The mail carrier’s chief executive has been asked to stand aside after revelations of luxury watches gifted to executives, but the company is facing much deeper crises.Much of the week’s drama has returned to some form of the same question: Is the national postal service completely out of touch with community expectations?
Riverina MP Michael McCormack has become Australia’s 19th deputy prime minister after winning a National Party leadership ballot on Monday morning. Mackay MP George Christensen posed an unsuccessful last-minute challenge to McCormack’s candidacy, prompting a hunt for pens with which to conduct the ballot. Speaking to media, McCormack said he would work as “a team player”, but would “never be silent when I ought to speak”. Besides his homophobic comments in a 1993 newspaper column, attention is being drawn to McCormack’s climate denialism.
The leadership change has failed to dispel ongoing controversy around New England MP Barnaby Joyce, who supporters believe was coerced into resigning by opponents. Fairfax reports that federal and Western Australian Nationals officials, including federal president Larry Anthony and federal director Ben Hindmarsh, met over four days last week to discuss a sexual harassment complaint made against Joyce, which was formally lodged by the complainant at Anthony’s urging. Anthony and Nationals legal counsel Bernard Ponting visited Joyce a day later to inform him of the complaint, which Joyce interpreted as an ultimatum to resign or be publicly disgraced. Anthony has denied the assertions, as well as claims the Nationals leaked the identity of Joyce’s accuser to the media.
Media companies Fairfax, News Corp Australia, Macquarie Media, Channel Seven, Channel Nina and the ABC have joined publisher Bauer Media in its appeal against the record damages awarded to actor Rebel Wilson in a defamation hearing last year. The joint appeal challenges Wilson’s $4.56 million payout, the largest defamation ruling in Australian history, to prevent defamation payouts escalating to levels that media outlets cannot afford. Justin Quill, the lawyer representing the media outlets, said the appeal hoped to “avoid unwarranted restrictions on freedom of expression”, and that “the fact six media companies have combined demonstrates how serious the issue is”.
And Denman man Shane “Shagger” Hanrahan has won Best Mullet at the inaugural Kurri Kurri Mulletfest. More than 150 contestants gathered in the Hunter Valley town on Sunday to compete in the tournament, in which they were judged on length, density, commitment, split ends and adherence to the classic business-at-the-front, party-at-the-back style. Mona Vale boy Alex Keavy, 12, won the Junior Mullet category, while Frankston outsider “Cougar”, 20, took out the Ranga division. On learning of his victory, Hanrahan said: “Rock on! Fuck you! Fuck youse all!”