Australia's political sex scandals date back years

 

OUR political landscape has certainly not been without its scandal in recent years, with leadership spills now commonplace in both parties, but the headlines and drama date back much further.

Who could forget the time One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson and co-founder David Ettridge were sentenced to a three year jail term in 2003 for electoral fraud.

The pair was accused of preparing a list of 500 fake party members of One Nation to make the party eligible for an application to Queensland's Electoral Commission. The convictions were later overturned and they were released after spending 11 weeks behind bars.

Bronwyn Bishop, Speaker of Australian House of Representatives, resigned on allegations of spending $5000 on a helicopter ride to a Liberal fundraiser, an hour's drive away. Media reports later claimed that Bishop had spent $309,000 on six trips in 2014, using taxpayers' money.

Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop in the firing line for chartering a $5000 helicopter ride to a Liberal Party fundraiser.
Speaker of the House Bronwyn Bishop in the firing line for chartering a $5000 helicopter ride to a Liberal Party fundraiser. Contributed



By the same token, Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop spent $2716 to attend a Portsea Polo event in 2016. Bishop maintains she attended the event in her official capacity.

More recently, One Nation Senate candidate for Queensland Steve Dickson resigned in April after footage was released of him making derogatory comments and touching a dancer in a US strip club.

A
A "disgusted" Pauline Hanson is expected to sack Steve Dickson over shock revelations of his lewd comments and behaviour at a US strip club.



There have been sex scandals aplenty, with former Liberal leader Sir Billy Snedden found dead after suffering a heart attack during sex. It was later revealed he had spent the night with a secretary who previously dated his son. 

He wasn't the only leader to go out in such a dramatic fashion; former Prime Minister Ben Chifley reportedly died from a heart attack in 1951 in the company of his secretary.



Disgraced MP Craig Thomson was fined $25,000 in 2014 after being found guilty of spending Health Services Union money on "self-indulgent" activities such as prostitutes and fine dining.

Former Labor MP Craig Thomson.
Former Labor MP Craig Thomson.



The court ruled he'd misused more than $300,000 during his time as the union's boss, between $4000 and $5000 of which was spent on sex services.

Of course, no list of political scandals would be complete without mention of Barnaby Joyce.

The Deputy Prime Minister famously resigned from his post after a series of damaging revelations came to light, including an extramarital affair with his staffer, who was later revealed to be pregnant.

CANDID: Barnaby Joyce caught eyeing off former staffer and current partner Vikki Campion back at a summit in 2016.
Daily Telegraph Front page
CANDID: Barnaby Joyce caught eyeing off former staffer and current partner Vikki Campion back at a summit in 2016. Daily Telegraph Front page Daily Telegraph

The scandal, nicknamed #Barnababy, led then-PM Malcolm Turnbull to introduce a new code of conduct barring ministers from having sexual relations with their subordinates.

Scott Morrison's family portrait...and Photoshopped shoes
Scott Morrison's family portrait...and Photoshopped shoes



Phew! ScoMo's Photoshop fail pales in comparison. Dubbed #shoegate, the public were quick to spot the flaws in a photo posted on the current PM's website. Smiling next to his wife and kids, the leader of Australia had two left feet and very-obviously-doctored fresh white sneakers. 

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