ROLLING COVERAGE: How the Andrew Broad scandal unfolded
ANDREW Broad made the right call when he announced he would not recontest his seat at next year’s Federal Election.
It remains unclear whether the allegations against Mr Broad are founded.
Specifically, and most importantly for voters, it’s unclear whether taxpayer money was used for the alleged overseas pursuits.
The Wimmera Mail-Times made multiple calls to Mr Broad and his office on Monday and Tuesday.
Our questions remain unanswered. In fact, his office returned an automated “out-of-office” email and Christmas greeting on Tuesday.
Where was he?
The people of this electorate deserve more than his prepared statement, which was issued to all media at lunchtime on Tuesday – more than 24 hours after the allegations emerged.
Mr Broad earned criticism when he linked same-sex couples with rams in a paddock. Those comments are deplorable and were, rightly, widely condemned.
Perhaps Mr Broad learned a harsh lesson from that time because our questions to him on the biggest federal issues in the past year have also gone unanswered.
When the Mail-Times contacted Mr Broad’s office amid the same-sex marriage vote, he refused to comment.
He later issued a press release urging residents to consume oranges to avoid cold and flu symptoms.
Amid the other sex scandal of 2018 involving Barnaby Joyce – and even when Mr Broad was tipped to become the next Nationals leader – he refused to comment.
He then issued a press release, with Tim Costello, calling on residents to pray for drought-affected farmers.
Sure, most people would know where Mr Broad stood on those topics. But the fact our elected representative remained silent when his local media knocked is simply unacceptable.
The people of the Mallee electorate deserve a voice that represents their views – and speaks even when the going gets tough.
The opportunities that could come from his announcement to not recontest the seat will emerge over the coming weeks and months.
This opportunity provides political hopefuls the chance to stand and represent their region at a federal level. And it allows the people of the Mallee electorate a choice.