Acting Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack has hit damage control as revelations he was aware of Andrew Broad’s “sugar baby” scandal for the past six weeks spark another leadership scare.
According to The Courier-Mail ($), McCormack hit the phones yesterday to shore up his leadership only to be reportedly told by some colleagues he had lost their support. Others in the Liberal Party are also allegedly plotting to convince the Nats to replace their leader, who reportedly knew aspects of Broad’s dalliances during the October leadership scare.
Meanwhile, McCormack has delivered a blistering interview with The Sydney Morning Herald in which he defended his handling of Broad’s scandal and slammed government leakers as both selfish and unfamiliar with “the cold, desolate days of opposition”.
DUTY OF CARE
An Iranian child who was allegedly raped on multiple occasions while detained on Nauru is suing the federal government over an alleged failure to uphold duty of care.
The ABC reports that lawyers at Maurice Blackburn claim the child asylum seeker was assaulted three times as a 10-year-old by an older detainee in September and October 2014, and consequently suffers from suicidal tendencies and PTSD. A writ filed in the Victorian Supreme Court alleges the Commonwealth, and detention centre operators Broadspectrum and Wilson, owed the child a safe environment and failed to ensure protocols against sexual assault, a similar basis of two recently-launched class action lawsuits on behalf of all remaining detainees.
CSIRO DROPS A BOM
The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO have outlined the current impacts of global warming since 1910 in their fifth joint-biennial State of the Climate report.
According to the ABC, BOM and the CSIRO have confirmed that oceans have also warmed by around 1 degree since 1910 as part of the “ocean sinks” phenomenon, and for the first time report on “compound extreme events”, which can include a combination of high fire dangers and bushfire-generated thunderstorms resulting in dry lightning and extreme fires. Meanwhile, The Sydney Morning Herald outlines the report’s warnings on the ecological cost of climate change and The Advertiser ($) builds on recent changes to firefighting techniques in a warming world.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
By 2023 we will be well ahead of our target which is set for 2030. This is seven years ahead of time.
Faced with NSW’s energy revolt, the federal energy minister attempts to misconstrue 26% energy emissions with Australia’s whole-of-economy 26% target (which, for the record, his own department says we will miss by 868-934 million tonnes of carbon dioxide).
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“In some ways, having two-time Crikey Arsehat winner Dutton in the list of nominees is like drafting Lionel Messi to a local under-12s league. Dutton’s baseline skills — a legitimately breathtaking callousness toward refugees, a knee-jerk tendency for inflammatory racial sentiment, and a seeming suspicion of, well, democracy — make him such a formidable competitor that it hardly seems fair.”
“Labor received a blessing in disguise in the form of a delayed national conference this week. Only #auspol diehards were likely to still be paying attention so close to Christmas, and if the party downplayed their divisions effectively it could end the year merrily on high.”
“The New South Wales Liberal government’s decision to distance itself from the Morrison government and its climate denialism, in addition to being another extraordinary moment in a year in which the extraordinary has become the everyday in politics, signals both how toxic Morrison and Co are perceived as being electorally, and how the NSW Liberals won’t be paying any heed to the political prospects of their federal cousins in their efforts to secure victory in the March state election.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Rule of law is key to integrity ($) — Arthur Moses (The Australian): “Different models for a commonwealth integrity commission have been proposed. Each merits scrutiny and respectful discussion to ensure the right balance is struck between promoting transparency and respecting the rights and reputations of individuals. There is a real concern, however, that in an attempt to demonstrate their anti-corruption credentials, some parliamentarians are ignoring the fact that they are the custodians of our rights.”
Shareholders haven’t just spoken, they have shouted — Elizabeth Knight (The Age): “It is difficult to see how the National Australia Bank will be able to pay any bonuses next year to its chief executive or its senior executive next year. The shareholders have not just spoken, they have shouted. Chairman Ken Henry didn’t say so explicitly but he explained that of the 88 per cent that voted against the remuneration scheme only one third did so in response to its design.”
The hard truth about the Andrew Broad scandal ($) — Sam Dastyari (The Daily Telegraph): “This week headquarters of the NSW Labor Party on Sussex Street were raided by ICAC, apparently seeking information about a 2015 fundraiser called Chinese Friends of Labor. I did’t attend. Didn’t know about the raid and haven’t worked for the Labor Party for over five years. But still, when you put the words ‘China’ and ‘Labor’ together you get my mug doing my best Mr Bean impersonation so I got dragged into all the stories. That’s now my lot in life; perhaps some day, I won’t hate myself for it.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The WA government will release a mid-year economic review, to include a surprise surplus for 2019-20.
Brisbane ferry drivers will strike for 24 hours, meaning CityCat services will run at a reduced frequency from 4am today.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will publish an interim report into the ongoing investigation of the Sydney Seaplanes accident on New Year’s Eve last year.
The federal court will issue a judgement over ACCC’s appeal against Medibank Private, after last year dismissing allegations the insurer engaged in unconscionable conduct regarding subsidiary brand ahm’s benefit limits for pathology and radiology services.
The Victorian Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s Forest, Fire and Regions Group will host “The science in modernising the Regional Forest Agreements”, the first in a series of public lectures assessing Victoria’s public forest values.
The Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO will release the fifth joint biennial State of the Climate report.