Wilkinson, a highly respected journalist and TV presenter, shocked the media world and TV viewers on Monday night when it was announced that she was jumping ship from Nine — where she had worked for the past decade — to rival Network Ten. She will join infotainment show The Project.
Apparently, Wilkinson insisted on being paid the same amount as Stefanovic, who is thought to take home $2 million a year compared to her $1.1 million.
Channel Nine reportedly offered her $1.8 million, but wouldn’t match her co-star’s salary.
Both salaries are incredibly generous — and I doubt many people are debating whether they are being fairly compensated for their work — but that’s not the point.
What was at stake was the principle, with one employee doing the same work but earning more than a female colleague.
Should the rumours be true, then questions need to be asked about why Nine insisted on this gender pay disparity continuing and what its reasons are.
Could there be any justifiable reasons for paying women less than men?
Women are speaking up
Whether it be harassment, assaults, lower pay or gender bias, the growing chorus of voices demanding an end to gender inequality is getting louder.
How Nine could not have heard those voices is a poor indictment.
Not only has Nine lost one of its best on-air talents, but its own credibility on gender has also taken a nose dive.
It’s not the first time Nine has been caught treating male and female employees differently.
In 2016, it was revealed that while NRL Footy Show co-host Beau Ryan took home $800,000 a year and flew business class, fellow host Erin Molan was paid $100,000 and had to fly economy.
Bad timing for entertainment industry
The announcement couldn’t have come at a worst time, as the entertainment industry grapples with the snowballing Harvey Weinstein sexual assault and harassment allegations.
At the time of publishing, more than 40 women have publicly accused Weinstein of acts from inappropriate touching to rape.
The fact that Weinstein got away with this despicable behaviour is only half the story; apparently, most of Hollywood was well aware that the Oscar-winning producer was a serial predator and his actions were not only tolerated, but Weinstein was actively protected from any consequences.
On the weekend, the social media hashtag #MeToo encouraged countless women across the world to reveal their own experience with sexual harassment.
The scale of the problem is vast, but for far too long it has been considered something that “just happens”.
But the growing anger and frustration that women have felt over gender discrimination, harassment and assault cannot be ignored.
A tone-deaf decision
As a public relations issue, losing Wilkinson to a network that was prepared to pay the same rate as Stefanovic is bad news for Nine.
Wilkinson has been widely praised for her stance. Social media has been flooded with posts congratulating Wilkinson.
For Nine to refuse to provide pay parity for Wilkinson was a tone-deaf decision that is woefully out of step with society’s growing expectations that women should be paid the same as men.
This was Nine’s opportunity to take a stand and lead the way for the entertainment industry, which continues to maintain its dinosaur-era policy of treating women like pretty props.
For just $200,000 — chump change for a company like Nine — the network has placed itself in an unnecessary position.
Nine released a statement, saying it was “disappointed” that it was “unable to meet the expectations of Lisa Wilkinson and her manager”.
Many viewers and women will feel equally disappointed that Nine was unable to see that Wilkinson was worth at least the same amount of money as her co-host.
Human remains have been discovered inside a crocodile that is believed to have eaten an elderly grandmother.
Queensland police revealed on Monday a 4.3 metre crocodile was removed from the Mowbray River near Port Douglas, in Queensland’s tropical far north.
‘The crocodile, which is believed to be the one involved in the death of 79-year-old Anne Cameron, was examined by a specialist in Cairns [on Monday] with human remains being located inside,’ police officers said.
A report is being prepared for the coroner.
Ms Cameron was last seen in Port Douglas near an OzCare Aged Care facility last week.
Her remains and walking stick were later found by police next to Craiglie Creek, connected to Mowbray River, less than two kilometres from the aged care facility.
Baited traps were set along the creek to capture the crocodile, which searchers believed hid in the muddy waters near mangroves.
Video footage showed the baited traps being set along the Mowbray River on Sunday.
Queensland environment and heritage protection wildlife director Michael Joyce said they will be targeted the entire 2.3km length of Craiglie Creek.
‘The traps will be baited with a portion of a pig’s carcasss, and we will also continue our attempts to do direct capture methods.
‘What we’re trying to do is entice the crocodile with a range of methods to maximise our chances of catching the target animal.’
Mr Joyce asked people to stay away from the area while the search was ongoing.
Ten wildlife officers who are ‘experts in crocodile behaviour’ and 10 other environment and heritage protection assisted with the search.
‘We believe she’s wandered in there [a crocodile infested area] and gotten lost, it’s our theory that she’s become disorientated and walked through that area,’ he said.
