has the ability to bribe electorates in State Government responsibilities is the problem.
    Revoke that ability so we can focus on the Institution that is responsible.

    It’s not that hard. Reesablish Constitutional jurisdiction, enforceable jurisdictions.

    Then watch that corruption vanish for both parties, LNP and LAB. ( the others only wish )

  9. It has to be “the attempt to influence the outcome”, because with secret ballots it’s impossible to prove that a handout changed the end result.

    I’m happy with that.

    Analogies: it’s illegal to attempt to bribe a traffic cop.
    It’s a crime to attempt a hold up robbery in a bank.
    There are offences of criminal conspiracy, that can be proven even when the attempted conspiracy was ultimately fruitless.

  10. Mr J,

    You seem to have omitted the NATs from your brief list of “the only Parties that can try to bribe electorates”.

    To which Party does Slippery Bridget belong?

    (By the way, just on the quiet, I have a Bridget I could sell you…. )

    Mr A
    Facilitator and Middleperson
    “The Slippery Slopes”
    Bahamas

  11. Down South, we have
    LIB
    NAT
    LAB

    I now see you conflated the first two as LNP, an exotic creature we Other Australians scarcely understand…….

    Apologies to my Learned Friend.

    Mr A
    Economical with the Truth
    Frugal with the Comprehension

  12. I said LNP Dude.

    That’s some sort of weird zoot like overlookishness ( to invent a word, I’m sure the left won’t mind )

  13. Ambi, I’m not sure you need this explainer, but In Qld we have a Liberal National Party.

    Wikipedia has the story.

    The Libs and Nats merged in 2008, so we have the LNP. Federally members have to decide which party room they are going to join.

    When I use LNP federally I’m being too lazy to write Coalition.

    Of interest, perhaps, if you look at their a href=”https://www.lnp.org.au/our-team/state-team/”>current state pollies I think only four are from the Greater Brisbane Area. Tim Mander, the deputy leader, was a passable rugby league referee, but is mainly known as the inspiration and main organiser of the school chaplains program.

    Qld politics is different!

  14. Professor Twomey and Jumpy agree that the Minister acted outside her constitutional power.

    Open and shut case.

    At the High Court….. “it’s not just the vibe…. it’s the Constitution.”

  15. Apparently PvO has good source who can trace the whole affaire straight to the PM office. All will be revealed in his weekend column.

    “”The decision making surrounding the sports rorts affair goes deep inside the Prime Minister’s office. This may explain why Bridget McKenzie is being so strongly backed up despite an Auditor General report which concluded the guidelines for the grants were badly breached. “”

    Trending on Twitter, #ScottyfromMarketing has been replaced by #CrimeMinister on 5th place. This does not bode well for the stability of FedGov leadershit.

  16. This from The Guardian (Australia) about half an hour ago:

    Scott Morrison has referred former sports minister Bridget McKenzie’s handling of the $100m sports grants program to his department to investigate whether ministerial standards were breached.

  17. I think Morrison’s problem is that there are four other grant schemes that have been rorted, but not so blatantly as this one. Her approval of the grant to shooting club she is a member of might give him the chance to give her the flick and contain the damage, or the practice of handing over big fake cheques.

  18. As a footnote on the Constitutional question, if it was a no-no for Minister McKenzie to give out sports grants then it must also have been a no-no for Minister Ros Kelly.

    Because as far as I recall, since the Keating Govt we haven’t had a referendum to add “sport funding” to Federal powers

  19. it must also have been a no-no for Minister Ros Kelly

    I’d say so, Ambi, which is no doubt why the ‘Sports Australia’ thing was set up under legislation. You would think that the grants would still need to be routed through the state governments, however.

    Someone said early on the Kelly also misled parliament.

    And on her resignation from parliament, there was a story that she’d allowed her 18 yr-old sun to use her Commonwealth car to go for a spin with his mates.

    I’ve no idea whether either of those are true.

