Tuesday, June 11, 2019

AFP raids spark Home Affairs row

Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick has claimed home affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo attempted to intimidate him over his criticism of Australian Federal Police raids on journalists. Speaking to the ABC on Monday, Patrick said Pezzullo called some of Patrick’s criticisms “slanderous” in a phone call after Patrick released a media statement in which he claimed Pezzullo and home affairs minister Peter Dutton “hate media scrutiny”. Patrick claimed Pezzullo was trying to silence critics, saying “the only thing I can think of is that he was trying to get me to be quiet in respect of my criticisms of the department of home affairs”. Pezzullo strongly denied Patrick’s claims, saying he had only asked that Patrick “reflect on his adverse references to my purported view of media scrutiny”.

Domestic violence campaigner Rosie Batty has hit out at Construction, Forestry, Mining, Maritime and Energy Union national secretary John Setka over his comments regarding women. On Friday, Nine newspapers reported that former Fair Work Commission deputy president Anne Gooley filed a police report detailing Setka abusing and threatening a woman, and that Setka had told a CFMMEU meeting that Batty’s campaigning against domestic violence had led to men having fewer rights. Calling Setka’s comments “ludicrous”, Batty said on Monday that Setka was “an example of somebody whose leadership role really needs to be challenged, because it's not a reflection that's appropriate”. Last month, Setka pleaded guilty on one charge of using a carriage service to harass a woman.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has refused to back the federal government’s $158 billion tax cuts package, leaving the government with limited options to pass the Senate. Speaking to Channel Nine on Monday, Hanson said there were “more important issues out there that are of concern to the Australian people”, including building new coal-fired power stations and the Bradfield water diversion scheme. One Nation’s opposition means the government must rely on the Centre Alliance’s two senators, who have demanded the government pass measures to stop energy price rises in exchange for supporting the tax cuts.

And in the United Kingdom, environment secretary Michael Gove’s push to assume the leadership of the Conservative Party has faltered after revelations he used cocaine. Gove admitted his former drug use after it was detailed in Michael Gove: A Man in a Hurry, a book by journalist Owen Bennett. In an interview with the BBC’s Andrew Marr, Gove denied ever misleading United States immigration authorities, and said he “was fortunate” not to have gone to jail for drug use. Eleven Conservatives are campaigning for the party’s leadership, with Conservative general members to elect a new leader on July 22.


“The biggest issue for Pell is that the jury found him guilty. While that might seem obvious, it is not the role of appeal judges to retry a case. They can only set aside the jury’s verdict if they conclude the jury couldn’t have rationally arrived at ‘guilty’ based on the evidence they heard.”


“One explanation for Australia’s world-record gambling spend is cultural preference. From Birdsville to the trenches, a love of the punt has supposedly been central to national identity. The other explanation for why Australians became the world’s biggest gamblers during the 1990s was that the expansion of gambling was a deliberate government policy choice.”


“According to the ABC and researcher Peter Goss at the Grattan Institute, nearly one in three private schools now get more government funding than public schools that enrol a similar number of students from comparable socioeconomic backgrounds. A decade ago, that figure was one in 20.”


“It’s been presented as a jobs bonanza for Queensland, but there are fresh questions about Adani’s Carmichael project and the employment it will create in regional Queensland ... The company’s current jobs forecast is smaller than the 10,000 jobs it originally promoted.”


“In one of the most remote corners of the Earth, its real estate was more expensive than in Manhattan, service workers earned bankers’ salaries, and its small airport began running direct flights to Bali, where miners bought beach houses to relax between stints in the red-stained Pilbara hills ... Property prices have fallen about 70 per cent from their peak, the marina was downsized and delayed, and Port Hedland’s resident population of about 15,000 people is some 6 per cent smaller than in 2013.”


“Everyone loves the bangers on the Bing Bong show, but which Boing Brother are you?”

Sacking Scott Morrison
Before entering parliament, Scott Morrison ran Tourism Australia. He was sacked by the minister, but the details of what happened have never been made public.

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.