ABC radio presenter David Bevan today accused the State Government of humiliating Transport Services Minister Chloe Fox.
Fox had agreed to go on 891 ABC Adelaide’s breakfast program, hosted by Bevan and Matthew Abraham, but the interview was later cancelled by the minister’s media adviser Owen Brown.
Abraham claimed Brown had told him that “he speaks for the Minister”.
Bevan took it a step further, asking Deputy Premier John Rau if the Labor Party State Government had a problem with women.
“There’s Lea Stevens, Trish White, Grace Portolesi and Chloe Fox; when there’s been a problem you haven’t exactly circled the wagons to help them,” Bevan said.
“Chloe Fox – she’s regularly humiliated by your government.”
Lea Stevens was Health Minister from March 2002 to November 2005 when she stepped down for personal reasons. Trish White was a shadow minister from 1995 to 2002 and a senior minister in the Rann Government until early 2005. She returned to her career as an electronics engineer in defence industries after the March 2006 election. Grace Portolesi was appointed a minister in March 2010 and took the education portfolio from October 2011 until she lost it in January 2013. She retains a Cabinet position.
John Rau rejected the claims.
“I just don’t accept that,” he said.
“And Grace Portolesi was replaced by a woman wasn’t she?”
InDaily has asked Fox’s office for a response.
The combat between the presenters and the State Government’s media advisers won’t affect the traditional leader’s debate, with the ABC opting to fly in interstate presenter Chris Uhlmann as host.
Premier Jay Weatherill and Opposition Leader Steven Marshall will go head to head in the SA Votes Leaders Debate on Monday, 17 February, kicking off the first week of the election campaign.
The debate will air in South Australia on ABC1, ABC 891 Adelaide and ABC Local Radio; nationally on ABC News 24 and online at abc.net.au/news.
AM presenter Uhlmann will host the debate, which will also feature questions from a studio audience at the ABC’s Collinswood studios.
Each leader will be given a set time to speak, before the forum is thrown open to the voting audience.
Audience members and questions will be selected through an online registration process to ensure political balance and a probing debate.
Details on where to register will be made available on social media in the coming days.
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