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?
Newly revealed correspondence indicates Victoria’s Chief Health Officer, Brett Sutton, was aware of the decision to hire private security for hotel quarantine in Melbourne as early as March, contradicting his testimony provided to the inquiry into the system. Sutton told the inquiry he was unaware of the decision to hire private security companies until May. Victoria’s Department of Health has been asked to supply fresh documents to the hotel quarantine inquiry, after key correspondence was not provided despite a request for all relevant documents, reports The Age. The inquiry has also obtained records ($) from former chief police commissioner Graham Ashton’s phone, according to The Herald Sun, while phone logs of outbound calls from Premier Daniel Andrews and his staff were to be handed to the inquiry overnight. It comes as the High Court will this afternoon hear a challenge against Victoria’s lockdown laws in a fast-tracked directions hearing, days after a challenge was filed on behalf of Mornington Peninsula hotelier Julian Gerner. Andrews is expected to ease some restrictions on Sunday, including expansion of the distance people are allowed to travel.
Former New South Wales state MP Daryl Maguire took Premier Gladys Berejiklian ($) to dinner on two occasions with the man who ran his shadow business, G8Way International, the Independent Commission Against Corruption has heard. Maguire, who was in a secret relationship with Berejiklian, also admitted encouraging property developers to “pop-in” to see her in state parliament — bypassing strict diary disclosure rules — and instructed them on how to lobby for their projects, promising to “cc” the Premier in. The inquiry then went into a closed hearing to examine the former MP on private matters connected to his relationship with Berejiklian. A transcript of the private examination was then mistakenly uploaded to the ICAC website on Thursday afternoon, where it remained for more than 30 minutes before being removed. It is not known how many people accessed the evidence before it was retracted. Maguire is expected to continue giving evidence on Friday.
Broadcaster Alan Jones is suing public broadcaster SBS for defamation over a television segment which he claims “greatly injured” his reputation by portraying him as a racist, misogynist and liar. SBS program The Feed broadcast a “tribute” in which presenter Alex Lee said Jones “secretly took money from companies to spruik their products on air, was arrested once, and sued for defamation more times than I can count. Oh, and he was on the radio for a bit.” In other legal news, former AFL player Heritier Lumumba will sue his former club Collingwood for failing in its “duty of care” in not taking sufficient action to address racial abuse.
Russia has announced its withdrawal from talks with Australia and the Netherlands over the downing of a Malaysia Airlines passenger jet in 2014. Flight MH17 was flying from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was shot down by a missile fired from territory held by pro-Russian rebels during fighting in Ukraine, according to international investigators. All 298 people on board were killed, including 193 Dutch nationals, 43 Malaysians, and 27 Australians. Russian officials said its decision to withdraw came in response to a suit filed against Moscow at the European Court of Human Rights. “Australia and the Netherlands did not seek to understand what really happened in the summer of 2014, but instead were aiming to get Russia to admit guilt and receive compensation for the victims' relatives,” the country’s foreign ministry said. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said negotiations would continue with Australia to accommodate the victims.