The Queensland Government is facing calls for stronger crocodile management measures, including culling.
The Katter’s Australian Party has renewed their calls for both sides of parliament to introduce more stringent management of crocodiles through their Safer Waterways Bill, which includes culling.
The bill would establish an authority to oversee a crocodile cull, egg harvesting and immediate removal or euthanasia for animals considered a threat.
The Queensland Government is legally allowed to kill a crocodile involved in a fatal attack, but must gain federal approval.
Earlier this year, Federal Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg backed the calls for a tighter culling legislation.
‘In my book human life comes first and crocodiles second,’ he said, the Courier Mail reports.
‘Such action properly considered and carried out would have my full support.’
One Nation party leader Pauline Hanson told Sky News the animals are ‘clearly a problem’.
‘We will lose tourism, we will lose lives, animals are being taken by the crocs,’ she said.
Together with the Katter’s Australian party, both minor parties support a cull to ensure similar accidents don’t occur again.
‘In north Queensland we face the risk and sometimes the ultimate price because governments are weak on this issue,’ party leader Bob Katter said.
Chase Clarke arrived at his wife’s funeral wearing her wedding ring on his left little finger and an Armani watch she gave him the day they married on his wrist.
He left with his wife’s coffin resting on his left shoulder.
There were just six months between the carpenter marrying the nurse in Sydney and her death in Fiji earlier this month.
Kelly, 24, died of severe bilateral pneumonia on October 7 less than two days after falling ill.
Her husband, 28, led hundreds of mourners at Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church at Forestville, in Sydney’s north, at a service on Tuesday afternoon.
Outside the church before the funeral began Clarke practised the eulogy he would deliver for his departed bride.
‘To my beautiful wife, things shouldn’t be this way,’ he said.
‘(You were) everything that I wanted in a woman.
‘You would have been the best mother for our kids. That didn’t come to be.’
Mr Clarke remembered a beautiful, intelligent, caring woman with whom he shared a short but normal married life.
‘I’m sorry for all the pain and fights,’ he said. ‘But I can’t remember them.
‘I know this isn’t goodbye. I will talk to you every day and think of you.
‘I know I will see you again. I just don’t know when.’
Kelly had been a well-regarded nurse who was a ballerina as a child.
Mr Clarke’s lasting memory of her would be perched like a dancer on the edge of a pool in Fiji.
The couple had been in Sigatoka celebrating their honeymoon while they attended a friend’s wedding.
They had conquered fears together on the trip, kayaking from one island to another just to find a cheaper meal.
But before the end of their holiday Kelly fell seriously ill.
She died in Lautoka Hospital, north of Nadi less than two days after first complaining of stomach pains.
She went into cardiac arrest five times in her final hour.
Doctors originally suspected she was suffering from typhoid and she had been put into an induced coma.
Mr Clarke’s last conversation with his wife was by telephone shortly before she lost consciousness.
‘I just told her I loved her, stay strong, we’re going to get out of this,’ Mr Clarke previously said.
‘She just told me she was scared she was going to die.
‘She was panting through her breath. I never spoke to her again.’
Mr Clarke was later forced to identify Kelly in a refrigerated shipping container containing other bodies.
He then had to dress his wife’s body for her return to Australia.
Mr Clarke has since spoken of the poor medical facilities in Fiji.
‘It’s not something I’d want anyone to experience,’ he has said. ‘It’s just gut-wrenching.’
Mr Clarke was still thinking of others on Tuesday as he warned travellers to be aware of the dangers of falling ill in countries like Fiji.
‘Just remember you’re just a number to them,’ he said.
Tuesday’s service began with Ed Sheeran’s Perfect and also included eulogies by Mr Clarke’s mother Linda, Kelly’s father Ian Shaw and her best friends Tam Brown and Imogen Payter.
The service ended with Secret Garden’s You Raise Me Up.
Mr Clarke was unsure if better treatment could have saved his wife’s life.
‘There are a lot of possibilities that we don’t really understand at the moment,’ Mr Clarke said.
The couple, who married in April, had been planning on having children.
‘We were moving forward as a couple. It’s just one step at a time now.’
The Children’s Hospital at Westmead where Kelly worked issued a statement after her death.
‘Kelly was a dedicated nurse who loved working with children and will be greatly missed by her colleagues and patients,’ it read.
A haka after the service recognised Mr Clarke’s father Doug’s New Zealand heritage.
Mr Clarke, his father, mother Linda and Kelly’s parents Ian and Karen Shaw walked ahead of the hearse.