John Setka CFMMEU CFMEU union Sally McManus
(Image: AAP/Joe Castro)

SETKA V EVERYONE

ACTU secretary Sally McManus says that John Setka must resign if any of the allegations against him are true after the controversial CFMMEU secretary yesterday refused to step down. Setka broke his silence in an interview with The New Daily, denying an Age/SMH report claiming he said Rosie Batty’s work had led to men having fewer rights, calling it “dirty politics” and “an outright lie”. 

Setka is expected to be charged with misconduct and sacked if he does not stand aside, amidst concerns this will be a drawn out and damaging process for the union movement. Anthony Albanese yesterday said he would move to expel Setka from the Labor party, a move backed by($) Daniel Andrews, Bill Shorten, and Doug CameronThe Australian reports. Commentators on both the left and right are attacking Labor for standing by($) the problematic Setka ($) as long as it has.

DUTTON SCOLDS PEZZULLO

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has counselled his departmental secretary Mike Pezzullo over an “intimidating” post-raids phone call to crossbench senator Rex Patrick, first reported by the ABC yesterday — a call Scott Morrison said he found “concerning.

In a statement to the ABC, Dutton said he advised Pezzullo that the call was “inappropriate … even if just to point out inaccuracies”. He added, however, that they were both “disgusted at some of the outrageous lies and slander he and I are regularly subject to”, calling into question Patrick’s representation of the call. Greens senator Jordan Steele-John tweeted that Pezzullo had previously called him up over criticisms of the department, telling The Guardian that he was left with “the distinct impression of a menacing tone in his remarks and an unmistakable message that criticism and scrutiny is not welcome”.

PRESS FREEDOM

In other post-raids news, ABC chair Ita Buttrose and managing director David Anderson had a “constructive” meeting with Morrison and communications minister Paul Fletcher yesterday, while former Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce dismissed suggestions of a threat to press freedom. Joyce called it “a load of rubbish”, reflecting a view held by others within parliament but rarely expressed publicly, The Age notes.

Morrison is consulting senior media executives about establishing a press freedom inquiry, according to The Australian, but News Corp executive for policy and government relations Campbell Reid says the dangers should be obvious: “This is not a matter where we need an inquiry to identify the problem” ($). 

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I’ve been the leader of the Labor Party for less than two weeks Leigh, so I don’t think anyone can say that I haven’t been decisive on this issue.

Anthony Albanese

The new Labor leader hits back at criticism over his delayed action on John Setka.

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Police minister says she has ‘great respect’ for accused top cop ($)

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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

How angry men use power in Australia

“There is a malicious aggression on display here, the fuck-you mentality of the powerful who resent any questioning. You can see it every time time Peter Dutton opens his mouth, or whenever Mike Pezzullo fronts a Senate inquiry to be asked about the latest of dozens of screw-ups by his sublimely inept department, a hostility directed toward anyone who might criticise him — journalists (‘bottom feeder’ was how Pezzullo once described Fairfax’s Noel Towell), NGOs, the ANAO — anyone with the temerity to fail to defer to the security establishment. You could see it on display in the truculence of the AFP’s Neil Gaughan last week, determinedly threatening to use an old law to prosecute journalists. Powerful men, infuriated by scrutiny and embarrassment, out for blood, railing at anyone who might threaten them, eager to make an example of someone.”


The endless disquiet of John Setka

“The John Setka story is an angry one. He’s long had a reputation in the Australian union movement as someone who isn’t above resorting to violence and intimidation when fighting for fairer workplaces. In 2012, The Australian reported that Setka had 60 criminal charges to his name. In 2012, Setka was found guilty of intimidation against Grocon workers at a construction site in Melbourne’s CBD. Federal Court Justice Tracey found a group of protestors, led by Setka and other union officials, hurled abuse and threats against the workers, including ‘scabs’, ‘dogs’, ‘rats’, ‘you will die’, and ‘I’m going to kill your family’.”


