Six months ago he “did a Laurie Oakes” by revealing the contents of the Victorian State Budget on Channel Nine news the day before Treasurer John Brumby brought it down in Parliament. But last night Nine’s state political reporter David Broadbent quit the station.

Broadbent announced his decision to take a redundancy at Opposition Leader Robert Doyle’s Christmas party, leaving gallery reporters and political types slack jawed. The consensus was that Nine news director Michael Venus would regret allowing Broadbent to go with what must be a handsome package.

Broadbent is the highest-profile Nine operative so far to take redundancy under a program designed to save the station $1 million a year.

Shortly before introducing press gallery president, Ten political correspondent Gareth Boreham, Doyle told his guests last night: “David Broadbent has an announcement to make.” Broadbent stood up and simply said: “Ladies and gentlemen, you have seen my face on TV in Victoria for the last time.”

Partygoers immediately speculated that a move interstate – perhaps to Canberra, where he was been filling in for Oakes recently – may be in the offing.

If Broadbent does stay in Melbourne, a return to newspapers might not be out of the question. He’s a former senior reporter at The Age, and writes a column for the Sunday Age.

Peter Fray

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