DOYLE QUITS

Robert Doyle has resigned as Melbourne Lord Mayor and chairman of Melbourne Health seven weeks after being accused of sexually harassing city councillors Tessa Sullivan and Cathy Oke.

The Herald Sun ($) reports that Doyle, who maintains his innocence, announced his resignation ahead of a City Council meeting this Tuesday, which was meant to consider a report on former councillor Sullivan’s instigating claims.

While Doyle has not yet spoken about his decision, his lawyers have voiced his criticism of a lack of “natural justice” among investigators. He has now reportedly been hospitalised and, while his current condition is unclear, Doyle’s wife Emma Page Campbell said yesterday Doyle was on the “brink of being broken”.

“I stand beside him,” Campbell said. “He is a good and decent man. I love him. And because I love him, to watch and share what he has been through in the last seven weeks has been agony.”

Sullivan resigned from her role in December 2017, having alleged that Doyle acted in a sexually inappropriate way on multiple occasions throughout the year, including allegedly groping her breast and making sexual comments. Doyle’s resignation follows a controversial PR campaign that involved leaking messages between the two as well as supporting claims from Oke.

TURNBULL CHARGES AHEAD

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has extended his lead over Opposition Leader Bill Shorten as the nation’s preferred leader in the first major opinion poll of the year.

The Australian ($) reports that February Newspoll figures have Turnbull sitting at a comfortable 45% as preferred PM, an increase of four points from December’s poll. Shorten, meanwhile, has fallen three points to 31%, and, while still preferred opposition leader among Labor voters, trails both deputy leader Tanya Plibersek and Anthony Albanese as preferred Labor leader among all voters.

Additionally, the Coalition has crept back towards a still-dominant Labor on a two-party-preferred vote of 48-52, lifting its vote 1% from December and three points from October. The survey also shows a two-point drop for One Nation’s primary vote to 5%, with both the Greens and “Other” remaining steady at 10%.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT

“This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead). This is an American disgrace!”

— US President Donald Trump, in a tweet that, by CNN’s count, fits four porkies into just 47 words.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Hospital complication rates ‘veiled in secrecy’ and marred by flawed definition of ‘preventable’: Grattan report

Labor offers solar panels and Tesla batteries for 50,000 South Australia homes

The minister the money and the mine. How a rotten deal was hatched

Builders risk ban over Eureka flag ($)

Gas giant bills threat: price hikes of up to $430 predicted

Byron Bay‘s hard drugs crisis: Deadly ice rampant at ‘half the price’ of capital cities ($)

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra: Federal Parliament resumes for 2018.

Canberra: State memorial service for former Labor minister Barry Cohen.

Sydney: The Future of Public Interest Journalism inquiry will present its final report.

Sydney: Southern Hemisphere meteorology and oceanography conference will discuss the latest weather, climate and oceans science news and research. 

Brisbane: Queensland’s Deputy Premier Jackie Trad will front the Productivity Commission’s hearing on GST distribution. 

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF FRIDAY

Is this the most repressive government in our history?Bernard Keane: “If it wasn’t clear before, the controversy over the government’s proposals to reform donation laws and prevent ‘foreign interference’ confirm that the Abbott and Turnbull governments have been the most repressive and anti-free speech and free press government since World War II.”

Why it’s pointless to single out actors who work with Woody AllenRuby Hamad: “Exploitation of power through sexual manipulation and abuse, mostly over women, is considered ‘part of the job’. If we are to be serious about changing the wider culture that celebrates male sexual entitlement, then at the very least, rather than picking on certain individuals who are paid to work in such an environment, our scrutiny should be aimed at those who sign the paychecks as they avert their eyes from what is happening before them.”

Rundle: right-wingers Finnish on a low note — Guy Rundle: “The Suomalaiset – Finns to you – have a word we could well adopt in English: ‘sisu’, a term that means a mix of physical and mental stamina, the sort of inward resilience that allows you to hack your way across the winter tundra after a wolf has torn your leg off (in Finland, it’s also a brand of truck). You need a bit of ‘sisu’ to cope with the ideological pumpings of the right — a case in point, being Blaise Joseph and Jennifer Buckingham’s comment piece for The Age on Wednesday, decrying the recent enthusiasm for the Finnish school system as a model for Australia.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

‘Go, Mickey, go’: What Michael Gordon taught Nick McKenzie about journalism… and life — Nick McKenzie (The Age): “Journalism gave a lot to Michael, but it took a lot as well. The relentless anxiety to be scrupulously thorough and endlessly productive increased over the course of each week as the Friday deadline loomed. But it was the fact that he bled for his craft, and for the voiceless and dispossessed, that made his work matter.”

Shorten must rule out nationalising the electricity gridJosh Frydenberg: (The Australian $): “Last Friday, standing alongside Bill Shorten, the ACTU president and now Labor candidate for Batman, Ged Kearney, said that nationalising the electricity grid was “worthy of consideration”. Put to Shorten that this would destroy Australia’s proud reputation as a global investment destination, the best he could say was that it was unlikely to happen, not that it was a bad idea.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

 

Peter Fray

Get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for $12.

Without subscribers, Crikey can’t do what it does. Fortunately, our support base is growing.

Every day, Crikey aims to bring new and challenging insights into politics, business, national affairs, media and society. We lift up the rocks that other news media largely ignore. Without your support, more of those rocks – and the secrets beneath them — will remain lodged in the dirt.

Join today and get your first 12 weeks of Crikey for just $12.

 

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW