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Shamed Keith Vaz QUITS the Commons

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Labour’s Keith Vaz, who was facing suspension from the Commons for six months after he was found to have ‘expressed willingness’ to purchase cocaine for others, will not stand at the upcoming General Election, he has announced.

Mr Vaz was suspended from Parliament for six months on October 31 but because of the dissolution for the election he could have dodged his punishment if he was re-elected.

In response to Mr Vaz’s announcement, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn heaped praise on the disgraced politician, calling his work ‘exemplary.’

‘Keith Vaz was among the pioneering group of black and Asian Labour MPs elected in 1987. I was proud to support his selection and incredibly proud when he won, taking the seat from the Tories.’ Mr Corbyn said.

The Commons Standards Committee recommended Labour MP Keith Vaz should be suspended for six months after he breached the Commons code of conduct "by expressing willingness to purchase cocaine for another person"

The Commons Standards Committee recommended Labour MP Keith Vaz should be suspended for six months after he breached the Commons code of conduct "by expressing willingness to purchase cocaine for another person"

The Commons Standards Committee recommended Labour MP Keith Vaz should be suspended for six months after he breached the Commons code of conduct ‘by expressing willingness to purchase cocaine for another person’

Keith Vaz dances with a belly dancer at the Labour party 'Diversity' night in Brighton at the Labour Party Conference in 2015

Keith Vaz dances with a belly dancer at the Labour party 'Diversity' night in Brighton at the Labour Party Conference in 2015

Keith Vaz dances with a belly dancer at the Labour party ‘Diversity’ night in Brighton at the Labour Party Conference in 2015

‘Keith has made a substantial and significant contribution to public life, both as a constituency MP for the people of Leicester and for the Asian community across the country. He has helped to pave the way for more BAME people to become involved in politics.

‘His work in Parliament has been exemplary, as Britain’s first Asian origin Minister, Chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, a campaigner on diabetes issues, and most recently trying to help the peace process in Yemen.

The shaming of Keith Vaz: What the damning report found about his night with rent boys 

Former Europe minister Keith Vaz, 62, committed a ‘very serious breach’ of code of conduct for MPs, said the House of Commons Standards Committee.

The Sunday Mirror reported in September 2016 that Vaz, posing as an industrial washing machine salesman called Jim, invited two male prostitutes into his flat to engage in paid-for sex and offered to pay for cocaine for another man to use.

Married with two children, Vaz, who was born in Aden to a family from Goa, has been the MP for the central England seat of Leicester East since 1987.

‘I found Mr Vaz’s account of the events that led to the media reports incredible,’ said Kathryn Stone, the parliamentary commissioner for standards.

‘I found his reason for being unable to assist me fully with my inquiry implausible.’

The standards committee said his explanation that the men were there to discuss redecorating the London flat, and that he may have been given a ‘spiked drink’, was ‘not believable and, indeed, ludicrous’. 

The committee concluded: 

  • That Mr Vaz’s explanation of the incident on August 27 2016 is not believable; 
  • That on this occasion Mr Vaz expressed a willingness to procure a Class A drug, cocaine, for the use of another person; 
  • That on this occasion Mr Vaz engaged in paid-for sex. 

 

‘Our work to combat racism and bring our diverse communities together is far from over.’

The Commons last month approved the conclusions of the Standards Committee, which found there was ‘compelling evidence’ Mr Vaz had offered to buy the class A drug for male prostitutes. 

But the chair of the committee, Kate Green, warned that Mr Vaz could still avoid the sanction, as it will effectively be wiped out by the dissolution of Parliament for the election.

Although Labour backed the report in the chamber this afternoon, former minister Mr Vaz has yet to be stripped of the whip or deselected in his Leicester East constituency.  

The debate on the report saw a bitter row between Speaker John Bercow and Tory MP Andrew Bridgen, who initiated the complaint against Mr Vaz.

Mr Bridgen accused the Speaker of failing to take action against his ‘friend’ earlier.

But Mr Bercow, on his last day in the chair, raged that it was not his responsibility to intervene in standards issues. 

The House heard that Mr Vaz was not present as he had been admitted to hospital following the publication of the Commons Standards Committee report.

