REVENGE BEST SERVED IN COURT
The solicitor-general who was forced to resign after a major falling-out with Attorney-General George Brandis has appeared before the High Court, arguing that letting MPs off the hook on the basis they did not know they were dual citizens would create chaos in Parliament.
Justin Gleeson SC is appearing on behalf of another Coalition rival, former independent MP Tony Windsor, and yesterday took aim at the case being outlined by representatives for the Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce. Appearing for Nationals Senator Matt Canavan, David Bennett SC countered that allowing MPs to be excluded based on obscure foreign citizenship laws would only lead to a “genealogical witch hunt” at every election.
Whatever the result, the case is proving costly for taxpayers, with the federal government picking up the cheque for all 24 barristers appearing. MPs told The Australian they believed the cost would come to around $2 million or $3 million in total.
ONE NATION SNUBS LNP
One Nation will not direct all preferences to the LNP in Queensland at the upcoming state election after a deal with the Liberal Party in Western Australia appeared to hurt the party’s credibility.
Pauline Hanson‘s candidates will instead put all sitting MPs at the bottom of their how-to-vote cards, a blow to the opposition’s efforts to oust the first-term Labor government of Annastacia Palaszczuk.
One Nation expected to hold the balance of power after the election but Palaszczuk has vowed her party will not accept support from One Nation to form government.
HOME AND AWAY HACKER
Hackers stole 30 gigabytes of commercially confidential material from a defence contractor, including information on Australia’s Joint Strike Fighter program and warships.
Speaking at a conference yesterday, Mitchell Clarke from the Australian Signals Directorate said that the compromise was “extensive and extreme” and that hackers had “full and unfettered access” to the system. He also revealed that the ASD had nicknamed the hacker Alf, a reference to the popular character on Australian drama Home and Away.
The incident was first reported yesterday, and it has not been confirmed whether state or non-state actors were responsible.
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Around the country: Ceremonies will be held to mark the 15th anniversary of the Bali bombings, which killed 202 people in Kuta, Bali.
South Korea: Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Defence Minister Marise Payne to meet with their ministerial counterparts.
Canberra: For the third and final day, the High Court, which is sitting as the Court of Disputed Returns, will hear the cases of seven MPs who may have breached section 44 of the constitution by running for Parliament as dual-citizens.
Hobart: Education Minister Simon Birmingham to address an education conference and detail changes for international students.
Melbourne: Communications Minister Mitch Fifield to give an address on the digital economy at CEDA.
Tough negotiations left their mark on a tiring Xenophon — Niki Savva (The Australian $): “His disillusionment was later compounded by suspicions Labor was behind the leaks over his citizenship, which resulted in his referral to the High Court and delayed his resignation, although when it came it was with a twist.”
Hard to know what Tony Abbott wants on climate and comeback — James Campbell (Herald Sun $): “… with Abbott, the sheer variety of positions he has held at various times — and not just on climate change — suggests that for him, ideas are simply sticks to be reached for when he wants to batter his opponents — only to be discarded when their work is done.”
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