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Ben Doherty (now) and Donna Lu (earlier)

Czech pair defend Australian Open doubles title; millions of RATs to expire in coming months – as it happened

Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova (left) and Katerina Siniakova lift the winners’ trophy after defeating Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in the women's doubles final match
Czech Republic's Barbora Krejcikova (left) and Katerina Siniakova lift the winners’ trophy after defeating Japan's Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara in the women's doubles final match. Photograph: Manan Vatsyayana/AFP/Getty Images

What we learned today, Sunday 29 January

We will wrap up this liveblog now. Thanks all for your comments, company, and correspondence. But, as we go, a summary of today’s events.

  • About 5.5m Covid rapid antigen tests bought by state and territory governments will expire in coming months, prompting debate about what should be done with them.

  • An immigration detainee from Iraq has died in a suspected suicide at the Villawood detention centre in Sydney.

  • The assistant minister for Indigenous Australians, Malarndirri McCarthy, has confirmed the Albanese government urged the NT government to shift to opt-out alcohol restrictions, foreshadowing further toughening of restrictions this week.

  • The defence minister, Richard Marles, and the foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, have announced they will travel to France and the UK. They will meet their French counterparts in Paris on Monday for what is known as a “two-plus-two” consultation.

  • Medical peak bodies have called for an urgent boost to bulk billing incentives for doctors in order to improve patient care.


No campaign in voice referendum to propose constitutional recognition of migrants as well as Indigenous people

The no campaign in this year’s voice referendum will propose a symbolic constitutional recognition of both Indigenous people and migrants, instead of an Indigenous voice to parliament, Warren Mundine has revealed.

Mundine, a leading organiser of the no campaign, said it will run on a slogan of “recognise a better way”, proposing to insert an acknowledgment in the preamble of the constitution, via another referendum.


Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova successfully defend Australian Open women’s doubles title

Czech pair Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova have defended their Australian Open title, continuing their dominance of the women’s doubles circuit. The top seeds accounted for Japanese first-time finalists Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara 6-4 6-3 in Sunday’s championship decider at Rod Laver Arena.

The result extended the Czechs’ remarkable grand slam winning streak to 24 matches. Krejcikova and Siniakova have not lost a match at a grand slam since the 2021 US Open, having won last year’s Australian Open, Wimbledon and US Open.

Sunday’s final marked their second Australian Open championship and seventh major title overall.

They also claimed gold at the Tokyo Olympics.

Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic plays a backhand in the Women’s Doubles Final
Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic plays a backhand in the Women’s Doubles Final Photograph: Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Krejcikova and Siniakova dropped just one set at Melbourne Park - the second set in their first-round match - and won 11 consecutive sets on their path to the title.


Within reach of forming a Labor government, the opposition leader has traded his charming firebrand persona for pragmatic centrism. Michael McGowan reports on Chris Minns, the man aiming to seize the premiership of NSW in two months’ time …


Reuters reports…

Heavy rainfall continued to batter New Zealand’s north island, causing landslides, flash floods and knocking out roads, with the death toll rising to four after a person who had been missing was confirmed dead.

Battered by rain since Friday, Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city of 1.6 million people, remained under a state of emergency on Sunday. The nation’s weather forecaster, MetService, warned of more severe weather on Sunday and Monday for the north island. Intense rainfall could also cause surface and flash flooding, it said.

The focus of the emergency has since moved south, with Waitomo District – located about 220 kms (137 miles) from Auckland – declaring a state of emergency late on Saturday.

A couple of days ago in Auckland…

The nation’s ageing and neglected railways are one reason trucking has seen major growth in spite of rising fuel costs and carbon emissions, Elias Visontay reports.

Australia takes T20 match against Pakistan after rain stops play

The green on the Australia-Pakistan T20 match
Rain stopped play; Not a ball was bowled in the Australia-Pakistan T20 match. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/EPA

Australia’s T20 series against Pakistan has wrapped up in an underwhelming fashion, with Sunday’s match in Canberra rained out without a ball being bowled.

