Leaked documents have revealed NAB chairman Ken Henry privately told consultants during the banking royal commission that he was “confident” the bank was still ripping off customers.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that minutes of the June 2018 meeting with consulting firm EY, which was helping the bank prepare a report assessing risk management and culture, were among a package of documents leaked to Nine papers by a whistleblower, who reportedly felt the royal commission had “glossed over” major issues with the bank.
The revelations have already sparked calls for a parliamentary inquiry into the relationship between big banks and the major accounting firms, with Labor MP Deborah O’Neill moving for one on Thursday.
MORE CROWN PROBES
Victorian gaming minister Marlene Kairouz has ordered an urgent probe into Crown following Nine’s ongoing revelations of criminal and foreign influence links, instructing the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation to “re-examine the allegations raised as a matter of priority”.
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The Greens, meanwhile, have condemned wombat shooting safaris used to entice Chinese high-rollers to Australia, after it was revealed that a company owned by Crown junket organiser and international fugitive Tom Zhou was offering the practice at a Murrindindi farm. Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young said the revelations were “stranger than fiction”, calling on the government to clamp down on the “hideous and obscene behaviour”. Crown says the junkets were unrelated to the company.
ABORTION BILL RESISTANCE
The religious right is campaigning fiercely against the decriminalisation of abortion in NSW, after independent MP Alex Greenwich introduced the bipartisan bill to parliament Thursday. Hundreds of anti-abortion protestors rallying outside parliament could be heard from within the chamber, The Sydney Morning Herald reports, with MPs expected to be inundated by religious lobbying before the bill is debated and voted on next week.
Barnaby Joyce joined the fray from federal parliament, invoking his new son: “To say he didn’t have the rights of … human life is to say he must be subhuman.” Victorian doctors at a Wadonga clinic have urged NSW MPs to support the bill in an open letter, revealing that up to 60% of their abortion patients travel from NSW to access services.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Mr Albanese may find [Raheem Kassam’s] views and his way of expressing things inappropriate. I find Mr Corbyn’s views on many subjects inappropriate.
The former deputy PM compares controversial far-right activist Raheem Kassam to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as he slams Labor’s push to ban Kassam from entering the country (Anderson is set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference alongside Kassam).
READ ALL ABOUT IT
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Wherever there is a media scrum — reporters, camera operators and soundos jostling against each other for up to $2000 a day each — there’s someone looking to get a return on their investment. At the very centre, interviewees are also often paid. The news outlets telling their stories profit in ratings — which they can in turn boast to their advertisers; there’s dog food that needs to be sold, and this informs a chief of staff’s decision-making about resources, stories to chase, and cheques to write. But what’s less known is the shadowy secondary economy that orbits the media. The agents that negotiate the interviews, ‘hone the message’, sell the tell-all book, book the nightclub appearances and clean up the crisis also take a cut. Lawyers are engaged for advice on a particular case — ‘chasing ambulances’ not just for injury and compensation, but for defamation and privacy.”
“Many affected by the flammable cladding epidemic remain in an unacceptable living situation. Some have been forced out of their homes, and some are instead forced to remain in fear with no recourse. Meanwhile, Scott Morrison is spending his time passing the buck to state governments. There is a certain irony in Scott Morrison’s victory proclamation that he would “burn for the Australian people, every single day”. Instead, it is us who may burn. The Coalition government has failed to allocate a cent to a crisis that is endangering human lives, with Josh Frydenberg claiming “the problems in relation to cladding have been a failure of compliance and enforcement at a state level”. How Australian is that?”
“The fun police are at it again, this time trying to squeeze the last drops of joy, humour and life out of the dispiriting beigeness of federal parliament, with a new inquiry threatening an overhaul of question time. A review, chaired by Queensland Liberal MP Ross Vasta, is set to consider setting time limits, clamping down on heckling and scrapping “Dorothy Dixer” questions. Of course, there’s a fair argument to be made that question time is a bit of a farce, a source of endless negativity and an opportunity for politicians to let off a bit of steam; hitting their opponents with a string of schoolyard jibes under the protection of parliamentary privilege. There’s also an argument that it promotes the idea of politics as merely a game; a grand bit of theatre to rev up the hacks rather than something that has a profound influence on people’s real lives.”
