Browsing through yesterday’s news, it struck me that it takes a certain type of woman to join the Liberal Party.
First, we had the story about Nola Marino, the Member for Forrest and Chief Government Whip. She has also recently taken up a position on the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Agriculture and Water Resources.
Ms Marino had shares in a company that is to benefit from a $140 million government grant. Despite including them in her register of pecuniary interests three times over the last decade, she updated the register in April, now claiming to have transferred the shares to her husband in 2008 who, coincidentally, sits on the board of one of the entities that will benefit from the grant.
Despite the apparent breach of the disclosure regime, Ms Marino did not accept she made an error.
In addition, property she owns is in the area set to benefit from the project which will deliver better quality water to members of South West Irrigation. She and her husband are dairy farmers in the area.
Ms Marino does not see this as a conflict of interest because the dam isn’t in her electorate.
Then we had Sophie Mirabella crying in the dock at her defamation case where she is suing a journalist and a regional paper for saying she pushed Cathy McGowan out of a photo when she actually pushed Ken Wyatt to stop him from having his photo taken with Ms McGowan who was, at the time, the local member.
“This was accusing me of pushing an older woman … who could be … looks like she’s old enough to be an elder citizen, a grandmother,” said Sophie tearfully. (Tony Windsor was right about her)
Mrs Mirabella said she told Mr Wyatt to tell Ms McGowan he didn’t have time for a photo and she accompanied him to deliver the message.
“We walk up to face Cathy and she’s standing in front of the plaque and Ken says to her, ‘Sorry, I don’t have time for a photo’,” Mrs Mirabella said.
“And she said, ‘Oh well, it’s OK, it’ll only take a minute’ and turned to me and said, ‘You don’t mind Sophie, do you?’
“I said, ‘Since you’ve asked, yes I do mind Cathy. If you wanted to have promotional material with a Liberal minister, you should have run for preselection’.
She then “placed her hands on Ken’s chest” and prevented him from taking part in the photograph.
And then, to round out the day, we had Kelly O’Dwyer going into damage control about her interview on Insiders where she was completely unable to admit that the government got it wrong in opposing the banking royal commission.
It only took her five days of an absolute lashing in the media, both mainstream and social, to come up with the admission that she got it wrong though it felt like she was talking more about the interview than her previous statements that it would be an expensive pointless exercise that would “do nothing for consumers”.
“With the benefit of hindsight we should have called it earlier, I am sorry we didn’t, and I regret not saying this when asked earlier this week. The government did get the timing wrong. What we did get right though, was embarking on an urgent and comprehensive reform program to fix the problems that we knew about.”
Like trying to repeal the FOFA legislation?
I looked for news about Michaelia Cash and the court case about the televised AWU raid but she appears to still be in the ministerial protection program.
It seems Liberal women, like their male colleagues, suffer from a sense of entitlement that precludes accountability.