News

Brown surprised Slipper was promoted

Retiring Greens Senator Bob Brown.
Retiring Greens Senator Bob Brown.

RETIRING Greens Senator Bob Brown said he was not consulted prior to Peter Slipper being promoted to the role of Speaker of Federal Parliament.

Senator Brown, who struck a deal after the 2010 election that helped Prime Minister Julia Gillard form a minority government, told ABC program Qanda on Monday he was "surprised" upon learning Mr Slipper had been elevated to the role in November.

And he hinted that had he been consulted he would have cautioned Ms Gillard against the shock move.

"I wouldn't have made that choice, but she (Ms Gillard) did," said Senator Brown, who will retire from the Senate in June.

Mr Slipper, a former Liberal MP, stood down as Speaker on Sunday amid allegations he misused taxpayer-funded Cabcharge dockets.

He also stands accused of sexually harassing former staff member James Ashby, details of which were revealed in documents lodged with the Federal Court of Australia on Friday.

Senator Brown said the fact numbers in the Parliament were so tight meant Mr Slipper's alleged behaviour was attracting more attention than it might under normal circumstances.

"I've had two fellow senators from the Coalition who have been convicted of various minor ... matters in the last 12 months and we've heard nothing about it, almost," Senator Brown said.

"The closer one gets to being able to exercise power, which brings in government or drops them out, the bigger the concentration on that person."

Expanding on this point, Senator Brown urged Opposition leader Tony Abbott, who has been relentless in his calls this week for Mr Slipper to stand down as Speaker, to "take on" the churches over allegations of child abuse.

"If you're going to pursue somebody who's got claims against him by a 33-year-old male, how about pursuing the people in churches ... who have done the wrong thing by 13-year-old males and females. How about having them suspended," Senator Brown said.

Senator Brown said he believed Labor supported Mr Slipper's ascension to Speaker to protect its numbers in the House of Representatives, and not because it wanted to walk away from its deal with independent MP Andrew Wilkie to introduce poker machine reform.

"I think they were giving themselves one-seat insurance," Senator Brown said.

"And now without Mr Slipper there they've still got the ability to get legislation through Parliament, but they're back to the very close arrangement that they had before."

Topics:  bob brown federal government parliament peter slipper speaker



Would you like to see my boobies?

Masked Booby on Norfolk Island

Local bird photographer in for a Norfolk Island surprise.

Local Partners

How art rescued me from a life on the streets: Ex-miner shares story

Rocky's Ian Painter said he lost everything after a mining accident... he bought some kids pencils and it changed his life


New Year New Yard

Win $1000 Bunnings Voucher
Learn More

WHAT'S ON: Your guide to events in CQ this weekend

Aussie Shakespeare is a frenetic and good-humoured canter combining classic Shakespearean stories and characters with Australian themes from cyclones to football to the revolving door of federal politics.

Everything you need to know about events in the region

Excitement builds over Da Vinci exhibition

Exhibition features in excess of 60 models of machines

Puppetry of the Penis secrets revealed ahead of show

The famed Puppetry of the Penis is coming to the Sunshine Coast for shows in Noosa and Caloundra.

WARNING: This interview contains adult themes and traces of nuts

Ocean Sleeper discuss being 'Six Feet Down'.

Ocean Sleeper make waves with their new EP. Photo Contributed

Gippsland band shines at Unify

Bowie's final music EP No Plan released

NEW: Artwork for David Bowie's posthumous 2016 EP, No Plan.

David Bowie's 28th and final album

Married At First Sight: Ipswich bachelor seeks love

READY FOR IT: Ipswich man Simon McQuillan will appear on the upcoming new season of Married At First Sight.

Romance would top off recovery for Booval man

Dinky-di Denyer: Family Feud favourite hosts Oz Day party

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

GRANT Denyer shares his Australia Day traditions ahead of concert.

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

Collapsed Coast company could owe up to $5 million

Staff, ATO, landlords among those out of pocket.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!