Darwin shooting
Police responding to the shooting in Darwin's CBD (Image: AAP/Michael Franchi)

DARWIN SHOOTING

Four people were killed in a shooting in Darwin’s CBD last night, The NT News reports. The gunman travelled by ute to five locations over the course of an hour, including a motel, a pub, and a private home, before allegedly turning himself in to NT police, who say they incident was not terror related.

The 45-year-old alleged shooter had been released on parole in January, and was “well-known” to police. The man’s motive is unknown, but he had been fired in recent days for not showing up to his job with a local roofing company.

Two victims remain at the Royal Darwin Hospital in a stable condition, according to the ABC. Some Territorians have been critical of the lack of attention being paid to the shootings outside of Darwin, The NT News adds.

Anyone seeking help can reach Lifeline on 13 11 14, and Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.

AFP RAID CONDEMNED

News Corp and the Federal Parliamentary Press Gallery have condemned yesterday’s police raid of The Sunday Telegraph political editor Annika Smethurst’s home. The AFP raid comes one year after Smethurst reported on a secret government plan to give spy agencies radical new surveillance powers.

The April 2018 story ($) alleged that the defence and Home Affairs ministries were considering allowing the Australian Signals Directorate to monitor Australian citizens and included top-secret letters between Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo and defence secretary Greg Moriarty. Police allege that the leak undermined national security, the ABC reports, noting that the Defence Department referred the leak to the AFP the day the story was published.

News Corp said the raid “demonstrates a dangerous act of intimidation towards those committed to telling uncomfortable truths”, while the Press Gallery released a statement calling it “an attack on press freedom and a danger for the wider freedoms of all Australians”. Scott Morrison refused to condemn the raid ($) when asked, according to The Daily Telegraph.

RATE CUTS

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s long-expected interest rate cut came yesterday, dropping rates by 0.25% to a record low of 1.25%.

It’s the first time the central bank has changed rates since August 2016, in what Bernard Keane called “a belated admission that the economy is idling”. At an RBA board dinner last night, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe warned that cuts alone won’t drive growth, arguing that the country needs to be looking at other options, The New Daily notes.

Although Treasurer Josh Frydenberg had urged the big banks to pass on the cut in full, ANZ and Westpac declined to do so, trimming mortgage interest rates by 0.18% and 0.20% respectively (CBA and NAB passed on the full 0.25%). Lowe also hit out at the banks last night, urging consumers to “shop around”, as well as hinting at least one more rate cut this year.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

It never troubles me our laws being upheld.

Scott Morrison

The Prime Minister fell back on his “I support the law” response (again), when asked from London if “the look” of having police raid a journalist’s home bothered him.

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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

What’s next for the Greens?

“It’s not easy being… oh, you’ve heard that before? The Greens either had the best election ever or it was a total disaster; they are either a vital part of a future progressive coalition or the perpetual never-weres. This is not the first time that the Greens have been hit with this sort of wacky reasoning, from both within and without the movement. They drive people wild, themselves included, in a way that many people find hard to understand. For those of us who support them — amongst other movements — it would be hilarious if it weren’t so infuriating.”


News Corp cuts 55 jobs, but no mention in its papers

“When a media company is getting rid of experienced journalists in specialist areas you know the company is not interested in coverage, breaking stories or in news — only costs. Even experienced finance journalist Scott Murdoch wasn’t immune to recent measures and took a redundancy in March. Readers of The Australian’s finance pages will have noticed the slow rise in the number of Wall Street Journal stories in the paper each day (most of which have no relevance to Australia) and the slow rise in the number of stories from Australian writers for Dow Jones, the news service owned by the Journal. It’s all about cost.”


The battle for NSW Labor

“Despite his long career as a party apparatchik, Minns has struggled to get a clear endorsement from Sussex Street. Crucial to this lack of endorsement is his terse relationship with the party’s powerful NSW general secretary Kaila Murnain, who is said to harbour some resentment towards Minns after he defended Murnain’s predecessor Jamie Clements following sexual harassment allegations that led to Clements’ downfall. Murnain is said to be firmly backing McKay.” 

THE COMMENTARIAT

This won’t be the last cut we’ll seeRoss Gittins (The Sydney Morning Herald): “We can be confident that, until it believes the economy is picking up, the Reserve will keep doing the only thing it can to help – cutting rates further. Should this mean the official rate gets to zero, Scott Morrison and his government will then have no choice but finally to respond to governor Dr Philip Lowe’s repeated requests – repeated again only two weeks ago – that they put less emphasis on returning the budget to surplus and more on helping to keep the economy growing, by spending more on needed (note that word) infrastructure and doing it soon, not sometime in the next decade.”

Annika Smethurst raid was more than an invasion of privacy ($) Claire Harvey (The Daily Telegraph): Tuesday’s raid on the home of our national political editor Annika Smethurst was a shocking invasion of privacy — but it was much more sinister than that. This is an attempt to intimidate journalists, and more importantly their sources, who attempt to reveal information that is in the public interest.”

Actions expose risk to journalism, democracy ($) – Chris Merritt (The Australian): “When the secrecy provisions in section 79 were replaced on June 29 last year, many in the media were relieved because journalists were given the benefit of a public interest defence. That relief was misplaced. Journalism is still at risk. The defence was only added to the National Security Legislation Amendment (Espionage and Foreign Interference) Act after the media industry pointed out that the government’s original plan was a backward step. The new defence for journalists covers publication of “inherently harmful” material that a reporter believes on reasonable grounds to be in the public interest. The government rejected pleas from the Law Council for a similar defence to be extended to those who provide journalists with that information.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

UK

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison will attend D-Day commemorations at Portsmouth on June 5 (UK time), alongside Queen Elizabeth II and US President Donald Trump.

Brisbane

  • Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad will make a pre-budget address to the Queensland Media Club.

Sydney

  • Hollywood comedian and actor Kevin Hart will join State Transit CEO Steffen Faurby and La Perouse Public School students to launch a bus safety campaign.

  • A man in his 60s will face court charged with assaulting a volunteer with a corkscrew as he erected political material outside a school on the eve of the federal election.

Melbourne

  • Cancer fraudster Belle Gibson will appear in the Federal Court over her failure to pay a $410,000 fine.

  • TEDxMelbourne will host “Limitless: The Other Side of Impossible”, with science and technology experts exploring the concept that anything is possible.

Darwin

  • The NT Library will host an event celebrating “The Victoria River District Doomsday Book” by Dr Darrell Lewis.

Adelaide

  • The Botanic Gardens & State Herbarium of SA will host World Environment Day 2019, an annual event encouraging young South Australians to engage with environmental issues.