Opening the debate, Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg said: ‘The select committee has specifically asked that the next Leader of the House, or me if I continue in office in the new Parliament, would bring the suspension forward as soon as the House reassembles so that it isn’t in effect only a two-day suspension – and that’s been specifically requested by the committee.’ 

The committee found Mr Vaz had committed a ‘very serious’ breach of the code of conduct for MPs during an encounter with two men at his London flat in August 2016 when he ‘expressed a willingness’ to purchase cocaine.

It said that he had caused ‘significant damage’ to the reputation and integrity of the Commons and by failing to co-operate fully with the Commons inquiry process, he had shown ‘disrespect for the House’s standards system’.

The committee said his claims including that he had met the men to discuss painting and decorating and that his drink may have been spiked were ‘not believable and, indeed, ludicrous’.

It also questioned Mr Vaz’s suggestion he could not remember what had happened because he had amnesia – as he did not mention this until four months into an investigation by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards.

The committee found that Mr Vaz had given a number of the inaccurate responses to the commissioner including claiming that he had been taken to hospital by ambulance in the days after he met the two men.

A statement published on Mr Vaz’s website insisted the events that took place at his flat in August 2016 ‘were purely personal and private, and occurred in circumstances where neither Mr Vaz’s public nor his Parliamentary role were engaged’.

It added: ‘Mr Vaz has never bought, possessed, dealt with or used illegal drugs. He has a cardiovascular condition which would mean that were he to consume any non-prescribed drugs he would in all likelihood die.’

Party animal: Keith Vaz pictured with a belly dancer at the 2009 Labour Conference

Party animal: Keith Vaz pictured with a belly dancer at the 2009 Labour Conference

Party animal: Keith Vaz pictured with a belly dancer at the 2009 Labour Conference

The statement continued: ‘Mr Vaz has cooperated at all stages of this process. At no stage during the inquiry has either Commissioner stated in writing or otherwise that Mr Vaz has been uncooperative.

‘Mr Vaz vigorously rejects the allegation that he has failed to cooperate with the inquiry: to the contrary he holds the standards system in the highest regard and with the highest respect.’ 

In an extraordinary clash in the chamber this afternoon, Mr Bridgen told Mr Bercow: ‘It’s clear to me and it will be clear to the public that to the fag end of your tenure in that chair you are defending the indefensible, and your very close relationship with (Mr Vaz) – the House can come to its own conclusions, the Standards Committee has come to its own conclusions, and Mr Speaker, the public will come to theirs.’

But Mr Bercow said he was sure the public would come to their own conclusions, adding: ‘He can try to smear me, he will get the square root of nowhere.’ 

He added: ‘I am friendly with a great many members having served in this place for 22 years, I do not get involved in matters appertaining to standards, there is a machinery for deliberation on those matters in the form of a parliamentary standards commissioner and a committee.’

‘They deal with those matters.’

The shaming of Keith Vaz: A sordid saga of sex and drugs – and a disgraceful bid to wriggle off the hook 

According to Keith Vaz, that night with the two rent boys was all a dreadful misunderstanding.

The young escorts he had invited to his flat with the words ‘We need to get this party started’ were, in fact, professional decorators.

They had kindly dropped round at 11.30pm on a Saturday evening ‘to discuss interior décor’ in his apartment and, because he was a busy MP, this was the only time he could meet them.

So begins the former chairman of the Commons’ home affairs select committee’s explanation for the sordid night three years ago when he paid two male prostitutes for sex and offered to buy cocaine for a third.

Yesterday, the married father-of-two’s explanation was branded ‘frankly ludicrous’ by the Commons’ standards committee.

In an excoriating 69-page report, they demolished the former Labour grandee’s lies, obfuscation and desperate attempts to escape censure.

And they revealed that, when Mr Vaz’s absurd claims about the decorators began to unravel, he resorted to pleading amnesia.

The committee said paid-for sex between consenting adults was not illegal, but Mr Vaz’s attempts to mislead the inquiry brought shame on him. 

