Mark Latham has unleashed on Lisa Wilkinson in NSW parliament, claiming she is playing the “victim” and is all “about the money”.
NSW One Nation Leader Mark Latham has taken an extraordinary swipe at Lisa Wilkinson in parliament, claiming she’s “always been about the money” and couldn’t get out of Western Sydney “fast enough”.
Speaking under parliamentary privilege in the NSW Upper House, Mr Latham claimed the broadcaster was “reinventing herself as a victim of the gender pay gap at Channel 9”.
“Recently one of Wilkinson’s old classmates contacted me to say ‘that’s Lisa, it’s always been about the money’,’ the former federal Labor Opposition leader said on Wednesday. “We went to Campbelltown High together and she couldn’t get out of here fast enough.”
“She’s always been as tight as all get out, it’s always about the money and the victimhood,” Mr Latham says her schoolmate claimed.
Mr Latham’s comments came during the Private Members’ Statements part of the day, where sitting MPs can make statements on “matters that concern their electorates or are of local significance”.
Members are also able to address issues other than local ones, provided that they directly affect constituents.
Mr Latham introduced his claims about Wilkinson as a discussion around the gender pay gap. However, he did not address pay inequality any further in his comments.
News.com.au reported on Equal Pay Day that the gender pay gap widened by 0.8 per cent during the six months from February 2021 to August 2021.
The data, gathered from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and released by Workplace Gender Equality Agency, has calculated the national gender pay gap stands at 14.2 per cent for full-time employees. This equals a difference of $261.50 per week between women and men.
Wilkinson claims in her new book It Wasn’t Meant To Be Like This that Today show co-host Karl Stefanovic was offered a five-year deal with Nine worth at least $2 million per year, while she was being offered about $780,000 a year, and her deal was only for two years.
She said the pay disparity between them was “so off the charts that no-one would have believed it.”
However, news.com.au reported that Wilkinson was actually paid double Stefanovic’s salary for “many years” after the pair first teamed up in 2006.
In parliament, Mr Latham slammed Wilkinson for having “a PhD in victimology” and said she had “played the victim card” while promoting her book.
In the photo with her son Jack, Wilkinson is seen working away at her book.
“Boo hoo for her first world problems,” Mr Latham said. “Posting a picture from her Mosman mansion, with smudged mascara, feigning distress, while also carefully – in a classic product placement – posing with copies of Mr Wilkinson’s ghostwritten books in front of her.”
Mr Latham also took aim of Wilkinson’s tenure as editor of Dolly and Cleo magazines during her 20s.
“There’s never any mention of the plight of migrant women or poorly-paid factory jobs or sweatshops, there’s never any mention of the Indigenous women having the life beaten out of them in country NSW hellholes,” he said.
“If this is feminism then God help the women of the world.”
News.com.au has approached Wilkinson’s management for comment.
Wilkinson left the Today show in October 2017 after Nine failed to meet her demand for equal pay with Stefanovic.
In January 2018, Wilkinson joined Channel 10’s The Project for a rumoured multimillion-dollar pay packet.