SUSPECTED TERROR IN BELGIUM

A gunman has killed two Belgian police officers and one citizen before taking a hostage and being shot dead in the city of Liege, in what a public prosecutor has classified as “a terrorist incident”.

The ABC reports that a 36-year-old petty criminal out on day-release stabbed two policewomen before stealing their guns, shooting and killing the two officers and a nearby man, taking a hostage at a nearby school and engaging in a shootout with police that left the perpetrator dead. While the city is still reeling, crisis centre officials say the situation around the shooting site is now safe.

BARNA-BYE

Beleaguered Nationals MP Barnaby Joyce is taking personal leave from parliament, following a seemingly never-ending series of controversies.

The Age reports that, following backlash over the former deputy PM and his current partner/former staffer Vikki Campion accepting a $150,000 paid interview for Seven, Joyce has been granted four weeks of leave and is scheduled to return to Parliament in August. While this leaves the Coalition with one fewer MP for the time being, the fact that Labor is currently down four means they can afford to take the hit.

SUPERCARS FOR SA

An Adelaide launch event for a new, high-end Brabham racing car has signalled a small but significant return to the glory days of car manufacturing in South Australia.

The Adelaide Advertiser ($) reports that last night’s launch for the Brabham BT62 officially signals a limited run of 70 models of the $1.8 million vehicle, to come out of production towards the end of 2018. Cars will be built at the ZF Lemforder facility in Edinburgh Parks in Adelaide’s western suburbs — plans that highlight ongoing interest in repurposing old Holden automotive plants to develop new electric buses and cars.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

If it was just an interview with me as a politician, sure, I am not going to charge for that. But that is not what they wanted. They wanted an interview obviously to get Vikki’s side of the story and like most mothers she said: ‘Seeing as I am being screwed over and there are drones and everything over my house in the last fortnight, paparazzi waiting for me, if everybody else is making money then [I am] going to make money out of it’.

Barnaby Joyce

The Nationals MP and former deputy PM throws his partner Vikki Campion under the metaphorical bus, for the second time

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“Make no mistake: the Productivity Commission’s draft report on default super funding arrangements is a ferocious blow for the government and the retail super sector. Not even Kelly O’Dwyer’s pre-emptive — and pathetic — attacks on industry funds run verbatim by the Financial Review can distract from it.”

Barnaby Joyce is hardly the first person to profit from a paid interview in Australia. The $150,000 (reportedly to be held in a trust for his six-week-old son Sebastian) isn’t the highest we’ve seen, and his circumstances (a working politician cashing in on his private life) aren’t the grubbiest. Nevertheless, we’re marking this story by taking a look back at some of the most memorable Australian cases of chequebook journalism.”

“Earlier this month, a male opposition MP reportedly called New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a ‘stupid little girl’. The alleged comment comes one month before the 37-year-old national leader is due to give birth. Speaker Trevor Mallard stopped proceedings in the House, calling for the person who made the ‘very sexist remark’ to apologise. Mallard heard the comment and said it came from a man seated behind leader of the opposition Simon Bridges. No one has owned up yet, despite questions from journalists to every male MP seated in the area.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Frydenberg and Abbott bump heads over energy policy

Sophie Mirabella defamation case costs Victorian newspaper almost $300,000

Government cleared of privacy breach in robodebt row

NT’s newest international airline, Donghai Airlines, set to touch down on Wednesday morning ($)

Royal commission spreads housing fears ($)

Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli arrested and charged with breach of bail by CCC ($)

Not-for-profit group to manage 85,000 hectares of Murray-Darling floodplain

Here’s what Peter Dutton’s Home Affairs super-department looks like

Charity sex scandal: ‘In this community no one gets food without having sex first’

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Day two of the latest round of senate estimates will hear from portfolio representatives for Community Affairs (Dept of Health, covering individual health, regulations, and aged care), Economics (ATO, ACNC, ACCC, AER, APRA, ASIC, Productivity Commission, Commonwealth Grants Commission, ABS and Inspector General of Taxation), Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade (Dept of Defence, Defence Housing, Australian War Memorial, Veterans’ Affairs), and Education and Employment (Australian Building and Construction Commission, Fair Work Ombudsman, Fair Work Commission, Registered Organisations Commission, and Small Business Ombudsman).

  • Labor Party executives will meet about rescheduling the ALP national conference, that was cancelled when five by-elections were scheduled to crossover and be held on Saturday, July 28.

  • Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Brendan Nelson will launch the memorial’s new WWI car poppy exhibit.

  • Health Minister Greg Hunt, Shadow Health Minister Catherine King and MS Research Australia Chairman Simon McKeon will help launch a Multiple Sclerosis Research Australia Roadmap.

  • Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg will speak at a Property Leaders’ Summit.

Melbourne

  • Alcoa will hold a controlled explosion to demolish the defunct Anglesea Power Station between 9am and 12pm. Residents can expect to hear “claps of thunder” for between 10 and 20 seconds.

  • Victorian budget estimates hearings will hear from Public Transport Minister Jacinta Allan and Sport, Tourism and Veterans Minister John Eren.

  • The banking royal commission will again hear from CBA’s chief risk officer David Cohen, who will continue to give evidence on how the bank dealt with Bankwest business customers.

  • PUFFS, or :Seven Increasingly Eventful Years at a Certain School of Magic and Magic will hold a media call on stage.

Adelaide

  • UK green industrialist Sanjeev Gupta will speak at an SA chamber of mines event.

Sydney

  • Australian National Maritime Museum will host “Museum Up Late: Icons of the Underwater”, a late-night opening of major exhibitions James Cameron — Challenging the Deep and Wildlife Photographer of the Year as well as a Q&A session with ocean experts. 

Brisbane

  • Clare Sheng will launch The Suit Book, an examination of buying and wearing suits, as part of a charity night in support of the Women’s Legal Service.

Darwin

  • Donghai Airlines’ inaugural service from Shenzhen to Darwin will land this morning, and will continue on a twice-weekly schedule. 

Bunbury, WA

  • Funerals will be held for the Miles and Cockman family of seven killed in Osmington, Margaret River. Families have requested media do not attend.

Australia

  • Today is World MS Day, a global day to raise awareness of multiple sclerosis. Events and campaigns will focus on how research is #bringinguscloser to a cure for MS.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Too many Aussies losing in our $2.6 trillion unlucky lottery — Adele Ferguson (Sydney Morning Herald): “Snouts in the trough dining heavily off the retirement savings of hard-working Australians — that about sums up the dirty little secret the $2.6 trillion superannuation industry has been harbouring for decades. Sadly, the system has been allowed to function in the dark by getting away with supplying poor quality performance data that has created a situation were too many Australians have become part of an ‘unlucky lottery’ by being stuck in underperforming funds or holding multiple accounts.”

Queensland’s new land-clearing laws are all stick and no carrot (but it’s time to do better) — Philippa England (The Conversation): “The Queensland government passed legislation last month to prevent the clearing of high-value regrowth vegetation on freehold and Indigenous land. The move has been deeply unpopular with many landholders. They have argued that they are footing the bill for the community’s environmental aspirations — without compensation.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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