The MP's wife of 26 years, Maria Fernandes, revealed in an interview with the Mail a week after the story broke how he had begged her for forgiveness. Mr Vaz and his wife Maria are pictured above in September 2016, a day after the revelations broke

The MP's wife of 26 years, Maria Fernandes, revealed in an interview with the Mail a week after the story broke how he had begged her for forgiveness. Mr Vaz and his wife Maria are pictured above in September 2016, a day after the revelations broke

The MP’s wife of 26 years, Maria Fernandes, revealed in an interview with the Mail a week after the story broke how he had begged her for forgiveness. Mr Vaz and his wife Maria are pictured above in September 2016, a day after the revelations broke

Call me Jim 

The inquiry by the standards commissioner concerned the evening of August 27, 2016, at a well-appointed £400,000 Edgware flat belonging to Mr Vaz, a 10-minute walk from his £2.2million marital home.

As the rent boys undressed, one of them asked his name and the MP for Leicester East replied ‘Jim’, telling his Eastern European guests he was a washing machine repair man. 

Alas, the ruse was pointless because they were fully aware of his true identity and one of them was secretly recording the proceedings on his phone for the Sunday Mirror newspaper.

Eight days later, it published its expose, including extracts of the home affairs chairman – whose committee was tasked with monitoring crime, immigration and drugs policy on behalf of the nation – discussing illegal drugs, unprotected sex and money. He resigned as chairman days later.

Only now has Mr Vaz’s ‘implausible’ version of events been made public, after the commissioner’s inquiry finished and her findings were endorsed by the Commons’ standards committee which published a report yesterday.

It tells how the MP insisted he and his wife had planned an ‘ambitious’ renovation at their house and needed to quickly refurbish the flat to serve as their temporary home.

Because of his crowded diary of engagements – which included a football match and a birthday party – he could not meet the ‘decorators’ until late in the evening on Saturday August 27.

On the Sunday Mirror’s tape, Mr Vaz can allegedly be heard calling one of the men ‘a naughty b****r’, and informing him: ‘I’m getting very horny.’ 

Yesterday the committee concluded: ‘The notion that the men were at Mr Vaz’s flat in connection with painting and decorating is incredible. The recording contains no evidence of any conversation about …decorating.’ 

Paid for sex 

Commissioner Kathryn Stone said: ‘Mr Vaz has told me he has never paid for sex. Sexual activity took place…I believe Mr Vaz paid for that activity.’

Mr Vaz and his visitors reminisced about other prostitutes including one who ‘forgot the condom’, with the MP recalling: ‘I had to f*** him without a condom.’

The report said: ‘No reasonable person who has listened to the audio recording could believe his claim that the purpose of the two men’s visit was to discuss interior decoration. Mr Vaz’s claims … are, frankly, ludicrous.’

Drugs

As the trio waited for a third rent boy – a Romanian – Mr Vaz offered to buy him cocaine, the report found. 

The MP – who in 2010 demanded action against the ‘dangerous’ cocaine trade – said he did not want any but would be willing to pay for the Romanian to have some, the tape revealed.

The report said: ‘The men can be heard discussing ‘poppers’, ‘weed’ and ‘coke’. Mr Vaz was the first to mention ‘coke’ that evening.’ 

In 2016, the Met examined the case but did not to take any action. Mr Vaz told the commissioner the recording could not be relied on and insisted he had never taken drugs.

Amnesia

Initially, Mr Vaz tried to dismiss the Sunday Mirror’s investigation as bearing ‘no relation to what actually occurred’. 

But when asked by the commissioner what had really occurred, he pleaded amnesia. He claimed his drink must have been spiked.

The inquiry said the one-hour-40-minute recording proved he had not been incapacitated, as he spoke freely to the prostitutes.

The report said: ‘He knew about their pet dog, the study plans of one of the men, their travels and their overdraft. These are not the details most people would know about their decorators.’

The commissioner found it ‘extremely puzzling’ that Mr Vaz did not wheel out his amnesia claims until later in the inquiry. 

She added that the fact Mr Vaz was calling himself a false name also undermined his claims. 

His wife 

The MP’s wife of 26 years, Maria Fernandes, revealed in an interview with the Mail a week after the story broke how he had begged her for forgiveness – contradicting Mr Vaz’s claims he had not spoken to her, said the standards commissioner, who added: ‘Mr Vaz’s wife said that she said she had had no inkling that her husband enjoyed sex with men. The article said Mr Vaz had told his wife ‘something was going to break [in a newspaper], that it was bad…While he did not go into detail, he did concede – to his wife’s incredulity – that his infidelity involved men’.’

