A Shadow Minister Got Called Out For Playing Candy Crush During Question Time

Maybe this is why we don't want to allow our photographers to snap politicians in the upper house when they're not standing or speaking.

If you've been a bit out of tune with politics recently, there's been a bit of consternation in the upper house of federal parliament this week. Spurred on by Fairfax photographer Andrew Meares, who is president of the Press Gallery committee, debate has stirred over the possibility of loosening the rules around what photographers can and can't capture in the Senate.

The rules between the House of Representatives and the Senate are wildly different. The lower house is quite relaxed with what can be photographed, but the upper house only permits photographers to capture senators when they have been given permission to speak -- in other words, only when a Senator is standing and talking. Everything else is off-limits.

But I can understand why some Senators wouldn't want to be photographed. During a moment of unrelated business today, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann rose for a point of order. The Shadow Defence Minister was having a bit of fun, and he wasn't going to stand for that.

In fairness, the Senate is having a bit of a marathon session today. Perhaps the Shadow Defence Minister could use that time to check out some Aussie mobile games; in a long day of voting, Crossy Road seems appropriate.

Credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation


    "I'm telling the teacher on you!"

    You mean we can't expect people being paid over $100,000 a year to actually pay attention to what's going on at their job?

    Edit: Actually I just looked this up and found this: 'The base salary for senators and members is $195,130 per annum from 1 July 2014'
    Source: http://www.aph.gov.au/About_Parliament/Parliamentary_Departments/Parliamentary_Library/pubs/rp/rp1415/ParlBaseSal2014

    Nearly $200,000 a year plus entitlements on top.... He is getting paid 4 times the average wage, and cant even you know pay attention... If this was a meeting in a private corporation he would surely be given an official warning for unprofessional conduct.

      I was really having a laugh at this. Then you had to go and make me all angry and really look at the situation.
      Nice job. I sincerely mean that.

        Sorry Brancha, reality sucks sometimes, I wish politicians were held more accountable for their work, their wages are not really justified.

          No apologies required. Sometimes I need a reality check. This was one of those times.

          100% correct and if you could be even more correct you would be.

      Compared to other countries and even our own athletes and government officials, our politicians actually get paid quite modestly. Most also come from working backgrounds and a level of talent that would see them getting paid more than what they would currently if they weren't in politics. As for people earning that much in the corporate world, I'm sure there's been a lot worse done than playing Angry Birds.

      I'm glad that there's some silliness in politics, as the tone is a reminder that Australians are in a good spot; if it was all serious and business-like, I would be worried.

        Actually in comparison to uk MPs who get paid about $140,000 per year, and American senators who get paid about $210,000, our politicians are paid a decent amount, our PM is paid over 500,000 a year, hell even the premier of Queensland gets paid 380,000 a year which when it was first put in due to the exchange rate was more than the 400,000 A year Obama gets paid. How many nuclear weapons or carrier battlegroups are our PM or the premier of Queensland responsible for?

        They are not on comparatively modest wages, they justify their pay rates because they could earn more in the private sector, but they don't do the job they are paid for as it is, the private sector would not accept the lack of results and inaction from their executives that is evident in our parliamentary system.

        Edit: you might also want to look into the background and education of some of our elected officials and you might change your tune on their 'level of talent', there is a senator that used to be a truck driver and was a union manager, one that doesn't have any education higher than a tafe certificate, one who's entry for his details consists of where he was born, no details of his education or work history. I'm glad we have elected officials from different backgrounds, but this doesn't mean they are any more talented than the general public.

        Most also come from working backgrounds and a level of talent that would see them getting paid more than what they would currently if they weren't in politics.They chose to go into politics. Why should taxpayers make up the difference between their potential salary in another job and their actual salary as a politician?

        I'm currently getting paid a lot less than other people in a similar role, but I accept that's no one's fault but my own for working where I do.

        This is so wrong, our politicians get lifetime pensions that increase twice yearly, they get huge super contributions, they are WELL paid compared to all other countries and their performance is not based on any measurable indicators - they are the detritus of this country, and should be regarded with contempt when they do such things as this.

        To use your ridiculous analogy, can you imagine what would happen if one of our cricketers took out his phone and started playing Candy Crush during a game?

        You are truly a frigging idiot. And you vote.

      If only we could hit the Parliament with WorkChoices...

      Pay attention to their job? How about actually showing up! Look at all those empty seats.

      This could make you angrier at the system, but less angry with individual: the Labor party is trying to filibuster a vote on senate reforms. Nothing of value is getting debated at present, so I don't see the problem with playing candy crush right now. The problem as I see it is that parties feel OK about pulling shenanigans like this in the first place.

      I've always wondered why the upper echelons of leadership in the country weren't tied to the average income of said country. The existing wage system brings people into the system with a view of making money as opposed to making a difference.

        It's a more complicated issue than it looks at face value, but one of the biggest reasons for strong government wages is reduced corruption. Pay them the same amount as the average wage and you create a stronger incentive for them to take kickbacks and bribes to supplement their income. Unlike normal people, politicians don't tend to have the luxury of taking a second job as it raises concerns about conflict of interest and dedication to their political job.

        There are other factors of course but several studies show a strong correlation between high wages and low corruption.

          It might stamp out corruption but lobbying/funding/donations in essence does what corruption used to do. In essence higher wages only solves a part of the problem; only legitimate money can be used to influence policies not illegally obtained funds.

          Politicians should do what they do for the betterment of the nation; great power and responsibility and all that jazz. The problem is the system over the years has developed a complete lack of empathy or moral direction, sooner or later the public will react and we're seeing that happen in America right now. I mean how desperate must a population be for change that they're pushing Trump into the presidency election.

            If you only recruited people who wanted to better the country, you'd end up with maybe a hundred politicians, three quarters of which would be 'dreamers' with zero skill. It's just the nature of the system, it never functions in its ideal form. As Churchill said, "democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time".

    It's a real pity Conroy was the sole dissenting voice, or rather presence, during the vote to allow greater media coverage in the Senate.

    In the opening of that clip we can see a number of senators playing with their phones and tablets. What's the difference between someone not paying attention and playing with their schedule or other unrelated business, and another playing a game; both should be given a smack across the knuckles.

      i honestly dont know why the press gallery just doesnt go and do it anyway, because sentators should be held to the same account as mps are. neither house should be off limits especially when it comes to satire

    They can still be videoed so not held accountable isn't entirely accurate. The only reason you dont see more footage is because most news is done via static articles still. When the news outlets fully migrate to video (ie digital distribution) it wont be near as much an issue. In any case, Ben and Srump both have it right regarding the Senate.

    "That man is playing Galaga! Thought we wouldn't notice, but we did..."

    Boo this man!

    I've sat in before and watched, its actually quite funny. Most suprising thing to me was watching them have little naps during the session! Wish I could nap at work lol

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