Light yet persistent rain at Manuka Oval meant the players never took the field for the dead rubber encounter, leaving the hosts to claim the three-game series 2-0.

It also wraps Australia’s preparations for their Women’s T20 World Cup defence, set to begin in South Africa on 12 February.

Australia had cruised to a pair of eight-wicket wins in the first two games against Pakistan in Sydney and Hobart, with a five-wicket haul from Megan Schutt and an unbeaten half-century from Ellyse Perry the standout performances.

Ellyse Perry hitting the ball
Ellyse Perry on her way to an unbeaten half-century in the match against Pakistan at North Sydney Oval on 24 January Photograph: Jeremy Ng/CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

They’ll now head to Sydney for Monday night’s Australian Cricket Awards before flying to South Africa on Tuesday for the World Cup.

Their opening game is against New Zealand in Paarl on 12 February.


Thanks for following along today – it’s now time to hand over the blog reins to my excellent colleague Ben Doherty, who will take you into the evening. Ciao!


Staying with the tennis, Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková have won the opening set of the women’s doubles final at Melbourne Park.

The defending champions have an impressive track record: in addition to the 2022 Australian Open, they are also 2022 Wimbledon and US Open champions, won Roland Garros in 2021, and also took out Olympic doubles gold at Tokyo.

Djokovic’s father free to attend Open final

The Australian Open’s tournament director, Craig Tiley, has given Novak Djokovic’s father the green light to attend the Australian Open final, AAP reports.

Srdjan Djokovic watched his son’s semi-final win over Tommy Paul off-site to avoid becoming a disruption, following the emergence of a video of him with Vladimir Putin fans last Wednesday night.

Whether he will or won’t be back courtside as Djokovic bids to claim a 10th Open crown with victory over Stefanos Tsitsipas has been a huge talking point in the lead-up to Sunday’s night’s title match.

But Tiley has revealed Djokovic’s father is free to take his place at Rod Laver Arena after accepting the Serb had inadvertently been swept up in the flags drama. He told AAP on Sunday:

It’s his decision. We’re going to let it be his decision and ultimately he’s got to make the call.

He didn’t breach any event policy. That’s really important, because what’s been written about what he [allegedly] said hasn’t been correct and I think people are backtracking from that.

That’s unfortunate that massive assumptions were made.

Russian flags, the Russian Eagle banner, Belarusian flags and items of clothing with the Z symbol are prohibited at Melbourne Park amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Tiley said he believed that Djokovic’s father did not realise he was posing with people carrying Russian flags. He said:

I know him personally and his family was devastated by what happened. It was not intentional and I agree with him and it was not designed to cause harm to anyone.

It was an unfortunate situation and the Serbian fans have been great. Every day they’ve been very active and noisy and boisterous and that adds to the whole colour of the event.

Then you’ve got two or three or, in this case, four individuals that ruined it and they got evicted and are not welcome back.

Ideally he didn’t get caught up in that but, in that moment, you don’t know and that’s unfortunate that that happened because we’re a platform, we’re a global platform, and any little thing like that starts to take on a life of its own, which it didn’t need to.

Tiley’s green light for Djokovic’s father to return to Melbourne Park comes after the 21-time grand slam champion pleaded with fans to be respectful and not overstep the mark during the final.

Djokovic felt his father was “misused” by pro-Russia fanatics and admitted the escalating saga had taken its toll during his bid for a 10th Open crown.

Djokovic hopes fans will behave when he faces Greek cult hero Tstisipas. He said:

The Serbs and Greeks historically get along very well. I just don’t think there’s going to be any conflict on and off the court in terms of the crowd.

I’m confident that people will support their respective players in a respectful way, and let’s see what happens. I hope that all the people who are going to come to the finals are going to be there for tennis and sport because that’s what we all wish for.

We all wish that players, fans, focus on tennis, celebrate this beautiful sport, marvel at one of the most special matches throughout the year, which is a slam final.


