Nicola Roxon was off to a busy start to the year in her new role as Attorney General dealing with anti-whaling, anti-logging, pro-publicity protesters who got themselves in hot water, so to speak, as they climbed aboard a Japanese whaling vessel.

Roxon was quick to say we’d do whatever we could to get them back, while Julia Gillard, once the deal to return them had been done and after sniffing the breeze, took a tougher line and said people not in Australian jurisdictions breaking the law needed to suffer the consequences, while Bob Brown praised the protestors as “heroes for whales”.

Barry O’Farrell’s been getting plenty of coverage early in the year, enjoying the Sydney Festival delights, fending off the usual litany of transport and energy infrastructure concerns, and wanting people to stop smoking pot after a report claiming that Australian’s are among the highest cannabis smokers in the world.

The funky theme to the week continued with the first ever appearance of Coalition frontbencher Teresa Gambaro in the list as she suggested that new migrants needed to be handed some deodorant at the door. My knowledge of Italian is restricted to the ristorante, but I’m pretty sure Gambaro means prawn.

Twitter chatter about Tony Abbott’s close encounter with a shark was comical, some of the tweets:

RT @mrtonymartin: Tony Abbott and shark just miss each other at Manly Beach. Says shark, ‘I may not be so lucky next time’.

RT @chrismurphys: ‘Shark sighted at Sydney beach just after OppLdr Tony Abbott got out of the water’ Surprised shark didn’t get out of the water. #auspol

Supporters of the whaling protestors criticised Gillard on Twitter for raising concern of the rescue cost, while others praised her for securing their safe return.

Pop diva Beyonce and Jay-Z celebrated the birth of their first baby on the weekend naming her Ivy Blue Carter.