  20. I hope she has a son.
    🙂

    Suns can severely damage a vehicle.
    The one over our way has a surface temperature around 5000 C, I think.

    Meanwhile Melbourne burghers are discussing the muddy hues of the Yarra.* Normally a pale yellowy-brown from the souls of the Yarra Valley; today a deeper, reddish brown tone due to the arrival of northern dust from up Mildura way.

    *Unlike the tennis and footy and Melbourne Cup, this topic is normally off limits in polite society. People from interstate
    :: gasp!! ::
    makes jokes about our muddy creek.
    How very dare they?
    We’ll stop sending our expert dray drivers, if that continues.

    (Actually, could the murky waters be due to the presence of the first Federal Parliaments in Melbourne?? Is it a simple cleaning-up job we need to get on with?)

  21. She’s a Nat, Brian.
    Going for a spin in your parent’s vehicle is A Country Practice of long standing that never did anyone any harm. Jeez, the kids were driving tractors when they were 11. What happens on the farm, stays on the farm.

  22. Recent item courtesy of “Guardian Australia”

    A rugby union club in Adelaide’s eastern suburbs won a $500,000 grant for facilities including new female change rooms under the Coalition’s sports grant program despite not fielding a women’s team since 2018 when it was embroiled in a sexism controversy.

    The club, located in the Coalition-held marginal seat of Sturt, was awarded the maximum available grant under the scandal-ridden $100m community sport infrastructure fund just weeks before the 19 May election.

    Announcing its success in securing the grant, the club thanked the offices of the then Liberal MP Christopher Pyne and the state Liberal deputy leader Vicki Chapman, who is also a club sponsor.

  23. It’d be interesting to compare the same article written in defence if the said minister was ALP.

    “ Female Sports Minister empowers female athletes. Another blow to the Toxic Masculinity in Rugby despite attacks from the misogynistic Coalition “

    Not a single fair minded Australian is blind to the guardian agenda.

  24. ….. despite not fielding a women’s team….

    I think you’ll find that “The Guardian” in this article
    1) wasn’t saying they should have fielded a women’s team, or
    2) the club was disgusting because of a “sexism controversy”, or
    3) the men’s team should be closed down forthwith, or
    4) rugby union is a game for toffs, or
    5) rugby union reinforces the patriarchy….

    I believe, rather, that they were pointing to the strangeness of Canberra funds derived from the sweat and toil of the nation’s plasterers and builders and yeomen good and true being spent partially on changing facilities that weren’t immediately needed; there having been a cessation of ladies rugby union team-building at that very self-same Club. You know, the Club that scored half a million dollars.

    Whatever agenda “The Guardian” has, I doubt that this item passes the pub test.

    In my opinion, it doesn’t even get out of its vehicle in the car park: so it has no hope of reaching the Public Bar to submit itself to the common sense and opinions of the bar patrons.

  25. Not a single fair minded Australian is blind to the guardian agenda.

    As a fair minded Australian I have observed the News Ltd agenda over the past 30 years. “Kick this mob out” and the shoddily photoshopped Hogan’s Heroes spring to mind, but there have been many more instances, particularly in the field of Climate Change Denial.
    However I must confess I haven’t seen any evidence of a guardian agenda apart from accurately reporting the news.
    Assuming you know what the word means, do you have any examples of this “agenda”?

  26. “” However I must confess I haven’t seen any evidence of a guardian agenda apart from accurately reporting the news. “”

    I wasn’t talking about you zoot, obviously.

  27. It never ceases to amuse me when folk try to claim that little old Murdoch with a couple of paywalled outlets has more influence than the left leaning free to air bunch of ABC, SBS, Nine/Fairfax, Ten, Seven Guardian and a few more.

    Perhaps they think he uses shifty Jew hypnosis or some such nonsense.