Burke: days of no guaranteed Australian content on streaming ‘have to come to an end’

The arts minister, Tony Burke, has been speaking about the move to implement local content quotas for streaming services.

He told 7News:

For nearly a decade, our streaming services in Australia have had zero requirement to provide Australian content … The days of there being no guarantee of Australian content on streaming services have to come to an end, and they come to an end on the 1st of July next year.

We’re going to be spending the first half of this year locking down the consultation to work out exactly how the quotas will work, exactly how they’ll apply and what sub quotas there’ll be. And then we’ll spend the second half of the year with legislation in the parliament …

We are not willing to compromise on the timeline.

Burke also shouts out “really good quality” local shows such as Wentworth and Heartbreak High, and says he enjoyed watching The Twelve over summer. Burke added:

Once again, we’ll get back to what we want, which is to make sure that we see our own stories there on the screens in our own home.


Millions of RATs to expire in coming months

Millions of Covid rapid antigen tests bought by state and territory governments will expire in coming months, prompting debate about what to do with them. AAP has the story:

Analysis by the ABC showed about 5.5m tests are due to expire in the next three months in Queensland and Western Australia alone.

Between one-third and two-thirds of tests bought by state and territory governments have not been distributed, although figures are unknown in NSW and South Australia, as they did not participate in the analysis.

Prof Nancy Baxter, the head of the University of Melbourne’s school of population and global health, said it was unreasonable to expect that every test purchased would be used, but there did not have to be so many left over. She told AAP:

The approach to providing accessibility to RATs was just overly protective of the resource.

Baxter understood why authorities restricted tests to vulnerable groups in early 2022 when they were hard to find, but believes Australia could have later provided them at shops, pharmacies and other places for free.

Authorities are exploring what to do with excess tests and there are calls to give them away to other countries, but it is unclear how that would work.

Baxter said RATs were still useful to control the spread of the virus and that Australians needed them to secure antivirals. She added:

If RATs are near their expiration date, you have to make sure that the other countries can actually use them because otherwise they’re just going to expire there.

Many jurisdictions distribute tests for free in heathcare settings and certain public spaces. However, they are also widely available to buy privately in pharmacies and retail stores.

There were 366 Covid-related deaths reported in Australia last week and diagnosed cases have dropped to about 3,100 per day.

Prof Adrian Esterman, chair of biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of South Australia, believes actual cases could be much higher than official figures. He said:

We’ve got fewer and fewer people testing themselves, partly because they’re not motivated any more but partly because they can’t afford to spend $7-8 a pop on rapid antigen tests.

We really badly need more testing in Australia … I’d be giving [excess tests] away to Australians.


A Villawood immigration detainee has died

An immigration detainee from Iraq has died in a suspected suicide at the Villawood detention centre in Sydney. AAP has the story:

The Department of Home Affairs, which oversees immigration detention, confirmed the death of the man on Sunday. A Home Affairs spokesperson said:

The department and Australian Border Force express our condolences to the man’s family and friends.

The matter has been referred for investigation to the appropriate agencies, including the NSW coroner.

As this matter will be subject to ongoing investigation, it would not be appropriate to comment further.

The Refugee Action Coalition was alerted to the death early on Sunday morning, with the Iraqi detainee in his 30s found dead in his cell.

The man is believed to have been last seen alive at 10pm on Saturday in his cell. He was a detainee for five years.

A spokesperson for the RAC, Ian Rintoul, said:

It is shocking that there has been yet another suicide in [the] Villawood detention centre.

It is not just a factory for mental illness, it is becoming a suicide factory.

The coalition said the man had been moved several times at the centre because of tensions with other detainees, including a fight with another man on Saturday night.

Immigration detainees have access to health services, including mental health services.

