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Emma Elsworthy

Bruce Lehrmann retrial will not go ahead


The retrial of Bruce Lehrmann for the alleged rape of former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins will not go ahead, with charges against Lehrmann reportedly to be dropped, according to’s Samatha Maiden. She reports new medical evidence showed a second trial would be far too damaging to Higgins’ mental health. ACT Director of Public Prosecutions Shane Drumgold will front the media at 10am AEDT — Maiden says he’ll use his prosecutorial discretion to drop the charge against Lehrmann. Drumgold refused to confirm it to the reporter, but says it has confirmed it. Former Liberal staffer Lehrmann has always said he is innocent of the rape allegation — his first trial was aborted because a member of the jury did their own research, Guardian Australia reported at the time.

To a completely different court case now and today 74-year-old Chris Dawson will learn his fate for the murder of his first wife, Lynette Dawson, who vanished from their home on Sydney’s northern beaches in 1982. Dawson has been in custody since August when he was found guilty, the Brisbane Times reports — today NSW Supreme Court judge Ian Harrison will hand down his jail term at noon. Lynette’s body has never been found. “No body, no parole” laws were introduced after Dawson’s conviction (as an aside, they’re “disastrous” laws for the wrongfully convicted, The Conversation adds). So what sort of jail term can Dawson expect? The Crown did not push for a life sentence, the paper says, but there’s no doubt his lack of remorse and the pre-planned nature of the crime will influence it. And to finish on something a tiny bit more lighthearted, as WA Today reports — 10 members of a WA lotto syndicate have taken the guy in charge to court, accusing him of not sharing $1.5 million in winnings. Members say he bought two tickets in October that won $5000, then put that money into a third ticket which won the big one. He’s like, it’s all mine — but the group swears he needs to cough up.


NSW Liberal Treasurer Matt Kean says he “strongly disagrees” with former PM Scott Morrison over his many ministries, and urged Australians to vote him out if they do too, the ABC reports. It comes just days after we learnt Morrison supposedly refused to sign off on a $600 million skills package for NSW because he hated Kean so much. This week Morrison became the second PM ever to be censured — in the lower house, that is. Cast your mind back to 2003 and you may remember then PM John Howard was censured in the Senate for misleading us about the Iraq War, as The Age reported at the time, for the second time, in fact, after being censured in 2002 for a Liberal senator’s criticism of a High Court justice.

Meanwhile, despite the backing of Premier Dominic Perrottet, NSW Liberal Party’s most senior woman Natalie Ward had fallen short in preselection for the safe seat of Davidson in Sydney’s lower north shore, the SMH reports. Ward, the roads minister who the premier called a future leader of the party, was beaten by one of Mike Baird’s former staffers, Matt Cross, 95 to 85. Kean said he was “devastated” by the result — Ward is already a minister, he said, and Cross is just a former junior staffer. Plus we all know the Libs need way more diversity in our ranks, Kean added. Just seven of its 33 members are female ahead of the March election, and Crikey points out every single one of the retiring male Liberal MPs is being replaced by men, and MP Shelley Hancock in South Coast will also be replaced by a man. So why does this affect Ward’s leadership ambitions? Well, she sits in the upper house and was hoping to move to the Legislative Assembly to go after the top job one day — the rules state that the leader of the Libs has to sit in the lower house. Kean says he’ll try to change that.


The ACT and NT have lifted their bans on euthanasia after a quarter of a century, the NT News reports. The bill sailed through the Senate last night after the Coalition’s two last-minute amendments — to ban euthanasia for people under the age of 18 and limit access for people with a disability — were shot down. Finance Minister Katy Gallagher said that would be federal meddling — it is a simple repeal bill, as The New Daily reports. The territories deserve the same legislative responsibilities and powers as the parliaments of NSW, Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and South Australia and “our job is to get out of the way”, she added. ACT Senator David Pocock said it was a “historic moment” and former NT chief minister Marshall Perron said it was the end of “25 years of democratic inequality motivated by religious zealots”.

Meanwhile, Western Australia will criminalise gay conversion therapy, WA Today reports, a debunked practice that seeks to change or suppress a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity. But the ban will not apply to “accredited health professionals” who provide “lawful and ethical” care and are regulated by a professional body such as the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. WA Premier Mark McGowan said his government was anti-gay conversion therapy but the exclusion would allow people to seek support when they “explore their own concepts of self, others, and sexuality”. The ACT, Queensland, Victoria and New Zealand have passed legislation banning the practices, and Tasmania will also soon pass legislation outlawing it.


Twenty-four dairy cows are on the run in the French province of Quebec, Canada, with politicians even discussing the evasive herd in the hallowed halls of Parliament. Eet is a “complex and unprecedented” situation, the agricultural ministry said somewhat unhelpfully, and the general manager of the tiny village of Saint-Severe was exasperated. Marie-Andree Cadorette said the teenage dairy cows made their daring escape in July, as Al Jazeera reports, and have been meandering around freely ever since, causing “thousands” in damages. Mostly from their healthy appetites — the heifers have been snacking luxuriously on unharvested corn and crops, washing it down with some lovely fresh stream water. “They had an all-you-can-eat buffet all summer,” a frustrated Cadorette exclaimed.

