Turnbull pays tribute to Bishop, returns to ‘boys’ club’ culture

Her parliamentary career might be over, but Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has paid tribute to Bronwyn Bishop, thanking her
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Her parliamentary career might be over, but Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has paid tribute to Bronwyn Bishop, thanking her for her “enormous” and “indelible” contribution to Australian public life.

Starts at 60 brought you the news that Bishop had been defeated 51 to 39 in the pre-selection in her Sydney seat of Mackellar at the weekend. The veteran Liberal MP had held the northern beach’s seat for more than 20 years.

Her decision to recontest the seat was publicly criticised by members of the Liberal Party, arguing it was time for Bishop to retire.

Turnbull said that while the result was disappointing “She’s [Bronwyn Bishop] has been a magnificent figure on the national stage as a minister, as a member, senator, speaker.

“Bronwyn is unforgettable; she’s dynamic, she’s colourful, she’s charismatic and we thank her … for her extraordinary service.”

The 73-year-old made headlines for chartering a taxpayer-funded helicopter to attend a Liberal Party function in 2015. However, even after exiting politics Bronwyn Bishop will still receive a lifetime pension worth an estimated $200,000 a year and a Life Gold Pass entitling her to fly around Australia on domestic flights up to 10 times a year.

Interestingly, less than a year after the Liberal Party recognised it had a ‘problem with women’ the latest round of pre-selection candidates (three of which are replacing women) all appear to be young, white men.

It seems that only in New South Wales were women selected for the top slots on the Coalition’s senate ticket.

Do you agree with the prime minister’s tribute to Bronwyn Bishop? Should there be more diversity in our political parties?

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