In Australia, the crisis support service Lifeline is 13 11 14. In the UK and Ireland, Samaritans can be contacted on freephone 116 123, or email or In the US, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is at 800-273-8255 or chat for support. You can also text HOME to 741741 to connect with a crisis text line counselor. Other international helplines can be found at


The women’s doubles final of the Australian Open is set to start at Melbourne’s Rod Laver Arena shortly. The top seeds Barbora Krejčíková and Kateřina Siniaková of the Czech Republic will take on 10th seeds Shuko Aoyama and Ena Shibahara of Japan.

I’ll bring you any key updates later on – I'll try not to play favourites but I do like an underdog.

Humidity high in Sydney

I have it on good authority that it is very soupy in Sydney right now.

The humidity peaked in the early hours of this morning at 95% at Observatory Hill, according to Bureau of Meteorology figures, and as of 2.30pm it is now sitting somewhere around 81%.

Snake activity has been linked to warm and humid weather. Sunshine Coast Snake Catchers contractor Heather McMurray has told News Corp:

The heat and the humidity is certainly bringing [snakes] out – the pythons are loving the humidity and the brown snakes are loving the hot, dry days.

A man in his 60s died on Saturday after a suspected snake bite west of Brisbane.


Bad news, NSW and Queensland: the Bureau of Meteorology has forecasted continuing storms and rain over the next couple of days, while the weather is set to clear in South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. The BoM says:

A stronger cold front is possible late week with much colder air.

If current polling is to be believed, Labor is within reach of forming government in NSW after 12 years in opposition. Ahead of the state election in March, my colleague Michael McGowan has profiled the opposition leader, Chris Minns, asking the question: is Minns a charming firebrand or a pragmatic centrist?

You can read the enlightening profile here:


Calls for urgent Medicare funding boost

Medical peak bodies have called for an urgent boost to bulk billing incentives for doctors in order to improve patient care, AAP reports.

The Australian Doctors Reform Society (ADRS) has urged for an increase to the incentive for GPs by at least $10, due to Medicare being “on life support”.

The society’s vice president, Dr Robert Marr, said the incentive was needed due to many GPs stopping bulk billing patients because Medicare was being underfunded. He said:

There needs to be a gradual move away from the old fee-for-service model of paying doctors that just rewards rapid throughput of patients, to more effective health-outcomes based on 21st century-funding models.

Medicare is on life support because many GPs are stopping bulk billing as a result of a decade of underfunding of Medicare.

The federal government is examining a planned overhaul of the Medicare system, including improvements to how primary care is delivered.

National cabinet is set to meet next week, where the prime minister, Anthony Albanese, will discuss ways to ease pressure on the system with representatives from the states and territories.

There have been calls to increase the number of GPs as a way to make Medicare more accessible to patients. A nation-first program, which aimed to make it easier for state health services to recruit and train GPs, was launched by Albanese and the Tasmanian premier, Jeremy Rockliff, on Friday.

That program will allow GP registrars the option to be employed by the Tasmanian Health Service and do their final placements in practices across the state, rather than having to change employers and miss out on entitlements.

The Australian Medical Association has called for a single-employer model to provide GP trainees with wages and working conditions similar with doctors training in specialty areas.

Marr said more was needed to be done to get more medical graduates becoming GPs:

Australia risks destroying the reality of the local GP, because only 13% of Australian medical students want to be a GP as a result of decades of underfunding and under-valuing.


‘Brace for chaos’, Sydney commuters warned

Sydney commuters are being told to “brace for chaos” as the Rail, Tram and Bus Union says thousands of bus trips will be cut across the city on Monday, AAP reports.

The cancellations cover regions north, north-west, south and south-west of Sydney’s CBD, including the northern beaches, eastern suburbs and inner west.

Peter Grech, the tram and bus division president of the RTBU, said the state government’s privatisation of the bus network had left it struggling to attract and retain drivers. He added:

Commuters should brace for chaos at our bus stops from Monday as the NSW government axes thousands of trips in an attempt to deal with the fallout of its bus privatisation.

We’re already seeing incredibly large queues at bus stops, but that will get much worse on Monday when services are axed, many people return to work and kids return to school.

He urged commuters to show respect to drivers.

