Australian News Headlines, Auspol News Headlines, Monday 5 March 2018

in #news4 years ago

Barnaby Joyce storms off during press conference about paternity of his son. reports that serial rorter and backbencher Barnaby Joyce reportedly told Nationals officials three months ago he didn’t believe he was the father of Vikki Campion’s baby. It is reported that Mr Joyce was asked during the New England by-election if Ms Campion was pregnant and whether he could be the father, according to The Australian. However writes writes, he said he couldn’t be due to the fact that he was travelling in Britain, Belgium, The Netherlands and Italy between June 23 and July 5 - around the time of conception. The revelation it is reported, comes as Mr Joyce pleaded for people to stop talking about his personal affairs just one day after casting doubts on the paternity of his partner’s baby. The former deputy prime minister cut short a media conference today and said he wasn’t going to take part in a discussion which was nobody else’s business but his and partner Vikki Campion’s.

Tony Abbott turning up pressure on Malcolm Turnbull over Newspoll losses.

The ABC reports that Tony Abbott has challenged Malcolm Turnbull to explain why he should keep his job if the Coalition loses 30 Newspolls under his leadership. The latest Newspoll ABC reports, in the Australian newspaper shows Mr Turnbull's Government has been behind Labor for 28 consecutive polls. It is reported that Mr Turnbull made Mr Abbott's loss of 30 consecutive Newspolls one of the reasons for hischallenge in September 2015.

"We have lost 30 Newspolls in a row, it is clear that the people have made up their mind about Mr Abbott's leadership," Mr Turnbull said when he set out his reasons for asking the Liberal Party to replace Mr Abbott.

The ABC reports that many in the Coalition fear the trend will continue and Mr Turnbull will also lose 30 consecutive Newspolls.

Mr Abbott today said it was Mr Turnbull who set the test, "and I guess if he fails the test it will be the Prime Minister who will have to explain why the test was right for one and not right for the other". Mr Turnbull writes the ABC has already started trying to manage the political damage caused by the looming deadline.

Dishonest, unfair campaign yet another nail in the coffin for democracy.

The Mercury reports that democracy has been weakened in this 2018 state election campaign. Unprecedented in Tasmania the Mercury reports, one political party outspent its opponents by what most independent watchers say is a multiple of five. Not only that they write, corporate interests in one industry swung behind that political party with millions of dollars in kind support and donations. To make matters worse, we are kept in the dark about the quantum of the donations to that political party. It is reported that the Liberal Party was the beneficiary of this largesse from gaming interests who opposed the principled stand by the ALP to phase out poker machines within five years. The support writes the Mercury, both direct and indirect from gaming interests, meant the Liberal Party spent what marketing types suggest is at least $5 million. This compared with a likely ALP and Greens spend combined of about $1 million.

Barnaby threatens Turnbull with leadership challenge: ‘I’m sure if we had the time, Tony (Abbott) and I could get the numbers’. reports that ex-DPM Barnaby Joyce allegedly threatened Malcolm Turnbull with a leadership challenge in a heated argument that caused the prime minister to “go into meltdown”. It is reported that sources reportedly told Sky News that Mr Joyce said: “I’m sure if we had the time, Tony (Abbott) and I could get the numbers”. The comments writes, which the media outlet said “could have been off the cuff”, reportedly came on the same day Mr Turnbull called a now infamous media conference in which he announced a ‘sex ban’ between politicians and their staffers and asked Mr Joyce to reconsider his position.

Barnaby Joyce claimed travel allowance for 50 nights in Canberra when Parliament was not sitting.

The North Queensland Register reports that official expense records show that ex-Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce charged taxpayers to spend 50 nights in Canberra when Parliament was not sitting in 2017 – more than any other cabinet minister. It is reported that documents show Mr Joyce claimed $16,690 in travel allowance for out-of-session nights in the nation’s capital between January 1 and September 30, 2017. That is significantly more than top government figures such as Treasurer Scott Morrison (23 nights), Finance Minister Mathias Cormann (18 night) and Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (four nights).

Child abuse royal commission: Peter Dutton involved in delaying release of child detainee safety report.

The ABC reports that Immigration Minister Peter Dutton was involved in delaying the public release of a Making Children Safer report, about the safety of child detainees, the child sex abuse royal commission hears. It is reported that the report reviewed 242 alleged incidents of abuse and found that only half of those matters received an adequate response. The ABC reports that the independent panel behind the report handed it to the Mr Dutton in May last year, but it was not made public until December.

SA Liberal leader admits hosting alleged donor Sally Zou at functions at his home.

The Guardian reports that the South Australian opposition leader, Steven Marshall, has admitted to hosting the mysterious Chinese businesswoman behind an alleged $1.2m donation to the Liberal party at his home on several occasions. It is reported that the AusGold Mining Corporation director Sally Zou created headlines with a since deleted tweet on Friday that showed a cheque for $1,212,018 written out to the Liberal party. Code-breakers on Twitter have connected the amount to the date 1/21/2018 – Marshall’s most recent birthday. In a Monday morning radio interview writes the Guardian, with ABC Adelaide, Marshall denied having received the specific cheque in Zou’s photograph but admitted to having hosted the entrepreneur at multiple functions at his home.

Labor senator defends calling new RAAF jet a 'private jet' for Malcolm Turnbull.

SBS News reports that Labor senator Kimberley Kitching has defended calling a $250 million aircraft currently under order by the Royal Australian Air Force as Malcolm Turnbull's "private jet". It is reported that the senator questioned air force officials over the plane in Senate Estimates this week. Her questioning revealed the second-hand Airbus A330 cost $60 million and would be fitted with a $188 million upgrade, which would make the tanker suitable for carrying high-value VIPs like the prime minister or the governor general writes SBS News. SBS News reprots that the upgrades would include an improved communications suite and the "cabin modification", officials said. Senator Kitching later wrote on Twitter the government was spending $250 million on the "PM's new private jet".

Donald Trump's steel, aluminium tariffs have got Australia worried about trade future with US.

The ABC reports that the Federal Government officials are increasingly pessimistic about Australia's chances of dodging the US steel and aluminium tariffs unveiled by Donald Trump. It is reported that Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Trade Minister Steve Ciobo have been lobbying the Trump administration to spare Australia from its plan to impose a 25 per cent tariff on steel, and a 10 per cent tariff on aluminium imports. However it is reported that, Peter Navarro, director of the National Trade Council, has poured cold water on the Government's hopes for a blanket exemption.

"At this point in time there's no country exclusions," Mr Navarro said.

The ABC reports that Donald Trump announced tariffs on US imports of steel and aluminium imports on Friday. It is reported that the PM and Trade Minister have been in talks with US since then to clarify Australian implications. The ABC writes that the prevailing view is now that Australia will not be exempt, but some exporters may have a case to make.

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