Melissa Price Adani coal mine
Melissa Price (Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

Council notes Remember Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price? Since allegedly telling former Kiribati president Anote Tong that the Pacific is “always” trying to get its hands on Australia’s cash, the member for Durack has been quiet. So quiet, you’d be forgiven for thinking she was mid election campaign.

So it’s no surprise Price refused to present at a public meeting of the Shire of Carnarvon, 900km north of Perth, where she was slated to appear, once she realised there was (heaven forefend!) a journalist there.

According to ABC Pilbara, the journalist:

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… was asked to leave the meeting — although the public were allowed to remain — because Ms Price was not comfortable with media being present.

Anyway, in lieu of coverage, we assume her presentation concerned draft legislation expanding the “right to be forgotten” in Australia.

Takes-onomy Last week Crikey argued:

From the very start of the pandemic, we’ve been looking for scapegoats. Unsurprisingly, this desire to finger-point often took on a deeply racialised undertone.

We didn’t exactly want to be vindicated as quickly and as conclusively as he has, but here we are: two young women of colour, who travelled through Queensland from Melbourne and allegedly provided border authorities with false information, are now the subject of a grotesque media storm.

They’ve been doxxed by Nine, had completely irrelevant allegations of shoplifting added to their list of crimes by a front-page story in The Australian, and have been plastered on the front page of The Courier-Mail above a headline that reads “Enemies of the State”. The story is also the front page of the Herald Sun, and gets a pointer on page one of The Daily Telegraph.

If the allegations are true, the pair have been deeply irresponsible, but what possible public interest is there in knowing the names and faces of two teenagers who made a mistake — beyond racking up a line of pure, uncut indignation for the nation to gleefully snort?

ABC Watch Speaking of discrimination in the media, the ABC is continuing its bold defence of “Karens”, somehow crafting an entire second story interrogating derogatory use of the name.

Having a good pandemic If Crikey readers were wondering how the Great Barrier Reef Foundation, the little charity (run by business figures from the fossil-fuel and banking sectors) that could, is spending the nearly half-a-billion it received in unsolicited government largess back in 2018, here’s one answer: sponsored Facebook campaigns.

A tipster sent us through a few screen caps of the new campaign:

“Oddly, when I clicked the ‘Why am I seeing this ad?’ button, it said that they are targeting people interested in the Liberal Party,” the tipster said.

It is, as the tipster put it, an “oddly selective use of taxpayers money”.

Radio Radio(active) The Senate this week continued its inquiry into the national radioactive waste facility proposed (or, according to one tipster, being “shafted upon”) the farming community of Kimba, South Australia.

The process has been divisive. Some welcome the jobs it will bring to a declining town, others are worried because, you know, it’s a radioactive waste dump.

Further, it’s currently illegal to put a nuclear waste dump in SA under state laws. Indeed, the Howard government proposed something similar in 1998 but eventually withdrew, after a long fight with the then-Labor state government. The Marshall government is offering no such resistance.

Witnesses at the Senate hearing included former Liberal member for Grey (and Kimba local) Barry Wakelin, who might not be expecting any Christmas cards from his former colleagues given the tenor of his submission:

The federal government have been like a dog defending a piece of meat. Once they found their 160 Hectares, they devoured and bribed the decency, innocence and fairness out of the best little community in Australia. A full assault that knew no limits.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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