Once again, Minister for Energy Angus Taylor is facing multiple controversies.
The Australian reports ($) that Taylor’s staffer Josh Manuatu “has been identified as the person who obtained” false travel figures from the City of Sydney (though the article does not fully explain Manuatu’s actual role in the Daily Telegraph leak). The former Young Liberals president will continue in his position, while Taylor has since refused to say whether he has handed over download logs to NSW police.
Meanwhile, The Guardian reports that a Labor-Greens-dominated Senate committee has recommended Scott Morrison order an inquiry into Taylor’s grasslands saga, after finding he “consciously used his position as an MP” to influence an investigation into land clearing at a property his family part-owns.
In a crucial letter allegedly written to Jacqui Lambie pre-medevac repeal, Scott Morrison outlined a vision for potentially resettling the roughly 500 remaining offshore detainees in New Zealand, after the current US arrangement is exhausted.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the New Zealand option — vaguely kept open by Morrison himself — proved crucial in passing the medevac repeal. This means the medical arrangement for detainees on Papua New Guinea and Nauru now reverts to a system that saw Home Affairs spend thousands in court fees and one man, Hamid Khazaei, die from a treatable leg infection.
Period drama and revenge thriller The Nightingale and ABC political drama series Total Control have taken home top honours at the 2019 AACTA Awards.
Each won multiple major awards: The Nightingale for best direction, screenplay, film and lead actress (Aisling Franciosi), and Total Control for best television drama, actress (Deborah Mailman) and supporting actress (Rachel Griffiths).
Netflix-backed, Australia-linked The King somewhat controversially took out four industry awards as well, while beloved acting veteran Sam Neill took home the lifetime achievement award.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
He was late because he takes a 40-minute press conference off the top.
The Canadian prime minister and a few other NATO mates were caught very audibly making fun of their American counterpart.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“In late 2010, a Department of Defence tender was issued for cargo helicopters to support Australia’s war effort in Afghanistan. With very little disclosure, the contract was awarded to Vertical Australia, a company newly minted as the local agent for a Russian military contracting company named Vertical-T. The services would include the use of a Russian Mil Mi-26, the largest and most powerful helicopter ever produced.”
“‘Someone in the corporate world has got to develop a spine here because these are … keyboard warriors,’ Alan Jones told the Sydney Morning Herald in September. The ‘keyboard warriors’ Jones railed against were Mad Fucking Witches (MFW) and Sleeping Giants Oz, the online activist groups who pressure advertisers to boycott Jones’ radio show.”
“Just one day after new data emerged showing that Australians lost a record $24.8 billion gambling in 2017-18, former Australian cricket captain Ricky ‘Punter’ Ponting has enjoyed a multimillion-dollar pay day courtesy of the world’s biggest online gambling company.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Those who helped the medevac repeal bill to pass should hang their heads in shame — Nick Martin (The Guardian): “Today Australia became just a little crueller, just a little more sadistic. A bill that was working well was repealed because a self-professed Christian thought that his values aligned with denying care to the vulnerable. Absolutely nothing to do with border protection – boat turnbacks provide the assurance that boats will be stopped.”
Faith in PM weakens with religious freedom debacle ($) — Niki Savva (The Australian): “In a video in front of a Christmas tree, Morrison rescinded his promise to introduce the bill to parliament this year, instead promising that another draft bill would be released before the end of the year, just as Christian ministers are preparing their sermons for packed Christmas congregations. Brilliant timing. Or maybe not.”
Folau settlement saga over but bitter taste remains — Peter FitzSimons (The Sydney Morning Herald): “And so it is over. After nigh on two years of drawn-out agony, Israel Folau and Rugby Australia have settled their dispute, apologising to each other – no, really – for all the hurt caused, and agreeing to keep the terms of the settlement secret.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Both the Senate and House of Representatives will sit for the final time for 2019.
Minister for Agriculture Bridget McKenzie will launch the National Farmers’ Federation’s new report A Return on Nature – Unlocking sustainable finance and ecosystem services.
The National Press Club will host an in-conversation event titled “Are we heading towards a strategic crisis over Taiwan?”
The ACT Writers Centre will host the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards.
StartupAUS will launch its annual Crossroads Report.
John Howard will help launch his former cabinet minister Richard Alstons new book, More to Life than Politics, both of whom will speak in conversation with the Centre for Independent Studies’ Tom Switzer.
The New International Book Shop will host a panel discussion with Elizabeth Humphrys on her new book How Labour Built Neoliberalism, Australia’s accord, the Labour movement and the Neoliberal project.
Journalist Nina Funnell, businesswoman Hana Assafiri and Domestic Violence Victoria’s acting CEO Alison MacDonald will speak at an RMIT event titled “Sexual Assault and Censorship – Do women have a right to express their anger?”
The Australian War Memorial will hold a development update presentation on “Our Continuing Story”.
The Climate and Health Alliance and Doctors for the Environment Australia will host an event called “Climate and Health in WA: Risks and Opportunities”.
Day one of the two-day World Electronics Forum will be held.
The Art Gallery of South Australia will host the SA Public Galleries Forum 2019.
Head of the Altered Eating Research Network Dr Duika Burges Watson will present “How Cheap Food Costs Us … and the Earth” at the University of Tasmania.
The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships will host a “Path to Treaty” community forum.