  28. The Guardian tells us at the bottom of every article that there is a climate crisis, and they intend to use objective journalism to keep us informed. Then they say:

      The Guardian believes that the problems we face on the climate crisis are systemic and that fundamental societal change is needed. We will keep reporting on the efforts of individuals and communities around the world who are fearlessly taking a stand for future generations and the preservation of human life on earth. We want their stories to inspire hope. We will also report back on our own progress as an organisation, as we take important steps to address our impact on the environment.

    It’s there for everyone to see, although it’s not clear what “fundamental societal change” would look like. I don’t think they can be accused of adopting a partisan position, whereas Newscorp papers are so partisan they lack credibility.

  29. the appalling administration of the sports grants program keeps getting worse the deeper people dig into it- the Minister’s office was wanting the Sports Commission to accept applications well after the date of closure & ended up awarding grants to applications received well after closing time

  30. A couple of quotes from a national broadsheet published by Newscorp.

    P.1
    …. Nationals MPs said they did not expect Senator McKenzie to survive the scandal….
    P.2
    Some Nationals MPs compared Senator McKenzie’s decision to did in over the [sports grants] program to former leader Barnaby Joyce and former Speaker of the house Bronwyn Bishop refusing to go after they were embroiled in scandals…..

    …. “If she gets off on a technicality, it’s going to be like Barnaby… It’s going to be something that will cause ongoing pain,” one Nationals MP said.

    The Weekend Australian, January 25-26

  31. Jumpy: “It never ceases to amuse me when folk try to claim that little old Murdoch with a couple of paywalled outlets has more influence than the left leaning free to air bunch of ABC, SBS, Nine/Fairfax, Ten, Seven Guardian and a few more.”
    I once lived in a small town in a marginal electorate that had a very small newspaper with a circulation of 800 per fortnight. The editor was an astute individual who understood the flow of power and used the newspaper to get things done that this editor thought needed to be done.
    Having observed what this micro paper could achieve it doesn’t surprise me just how influential Murdoch has been over the years with his media empire.

  32. And if you bother to look, News Corpse brags to potential advertisers that it has much more influence than its competitors.

  33. John
    “”The editor was an astute individual who understood the flow of power and used the newspaper to get things done that this editor thought needed to be done.””
    That’s the problem, news organisations that are activists dressed in journalist clothing.

    Fortunately from my Libertarian position in the centre I can recognise bias to both the left and right media activists.
    All I’m saying is that Murdoch influence is smaller than the left media. Certainly no where near the 50%ish that vote conservatives. And Murdochs stuff is not free or subsidised, it’s opt in with voluntary cost.

    The ABC alone has more eyeballs than Newscorp.

  34. Who was it wrote

    E…Vid…Ence or your pants self combust.

    A few examples of the Grauniad’s “agenda” would give Jumpy’s argument strength beyond that of wet tissue paper. As it stands, all we have is an assertion from the (chortle, chortle) Libertarian (giggle) centre (hahahahahahahaha).
    That’s not E…Vid…Ence

  35. My pieces of evidence are whatever zoot has linked to and agrees with is left to far left.

    A quick litmus test is to ask “ has this outlet said a few things positive about Boris Johnson, Scott Morrison or Donald Trump ? “

    If the answer is “ no, justifiably, because there’s nothing positive to say “ then both you and the outlet are on the left.

    Both you and they rely on each other.

  36. Jumpy: “That’s the problem, news organisations that are activists dressed in journalist clothing.” You have described the Murdoch press to a tee. Problem is what the MP is campaigning for is pretty awful.

  37. I wish to opine that the rural newspaper editor wasn’t necessarily an “activist” in the city/political protest sense.

    Rather the editor pointed to facts sbout the town, local area, potholes in roads no doubt, local services, local “economy”, etc. Kept the Shire Council and local MP on their toes. Published “letters to the editor”?

    This is the time honoured role of the free Press, and if carried out robustly has such power that centuries ago a politician (French?) termed in the Fourth Estate, the First , Second and Third all holding independent power.

