Huawei chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou (Image: AP/Darryl Dyck)

HUAWEI TO THE DANGER ZONE

The US Department of Justice has unveiled a 23-count indictment against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei and its chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou alleging bank fraud, conspiracy to evade US sanctions on Iran, and stealing trade secrets from rival T-Mobile.

The Age reports that Wanzhou, whose December arrest in Canada preceded China detaining two Canadians and Australian-Chinese writer Yang Hengjun, established and oversaw Huawei’s Australian operation during the time in which she allegedly ran the Iran sanctions-busting scheme. According to The Australian ($), China has rejected the allegations as politically motivated and Australia has lost a new $600 million TPG Telecom mobile network due to following the US’ lead and excluding Huawei from its technology market.

OUT OF THE FRYDENBERG

Long-time Liberal member and former head of the Clean Energy Finance Corporation Oliver Yates will today announce plans to leave the party to challenge Treasurer Josh Frydenberg as an independent for the once-safe Coalition seat of Kooyong.

The Guardian reports that Yates will put the Coalition’s inaction on climate change and a focus on people power at the forefront of his campaign against the former environment and energy minister, whose seat looks suddenly shaky post-Victorian state election. Yates has also said he could back Labor on negative gearing but not franking changes and, according to The Australian ($), once served on the board of a company that sold coal tenements to mining giant Adani.

TASMANIA ABLAZE

Several homes have been lost to still-ravaging bushfires in Tasmania’s Huon Valley, as weeks of fires create a smoke alert kilometres away in the Hobart CBD.

According to The Mercury ($), firefighters are currently battling to protect the towns of Geeveston, Port Huon and Castle Forbes Bay, where surrounding fires threaten to cut off towns and the Huon Highway to the south. The ABC reports that the Tasmania Fire Service has issued a 24 hour total fire ban and expects conditions today to get “much worse”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

The reason we came through [the Global Financial Crisis] is because our banks were strong. You can’t trust Labor with money. Australians knows that.

Scott Morrison

The Prime Minister rejects David Koch’s assertion that politics had anything to do with Australia escaping the GFC.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

The revolution will not be trending

“What has hit BuzzFeed below the waterline? As Doug Henwood of Left Business Observer put it simply: ‘the end of QE’. As this correspondent noted mid-last year, the turning off of quantitative easing is the major event of the moment, and its consequences are just starting to rattle through the global economy.”


How one think tank poisoned Australia’s climate debate

“In the 1980s, long before there was widespread public awareness of the proximity of imminent environmental apocalypse, before climate change became a wedge issue that toppled Australian prime ministers and divided politics, free market think tanks like the Institute of Public Affairs were busy sowing the seeds of doubt.”


How many years (and how many PMs) will it take to fix the NBN?

“The former PMs can’t agree on how the conspiracy was supposed to have worked. Rudd asserted that it was opposition to the NBN wot done it; he blamed Turnbull, then-communications spokesperson, for carrying out News Corp’s bidding to protect Foxtel by neutering the NBN. Not so, said Turnbull…”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Paul Kirby succeeds sacked minister Ken Vowles in Northern Territory Cabinet

Menindee fish deaths ‘out of NSW Government’s hands’ says Regional Water Minister Niall Blair

Newspoll: deadlock in state race as poll nears ($)

Queenslanders’ health at risk from electronic medical record software, clinicians say

Labor leads Coalition on business tax cuts despite Scott Morrison’s $750m boost ($)

AEC travel bill exploded during Federal MP citizenship crisis ($)

Scott Morrison intervenes in Hakeem al-Araibi case

‘Ripping Australians off’: Labor signals hardline on poor performing super funds

Second animal welfare issue emerging in WA’s north

Brexit: MPs vote on anti-backstop and article 50 amendments

THE COMMENTARIAT

Debunking ‘Protests do nothing’Amy Thunig (IndigenousX): “Education may be a cure for many ills, but in the cases of Kerri-Anne and Studio 10 education is rarely the answer, because this is not about facts, it is about control. Control of the dialogue, control of the broader narrative, and ultimately attempting control of the way Indigenous people are seen and received by their audience and broader Australia.”

A bellicose China only creates stronger alliances of its rivals ($) — John Lee (The Australian): “The decisive factor is adequate political will to ­absorb diplomatic and possibly economic costs of Chinese displeasure. Washington and Canberra have been the most forward leaning. But the three other Five Eyes governments have been far more reluctant to explicitly ­accept that China is already working against their interests.”

A reward for whistleblowers who expose tax evaders — Andrew Leigh (Sydney Morning Herald): “Following these models, a Shorten Labor government would change the law to provide greater protection for whistleblowers who report on entities evading tax to the ATO. In addition, where whistleblowers’ information results in more tax being paid, we will allow them to collect a share of the tax penalty, with the reward ranging up to $250,000.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • A parliamentary joint committee on intelligence and security will begin public hearings into citizenship loss powers.

  • The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development will release its third Environmental Performance Review of Australia, a ten-year analysis set to contain 50 recommendations to help the country advance toward green growth and environmental governance.

Sydney

  • NSW Minister for Women Tanya Davies will launch the “2018 Women in NSW Report” and appear on a panel discussion at NSW Parliament.

Brisbane

  • Transparency International will hold its Australian launch of the 2018 Corruption Perceptions Index, an annual report measuring the perceived levels of public sector corruption worldwide.

  • Humane Society International will challenge the Queensland’s Great Barrier Reef shark culling program and seek the removal of 173 lethal drumlines at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

  • A 52-year-old senior constable from Road Policing Command is scheduled to appear in court charged with inappropriately accessing and releasing domestic violence details.

Melbourne

  • Telstra CEO Andrew Penn will deliver a keynote CEDA address on what Australia needs to do to ensure a skilled, trained and resilient workforce.

  • A former Frankston City Council manager will appear in court over 79 IBAC charges including obtaining property by deception, making false documents, using false documents and misconduct in public office. IBAC has also charged a supplier of electrical services to the council with 78 similar offences.

Darwin

  • Veteran ABC broadcaster Julia Christensen will launch Darwin: A Photographic History by Northern Territory Archives Centre historian Dr Matthew Stephen.