pill testing
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews


Victorian state and local politicians will today pressure the Labor government to trial pill testing at music festivals. The Herald Sun ($) reports that Greens, Reason Party, Liberal Democrat and independent MPs will call on Premier Daniel Andrews to reverse the government’s ban on pill testing (a call rejected by acting Victorian Premier Tim Pallas earlier this month). Port Phillip Mayor Dick Gross has put his hand up for council area trials due in part to the crowds at St Kilda festivals.

This coincides with an op-ed from NSW Greens MP Cate Faehrmann about taking MDMA in her twenties “and occasionally through my thirties and forties”, written in a bid to bring “honesty” to the escalating debate. The Berejiklian government has also recently announced new state rules ($) for extra medics, security and chill-out zones at music festivals.


New information over the arrest of an Indigenous teenager for another man’s crime has reignited debate over whether Victoria Police is capable of investigating its own officers and why the state government has delayed police oversight reforms.

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A joint Age-7.30 investigation has revealed that while police were cleared by an internal investigation into the 2016 arrest of 18-year-old Melbourne teenager Tommy Lovett, diary notes and statements indicate officers suspected he did not match the description of the 40-year-old suspect and that the arrest itself left Lovett badly injured and was “disturbing to say the least”.

Calls to implement belated recommendations to Victoria’s police complaints system and IBAC come as NSW sees a record number of prisoners, despite a decade of crime declines. The Western Australian government also faces an ongoing campaign to free Indigenous women imprisoned over unpaid fines.


Rising Greek star Stefanos Tsitsipas has won a shock four-set victory over six-time Australian Open champion Roger Federer.

The ABC reports that the 14th-seeded Tsitsipas defeated Federer 6-7 (11-13), 7-6 (7-3), 7-5, 7-6 (7-5) in last night’s fourth round match, handing the third seed his earliest Australian Open defeat since 2015. The shock result came hours after Australia’s Ashleigh Barty took out her own four-set nail-biter against former world number one Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-1, 6-4.


Julie didn’t want to serve in the ministry. Kevin’s had his opportunity and been on the backbench for a period of time. They… stand out clearly as perhaps giving others an opportunity. I’m at sixes and sevens about Tony Abbott. He’s still young enough to make a serious contribution in the parliament and a ­serious contribution outside.

Jeff Kennett

The former Victorian Liberal premier speculates that Julie Bishop (62) and Kevin Andrews (63) should follow Kelly O’Dwyer in resigning from federal politics ($), while reserving judgement on up-and-comer Tony Abbott (61).


Morrison’s climate confusion caps off a disconcerting week

“Prime Minister Scott Morrison has capped off the week by touring the Pacific, promising to help nations of the region with adaptation to the realities of climate change. Yes, that’s the same Scott Morrison who in September officially had no climate policy of his own, and who firmly urged school children not to protest for climate action.”

Looking to kill a scandal about your private life? Just tell the truth.

“It is rare in public life that we see a simple statement that declares a personal relationship is over. No media chase. No paparazzi getting flicked away or abused. No avoidance of questions and no scalp for mainstream journos to claim as their own. Yet this is exactly what we saw over the break, when Anthony Albanese announced that he and his wife of 30 years, Carmel Tebbutt, had split.”

Piracy of live sports the next big challenge for TV networks

“As video-on-demand streaming services have become more available and ubiquitous in Australia, film and television piracy has steadily decreased. But now, live sports — which television networks often pay extraordinary amounts for — are being pirated in increasingly sophisticated operations.”


Top scientists agree to Labor request to study Darling River fish kill

How top-notch policing nabbed suspect in Aiia Maasarwe death

Fairer go for local workers, vows ALP ($)

France’s solar liquidation leaves Queensland business in the lurch

Tasmanian nursing homes under fire over sedative habit ($)

Australia on track to endure hottest month ever, with another ‘burst of heat’

Anti-coal group could have final say on Adani mine ($)

Immigration to SA’s regions needs boost, with skilled visa dropping by nearly 25% ($)

One Nation pulls Palmer preference lifeline ($)


Demanding free speech but telling us how to think ($) — Greg Barns (The Mercury): “The authoritarian correctness of Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week should disturb any person who believes that freedom of speech, expression and thought are critical in a democratic society. Mr Morrison reiterated the Liberal Party’s sinister threats to local governments that advocate changing Australia Day, the Hobart City Council being one of those entities.”

Let’s go for growth, not squabble over spoils of a static economy ($) — Innes Willox (The Australian): “In the latest of the Australian Industry Group’s annual business prospects reports, Australian CEOs reveal an expectation that this will be a more difficult year than either of the past two, with growth in sales, exports and employment all likely to decelerate.”

I spent the first day of my honeymoon in a jail cell with my husband — The wife of Hakeem al-Araibi (The Guardian): “On 27 November I landed in Bangkok with my beloved husband, a Bahrain-born professional football player. We were overjoyed to be spending our honeymoon together in the breathtaking country of Thailand. Not only were we celebrating our honeymoon, but it was also my husband’s first time traveling outside of Australia in the five years since he fled there in 2014 from Bahrain and was granted refugee status.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Victorian crossbenchers will host a press conference in support of pill testing featuring Greens leader Samantha Ratnam, Reason Party’s Fiona Patten, Animal Justice’s Andy Meddick, independent Catherine Cumming and Liberal Democratic Party’s David Limbrick and Tim Quilty.


  • Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus will deliver a keynote presentation on “Why Australia needs a National Integrity Commission” at the QUT Faculty of Law, to be followed by a roundtable discussion chaired by Labor’s candidate for Brisbane Paul Newbury.

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

  • As part of his ongoing Queensland bus tour, Labor leader Bill Shorten will announce that a future Labor government would require more companies seeking public and private projects to demonstrate how they will prioritise Australian industry.

United States

  • South Australian Premier Steven Marshall will begin a week-long US tour for trade talks, set to end at the G’Day USA event in Los Angeles on January 26.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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