Byron Bay confidential: Christian Porter’s discreet wedding

Since quitting politics amid allegations that he has consistently denied, things have been looking up for former attorney-general and one-time “future prime minister” Christian Porter.

CBD can confirm the civilian Porter quietly tied the knot with his criminal lawyer partner Karen Espiner in Byron Bay over summer, just months after their engagement went public late last year.

Marriage number three means Porter won’t be rejoining the hunt anytime soon for Cleo Magazine’s Bachelor of the Year title, which he had had a crack at in 1999.

ShakespeareCredit:John Shakespeare

Porter and Espiner’s relationship was revealed by this column in 2021, the same week the then industry minister launched a defamation action against the ABC. He later resigned from cabinet after refusing to disclose the anonymous donors funding that discontinued case, and quit politics ahead of the last election.

Now eking out a quiet life as a largely anonymous Perth-based lawyer, Porter was recently brought back into headlines when he fronted the robo-debt royal commission in Brisbane last week.


CBD enjoyed Jeroen Weimar’s plain-speaking approach when he was commander — yes, commander — of Victoria’s COVID response, and Labor government’s Mr Fixit hasn’t changed his style now that he has been appointed major-general, or something, in charge of the state’s 2026 Commonwealth Games preparation.

Weimar let slip to a Victorian Chamber of Commerce audience last week that it was undecided if the baton relay for the games — a bit like the international fuss over the Olympic torch every four years — was going to be a Queen’s baton relay or a King’s baton relay.

So many questions, right? But when we went to Jeroen’s command structure with a “sorry, what?” they punted us to the games’ organisers in London — the global baton relay is their problem, after all.

There we found the main media bloke had left to join Premier League football strugglers West Ham United, and his offsider wasn’t responding to our questions.

There hasn’t been a Commonwealth Games with a king on the throne, and it turns out that it is possible if the baton may retain the Queen’s title — to reflect the fact that she was the founding monarch of the event, presiding over 17 iterations.

It might be a minor point at Commonwealth HQ on Pall Mall, but considering how many Australians lost their minds when Charles’ face was left off the new five-dollar notes, it might be something that needs to be sorted.

We’ll keep you updated.


Staying on folklore for a moment, Our stablemates at the AFR reported on Thursday that the Business Council of Australia’s long-serving president Jennifer Westacott would be leaving the lobby group. To which we say . . . well then.

When CBD got wind of Westacott’s imminent departure in August, 2022, the BCA repeatedly, relentlessly denied there was any truth to the matter, even though we heard the group had been quietly starting to sound out potential successors.

In the end, we were right. The moral of the story? Always trust your gut, and always believe what you read in this column.


Clive Palmer’s trusty corporate warhorse, Mineralogy has contributed its fair share to this nation’s corporate folklore in its four decades.

From epic court cases with friends and foes alike, an attempt to rebuild the Titanic, and quickly becoming the largest corporate political donor in Australian history, if only the walls of the company’s Brisbane HQ could talk.

But there might be some significant changes on the cards. The company last year gave a strong indication that the name Mineralogy might be coming to its use-by-date, and laid the groundwork for a bit of a facelift.

The company has claimed first dibs on two alternative names. “The Palmer Group” and “The Clive Group” have both been quietly registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. Palmer’s people wouldn’t tell us on Thursday what, if anything, was being planned.

But both the alternative monikers definitely seem more like Palmer’s style.


Not even CBD’s cynical old heart was immune to the melts on Thursday as young Ari Stewart made Senate history as the first Koori child to take a seat, sort of, on the hallowed red leather.

Ari’s mother, Victorian Labor senator Jana Stewart became just the fourth upper house member — all Greens or Labor, interestingly enough — to take their child into a sitting of the chamber since the archaic “stranger” rules were relaxed six years ago.

That shows the joint still has a way to go in trying to be a modern workplace, but it’s a promising sign nobody made much of a big deal about Ari’s appearance except Stewart’s staff who spotted the handy publicity opp and swung into action.

It was all a far cry from the time the Greens’ Sarah-Hanson Young’s infant daughter Kora was booted from the chamber by Stewart’s Labor colleague John Hogg in 2009.

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