His excuses

The report said Mr Vaz ‘has done himself no favours by his inability to provide a single, consistent, plausible account.’ 

It revealed the lengths he went to ‘throw dust in the eyes of the commissioner and the committee’, adding he ‘has done his best to complicate, obfuscate and confuse the inquiry’.

The MP claimed he was the victim of conmen and produced a ‘dossier’ of claims about the rent boys, including that one had a ‘conviction for littering from a vehicle’. This was rejected as irrelevant.

He claimed the Sunday Mirror’s tape was ‘doctored’ but an independent expert found it was not.

He complained he was the victim of ‘entrapment’. But the committee said the sting had not ‘fostered’ Mr Vaz’s misconduct, but rather had exposed it. 

The report said: ‘There is no evidence to suggest that Mr Vaz was being steered in directions he was unwilling to go.’ 

The committee said it was ‘difficult, to put it mildly’ to accept his excuses. It said the inquiry could have been finished long ago if he had told the truth.

  • Mr Vaz was cleared of failing to declare a conflict of interest when his committee produced reports on prostitution and drugs.

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Washed-up Biggest Loser winner Adriano ‘Adro’ Sarnelli is revealed to be bankrupt

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Biggest Loser contestant Adriano ‘Adro’ Sarnelli has narrowly avoided jail after breaching the terms of his bankruptcy. 

Sarnelli won the first season of the reality weight loss show in 2008 and used the $200,000 prize to open a weight loss centre in Melbourne.

The centre closed in 2014, and Sarnelli became bankrupt on February 12, 2015 after accruing debts of about $280,000.

In November 2017, he received an inheritance of nearly $33,000 from his late mother’s estate, but tried to hide it in a friend’s bank account, instead of using the money to pay back his creditors.

Adriano 'Adro' Sarnelli has narrowly avoided a jail sentence after breaching the conditions of his bankruptcy

Adriano 'Adro' Sarnelli has narrowly avoided a jail sentence after breaching the conditions of his bankruptcy

Adriano ‘Adro’ Sarnelli has narrowly avoided a jail sentence after breaching the conditions of his bankruptcy

Sarnelli received nearly $33,000 from his late mother's (pictured) estate in 2017, and had the money directed to a friend's bank account

Sarnelli received nearly $33,000 from his late mother's (pictured) estate in 2017, and had the money directed to a friend's bank account

Sarnelli received nearly $33,000 from his late mother’s (pictured) estate in 2017, and had the money directed to a friend’s bank account 

When his trustee asked for the identity of the friend, Sarnelli refused to tell, a statement from the Australian Financial Security Authority said. 

The personal trainer was charged with not fully disclosing property he received during bankruptcy to his trustee.

He was also charged with concealing, removing or disposing of that property and failing to disclose the identity of the person he gave the property to. 

The new charges came just months after Sarnelli was handed a 12-month good behaviour bond with a $2,000 surety for racking up credit card charges of more than $8,000 within two years of becoming bankrupt.    

His more recent offences breached that bond, and he lost the surety. 

Sarnelli failed to tell the trustee about the money and refused to divulge where it was

Sarnelli failed to tell the trustee about the money and refused to divulge where it was

Sarnelli failed to tell the trustee about the money and refused to divulge where it was

After winning the first season of The Biggest Loser in 2008, Sarnelli used his $200,000 prize to open a weight loss centre in Melbourne. The centre closed in 2014 and the reality show contestant was declared bankrupt in early 2015

After winning the first season of The Biggest Loser in 2008, Sarnelli used his $200,000 prize to open a weight loss centre in Melbourne. The centre closed in 2014 and the reality show contestant was declared bankrupt in early 2015

After winning the first season of The Biggest Loser in 2008, Sarnelli used his $200,000 prize to open a weight loss centre in Melbourne. The centre closed in 2014 and the reality show contestant was declared bankrupt in early 2015

Sarnelli pleaded guilty to the charges relating to his mother’s estate, and was sentenced to four months prison for each charge, to be served concurrently. 

Magistrate Simpson told the court bankruptcy only worked where creditors still received funds when they became available. 