    Press successes on throwing light in dark places are legendary. Watergate, Dreyfus; most resignations of Ministers in Westminster systems.

    The Melbourne “Herald & Sun” campaigned for the State Govt to take stronger actions to reduce the road toll of deaths and injuries = non-politically-partisan, but active campaigning. Victoria then had an annual death toll exceeding 1000. Now it’s between 200 and 300 p.a. Not entirely a result of the campaign but clearly a social good .

    The late, murdered Donald McKay tried to expose (alleged) serious criminal activity in the district his newspaper served. Was he a busybody “activist”, Mr J? [It had appeared to Mr McKay that the local police were not active enough.]

    Journalists in Russia working on exposing alleged corruption have been murdered. “Activists”?

    !Viva the Free Press!

  38. I note in passing that the Guardian has published articles positive towards Trump, Johnson and Morrison. They are few and far between but they do exist. Did any member of the Murdoch media do the same for Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard?
    Come to think of it, has Fox News ever run a story favourable to Bernie Sanders?

  39. For what it’s worth the exerts of Anne Twomey from the AFR are spot on.
    It happens in every Federal portfolio by every government.
    They campaign on it every time, even the parties that will never have a “ Minister Responsible” .

    It’d be more valuable for “ our “ ABC to point out Unconstitutional election promises before elections and ask the States why they’re off the hook in their own area of responsibility.

  40. It’d be more valuable for “ our “ ABC to point out Unconstitutional election promises before elections and ask the States why they’re off the hook in their own area of responsibility.

    You want the ABC to be activist?

  41. To suggest the ABC doesn’t report the news clearly without lying by omission you should link to the news rather than the sub heading analysis and opinion.
    What on https://www.abc.net.au/news/ has been omitted to create the lies you discern? (Bearing in mind the ABC’s budget is being whittled away year by year so coverage must of necessity contract as well.)

  42. Grumpy Old Jumpy: “That’s the problem, news organisations that are activists dressed in journalist clothing.” You sound more and more like a very grumpy old man who hates to see anyone doing things that might make the world or a local community a better place for people and other life forms.
    Me I look at what news organizations are trying to achieve and how honestly they do it – And applaud when they succeed in doing good from time to time.

  43. Only your flavour of news organisations John.
    And your flavour of government too.

    Please drop the petty juvenile false monikers, it’s eroding your character reputation.
    On the other hand, it may get fun if I reciprocate.
    Up to you.

  44. Exactly, John.

    Sometimes I disagree with a campaign run by a particular paper, but can applaud when results seem to be for the general good.

    I hesitate to suggest that anyone would prefer the road toll down here to have remained at 1000 p.a. or risen; or that the marijuana crops near Griffith should have prospered to enrich the district via “trickle down”.

    In the 1970s “The Australian ” campaigned fir lower Federal taxes. I disagreed.

    Judge these matters case by case, eh?

  45. Zoot, pick one that’s political or “ social “ and I’ll have a crack.
    But first, show me a graph of the ABCs annual budget over the last 40 years to back up your claims ( Federal budget data only, non adjusted )

  46. I think he’s just gently teasing you , Mr J.

    If you’re interested in False Monicas, may I present “that woman……. Miss Lewinsky” who so infamously dobbed in President Bill?

    A real peachy impeachment, Pres Bill, but no cigar/em>!!!

    🙂
    🙁

  47. I’m up for gentle teasing.
    There are plenty of options from John the Craptist to Guilt Addled, FF Profiteer Davidson.

    I’m in if Brian gives the OK ( not a racist reference)

  48. Jumpy, stop evading the question. You linked to a page you consider evidence of lying by omission. What are the lies?