The warning from the union marks another stage in its long-running spat with the Perrottet government, which has seen multiple strikes and union actions.

Transport officials forced the city’s train network to shut down in February last year, locking out train drivers in the middle of industrial negotiations with unions.


NSW to consider separate domestic violence court

The New South Wales government has announced a feasibility study into establishing a separate domestic violence court that would apply a “trauma informed” approach to cases.

Specialist courts for domestic and family violence have been successfully implemented in dozens of countries and other jurisdictions, including Queensland.

The Labor opposition says it pushed for specialist DV courts in 2014, and that the move by the Perrottet government had come “a decade too late”.

Natalie Ward, the NSW minister for women’s safety, said consultation and a feasibility study was needed to work out details, such as mechanisms for women to give evidence remotely in regional areas. Ward said:

There are some nuances where we can really look to the community and the sector about how we can best pull that together, and we’d be looking to do that as quickly as possible, but I want to get that right.

A review of Queensland’s first specialist court, at Southport on the Gold Coast, recently declared it a success at enhancing the experience of victim-survivors, but that it had encountered delays and some other issues.

The review found a “low level of attendance” at the court, a lack of support for “non-traditional” victims and perpetrators, and a lack of responses for perpetrators from diverse backgrounds.


As Australia faces a cost of living crisis, PhD candidates have shared their experiences about the struggle to make ends meet with our higher education reporter, Caitlin Cassidy.

Students are urging the government to increase stipends by at least 15%, with warnings that without reforms, Australia’s research output could suffer. Stipends for single people currently fall well below the minimum wage.

You can read the full story here:


Exact content streaming quotas not yet settled – Burke spokesperson

The arts minister, Tony Burke, has promised that quotas to force streaming giants such as Netflix, Disney, Amazon and Apple TV to spend a minimum percentage on distinctly Australian content will happen, but not until the middle of next year.

Reports on Sunday said the percentage would be 20% of all content expenditure by streaming platforms in Australia. But a spokesperson for Burke said the Labor government had not yet settled on the exact figure, and that consultation over the next six months would determine the final percentage, which would be legislated by the end of the year and come into effect on 1 July 2024.

The 20% quota is what the local screen industry is pushing for, which may or may not be the figure ultimately legislated, the spokesperson said. Guardian Australia understands it could be as low as 10% but designed to increase incrementally over several years.


Australian Olympian Phil Coles dies at 91

The three-time Olympic canoeist and former Australian International Olympic Committee member Phil Coles has died aged 91, AAP reports.

Coles represented Australia as a canoeist at the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympics before turning to sports administration. He served as an IOC member from 1982-2011.

Paying tribute to Coles, IOC’s president, Thomas Bach, said:

He was key to getting an Australian Olympic team to the Olympic games Moscow 1980 against all requests for a boycott.

It made him proud for the rest of his life to have led these athletes into the Olympic stadium …

Personally, I have lost a wonderful friend with whom I shared so many moments of our Olympic lives.

The Australian Olympic Committee’s president, Ian Chesterman, said Coles’s service to Australian sport was “immense”. He added:

Phil’s passing, after a lifetime in sport, is a sad day for the Olympic movement and for many involved in the wider sports community in Australia.

Coles played a central role in Sydney winning the rights in 1993 to host the 2000 Summer Olympics, widely recognised as one of the greatest games ever.

But he was forced to stand down from the local organising committee in 1999 after being one of 24 IOC members implicated in the bidding bribery scandal for the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics. An inquiry found Coles received lavish hospitality from Salt Lake City officials and he was officially reprimanded.


Sydney airport control tower evacuation sparked by gas leak

Sydney airport’s control tower was evacuated on Sunday morning after a minor leak of gas into the air conditioning system. The evacuation prompted two international flights to be diverted to other airports.

Airservices Australia said the tower was evacuated for one hour and its rescue fire fighting service attended. No one was harmed in the incident and the airport terminal was not evacuated. The alarm was first raised shortly after 7am.

