The Australian Labor Party’s national executive will stage a dramatic intervention into the Victorian division, seizing control of all state and federal preselections for three years. Former Victorian premier Steve Bracks and former federal deputy leader Jenny Macklin will take charge of the branch as administrators until January and undertake a review into voting rolls affected by branch stacking. Premier Daniel Andrews wrote to the national executive asking that all voting rights in the state branch be suspended until “at least” 2023, reports The Age. On Tuesday Marlene Kairouz became the third cabinet minister to fall in connection to the branch stacking scandal, which could be linked to up to a quarter of Victoria's 16,000 ALP members. The scandal began when covert recordings of now-sacked minister Adem Somyurek linked him to the practice of branch stacking, which involves signing up illegitimate members to influence votes to determine election candidates.
At midnight South Australia’s borders were reopened to Western Australia, Tasmania, and the Northern Territory, as the state looks to rejuvenate its ailing tourism sector. Travellers from those jurisdictions no longer need to isolate themselves for 14 days, and police checkpoints along the WA and NT borders have been removed. SA on Tuesday recorded 21 days straight of no new Covid-19 cases. The move comes despite the other states and territories not reciprocating, with SA Premier Steven Marshall telling The Advertiser “someone has to go first”. WA Premier Mark McGowan said his advice was that opening up to some states and not others is unconstitutional. Marshall also commented on the violent arrest of an Indigenous man in the state on Tuesday, confirming that SA police have launched an internal investigation into the incident that activists have labelled a “clear case of racial profiling”.
One Nation leader Pauline Hanson charged taxpayers $3700 for a three-night trip to Perth where she held $5000-a-head dinners for One Nation donors and a $20 “fish and chip” fundraiser supported by far-right extremists the Proud Boys. Hanson reportedly used some of the trip to search for and announce local One Nation candidates in Western Australia, according to Guardian Australia. The website also reports that former South Australian senator Cory Bernardi charged taxpayers for a $2500 trip to Sydney on the day of a fundraiser for his Australian Conservatives party in 2017.
Elaine Pearson, Australia director at Human Rights Watch, has called on the Australian Government to create “quick pathways” for Hong Kong residents to escape persecution. According to the ABC at least 62 Hong Kong SAR passport holders have applied for temporary protection visas in Australia onshore since November last year, as crackdowns on protests intensified. They include 18 applications in November, 27 in March and 17 in April. In November and January, a small number of Hongkongers — fewer than five each month — were denied a final protection visa. It comes as Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam labels opponents of Beijing's plan to impose national security legislation on the city as “the enemy of the people”. Meanwhile, China and India have engaged in their first deadly clash in the disputed Kashmir border region in decades, with Indian officials claiming at least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash with Chinese forces in Ladakh.