What a difference 24 hours makes.
This time yesterday Mallee MP Andrew Broad was trying to paint himself as the victim of a New Idea story alleging that he went on a horrible-sounding date with a woman he met on a sugar baby site while popping over to Hong Kong for the Asia Fruit Logistica in September.
We talked about it yesterday but we’re absolutely going to reuse that James Bond gif because it’s hilarious.
He’s now announced that he won’t be standing at the next election, giving the Nationals a chance to stick someone else in the seat. “After recent media stories about my private life, it is clear that the people of Mallee will be best served in the next parliament by a different Nationals candidate.”
“I have done my best and at times we have achieved good things, but I have also let them down,” he said, not long after confirming that yeah, he did use taxpayer funds for at least some of the journey.
And this abrupt decision makes clear just how scared the government are. And with good reason.
Sure, Mallee has never been out of Country/National Party hands and Broad got over 63 per cent of the primary vote in 2016, so it’s surprising that he’s not doing a Barnaby Joyce and just gritting his teeth and letting his 20-odd per cent buffer save him from consequences.
However, the anti-Coalition sentiment of the Victorian election has clearly spooked the hell out of them.
More specifically, they’re looking clearly at the shock victory of independent Ali Cupper – an proudly feminist vegan with a history of LGBTIQ+ activism – in the formerly safe Nationals seat of Mildura, which overlaps the federal seat of Mallee and evidently thinking “say, maybe a married father of one that’s an outspoken opponent of marriage equality and who’s been outed allegedly buying time with women on the internet isn’t a great fit.”
That being said, it’s almost certain that current deputy leader Bridget McKenzie will parachute in from the senate. She’d been tipped as a potential challenger in the Victorian seat of Indi, currently held by independent MP Cathy McGowan, so this would be a much easier fight, and is assumed to be positioning for the leadership down the road.
Either way, soon parliament will lose the wisdom and upstanding adherence to traditional morality which Andrew Broad brought to the chamber, whether it was calling same sex couples that wanted to marry “rams in a paddock” mounting one another, or high-handedly calling for Barnaby Joyce to resign for having an affair .
So let’s just say a fond, final “G’day, mate” to the man which the Australian Christian Values Institute celebrated with the 2016 award “For Values Lived”. Catch you on the dating scene!