THE member for Indi believesBronwyn Bishop’s $5000 helicopter trip is bringing ridicule to parliament, but she does not thinkthe Speaker should resign.
Instead Cathy McGowan has written to Prime Minister Tony Abbott outlining her concerns about Ms Bishop’s actions.
“I want to meet with him and talk about it,” Ms McGowan said.
She wrote to Mr Abbott on Monday after an electorate tour through the Mitta Valley on Saturday brought home to her how Ms Bishop’s Melbourne to Geelong chopper ride was seen by voters.
“It’s very, very important that that Speaker has got the confidence of the people of Australia and I just haven’t seen it this last week in Indi,” Ms McGowan said.
“If people are joking about it and telling me the jokes and thinking it’s hugely funny and wanting people to laugh with it, I go ‘aw’.
“What’s currently happening is that we’ve had an enormous loss of respect for the institution of parliament.”
Though Ms McGowan does not believe Ms Bishop’s resignation as speaker is the “only way” torestore confidence in parliament.
“Bronwyn could apologise, she could accept responsibility for what’s going on, that would certainly me happy because I think in lots of ways she is a very important figure in Australian politics,” Ms McGowan said.
“I’m definitely not calling for her to resign, because I don’t think that necessarily solves the problem, because we could get another speaker in who doesn’t bring with them a gravitas for the job.”
Ms McGowan declined to sayMs Bishop should repay money claimed for attending Mrs Mirabella’s wedding in 2006, saying she did not know the full circumstances.
Meanwhile, Ms McGowan will launcha Kitchen Table report on Sunday.
It is basedonfeedback from 1500 North East residents and will feed into an Indi Summitin October.
Ms McGowan said topics covered includetransport, phones, jobs, education, drugs andagriculture.
“You’ll look at the report and go ‘we know all this’ and to me that’s really lovely because it gives me such confidence in my representation…and me as an independent can be really clear on how I vote on things,”she said.
Feedback: Cathy McGowan speaks to constituents at The Cube In Wodonga. She has written to the PM about Bronwyn Bishop. Picture: MARK JESSER
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