A spokesperson for Airservices Australia said:

All Airservices’ air traffic management services were quickly restored.

A Ground Stop – and holding Notam (notice to pilots and industry) – have now been cancelled.

Two international diversions occurred.

United Airlines flight UA863 from San Francisco was diverted to Brisbane airport, while United Airlines flight UA101 from Houston was sent to Canberra, landing there just after 8am.


Sydney airport control tower evacuated

There are reports of delayed and diverted flights at Sydney airport after an air control tower was evacuated.

Airservices Australia has told Nine that the incident was sparked by fumes emitting through the air conditioning system, resulting in two international flights being diverted.

We’ll bring you more as we hear any updates.


My colleague Joe Hinchliffe has been speaking with residents of a street in Goodna, a working-class suburb on Brisbane’s outskirts. Many of the houses there were destroyed in last year’s devastating floods, and residents have accepted buybacks from a joint state and federal government scheme to minimise risk to life and property.

According to climate experts, these sorts of buybacks will become increasingly common as global heating fuels more frequent natural disasters.

It makes for a moving and poignant read:

Tony Burke set to unveil national cultural policy

Here are some details about the national cultural policy that the arts minister, Tony Burke, is expected to announce tomorrow.

The policy, which has five pillars, will include quotas for local content on streaming platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and Apple TV. News Corp papers report that streaming giants will be required to spend 20% of their Australian revenue on producing local content.

Burke first revealed details of the new national cultural policy at the end of last month at the Woodford folk festival. He said at the time that Australia’s local film and TV industry faced an “automatic structural disadvantage” because the country has a small, predominantly English-speaking population, so content from overseas “will always be cheaper per minute to produce”. He added that fixing the disadvantage would require domestic content quotas.

The quotas are planned to be legislated by the end of 2023 and to come into force by July next year.

The national cultural policy is also expected to include the establishment of the Centre for Arts Workplaces, a federal body that will handle complaints about mistreatment, sexual harassment and bullying in the arts.

The agency, an offshoot of the Australia Council, will have the power to recommend the government stop funding organisations that lack proper workplace procedures, according to the Nine papers.


Albanese government pushed 'opt-out' alcohol restrictions: McCarthy

The assistant minister for Indigenous Australians, Malarndirri McCarthy, has confirmed the Albanese government urged the NT government to shift to opt-out alcohol restrictions, foreshadowing further toughening of restrictions this week.

Last week the NT government imposed new alcohol rules, including two alcohol-free days and restricted trading hours the rest of the week, in response to crime fears in Alice Springs.

Anthony Albanese has left a total ban or opt-out restrictions on the table, depending on the report of the central Australian regional controller, Luritja woman Dorrelle Anderson, due by 1 February.

Asked if there should be a ban, McCarthy told Sky News:

Yes, it’s interesting hearing all the debate about that. I mean I don’t know if you’ve heard but certainly here in Darwin the lord mayor has asked for those bans to be spread across Darwin city and the Northern Territory. So there is a broader conversation across the Northern Territory around alcohol.

In Alice Springs itself though ... we have to stay focused with them. This is where the report this week that comes from the Northern Territory government is absolutely critical. The federal government has urged the NT government to ensure that there is the opportunity to opt out for communities. And they have the power here in the Northern Territory through the legislative assembly to do that. So this week is going to be a critical moment.


Marles and Wong to travel to France and UK

The defence minister, Richard Marles, and the foreign affairs minister, Penny Wong, have announced they will travel to France and the UK.

They will meet their French counterparts in Paris on Monday for what is known as a “two-plus-two” consultation. It confirms a Guardian Australia report last week about the planned trip.

Australia–UK ministerial consultations will take place on 1-2 February in London and Portsmouth.

Marles said:

In an increasingly challenging strategic environment, our longstanding defence relationships with France and the United Kingdom are essential to promoting stability, protecting the rules-based order and avoiding further conflict.

