Local #IndiTalks media slams @MirabellaSophie’s “playground politics”: @Jansant reports

Wayne Jansson

Wayne Jansson

Chief reporter & photographer at No Fibs
Wayne Jansson is an Australian citizen journalist and photographer. He covered the seat of Indi during the 2013 federal election which saw Independent Cathy McGowan unseat Liberal Sophie Mirabella. His interests are politics and social justice.
Wayne Jansson
- 9 hours ago
Wayne Jansson
Tony Abbott Spirit of Anzac Wodonga Sophie Mirabella

Prime Minister Tony Abbott arrives at the Spirit of Anzac exhibition launch in Wodonga shadowed by Sophie Mirabella. Photo: Wayne Jansson

Sophie Mirabella (@MirabellaSophie) and Prime Minister Tony Abbott (@TonyAbbottMHR) have been accused of “playground politics” during the Spirit Of Anzac launch in Wodonga on Friday, by snubbing “people’s choice” independent, Cathy McGowan MP (@IndigoCathy) and using the event to promote their party for the next federal election.

The Border Mail (@bordermail) editorial said:

respect for the people’s decision got a bit of a whack in Wodonga on Friday………as the people’s choice, the current member for Indi deserved a bit more respect during the official proceedings.

McGowan, who the people of Indi elected as their representative at the 2013 federal election, was left out of the official party: forced to sit in the audience and watch on as Minister for Health Sussan Ley (@sussanley), from the neighbouring electorate of Farrer addressed the gathering.

Sussan Ley from the electorate of Farrer addresses people gathered at the Spirit of Anzac exhibiton opening in Wodonga, Cathy McGowan's electorate of Indi. Photo: Wayne Jansson

Sussan Ley from the electorate of Farrer, addresses people gathered at the Spirit of Anzac exhibition opening in Wodonga, Cathy McGowan’s electorate of Indi. Photo: Wayne Jansson

Mirabella shadowed the Prime Minister during the event ensuring not a single photo opportunity was lost, while McGowan chatted with those attending.

Independent Member fo Indi Cathy McGowan chats to people attending the Spirit of Anzac launch in Wodonga: Photo: Wayne Jansson

Independent Member for Indi Cathy McGowan chats to people attending the Spirit of Anzac launch in Wodonga: Photo: Wayne Jansson

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott

Prime Minister Abbott opens the Spirit of Anzac exhibition in Wodonga. Photo: Wayne Jansson

The Spirit of Anzac exhibition will tour the country, its final destination is Sydney in 2017.

Members of the army band relax before the official party take the stage to open the Spirit of Anzac exhibition. Photo: Wayne Jansson

Members of the army band relax before the official party take the stage to open the Spirit of Anzac exhibition. Photo: Wayne Jansson

No Fibs was refused entry to Abbott’s media conference after the event, where he wouldn’t guarantee Mirabella a spot on the front bench if the Liberals win the next election, and she can win back Indi from McGowan.

The Liberal Party have started the new Indi election campaign in the same way they ended the last one, excluding No Fibs, one of only 2 sources of in-depth local coverage in 2013.

During the 2013 election campaign, Mirabella forcefully promoted the idea she was the best person to represent Indi, because in an Abbott government, only she would ‘have a seat at the Cabinet table’. She also refused to talk with No Fibs and asked The Border Mail to remove a journalist from their election coverage, arguing the reporter had a bias against her.

McGowan told No Fibs she hoped to discuss crippling youth unemployment in the electorate with Abbott during his visit to Indi, but will instead address the issue with Minister for Small Business Bruce Bilson, and Minister for Employment Eric Abetz (@SenatorAbetz), when Parliament resumes next week: she wants to develop a long-term sustainable regional strategy to tackle the problem in Indi.

In May this year, McGowan told Parliament during a question to Treasurer Joe Hockey (@JoeHockey), ‘youth unemployment in Indi is 17.5%’, on Friday she told No Fibs the Hume region within Indi has a youth unemployment rate of 27%.

After his media conference, Abbott attended the The Albury Club for lunch, where he was met by a small but vocal group of protesters made up of refugee advocates, environmentalists, and unionists.

A young boy urges Tony Abbott to "save the reef". Photo: Wayne Jansson

A young boy urges Tony Abbott to “save the reef”. Photo: Wayne Jansson

Tony Abbott protest Abury

Protesters outside The Albury Club during Abbott’s visit to the region. Photo: Wayne Jansson

The Greens Jenny O’Connor (@JennyJenocon), who attended the protest with the Beechworth Refugee and Asylum Seeker Support Group (BRASS), told No Fibs they were calling for the closure of offshore detention, faster processing of refugees and to get kids out of detention.

BRASS is affiliated with Rural Australians for Refugees, both groups draw members from across the political and community spectrum.

jenny o'connor indi greens candidate

The Greens Jenny O’Connor joins the call for refugee children to be removed from detention. Photo: Wayne Jansson

Unionists were protesting a range of issues, one described as “Work Choices” by stealth, and included the threat to local jobs by the China Free Trade Agreement, the attack on unions by the Trade Union Royal Commission, changes to domestic shipping laws which will decimate the local industry, and the “ongoing attack” on penalties.

Abbott waved and a smiled at the people protesting against his policies as he left The Albury Club.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott waves and smiles at people protesting against his governments policies. Photo: Wayne Jansson

Prime Minister Tony Abbott waves and smiles at people protesting against his governments policies. Photo: Wayne Jansson


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Comments

  1. This is the best that the LNP can do – showing how profound is their disrespect not just for the elected representative, but also for the electorate and Australians in general.

  2. Mirabella & Ley, like Abbott have absolutely no concept of dealing with their electorates and hopefully after they are turfed out in the next election they will never rear their heads in politics again. The damage done in the name of Australia will take years to rectify.

  3. Considering moving to Wodonga just so i can vote and keep Mirabella from ever entering politics again.
    I wonder if Abbott still has that sign ‘ditch the witch’.

  4. Sophie is going to need some work on that synthetic smile if she expects to stay ahead of Dutton but to turn the National Treasure into a political junket reeks of ankle deep Abbottism.

  5. Always intrigued by the Liberals,particularly Robb,Nelson,O’Dwyer and Abbott hanging off the coat tails of the Anzacs.
    About as disingenuous as Mirabella’s smile,or their concern for the member for Indi and her electorate. I think the electorate are well and truly awake to the dirty antics of this present Govt.