Jan 10, 2017

Crikey Worm: Centrelink pain gets worse, and the end of Sussan Ley?

Good morning, early birds. Another day of bad headlines for the government, a new tennis star and the death of Michael Chamberlain. It's the news you need to know, by Sally Whyte and Max Chalmers.

Sally Whyte — Political reporter

Sally Whyte

Political reporter


Health Minister Sussan Ley didn’t last until lunch time yesterday, standing down from the ministry while her travel expenses are investigated by Prime Minister and Cabinet secretary Martin Parkinson. In a press conference in her electorate, Ley attempted to explain some of the 22 trips to the Gold Coast for which she has charged the taxpayer. Ley was clear that she did intend to return to cabinet, but a government source told The Australian that without a proper explanation, it would be unlikely. Arthur Sinodinos, who will be acting health minister during the investigation, is one name that has already been thrown up in the case of a reshuffle.


The maritime treaty between East Timor and Australia will be abandoned, it was announced in a joint statement by the two countries yesterday. The controversial 2006 treaty placed rich oil and gas deposits inside the Australian maritime border, even though they are closer to East Timor, and has been at the centre of a diplomatic row. It was revealed in 2013 that Australian spies had eavesdropped on the East Timorese cabinet office at the time the treaty was originally negotiated, and East Timor took Australia to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague over the treaty last year. A permanent boundary will now be negotiated.

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