Magazine firestorm consumes GQ Australia

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The news of yet another closure follows a year of massive upheaval in the industry, with titles shut and scores of redundancies thanks to coronavirus sales restrictions and an advertising drought. GQ Australia, which reached a monthly print audience of 104,000, outlasted its nearest competitor, Men’s Style, which closed three years ago. Jake Millar, announced as editor earlier this year, will stay on as editorial director events and digital, although there may be some redundancies.

Former GQ editors include Peter Holder, Nick Smith and, briefly, Matthew Drummond.

News Corp’s News Prestige Network will continue to publish Vogue and Vogue Living, by arrangement with global magazine giant Conde Nast, overseen by editorial director Edwina McCann and managing director Nicholas Gray.

Victims of the great magazine massacre of 2020 include: women’s fashion magazines Harper’s Bazaar, Elle and InStyle, mass market NW and OK!, as well as Men’s Health, Women’s Health and Good Health.

How they roll in Bayside

Bayside City Council’s proposed ban on wood and charcoal barbecues isn’t the only thing annoying locals.

A blue SUV parked outside the Beaumaris IGA – which has a prominent “Clarke Martin Gets Thing Done” poster affixed to its back windscreen – has been accused of out-staying its welcome in the 90-minute zone.

The car belongs, of course, to Bayside mayor Clarke Martin, who is standing again for re-election.

One eyewitness said Martin was,“loitering out the front of the IGA, spruiking to any potential voter passing by that would listen and also handing out flyers for his current election campaign”.

Handing out leaflets and conducting public meetings are not allowed under Victoria’s local government election guidelines. But “campaigning in person isn’t illegal if candidates are following safe campaigning rules”, Local Government Victoria says.

Martin, speaking as a candidate, not as mayor, tells CBD his campaign is 100 per cent COVID compliant. He takes his mandated two hours of exercise in his ward each day but denied handing out leaflets to people.

As to his car doubling as a mobile billboard. “I do move the car, it’s not there all the time.”

Case closed, or is it?

In January, former Labor minister Melissa Parke launched Federal Court action against Liberal MP Dave Sharma over a tweet which Parke believed implied she was anti-Semite. On Wednesday, the pro-Palestine advocate opted to discontinue the case.

Federal Court justice James Besanko ruled that Parke could accept Sharma’s offer to discontinue the case, with each party paying their own costs.

But it’s possible the fight won’t end there. As it turns out, Sharma’s original offer to discontinue the case had an expiration date of 28 days. Parke initially rejected that, but then, on the 28th day, turned around and accepted it.

In court on Wednesday, Sharma argued that the offer to settle had expired because Parke had initially rejected it. But Judge Besanko ruled the offer still existed, and Parke could accept it. The former MP wasted no time chalking up the result as a victory.

“Mr Sharma was not prepared to take up the challenge offered to him to justify his defamatory tweet. I consider that I am vindicated,” she told CBD on Wednesday.

Sharma disagreed.

“Ms Parke’s statement today about the outcome of the proceedings is incorrect. The proceedings were dismissed. She gave up,” he said.

He’s now considering next steps. “I was looking forward to defending my remarks in court and was very confident of my prospects,” he said. “I stand by my comments that Melissa Parke’s inflammatory speech trafficked in anti-Semitism and conspiracy theories. In a free society, remarks such as these should always warrant scrutiny and criticism.”

Supplements versus champagne

It appears Labor’s health spokesman Chris Bowen drew the short straw on the corporate gifts front earlier this month when he received two boxes of Swisse vitamins and supplements. His parliamentary register of interests was frank about the lacklustre haul.

“I have received two small boxes of Swisse products. Value unknown, but modest,” a note on his register read. His Labor colleague Mark Butler fared better. He scored a bottle of vintage 2002 “Rare Millesime” Piper-Heidsieck champagne from Qantas – which currently retails for around $240 a bottle. Not bad.

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