Former Burke’s Backyard host Don Burke has been accused of sexually assaulting, harassing and bullying multiple women who worked with him. A joint Fairfax-ABC investigation, which interviewed former Channel Nine producers, crew members, researchers, writers and chief executives, claims Burke was a “psychotic bully”, a “sexual predator” and “a vile human being” who regularly groped Burke’s Backyard’s female staff members, made graphic sexual comments and showed women videos of people having sex with animals. Two interviewees recalled Burke trying to take advantage of intoxicated young women while on tour, while one claimed Burke bragged about groping a 14-year-old child visiting the Burke’s Backyard set on a school trip. Speaking to Fairfax’s Kate McClymont, a former crew member said “every single person in management ... has known about Don Burke”, but “they didn't really give a damn” due to his popularity and celebrity status. Burke denied the allegations in a statement, saying he was “deeply hurt and outraged at the false and defamatory claims”, saying they stem from “a few ex-employees of CTC Productions who bear grudges against me”.
Queensland Labor has likely won a second term in government after securing the most parliamentary seats at the state election on Saturday. While neither major party secured an outright majority on election night, subsequent counting on Sunday saw Labor win enough seats to likely retain government. Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said plans would begin for a new Labor ministry “as soon as every vote is counted”, as up to 400,000 postal votes are yet to be tallied. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation underperformed despite securing 13 per cent of the vote, only winning the seat of Mirani and losing leader Steve Dickson and high-profile candidate Malcolm Roberts. Bob Katter’s Australia Party picked up two seats in north Queensland, while the Greens were in the running to win the inner-Brisbane seat of Maiwar.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has promised to “respond with brute force” after an Islamist terror attack on a mosque in North Sinai killed 305 people. Roughly 30 militants detonated a bomb as people left the Rawdah mosque in Bir al-Abed after finishing Friday prayers, before firing on survivors. While no one has claimed responsibility for the attack, the Egyptian military has been fighting an Islamist insurgency on the Sinai Peninsula since 2011. The president is expected to run for re-election next year, and has been heavily criticised for jailing journalists and political dissidents.
Médecins Sans Frontières Australia has been refused access to refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island. MSF Australia president Stewart Condon said the health nonprofit had received information that “there are injured men who need medical attention” inside the accommodation centres where the former inmates of Australia’s offshore detention compound were forcibly moved on Friday. Protests around the country on Sunday organised by progressive activist group GetUp! urged the federal government to bring the men on Manus and Nauru to Australia, with marchers in Sydney holding a minute’s silence for the detainees.
And Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon has lost preselection for her Senate spot, virtually ensuring she will leave parliament at the next federal election. Rhiannon was challenged for the top spot on the Greens’ New South Wales Senate ticket by state parliamentarian Mehreen Faruqi, who won over 60 per cent of the vote. The party has historically underperformed in NSW, all but guaranteeing Rhiannon will be unable to secure enough votes to stay in parliament at the next poll. In a statement, Rhiannon hit out at “those who denigrated myself and the political tradition of the Greens NSW so blatantly in the mainstream media”. Rhiannon clashed with the party’s federal leaders, most recently Richard Di Natale, and was suspended from the Greens party room earlier this year for going against party policy on the Gonski 2.0 education reforms.