2019 scandals quiz crikey
New Attorney-General Michaelia Cash (Image: AAP)

De Garis rides again The town of Cambridge, Western Australia, which takes in a suite of lovely inner-west suburbs in Perth, is due an extraordinary council election on October 16. Joining retired builder Rob Fredericks among the candidates is one David De Garis who describes himself thus:

I work as a media and communications manager in the hotel and hospitality industry and in previous jobs have gained a comprehensive understanding of how different tiers of government work, including local government. I am a people-person by nature and believe strongly in finding solutions for people.

One of the solutions De Garis has been able to find in his career is taking the bullet for a decidedly wobbly-looking employment minister Michaela Cash.

He ended up resigning after a protracted disaster involving tipping off the media regarding AFP raids on the Australian Workers’ Union. For some reason he’s too modest to mention it.

Corporate compassion This week Jeff Bezos’ generosity and commitment to public good was once again on full display, announcing the first Bezos Academy — a free preschool for children from low-income families.

It’s such a shame that this is the only way some workers in the United States can provide a decent education for their children.

Apropos of nothing, Amazon was praised last year when it raised its hourly wage for workers in its gruelling warehouses to just below a “liveable wage”, and the company paid no federal tax in the US in 2017 or 2018. In 2019 it chipped $162 million out of more than $13 billion in profits.

Dog act Yesterday InDaily gave us the news a South Australian Labor MP was turned away from state parliament on account of his chum and rescue kelpie Dusty. This was followed by an email to all building staff and members: “On the advice of the president of the Legislative Council and speaker of the House of Assembly … animals are not permitted to be brought into Parliament House.”

Apart from giving us the immortal line — “It’s not like Dusty’s done a shit in the House …” — the story raises the question: just how fussy is South Australian parliament? It’s barely a week since we heard it was spending more than a quarter of a million dollars maintaining the building’s chandelier winches.

But we must tread lightly. It turns out it is also extremely fussy about media access. A host of journalists reported they were obstructed in their attempts to cover the Jing Lee/John Dawkins saga earlier this month. Our favourite detail on the relationship between SA parliament and scrutiny comes from its broadcast rules:

Broadcasting material shall be used only for the purposes of fair and accurate reports of proceedings, and must not be used for … satire, ridicule or denigration.

Do NOT make fun of South Australian politicians, guys. It’s the rules.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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