A cranky senator has been condemned by all sides of politics for calling a colleague a “naughty girl” during a committee hearing.
Labor MP Glenn Sterle, chairman of the committee on regional and rural affairs, was annoyed on Tuesday by an argument between two other members.
Nationals Senator Bridget McKenzie was in an increasingly heated argument with Agriculture Secretary Murray Watt over her dairy question to an official from the Rural Research and Development Corporations.
“We did so well,” said Senator Sterle, who was about to intervene in the discussion in favor of Senator McKenzie when she continued to talk about him.
“Senator McKenzie, you must always have the last word, I wanted to defend you then … frankly, like a naughty girl,” he said in an angry tone.
“Could you be quiet while someone else is finished? You don’t have to have the last word.’
Shadow Infrastructure Minister Bridget McKenzie looks stunned after being called a ‘naughty little girl’
Another senator attempted to intervene, presumably to object to Senator Sterle’s comment, but was shut down.
“No, I can’t, because I’m about to be blocked like this,” he said, demanding that Senator McKenzie be allowed to continue in silence.
Greens Senator Peter Whish-Wilson urged him to retract his comments, but Senator Sterle declined: “I don’t care…because you’re all as bad as each other.”
“I won’t sign it because I’m probably the easiest to deal with, but right now y’all are going like this.”
In an unlikely alliance, Nationals Senator Matt Canavan backed his Greens colleague by asking Senator Sterle to withdraw.
“Don’t, no Matt, do me a favor…don’t add anything because I just told Peter no…I’m trying to be polite here,” he replied, continuing to ask Senator McKenzie to continue. to go.
Senator McKenzie immediately asked Senator Sterle to withdraw “by calling me a bad girl.”
This time he admitted, “Yeah, I take that back, you’re not a bad girl, my apologies…now, do you want to ask your question?”
Labor Senator Glenn Sterle (pictured) has been convicted for calling a female senator a ‘naughty little girl’
Senator Sterle later offered a more substantial apology after he was criticized even by senior Labor ministers.
“I want to apologize for my outburst under pressure, there is no excuse for the language I used,” he told the committee.
‘I hope you accept my apology. That was different from me, but I’m not avoiding it, it wasn’t right.’
The prime minister and attorney general on Monday used the approval of workplace laws to reduce sexual harassment to call for greater respect for women.
Women’s Minister Katy Gallagher condemned the comments.
“Senator Sterle’s comments were unacceptable and he did the right thing by publicly apologizing to Senator McKenzie,” she told AAP.
Her cabinet colleague Mr Watt also labeled the remark as unacceptable and ‘extremely unfortunate’.
“I don’t want to see comments like this from any senator, regardless of their party,” he told reporters on Tuesday.
“I’ve talked to Glenn about it and I know he’s sorry.
“He has apologized, but it is completely unacceptable that these kinds of comments are made in a work environment or in society as a whole.”
Senator McKenzie was increasingly arguing with Agriculture Secretary Murray Watt (pictured) over her dairy question to a Rural Research and Development Corporations official
Elsewhere in parliament on Tuesday, super-tax concessions are in sight for the Albanian government as it looks for ways to increase revenues and restore fiscal results.
Assistant Treasurer Stephen Jones said tax breaks on super funds are costly to public finances and are used to accumulate wealth.
“If the purpose of super is to provide a fiscally preferred asset for wealth planning, you could say it does its job,” Mr Jones told the Australian Financial Review’s wealth and super executive.
A concession tax on super was introduced to encourage more people to save super instead of depending on the pension.
Under the rules, anyone can deposit money into their super fund and it will be taxed at 15 percent, which is far less than the 45 percent marginal rate that high-income earners pay.
Mr. Jones said there were 32 self-managed super-funds with over $100 million in assets.
‘I celebrate successes, but the favorable taxation of these types of funds has a real price for the budget that must be taken into account.’
Research from the Grattan Institute has found that the tax benefits of super tax breaks are misdirected, with about 50 percent of the tax benefits going to the richest 20 percent of households.
To make the system fairer, some groups have argued for a cap — say $5 million — on how much people can save within the super system.
“The argument goes that you would just pay income tax at normal rates instead of 15 percent,” explains H&R Block tax expert Mark Chapman.