As the former reality star had offended just four months after facing court on the credit card charges, the Magistrate said he did not accept Sarnelli was unaware of his obligations. 

Sarnelli was released immediately from his prison sentence, and he was instead placed on a $1,000 good behaviour bond for three years, and ordered to pay costs of $199.10.

The trustee has lodged an objection to Mr Sarnelli’s automatic discharge from bankruptcy and has extended the expiry date to 6 March 2023.  

He was sentenced to prison, but immediately released and put on a good behaviour bond (pictured is Sarnelli before his time on The Biggest Loser and after)

He was sentenced to prison, but immediately released and put on a good behaviour bond (pictured is Sarnelli before his time on The Biggest Loser and after)

He was sentenced to prison, but immediately released and put on a good behaviour bond (pictured is Sarnelli before his time on The Biggest Loser and after)

  

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Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly reveals truth behind why public toilets have U-shape seats

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A plumbing expert has revealed the interesting reason behind why U-shaped toilet seats are used in public bathrooms across Australia.

The gap that exists at the front is designed for hygiene purposes to prevent people from touching the seat with their genitals. 

It also gives women an easier access point to clean up after themselves without brushing their hand against the seat.

‘The U-shaped toilet seat is commonly found in public bathrooms and often is installed for ease of use and maintenance,’ Master Plumbers chief executive officer Peter Daly told Daily Mail Australia.  

It also gives woman an easier access point to clean up after themselves without swiping their hand against the seat

It also gives woman an easier access point to clean up after themselves without swiping their hand against the seat

This style is typically seen in homes across Australia

This style is typically seen in homes across Australia

The U-shaped seats (left) found in public bathrooms are designed for hygiene purposes to prevent hundreds of people from touching their genitals to the chain (right: an oval shaped chair commonly found in homes)

What are the U-shaped seats for?

  • To help women clean up after themselves without touching the seat
  • To prevent people from brushing their genitals against the seat
  • They are cheaper and therefore easier to put in every public bathroom
  • They are easier for maintenance workers to clean 
  • While they are not strictly for public bathrooms, they are in the US

‘The gap in the front of the seat is also designed to be more hygienic for both males and females in a high-use environment, which you would be less likely to encounter in your home.’ 

‘Having a break in the front of the seat means that it needs to be thicker and stronger to be “self-supporting” – another reason it’s not as often found in the home,’ Mr Daly added. 

Full oval seats are found in every home because they’re only used by a handful of people each day.

In Australia adult changing facilities require a full-circle seat because they are easiest to sit on. 

‘There are also special requirements for making sure the seat can carry a higher weight and doesn’t shift when users have limited mobility,’ Mr Daly said.

'Having a break in the front of the seat means that it needs to be thicker and stronger to be "self-supporting" - another reason it's not as often found in the home,' Mr Daly added

'Having a break in the front of the seat means that it needs to be thicker and stronger to be "self-supporting" - another reason it's not as often found in the home,' Mr Daly added

‘Having a break in the front of the seat means that it needs to be thicker and stronger to be “self-supporting” – another reason it’s not as often found in the home,’ Mr Daly added

But aside from that there are no legislation around having the U-shaped seat installed in public bathrooms, and restrooms will vary nationwide.

‘How did I never know this? I must have used a public bathroom with this seat a hundred times,’ one social media user said.

‘This kind of grosses me out,’ said another.

In the United States, U-shaped toilet seats must be installed in all public bathrooms by law but that’s not the case in Australia.

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Gender pay gap: Netball the one sport where men trail women

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Female sports stars are celebrating equal pay deals, but one men’s team remains so firmly in the shadows of their women counterparts they are forced to pay their own way when representing their country.

News that the Matildas will now be paid the same as the Socceroos when pulling on the green and gold – about $100,000-a-year – was met with praise last week.

The move follows Cricket Australia’s deal to pay the women’s team at the upcoming T20 World Cup the same as the men.

But while women’s teams in two male-dominated sports are being financially looked after, the same can’t be said for men who play one the few female-dominated sports.

Each of the 12 players selected to play for Australia’s men’s netball team at the World Cup will have to pay $2,000 to cover the cost of flights, accommodation and meals.