For the final time, it was back to Barrie

“No matter the panel, which once regularly included Andrew Bolt, Barrie could, with a single line, quieten bickering between the likes of David Marr and Piers Akerman, or correct a Gerard Henderson diatribe. No matter the politician, he could cut through the talking points and the spin, and ensure they were taken back to the question. And if, by the end, the question was not answered, every Insiders viewer (hungover or fresh as a daisy) knew it.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

Labor’s glass house has now shattered irreparably ($) – Gemma Tognini (The Daily Telegraph): “Whatever you’re doing right now, if you stop and listen closely, you’ll hear the sound of shattering glass. A glass house, to be exact. Being destroyed from within by the weak-kneed, lily-livered apologists who live there. This is the house that federal Labor built along with their mates from the Union Movement and it’s from this house that they peddled the same fare; a relentless and frankly wafer-thin narrative accusing conservative parties of having a problem with women.”

ABC raids a wake-up call to journalists who left Assange swingingAndrew Fowler (The Age/SMH): “What state have we reached where Assange, a journalist, facing his next extradition hearing in London on Wednesday, should be so reviled? It is dangerous territory for journalism. The insults thrown by Donald Trump that journalists were the enemy of the American people might have been self-serving, but clearly the old notion that journalists mainly represent ordinary people against the powerful is in many cases something of the past. Just as the political parties have shifted to the right, so too have many journalists.”

Those in power must be held to account when police raid reporters ($) – Kristina Keneally (The Australian): “The perception of bias is a real risk now. Not only is there media apprehension about an attempt to intimidate reporting, there is also a concern that only leaks embarrassing the government merit investigation while those that benefit the government do not. The decision by the AFP to drop its investigation of a leak of classified ASIO information during the medevac debate has shocked many. ASIO chief Duncan Lewis described this leak as “seriously damaging” and as undermining the work of ASIO to keep Australians safe. When the leak occurred, Dutton seized on it for political benefit. Last week, Morrison said that “no one is above the law”. It is hard to take the Prime Minister’s words seriously when his own Home Affairs Minister won’t face the media to answer questions about what he and his office know about this damaging leak of classified information.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Melbourne

  • SBS NITV’s Matty Webb will host the 2019 Pride in Sport Awards, celebrating LGBTI inclusion achievements within Australian sport, with a keynote speech by Rugby League referee Matt Cecchin and a panel featuring Pride in Sport Patrons Daniel Kowalski and Alex Blackwell.

  • The Victorian School Building Authority will hold an education infrastructure industry briefing to discuss the opportunities emerging from the 2019-20 State Budget and changes to the VSBA delivery model.

  • Opposition Education and Training spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek will visit the Northern College of the Arts and Technology along with Labor MP Ged Kearney.

  • Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Luci Ellis will deliver the 2019 Freebairn Lecture in Public Policy.

  • ASIC will begin civil action against Dover Financial Advisers and director Terry McMaster.

  • Protesters will gather outside the Australian Energy Week Conference with Environment Victoria spokesman Nicholas Aberle expected to call on AGL to abandon its Westernport gas import terminal.

Sydney

  • The NSW Federal Court will hold a case management hearing after Nationwide News filed an amended notice of appeal against Geoffrey Rush’s successful defamation case.

  • Australian Digital Health Agency CEO Tim Kelsey will give a speech on the human imperative of digital health.

Brisbane

  • IndigiLez and gar’ban’djee’lum will launch its new Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Campaign, working alongside the LGBTIQ+ Sistergirl and Brotherboy community of Brisbane.

  • UQ Architecture will host an “Indigenous Art + Healthcare Architecture Colloquium” raising questions about giving Indigenous artworks give Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people a sense of inclusion in healthcare settings.

Darwin

  • The Community Outreach Program is an introduction to the Palliative Approach for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Care Providers.

Adelaide

  • The SA Council of Social Services, the SA Financial Counsellors Association and the Public Service Association will call on the SA Government to rethink their impending SA Government budget cut of $4 million to the Financial Counselling Program in the Department of Child Protection

  • The SA coroner will hand down findings into the death of four-year-old Vietnamese boy An Hoang Le Nguyen who died from leukaemia while in immigration detention.

UK

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will give a speech on Australia’s economic outlook and the government’s plans to continue to support the fintech sector at Australia House in London. He will later give the keynote address at the Policy Exchange.

  • Australia will face Pakistan in the Cricket World Cup.