  49. As for the Federal Budget 2019, perhaps you can point out the lying by omission here:

    The Government has pledged to continue to fund the ABC’s “enhanced news measure”, at a cost of $44 million over three years. This funding was due to expire in the coming year.
    The Government claims this will allow the ABC to continue to support local news and current affairs services, particularly in regional areas.
    However, the ABC is disappointed by a pause in the indexation of its funding, which represents a cut of almost $15 million next year.
    In an email to ABC staff on Wednesday morning, acting managing director David Anderson said “given our tight fiscal envelope, meeting the costs will have to involve tough decisions on staffing and services”.
    Budget documents show the ABC intends to maintain its staffing level at 4,180 for 2019-20.
    However, the Government has indicated it believes that number is too high, estimating as part of the budget papers the ABC should employ 4,130 people – equivalent to a reduction of 50 jobs.

  50. Ohh, the ABC calls a reduction in funding growth a cut.
    Well colour me surprised.

    Look, the ABC is redundant because of the internet.
    Same as newspapers and soon the dinosaur legacy television model.

    State owned media is bound to go parasitic left naturally.

  51. Stop playing semantics and point out the lies by omission in your “evidence” link.
    Otherwise we must be thankful for the rain; it’s saved Mackay from the devastation caused by your pants self combusting.

  52. If Mr J is sensitive to teasing, I suggest we declare an amnesty on teasing him.

    “Grumpy Jumpy” rhymes.

    If you wish to join the amnesty, then please be careful to avoid these other rhymes :
    Bumpy, crumpy, dumpy, frumpy, Gumpy, humpy, harrumphy, kumfy, lumpy, mumpty, numpty, pumpy, rumpy, rumpy-pumpy, quumpy, sumpy, stumpy, thumpy, thumb pee, Trumpy, Umpie! vampy, wumpy, yumpy.

    Let’s go easy on him.

    Cheerio
    Ambigulizard.

  53. Oh, you’d like me to rage, rage against the dying of the light?
    🙂

    Mahatma Gandhi and Dr King want me to be gentle.

  54. My memory failure on exact wording.
    “”Do not go gentle into that good night “”
    The sentiment is the same.

  55. Now that we’ve established Jumpy can quote not one instance of the ABC lying by omission I wonder how many of these cognitive biases contributed to his original assertion.

    (London to a brick he believes he has no biases at all)

  56. Just on the original story:

    Morrison, when asked whether any advice had been taken from campaign strategists or Liberal Party head office replied:

      “Well, not that I can speak of.”

    There was also a story from Peter van Onselen changed by the Oz:

      The Australian toned down van Onselen’s column somewhat while turning it into a news story on the paper’s front page.

      Instead of the PM’s senior staffers’ role being presented as fact, it became “sources have told” on the news pages and “the claim is contested by Mr Morrison, who has rejected suggestions that funding allocation decisions originated from within the office of the Prime Minister”.

  57. Has there ever been any doubt that marginal electorates get more pork than safe seats ?
    Obviously I’ve never thought that was ok and McKenzie gets a pay cut . ( sorry for dissing a “ strong powerful woman “, not a misogynistic comment)

    I’m sure ABC fact checkers are looking into past governments for comparison. { haha haha, yeah right}

  58. I’m sure ABC, 10, 9, 7, Guardian & News Corp fact checkers are looking into past governments for comparison. { haha haha, yeah right}
    FIFY

  59. Mr B. Joyce,
    he of the iron rooves, rusty tractors and weatherboards:

    If there is a spill I will put my hand up

    In my opinion he should keep his hands to himself for a few years.

    If spillage occurs, the Gippsland candidate could be Darren Chester. Knows his electorate backwards.

  60. Those bl**dy commos!
    Have they no shame, Sir?

    (BTW there might be some simple arithmetic in it. Youse have a scheme for rural seats, and a big chunk of the rural seats are Coalition, so….)

  61. Reportedly Senator Lambie wants the Gaetjens report tabled in the Senate. She says she will dawdle on the Unions legislation..

    If they can’t ensure integrity up here and do the right thing, why should I support an Ensuring Integrity Bill?

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