COURTING CONTROVERSY

The Victorian judicial system has taken a very dim view of federal Liberal ministers criticising Victorian judges' decisions concerning terror suspects. Health Minister Greg Hunt, Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar and Human Services Minister Alan Tudge have received letters from the Victorian judicial registrar, each saying that it “requires you or your legal representatives to appear before the Court of Appeal on Friday 16 June 2017 at 11.30am to make submissions as to why you should not be referred for prosecution for contempt”. The three were enthusiastically quoted in The Australian on Tuesday slamming Victoria's approach to terror suspects as an "ideological experiment" that was ignoring the threat posed by terrorism and "eroding trust in the legal system".  Victoria is considering tough new laws that would allow terror suspects to be detained without charge for two weeks and keep criminals in detention after sentences are served, bringing Victoria's laws into line with those in the much harsher New South Wales. 

TEN NOT FIVE-BY-FIVE

As expected, Channel Ten was put into voluntary administration yesterday, with administrators KordaMentha appointed to try to sort out the mess. But two of Ten's three major billionaire shareholders, Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch (the third is James Packer), are not giving up on the embattled network just yet. Gordon and Murdoch have merged their holdings in Ten, which could be part of a strategy to take the network private. Gordon holds 15% of Ten, and Murdoch, 7.5%. The two-out-of-three rule would prevent the pair from buying the network at present, but it just so happens legislation is before Parliament that would scrap that rule and make it much easier for Murdoch and Gordon to privatise Ten. Labor and many of the crossbench oppose the changes, but Communications Minister Mitch Fifield is calling on them to reconsider, calling the Ten fiasco a "wake-up call". One Nation is reportedly considering changing its position.