Bishop on the ball as she swaps foreign affairs for footy

In a departure from her portfolio, the Foreign Minister took to the microphone during Wednesday’s National Press Club address, tackling a number of AFL–related issues.


Ms Bishop quizzed the chief executive of the Australian Football League, Gillon McLachlan, on the league’s $2.5 billion broadcast deal, announced on Tuesday.

“Do you believe that you have done enough in order to protect the AFL base in the light of increasing ticket prices and more coverage on pay TV?” she asked.

Related Reading

Mr McLachlan said the deal – signed with Foxtel, the Seven Network and Telstra – provided an “unprecedented level of free-to-air coverage”.

“I believe the opportunity for our supporters to enjoy their football and watch their team has never been better,” he said.

“We haven’t traded off any of that for money. The challenge about ticket prices is we have to use that money… because attendance is our number one priority, to make sure it is affordable.”

Ms Bishop’s questions surprised journalists, sparking a number of tweets praising her “expertise”.

Wow. @JulieBishopMP showing her AFL expertise at National Press Club, asking CEO Gillon McLachlan a 3 part question pic.twitter杭州桑拿会所,/C5bdmOxYTp

— James Massola (@jamesmassola) August 19, 2015

Ms Bishop’s questioning was far lighter than that seen in Parliament on Tuesday, when she used Question Time to attack her Opposition counterpart Tanya Plibersek over moves in Syria.

“And guess who will end up feasting on them – a terrorist picnic,” she said. 

“… If the deputy leader of the opposition thinks that Daesh can be defeated by food not force, let’s hope that she never has anything to do with the planning of strategy in this country.”