From the Crikey grapevine, it’s the latest tips and rumours…
See the Linc? This week, former Linc Energy executive chairman Peter Bond faced yet more charges over the environmental damage caused by his former company. In April last year Linc was found guilty of causing serious environmental harm at its underground coal gasification plant in south-west Queensland between 2007 and 2013. The following month the company was fined a record $4.5 million (out of a possible $9 million). But, as The Australian Financial Review notes, it is taxpayers who will most likely pick up the bill for remediation of the western Darling Downs site:
Liquidator PPB Advisory was successful in the courts in arguing the now defunct company should not be required to pay the fines. Lock the Gate spokeswoman Carmel Flint said it was unlikely the Queensland government would recover any funds from Linc Energy to either pay the fine or rehabilitate the site.
In this context, Ms Tips can’t help but recall that in happier times for the company Linc Energy gave more than $300,000 to the LNP and the Liberals over the course of three years — while the Labor Party got a more modest injection of just over $20,000 across its federal and Queensland branches. If Linc isn’t going to stump up the cash, the parties should return the money to help with the remediation process.
A-OK? On Tuesday, Tasmania’s The Mercury paper ran a picture of the Hutchins open eight, the “newly crowned kings of Tassie rowing”, on its front page. Looking closer at the image, we can see one of the beaming private school boys subtly doing that “OK” hand symbol.
So, in a more innocent time, we’d have all assumed it was just bog-standard teenage nonsense, the old high school “circle game” — that “Look at this and I’ll punch you in the arm” thing. That’s certainly what the school made clear when a mini-controversy erupted over the gesture.
Why the controversy? Because we are living in the darkest timeline, where that particular hand gesture has, in recent years, come to be associated with various white power movements and right-wing trolls. Which would be one thing if this were just some random private school kid. But just for added spice, this appears to be the son of Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman. And given everything that’s going on in the world right now, it feels as though The Mercury probably should have picked up on it.
Murder, she texted. In a normal news period, the trial of Borce Ristevski, who pleaded guilty to murdering his wife Karen last month — a trial with a long and macabre history, podcast-ready twists and turns, and personal intrigue — might have been one of the major news stories in the country. But this is no normal news period, and the Ristevski trial has only really made the news in Melbourne.
Ms Tips hears that one journalist who might be bringing it to a wider audience did not make any friends. “Apparently a — perhaps slightly older — journo from Australian Story was in the Karen Ristevski trial yesterday for the most harrowing part — the victim impact statements — and her phone kept going off,” a tipster told us. “And one of the TV journos had to teach her how to put her iPhone on silent.”
Dominello’s good post. We would never dream of guessing how New South Wales Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello celebrated his party’s victory in last weekend’s election. But there was a distinctly groggy quality to his “Monday back to work” post this week — flitting between half-finished thoughts, faintly grandiose ideas and seemingly unrelated quotes with all the cohesion of a post-bucket first year uni student. Here it is in its entirety:
Love using my opal card – however I would like my opal card to be on my phone so I can swipe it (like I can payWave with my credit card) — I will add this to my to do list….
Many people have said to me that I must be on a high after the results on Saturday.
However during moments such as these — Icarus comes to mind. Icarus was given wings attached by wax so that he could fly. Icarus — buoyed by hubris — ignored the advice of his father and flew high, close to the sun. Sure enough the wax melted — the wings fell off and Icarus fell into the ocean and drowned.
‘As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master’ – Abraham Lincoln
Attached is the link to the post, in case you think we’ve doctored this, or edited Dominello’s ideas to remove the paragraphs that it would take to link them.
Hunting for likes. Back in late 2017, a series of politicians got caught up in scandals around “liking” tweets from slightly questionable accounts? One of these was Health Minister Greg Hunt, whose official Twitter account liked an explicit tweet from a user called… um… “BBW CUM PUMPER 69”. This came after Christopher Pyne’s Twitter account had done something similar on the night marriage equality passed. Both pollies insisted that they had been “hacked” and Hunt got the police involved. Six months later, AFP commissioner Andrew Colvin diplomatically confirmed at a Senate estimates hearing that Hunt’s account was “not hacked in a criminal sense”.
Will Hunt call the cops again after his account liked a tweet from opposition leader Bill Shorten having a go at Prime Minister Scott Morrison over his equivocation on where the Liberal Party would preference One Nation, telling Morrison to “show leadership and put One Nation and parties like them last. That’s what I’m doing. What else do you need before you do the right thing?”