If there’s one positive to be taken from Mal Brough’s second tilt at being an MP it’s this: we get to collective witness him bomb out one more time.
Today the Member for Fisher and former Howard Government Minister announced he’ll quit federal politics at the next election after his renewed career came painfully unstuck.
Brough was first elected to the seat of Longman in 1996, rising to the position of Minister for Families and Community and Indigenous Affairs in 2006. Among his achievements in the latter portfolio was the launching of the NT Intervention, the destruction of the relatively successful CDEP jobs program, blowouts to housing wait lists, and a series of impressively bold-faced lies. This is the guy who claimed $1 million stone cold cash, derived from drug supply, had been found in a remote Aboriginal community. Turns out it was just $200,000. And the guy who had it wasn’t Aboriginal. And he lived in Darwin. Close though!
In 2007 Brough lost his seat as the Howard government was swept from office.
And then he reemerged, in the middle of an ugly fracas, exactly where you would expect the soon-to-be-once-more disgraced MP. With the Liberals waging war on Peter Slipper, Brough managed to snare the speaker’s seat at the 2013 election. The Brough was back.
Things only improved for him from there as another Mal made his claim to the throne. When Turnbull charged in to a party room ballot on September 13 last years Brough was right there beside him. It was from this point on you knew things were going to stay ugly under a Turnbull government.
And so they did. Brough became Special Minister for State and Minister for Defence Materials and Science, but it didn’t last long. This time, it was his role in the Ashby-Slipper affair that proved his undoing, with police pursuing Brough in an investigation that is reportedly ongoing. In dying days of 2015 Brough left the Ministry.
Now Brough faces the political wilderness once more.
“Today I am announcing that I will not be contesting the next Federal election,” he said in a statement.
“I thank the people of Fisher for their support at the last election and the trust they placed in me to be their voice in Canberra.
“It has been a privilege and honour to represent this generous community.
“I would also like to thank the Fisher LNP membership for their continued support, encouragement and trust.”
So long, Mal. We’d love to say we barely knew you but, in fact, we’ve seen far more than we ever hoped to endure.
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