Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro (Image: AAP/Private Media)
Former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro (Image: AAP/Private Media)

Barilaro of laughs Australia has just come to the end of a shameful episode, with the punitive charges finally being dropped last week against lawyer Bernard Collaery for his role in whistleblowing Australia's bugging of Timor-Leste for commercial gain. It was one of many outrages committed under the auspices of national security. And as if to show just how versatile a camouflage the "national security" defence can be, it's shown up in our favourite recent scandal: the now-abandoned attempt to give former NSW deputy premier John Barilaro a plum trade commissioner role, despite the earlier appointment of a qualified and less conflicted woman.

The NSW government is refusing to make several documents relating to the appointment public, claiming (you guessed it) that releasing the material would "damage national security". If the use of national security to ruin the lives of Collaery and his client Witness K was tragedy, we can probably say this counts as farce.

In the Nick of time It was almost admirable how, but for a brief interlude, the assault charges levelled at Nick Kyrgios changed almost nothing about the way he was covered by the media. Overnight Kyrgios lost what must be, as one Twitter user pointed out, the first Wimbledon final where both players have been summonsed by an Australian court in the same year.