The most beautiful apocalypse you could imagine – Waleed Aly (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “This week I read that “the Arctic is on fire”. It’s literally true, and visible from space, apparently. And it’s burning in a way it hasn’t for at least 10,000 years. It seems the heatwave currently scorching Europe is also melting Arctic ice in frighteningly rapid ways. And you know what? I felt almost nothing. I’m not asking to be absolved for that, but you know I’m far from alone. And that, in miniature, captures the great hopelessness of climate change: that while we might occasionally feel overwhelmed into inaction by the sheer size and seriousness of the problem, it’s probably more honest to say that, as a society, we have simply ceased to be emotionally engaged by it.”
Sorry, George. Your apology is hard to swallow ($) – David Penberthy (The Daily Telegraph): “The genuinely disturbing thing about the interview is how manic Calombaris is. If I were his mate, I’d be worried for the guy. He is obviously a workaholic, and perhaps it was his single-mindedness about the quality and continued expansion of his restaurants that made him take his eye off the basics. He seems determined to work harder now than he ever has, almost to enslave himself to restore his former good name. He is even about to embark on a new restaurant, although the launch date has been put back by the scandal. The last thing this bloke needs is a new restaurant. He needs a break.”
It is inevitable that NSW’s archaic abortion laws go into the dustbin of history – Mehreen Faruqi (The Guardian): “It’s been just over two years since my bill to fully decriminalise abortion was defeated in the upper house of New South Wales parliament. The anger and disbelief of those present in the public gallery that day is etched in my memory. Women of all generations were overcome with emotion, outraged that even in the 21st century, politicians would vote to deny them their reproductive rights. While disappointed, I knew this moment was not the end of our campaign, but an essential milestone in putting this long neglected issue squarely on the political radar. Once the silence was broken, it was inevitable that NSW’s archaic abortion laws would go into the dustbin of history sooner rather than later. That time is now here.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
- The parliamentary committee on intelligence and security will hold a public hearing into proposed laws stripping Australian citizenship from dual nationals engaged in terrorism.
- An inquiry into the size of Tasmanian parliament will hold a public hearing, hearing from Aboriginal activist Rodney Dillon, Tasmanian Electoral Commission Andrew Hawkey, and Institute for the Study of Social Change professor Richard Eccelston.
- Kurdish-Iranian refugee Behrouz Boochani will headline the Byron Writers Festival alongside Damon Gameau, Benjamin Law, Min Jin Lee, Bruce Pascoe and Leigh Sales.
Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory
- Garma Festival, Australia’s largest Indigenous-led, Indigenous-programmed cultural exchange, will enter its 20th year, with guests sharing ideas and learning from array of Indigenous and non-Indigenous speakers.
- A memorial service will be held for Australian tourist Lucas Fowler who, along with his American girlfriend Chynna Deese, was shot dead and left on the side of a British Columbia highway.
- The first hearing in the ABC’s case against the validity of the AFP raids will take place in the Federal Court, with the ABC alleging a NSW local court registrar authorised the raids without legally defining how far police officers could search.
- Embattled recyclers SKM Services will undergo a winding up application in the Supreme Court, with hundreds of thousands of tonnes of recycling expected to be instead sent to landfill.
- Akane Chibana will plead over a failed attempt to smuggle 19 lizards from Melbourne to Japan in a suitcase, after Border Force officers found 17 shinglebacks and two blue tongues in her suitcase.
- Andy Meddick MP and Minister for Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio will visit Wildlife Victoria to announce half a million dollars in funding.
- Australian swimmer Shayna Jack will meet with ASADA officials after testing positive for a banned substance and being sent home from last month’s world championships.
- Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham will represent Australia at the 8th Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) ministerial meeting.