I look forward to working with my French and UK counterparts to continue supporting Ukraine and ensure an inclusive, secure and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

The visit to the United Kingdom also provides an important opportunity to discuss Aukus.

Wong said:

Deepening practical cooperation with France in the Indo-Pacific, reflecting the priorities of our partners, is critical to our vision of regional stability.

Close coordination with the EU is essential as we stand together to face challenges in Europe and in our region.

Following the meetings, Marles will travel to the US to meet with his counterpart, Lloyd Austin. Wong will travel to Brussels to meet with Josep Borrell, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.


Rudd’s disclosures to be marked ‘ceased’

For years, the former prime minister Kevin Rudd has disclosed details of state-linked media interviews and other public speaking commitments on the Australian government’s foreign influence register.

Guardian Australia can reveal Rudd’s listings are about to go into a form of hibernation as a result of his looming appointment as Australian ambassador to the US.

Rudd has so far disclosed 84 activities linked to 70 foreign principals, all of which will soon be marked as “ceased”.

As a former cabinet minister, Rudd would ordinarily be subject to lifetime disclosure obligations under the foreign influence transparency scheme.

But the Turnbull government-era laws included exemptions for current MPs and also commonwealth public officials, including ambassadors.

Read the full story here:


Man dies of snake bite west of Brisbane

A man in his 60s has died after a suspected snake bite west of Brisbane, AAP reports.

It’s believed a brown snake bit his hand at a private property at Kensington Grove just before 10am on Saturday.

The man was in a critical condition when paramedics arrived and he later died.

Police are not treating the death as suspicious and will prepare a report for the coroner.

  • On 30 January 2023 this post and its headline were amended. They incorrectly placed Kensington Grove east of Brisbane.


Greens’ Thorpe ‘comes from a totally different perspective’

Asked about Greens senator Lidia Thorpe, who is opposed to the Indigenous voice unless it is combined with recognition of Indigenous sovereignty, Littleproud said:

Lidia Thorpe and I don’t agree on a lot and probably will continue not to agree on a lot, but I don’t think that where she’s coming is the same perspective as us …

We’ve experienced the failure before in our communities. So Lidia Thorpe comes from a totally different perspective and I wouldn’t say that the Nationals are on the same page as her.


Littleproud won’t change position on opposing Indigenous voice

The Nationals leader, David Littleproud, spoke on Sky News this morning. He said he would not change his position on opposing the Indigenous voice to parliament, and compared it to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, which he said had failed. Littleproud:

We’ve gone down this path before and it’s failed … This is about putting in another layer of bureaucracy, a lie of bureaucracy that will get in the road … Putting another layer of bureaucracy to listen to a few that are sent to represent vast communities over a large geographic area didn’t work before.

On the apparent sticking point of bureaucracy, he also said:

We should be taking the bureaucracy to these people instead of these people coming to the bureaucracy and Canberra.

Littleproud also discussed crossing the floor and … diversity:

As it has always been in our party room in a federal level, you are able to cross the floor. That is the unique nature, the diversity of the National party that we celebrate and that we protect as the custodians of the party room now, to ensure that that diversity of our party room continues to be enshrined in our culture.



Good morning and welcome to our live coverage of today’s news. It’s Donna Lu here, taking you through your Sunday. Here’s a look at the day’s top stories:

  • The arts minister, Tony Burke, is expected to announce a national cultural policy tomorrow, reported to include the establishment of a federal agency to crack down on sexual harassment and bullying in the arts industry, and a new quota for local content on streaming platforms.

  • In tennis, local wildcards Rinky Hijikata and Jason Kubler have had a dream run at the Australian Open, winning the men’s doubles title last night. The Belarusian player Aryna Sabalenka took out the women’s singles title.

  • Flume has won the top spot in Triple J’s Hottest 100 with his track Say Nothing.

  • A search is continuing in Western Australia for a radioactive capsule lost somewhere along 1,400km of road, as authorities admit it was missing for more than two weeks before anyone realised.

I’m at or on Twitter @donnadlu – please get in touch if there’s something I should know!

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