Caroline Beinke was 100 per cent serious when she made the request, aimed at getting around the web filters imposed on the computers of most government employees in Australia.
Her reason? “When I have long conversations on the phone to constituents, it is my version of doodling, a mental chewing gum of sorts”.
Amazingly, her boss, Liberal MP Victor Dominello, okayed the move, saying “My staff work very very hard. If they are sitting at their desk on hold to a department for 15 minutes, I do not have a problem with it.”
Before Ms Beinke could get clicking during her very very hard work days, however, the Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, Richard Torbay, put a stop to the madness.
“I have not seen this specific request but I can say this: I put filters in place to stop staff accessing inappropriate websites in the Parliament and I do not think we should be paying people to play games.”
Fun fact: my last job was with the New South Wales Fire Brigade. We had a filter in action there, too, so to use Facebook and read Kotaku I would have to run the sites through Google Translator into another language then back into English again (the Google url used to trick the filter). French usually worked best. It made for… interesting reading.