On the other hand, Australian Diamonds stars can pocket $150,000 annually, enjoy endorsement deals and play in front of sold out stadiums, while thousands more are able to watch at home through a free-to-air TV broadcast deal with Channel Nine. 

This is despite the fact that although amateurs, the men would beat the nation’s best women.

Australia’s men’s netball team sits so firmly in the shadows of their female counterparts that players have to pay their own way when representing the country. This is despite the men’s team being regarded as superior

By contrast, Australian Diamonds mid-court player Jamie-Lee Pierce has an endorsement deal with Mercedes Benz and regularly plays in front of packed out stadiums

By contrast, Australian Diamonds mid-court player Jamie-Lee Pierce has an endorsement deal with Mercedes Benz and regularly plays in front of packed out stadiums

By contrast, Australian Diamonds mid-court player Jamie-Lee Pierce has an endorsement deal with Mercedes Benz and regularly plays in front of packed out stadiums

In a recent competitive pre-World Championship match, the New Zealand men actually beat the women’s world champions, the Silver Ferns.

Even with superstars such as Maria Folau, Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Jane Watson, they lost 66-54 to the men’s invitational team.  

Just three weeks later, the Silver Ferns beat Australia and were crowned the world’s best. 

While the outcome of New Zealand’s amateur men taking on the professional women may come as a shock to many, it wasn’t to those who regularly watch men’s netball.

‘It doesn’t surprise me… I would’ve expected it,’ Grant Crocker, the president of the Australian Men’s and Mixed Netball Association (AMMNA), told Daily Mail Australia.

‘They can jump higher, run faster and are physically stronger, so it’s not really fair to compare the men’s sport to the women’s sport.

‘Now, not every men’s team is going to beat the Australian Diamonds… but certainly the Australian men’s team would and probably the Victorian Men’s Open team may.’ 

Under a new pay agreement reached last year, players in the Suncorp Super Netball league – the national competition in Australia – earn an average of $67,000.

Despite being competitively superior than their female counterparts, men’s netball is totally self-funded – and shows no signs of changing in the foreseeable future.

Although they are desperate to grow the game, so small is the sport of men’s netball that the AMMNA is not officially recognised by Netball Australia. 

Goal shooter Junior Levi, who stands 219cm tall, leads star Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson, 181cm, to the ball during their clash in June. The NZ men's team would win comfortably, 66-54

Goal shooter Junior Levi, who stands 219cm tall, leads star Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson, 181cm, to the ball during their clash in June. The NZ men's team would win comfortably, 66-54

Goal shooter Junior Levi, who stands 219cm tall, leads star Silver Ferns defender Jane Watson, 181cm, to the ball during their clash in June. The NZ men’s team would win comfortably, 66-54

Just three weeks later the Silver Ferns were crown world champions with a 52-51 victory over Australia

Just three weeks later the Silver Ferns were crown world champions with a 52-51 victory over Australia

Just three weeks later the Silver Ferns were crown world champions with a 52-51 victory over Australia

Soccer star Sam Kerr (pictured) last week signed a landmark $2 million deal with English mega club Chelsea. It came days after Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced the Matildas would be paid the same as the Socceroos

Soccer star Sam Kerr (pictured) last week signed a landmark $2 million deal with English mega club Chelsea. It came days after Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced the Matildas would be paid the same as the Socceroos

Soccer star Sam Kerr (pictured) last week signed a landmark $2 million deal with English mega club Chelsea. It came days after Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced the Matildas would be paid the same as the Socceroos

‘Whether they play for a local team, a state team or for Australia, it is all self-funded,’ Mr Crocker said.

‘It’s difficult in that if we have problems with player we can’t just say “turn up or else we’ll give your spot to another person”, because they are the ones who are paying.

