Wrap yourself in a rug (because it is cold outside) and read today’s news in under five minutes.
1. Bronwyn Bishop alleged to have used thousands of taxpayer dollars for private limo costs.
Federal speaker, Bronwyn Bishop, has been under scrutiny this week after she admitted that she made an “error of judgement” for using $5,227 of taxpayer money for a private helicopter to attend a Liberal Party fundraiser last year.
Today, more questions surrounding Bishop’s use of taxpayer money have emerged. The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Bishop used taxpayer money to hire $1,000 a day limousines for her overseas trip to Europe (which cost $90,000 in total). Fairfax Media claims that Bishop claimed a $14,000 limousine bill after her trip to Europe last October.
Other delegates who were on the same trip as Bishop, spent between $1,200 and $2,800 on transport. An unnamed source has told The Sydney Morning Herald that she was being transported in a black BMW “like royalty” and that “she wasn’t about to take her eight-inch heels on the subway”.
The Federal Department has also announced that they are investigating two other chartered flights used by Bishop for attending party political events.
Since the revelations, Bishop has refused to stand down as speaker nor apologise for her misuse of the money.
“One doesn’t resign for an error of judgement that is within the guidelines,” she explained.
Bishop has since repaid the cost of the chartered helicopter – $5,227, as well as a $1,300 penalty rate.
2. NRL player charged with over ten domestic violence counts against ex-partner.
NRL player, Shaun Kenny-Dowall, has been charged with over 10 domestic violence offences following ongoing abuse of his partner, Jessica Peris. Jessica is the daughter of federal politician and former Olympian, Nova Peris.
On Saturday morning, Kenny-Dowall turned himself into the local police station for abusing his ex-girlfriend. A statement released by NSW police said he was subsequently charged with stalking, intimidating, destroying or damaging property, occasioning bodily harm, and six counts of assault.
Peris and Kenny-Dowall are said to have ended their relationship around three weeks ago, after the events which are alleged to have occurred between October last year and June. Peris filed for an AVO against her ex-boyfriend last Thursday night.
Kenny-Dowall’s football club, The Sydney Roosters, has indicated that Kenny-Dowall will not play in this afternoon’s NRL match.
3. A Catholic Priest has been charged after smacking a child in church.
After “grabbing” and “smacking” an eight-year-old boy, Father Terrence Millard from NSW has been charged with common assault. The little boy, who is known as Peter*, was “positioned” in front of an image of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and punished with a “smack” after allegedly displaying bad behaviour.
The incident, which occurred over 10 months ago, was first brought to the attention of the school principal after an alarmed teacher was alerted to the event.