Following the events of early last Friday morning over the skies of Eastern Ukraine, coverage has heavily focused on the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop. The PM received plenty of support in the domestic media for his strong stance criticising Russia and its President Vladimir Putin directly, as it quickly became clear that MH17 had been brought down by a missile, killing all 298 passengers and crew aboard. Julie Bishop led the push in the UN Security Council for a resolution calling for an independent international inquiry, which Russia eventually supported.
Meanwhile, back in Australia, after all the to-ing and fro-ing in the Senate, the final inevitable repeal of the carbon tax was pretty much an anti-climax, the issue having dragged on for so long that the media coverage found it hard to get excited -- although Greens Leader Christine Milne did move up into the top 10. International media certainly noticed, The Economist
describing it in combination with the Sri Lankan asylum seeker issue as a "significant step backwards" for Australia’s international reputation.
There was still some room for state political news in all of this, the Queensland government's thumping defeat in the Stafford byelection leading Premier Campbell Newman to try the Peter Beattie tactic and apologise for "getting some things wrong", announcing the CCC Commissioner would go back to being a bipartisan appointment, reversing the "pink jumpsuit" attempts to shame bikies in prison as well as committing to trying to repair his government’s poor relationship with the judiciary.
Crikey Political Index: July 17-23