AUSTRALIAN SALARIES BY SPORTS – FOR BOTH MEN & WOMEN

CRICKET:

– Men: International stars have a base salary of $278,100. Steve Smith takes home an estimated $2 million, plus a number of six-figure endorsements

– Women: A new pay deal will see the women’s T20 World Cup team earn the same as the men. WBBL players have an average salary of $46,000, while those who represent Australia in long form cricket can take home $300,000

SOCCER:

Men and women are paid equal when representing Australia under new deal

NETBALL:

– Men: No wages. Players pay their own money to attend tournaments at all levels

– Women: Top Australian Diamonds stars like Caitlin Bassett are estimated to earn more than $150,000 annually

AFL:

– Men: Rookies earn a base of $71,500, while the league’s best earn more than $1 million

– Women: Wages range from $13,000 to $29,856 for top paid AFLW players 

TENNIS:

Men and women take home the same prize money at the Australian Open. Up to $75,000 for first round losers and $4.1m for the winners

GOLF:

– Men: Australian star Adam Scott took home $4.084 million in prizemoney in 2019

– Women: In the LPGA, Aussie young gun Minjee Lee pocketed $1.508m for her efforts in 2019

BASKETBALL: 

– Men: The minimum wage for NBA players sits at above $800,000, while Aussie star Ben Simmons agreed to a five-year, $170million deal, earlier this year

– Women: WNBA players earn a minimum of $75,000, with Australian centre Liz Cambage earning $110,500 in 2019 

 

‘To go to the Australian Championships next year is about $2,000, so for a team of 12 that’s about $50,000 a team.

‘We would certainly like to be able to fund players eventually, but that costs a lot and is a long way off.’

By comparison, Australian Diamonds captain Caitlin Bassett is estimated to take home more than $150,000 from her domestic and national commitments.

But even with her standing as a veteran of the national team, Bassett, 31, has a university degree in journalism. 

Many of her domestic and junior teammates are also studying or working part-time, with an eye to eventually making sport their full-time profession.

In a similar boat are Australia’s women cricketers, who earn an average of $46,000 for playing in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) T20 competition.

Stars such Ellyse Perry and Meg Lanning, who represent Australia in all three forms of the game, make in excess of $300,000 annually.

One of the nation’s leading female stars, Matildas golden girl Sam Kerr, last week signed a $2 million deal with English mega club Chelsea.

This was less than a week after Football Federation Australia (FFA) announced a new pay deal where the Matildas and Socceroos will share revenue equally from 2019.

While the nation’s top female stars in netball, soccer and cricket are all making a full-time living from their sports, that’s a long way off for the nation’s top male netballers.

Women’s netball currently has a modest free-to-air deal with Channel Nine, with the media giant broadcasting games and aiding the sport to attract sponsors.

The only place to watch the men’s sport is through a YouTube stream, once again organised and funded by the players.

A world record crowd of almost 17,000 fans packed into the 2015 World Cup Final in Sydney to see Australia beat New Zealand 58-55.

For the men, the national championships sees a total of 8,000 players, officials and spectators – many of them family and friends – attend over the week-long tournament. 

But that sits fine with Mr Crocker, who understands the sport’s position. 

He is also very supportive of the recent equal pay deals for women cricketers and soccer stars, believing it will grow both sports and make them more appealing to young girls – a stage he hopes men’s netball will also one day get to. 

Australia's women cricketers earn an average of $46,000 for playing in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) T20 competition, while stars like Ellyse Perry (left) take home up to $300,000 for representing the country across all three formats

Australia's women cricketers earn an average of $46,000 for playing in the Women's Big Bash League (WBBL) T20 competition, while stars like Ellyse Perry (left) take home up to $300,000 for representing the country across all three formats

Australia’s women cricketers earn an average of $46,000 for playing in the Women’s Big Bash League (WBBL) T20 competition, while stars like Ellyse Perry (left) take home up to $300,000 for representing the country across all three formats

'(Men) can jump higher, run faster and are physically stronger, so it's not really fair to compare the sports,' Mr Crocker said

'(Men) can jump higher, run faster and are physically stronger, so it's not really fair to compare the sports,' Mr Crocker said

‘(Men) can jump higher, run faster and are physically stronger, so it’s not really fair to compare the sports,’ Mr Crocker said

‘The Australian Men’s and Mixed teams are very envious of where the women are and that’s our direction, we want to try and achieve what they have achieved,’ he said.

‘The women’s association has been doing it a lot longer, at least 50 years longer than we have, but they still have their own challenges.

‘I think the AFL gets $1billion for TV rights, Netball Australia is not getting that, so we understand where we sit. 

‘But a survey that just came out recently shows number are growing, we’ve got more than 107,000 players which is up 50 per cent.

‘They’ve put in a lot of work to get to where they are, now we need to do the same.’   

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