Good morning, early birds. The au pair saga rolls on with accusations from Roman Quaedvlieg. Plus, a security flaw in the NDIS system fixed. It’s the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.
DUTTON V QUAEDVLIEG
The senate inquiry into Peter Dutton’s au pair saga has escalated into a war of words between the Home Affairs Minister and his inaugural, since-fired Australian Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg. Yesterday Quaedvlieg claimed to have received a call from Dutton’s chief of staff Craig Maclachlan seeking help for a “mate” over an Italian au pair detained in Brisbane.
The Guardian reports that Dutton has rejected the allegations and, pointing to conflicting timelines in Quaedvlieg’s letter to the inquiry and the actual start date for Maclachlan in 2015, has instead argued that Quaedvlieg’s actions are down to bitterness over losing his job while also pointedly offering “support to address his personal or mental health issues”. Quaedvlieg maintains that, while the dates might need to be reconciled, the call still happened and has urged “Dutton to desist from personal attacks”.
Labor’s immigration spokesman Shayne Neumann has since claimed Dutton “misled the House of Representatives” for earlier saying he did not know the employers in either au pair case, while, in another case yesterday, shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus renewed a push to refer Dutton to the High Court overs a subsidy received for his childcare centre.
The agency in charge of the National Disability Insurance Scheme has closed a security gap in the system’s user interface. According to The Australian ($), a flaw in the NDIS’ service portal allowed providers or participants to guess nine-digit plan numbers and bring up random support packages, which some companies then exploited to raise their own invoices and be paid immediately.
The National Disability Insurance Agency issued an update yesterday requiring three pieces of sensitive information in the payments portal (the NDIS number, the participant’s last name and their date of birth), and is now investigating fraudulent operators and systems to recover tens of thousands of dollars in stolen or misappropriated funds.
GUESS WHO: WHITE HOUSE EDITION
US Vice-President Mike Pence and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have both denied writing an anonymous column for The New York Times alluding to a “quiet resistance” within the administration.
The ABC reports that a number of other officials have slammed the piece, which was published anonymously Wednesday morning (US time) and claims people in the administration had been working to rein in President Donald Trump from his worst impulses. Unsurprisingly, Trump blasted the writer and the NYT tweeting “TREASON?” and a call for the publication to name the writer “for National Security purposes”.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I’d encourage others who believe in the power of prayer to pray for that rain and to pray for our farmers.
The Australian Prime Minister finally breaks five years of climate inaction.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“If you’re not a mate, though, look out. As generous as it is toward its friends, this government is relentless to its enemies. And ‘enemies’ includes anyone who has embarrassed the government by exposing its misconduct, wrongdoing, or how its claims don’t stack up.”
“This is the first time I’ve written a negative review of a book and I am made quite uncomfortable doing so, but I take legal communication very seriously in our current, charged environment. The way we write and speak about the law has a real effect on the way people make decisions about whether or not to report crimes done to them; language shapes attitudes.”
“The scourge of cyberbullying is frequently discussed. It is the focus for research, First Ladies and even popular song. Its address has become a labour for the parents of terrified kids and we cannot doubt that this private pain will soon become a public health concern. I’d shine personal light on this dark brutality, but we’ve got senators and celebrities for that. Instead, I raise awareness for those victims so rarely described. I speak to those who, like me, have been Joy-Shamed.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Transgender teen challenges Scott Morrison over ‘disrespectful’ tweet
Asthma hospital treatment rate in Adelaide is the highest in Australia ($)
Worker dead after crane accident identified as man aged in his 40s
Iraqi asylum seeker dies in Perth hospital after suicide attempt
Gas industry calls on federal government to address energy and climate policy ‘failure’
Treasurer takes public sector union to court over corrections staff rally that would send most jails into lockdown ($)
Australia beats China to funding Fiji base ($)
‘Ongoing systemic issues’: Domino’s Pizza still breaking rules: watchdog
No cost benefit analysis for $100 million ship lift commitment ($)
Polluters to be stripped of profits in environmental crime crackdown
Goldman Sachs and the plunder of 1MDB ($)
Now Trump is targeting Vietnamese refugees
This week from the New York Times
Is the way Australia funds the arts a recipe for mediocrity?
The Trump vibe spreads down under
How to retire in your 30s with $1 million in the bank
Australia wants to take government surveillance to the next level
Au pair case: Dutton has questions to answer — David Crowe (Sydney Morning Herald): “The speed of Peter Dutton‘s intervention to save a French au pair stands out as a key feature in the political storm putting real pressure on the Home Affairs Minister and the uneasy government around him.”
From the branches to the benches, Libs need more women ($) — Katherine O’Regan (The Australian): “Change is under way. There is a commitment to a target of 50% female representation at elections by 2025. There is a commitment to reporting of female representation in branches, at the executive and parliamentary levels, and a Liberal federal fighting fund to identify, encourage and support women to run for parliament.”
Coal does not have an economic future in Australia — Frank Jotzo and Salim Mazouz (The Conversation): “Renewables are stealing the march over coal in Australia, and the international outlook is for lower coal demand. Today the international Coal Transitions project released its findings, based on global coal scenarios and detailed case studies by teams in China, India, South Africa, Australia, Poland and Germany.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
A senate inquiry will to report on a proposal to replace the parliamentary prayer with an “invitation to prayer or reflection”.
Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove will invest 99 recipients of the 2018 Queen’s birthday honours in three ceremonies at Government House.
Activists will hold a “Stand Against Extinction” rally outside Parliament House.
Final scheduled day of NSW budget estimates will hear from Minister for Education Robert Stokes; Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Melinda Pavey; Minister for Environment, Local Government, Heritage Gabrielle Upton; and Minister for Western Sydney, WestConnex, and Sport Stuart Ayres.
Whistleblower Chelsea Manning will speak in Melbourne via satellite after her visa was cancelled by Home Affairs.
The National Choose Maths Awards will honour mathematical excellence in the classroom.
The Think Pink Foundation Living Centre will celebrates its eighth anniversary and recognise 30 volunteers who have helped provide services to women and their families facing breast cancer.
Eighteen junior research leaders will present their findings to a panel of influential Australians, including the National Children’s Commissioner Megan Mitchell, as part of the National Children’s Forum.
National Geographic will launch a world-first exhibition of the “50 Greatest Wildlife Photographs” at Melbourne Zoo.
Asthma Australia will launch a new report on the true impact of asthma on South Australians, including the fact that SA children have the highest rate of asthma hospitalisation in the country.
Treasurer Rob Lucas and Planning Minister Stephan Knoll will speak at a Property Council budget lunch.
Former justice of the High Court and rights advocate Michael Kirby will present on both mental health in law and, in a separate lecture, dissent in the High Court at the University of Adelaide.
Students at the University of Adelaide will host a community sleepout to help fight homelessness.
Broadcaster Philip Adams will host a Late Night Live event with author Germaine Greer and former NSW Premier Bob Carr at Dymocks.
The Department of Health Women’s Network will hold the Women’s Health Week Expo.
Chairman of Wesfarmers Michael Chaney will deliver a keynote at Diabetes WA on corporate social responsibility and the banking royal commission.
NAPCAN will hold an expert panel event for National Child Protection Week.
Activists around the country will hold rallies as of a global day of action demanding political action for a fossil-free world.
Day one of the three-day open data event GovHack 2018, with events planned in almost every major town and city across the country.