Likely Changes to the National Party front bench

23 June 2021

Now that Barnaby Joyce is back in charge of the National Party, Crikey speculates on whether the known rorter, Bridget McKenzie, will also back into Cabinet at the expense of Darren Chester. It might be noted that Bridget McKenzie was the Sports Minister when sports grants were handed out to marginal electorates that the coalition needed to hold and that it was done though the Sports Commission, which was not subject to oversight. It might also be noted that it appeared that the Prime Minister’s office had quite a say in it also, but Bridget took the fall and went to the backbench.

Her move was a significant one in that it drew attention to what has become the new norm- rorts and pork-barrelling are now normal and the Liberals want us to remember and accept that- a perk of office to retain office it you like, sort of like happens in a third world tribal dictatorship. She also recently got in the news (SMH 20/1/21) for not wearing a mask in a lockdown situation and was with her boyfriend, Simon Benson, who is News Corp’s Federal political journalist. Perhaps this helps contain negative coverage.

Crikey’s comments by Bernard Keene: