New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given seven Nationals ministers a 9am deadline to back down from their mutiny over a koala habitat policy, or she will strip them of their portfolios. Nationals MPs convened an emergency meeting to discuss a response, but the party had no clear resolution at its conclusion. The crisis was sparked by Deputy Premier John Barilaro declaring on Thursday that National Party MPs would effectively sit on the crossbench but retain their ministries because they opposed a policy that he said would limit the way property owners could manage their land. The announcement prompted Berejiklian to call Barilaro to a meeting that lasted less than a minute, where she issued the ultimatum. The showdown throws the future of the Berejiklian government into doubt, leaving the government potentially short of a parliamentary majority.
The Covid-19 travel shutdown has claimed another victim, with Australian budget airline Tigerair shut down. Customers with Tigerair tickets will be able to use travel credit to fly with parent company Virgin Australia. In a statement emailed to customers on Thursday night, Tigerair said the decision was a tough one. “There is no denying these are tough times for everyone in the travel and tourism industry,” the statement said. In early August, Virgin Australia's new owner Bain Capital said it planned to end the Tiger Australia brand. Virgin Australia will retain the air operator certificate with plans to revive a low-cost carrier when the travel market recovers.
The London extradition hearing for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been postponed because of fears one of the lawyers representing the United States might have been exposed to Covid-19. Assange is fighting extradition to the US, where he is wanted for conspiring to hack government computers and violating an espionage law over the release of confidential cables by WikiLeaks. Judge Vanessa Baraitser adjourned the case until Monday after being told one of the lawyers representing the United States had been exposed to the virus. The lawyer was tested on Thursday, with the result due on Friday.
Actress Dame Diana Rigg, who starred in the original The Avengers television series and Game of Thrones has died at the age of 82. She also played Tracy, who married George Lazenby’s James Bond in the 1969 film On Her Majesty's Secret Service. Rigg had a highly regarded theatre career, including a Tony-nominated performance as Mrs Higgins in My Fair Lady on Broadway in 2018. Rigg’s daughter, actress Rachael Stirling, said she died of cancer after being diagnosed in March. “She spent her last months joyfully reflecting on her extraordinary life, full of love, laughter and a deep pride in her profession,” she said.