Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) chief Greg Medcraft is going out with a bang and a whimper.

The departing head of the corporate regulator has declared Australia should aim to become “a hellhole for white-collar crime”, referencing comments from 2014 in which he declared Australia was “a bit of a paradise” for such people.

Appointed to the role by then-treasurer Wayne Swan in 2011, Medcraft has formed a reputation as an attention grabbing chair who proved an irritant for both government and big business. The Coalition government initially cut $120 million from ASIC’s funding, only to later back off and extend Medcraft’s term, which is now coming to an end.

As he prepares to depart, The Guardian has revealed an embarrassing slip-up by the watchdog, with second parties able to view the searches of other users of its online database, compromising the privacy of those using the system.


Optus will be forced to join Telstra in returning funds to consumers after it failed to deliver promised speeds on internet connections.

More than half of those who signed up to Telstra’s high-speed offering have not been able to reach the advertised top speed, with around 20% overcharged. Telstra has agreed with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that it will compensate users of around 42,000 connections.

Optus is now likely to follow suit with a spokesperson telling The Australian the company “is taking action to provide appropriate remedies to those customers where it has been confirmed that the underlying NBN service cannot deliver the speed they signed up for”.


US President Donald Trump has been given a lavish welcome by the country he regularly railed against before becoming President.

Greeted by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Trump was given a private tour of the Forbidden City and treated to a show of acrobatics. Xi also watched a video of Trump’s granddaughter Arabella Kushner reciting Chinese poetry, which the Chinese head of state described as an “A+” performance.

The visit has started a with a lighter tone after Trump addressed the South Korean National Assembly and warned North Korea “Do not underestimate us and do not try us.”


Liberal MP Jason Falinski in citizenship woes on Warsaw connection

‘You terrorist’: Sam Dastyari abused by right-wing group in Melbourne bar

Life’s about to change for the Pintupi — the last desert mob

Constitutional Court annuls Catalan independence declaration as protesters block roads, trains

BHP backs green groups over the Minerals Council as industry rift widens


Sydney: The Climate Council launches a new report examining the likely impact of sea-level rises on Australia.

Sydney: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian to speak at the Sydney Institute.

Melbourne: Education Minister Simon Birmingham will launch a new gravitational wave research centre at Swinburne University. The centre will investigate black holes and also provide schools with a virtual reality program that allows children to explore space. 


Trust me, I’m a politician: why the citizenship plan beggars belief — Judith Ireland (Sydney Morning Herald): “Beyond the hijinks of the last couple of days, asking voters to trust parliamentarians about their citizenship is fanciful because in recent years, politicians have burned through the piddly stocks of trust they had. They have comprehensively shown they are not to be trusted on a whole range of fronts.”

March mini-election on the cards — David Crowe (The Australian $): “In theory, there may be no by-elections at all. In practice, there is a strong case for several MPs to be referred to the High Court and there is an obvious prospect that some will be disqualified and forced to the ballot box.”


Arrested Saudi Prince sells key $US1 billion voting stake in 21st Century Fox — Stephen Mayne and Glenn Dyer: “The Murdochs are control freaks so the sell-down by the prince might also help explain why they have reportedly been exploring a sale of their entertainment assets to Disney. Murdoch biographer Michael Wolff told CNBC yesterday this was about Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch trying to torpedo the James Murdoch vision to buy the rest of Sky Plc. Succession is in play, apparently.”

Why suits will carry on American complicity in Russian misinformation — Amy Gray: “The rigid focus on paid political advertising overlooks how much Russia relies on American institutions like the traditional press to do their disinformation work for free.”

Tips and rumours — Crikey: “The former national secretary of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party, Saraya Beric, has decided to throw her hat in the ring for a tilt at the Queensland state seat of Mermaid Beach in the upcoming State election as an independent … Beric and former PHON treasurer Ian Nelson were the two whistle blowers that spoke to Four Corners about a two-seater Jabiru airplane that was bought by Victorian developer Bill McNee and used by Hanson’s staffer James Ashby.”