Canberra’s night of nights (and doesn’t that indicate what a colourless, bland, dump it is) was held last night at Parliament House.
The Mid-Winter Ball, organised as a charity fundraising event by the Federal Parliamentary Media Gallery, is a much-anticipated (see first paragraph) event on the annual political calendar.
Delayed this year due to the federal election, it was nevertheless a chance for politicians and anyone involved in Australian politics to dress up and eat, drink, and be merry – like former Liberal minister Christopher Pyne and Tasmanian Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie who each arrived alone but danced the night away together (main picture).
The Bug’s Canberra photographic team was on the spot to capture some candid snaps from this year’s night of nights (again, see paragraph one).
Independent Queensland MP Bob Katter said he was outfitted for free by “some very nice young blokes” in his electorate. “They said they wanted me to make a statement. But they never told me what it was,” Mr Katter said.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott was determined to turn up against the advice of many in the government and ended up wearing an outfit tailor-made by most of his former parliamentary colleagues.
ABC’s Q&A host Tony Jones told reporters on the red carpet that the Midwinter Ball was an occasion “for me to show the world the real me”. He began to explain his fashion choices but quickly interrupted himself, saying he would take his own words “as a comment”, then moved off.
Former National Party leader and deputy PM, Barnaby Joyce, said the event was an opportunity to put his financial woes behind him and enjoy a night out.
Reporters asked PM Scott Morrison if he had mistaken the ball as a fancy dress event, but he said no.
A woman who refused to give her name but claimed to be a former federal MP attempted to gain entry but was refused, although she was later admitted after paying an undisclosed sum of money to organisers and some workers in Townsville.
Former foreign minister Julie Bishop showed a clean pair of heels when reporters asked about the inspiration for her outfit.
Former NSW Labor senator, Sam Dastyari, said he saw no reason to wear anything other than his day-to-day outfit.
Several Labor Party identities spent the evening reminiscing about the 2019 election.
ABC TV reporter Matthew Doran spent the early part of the night interviewing guests on the red carpet.
Leading legal identity Mr Justice Waleed Aly instructed the ever-diminishing number of guests at his table in the fine art of pontificating.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the ball gave her a chance to break out of her everyday business suits and showcase her real fashion tastes.
The same went for National Party leader and deputy PM, Michael McCormack.
Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull said he refused to dress up for the ball and preferred to come casual.
Another happy couple burning up the dance floor.