How did this happen? The adventurous group jumped a fence, probably led by one naughty ringleader (ring any bells, folks?). “As soon as one runs away, generally it won’t be alone,” an expert declared solemnly. No one really knows what to do — the cops handballed it to animal welfare, who handballed it to government, who shrugged. So Cadorette put it on the internet, receiving more than 200 recommendations from the public. The top one? Play the recorder to lure them — cows love it! Cadorette tried, mostly to bring levity to the situation, but to no avail. Then a group of eight cowboys on horseback showed up — no joke. They herded them, but the cows lost interest halfway through and wandered into a nearby cornfield to grab a bite to eat. Five long months after their escape, the agriculture ministry declared it will capture the cows “when the time comes”. As with all stories of this nature, “It would be wonderful,” Cadorette said, “if it was taking place somewhere else.”

Hoping you go your own way today too, and have a restful weekend.


A lot of people will be wondering are you two meeting just because you’re similar in age and, you know, got a lot of common stuff there.

Joey Dwyer

The journalist queried whether NZ PM Jacinda Ardern and Finnish PM Sanna Marin — who have a five-year age difference, mind — were meeting because of their “common stuff”. A deadpan Marin responded they were meeting because they were both prime ministers; Ardern asked whether anyone ever asked whether Barack Obama and John Key met because they were the same age.


RIP the Hun, born 1998, died November 26 2022, buried in a Danslide

“As a consequence, the Herald Sun died on Saturday night. Absolutely ended. Is over. There’s still a paper coming out every morning but it’s simply a ghost of what was. Matter of fact, it’s been pretty pathetic for some time, devoid of volume and impact. It has the flimsy air of a freesheet, with the TV guide, the horoscopes, death notices, sad classifieds. And Bolt, always Bolt.

“Having thrown everything at Dan Andrews for months, the Hun didn’t leave a mark on him. Even when it self-parodically found “the steps” that had, and ran them as a front-page feature. Or was that a dream? Really, that’s the end of it. The content of the paper is vacuous, the sales are small. It sits in the back corner of 7-Elevens, and on café tables, unremarked upon.”

Scott Morrison reacts as colleagues pass historic censure motion

“It may surprise you to hear this of the guy who once claimed it was ‘God’s will’ that he one day become prime minister, and who soared into office in 2019 on the back of a divine eagle — not to mention keeping a trophy with his three-word paean to Australia’s collective inhumanity carved into silver in his office — but Morrison got a touch grand in defending his time in office.

“Sure, I’m guilty, he said — if being a hero who saved Australia is a crime. If that’s the case then lock me up … Finally, the apotheosis of the speech and a synecdoche of the whole strange, shambolic Morrison era — the shrugging abrogation of responsibility, the faint irritation at having to explain himself, and most of all, the dishonesty he had to know would be exposed.”

With his addiction to lying, Scott Morrison defiles Parliament with his presence

“As we found when we first began detailing Scott Morrison’s relentless lying and falsehoods, one of the problems of being a serial misleader is that you have to keep doubling down on your lies, even when it’s obvious that you’re lying.

“The Morrison who insisted he never ridiculed electric vehicles, and insisted it was a ‘Labor lie’ that he ever had; the Morrison who said he’d never misspoken when he confused Taiwan for Hong Kong; the Morrison who repeatedly claimed he had a busy legislative agenda for 2019 but had to invent fictitious bills to fill it. This is a man caught out in a lie desperately trying to pretend he hasn’t.”


New World Cup live sites have been announced for the Socceroos’ last 16 showdown. Here’s where they are (SBS)

China set to loosen COVID curbs after week of historic protests (Reuters)

Zelenskyy tells Elon Musk to ‘come to Ukraine’ after peace deal furore (EuroNews)

US embassy, five other sites targeted by letter bombs in Spain (Al Jazeera)

Ships linked to Russia’s biggest grain exporter moved stolen Ukrainian cargo (The Wall Street Journal) ($)

Ngozi Fulani: Lady Susan Hussey’s race comments were abuse, says charity boss (BBC)

Boris Johnson will stand again at next general election, source says (The Guardian)


Voice plan elitist? The Nationals will need to back that upWaleed Aly (The Age): “This, I suppose, is the inevitable path of minority representation. It’s easy to forget that minorities are people, who do normal human things like disagree with each other. They have their own mainstream, and opposing extremes. As such, they produce voices that will align with all kinds of pre-existent non-minority politics. So, the Nationals have Price just as the Greens have Lidia Thorpe. Each woman, as the dominant Indigenous voice in her party, has an oversized influence in shaping her party’s approach to the Voice.

“As it happens, both oppose it for opposite reasons – Price because it’s divisive, Thorpe because it’s too conciliatory to the settler state – and their parties follow suit. The result is that each party can appeal to an Indigenous authority of its own to buttress a position that, for all we know, it always wanted to reach anyway (although I suspect this is truer of the Nationals than of the Greens).It’s one thing to do that. But it’s something altogether more brazen to claim, as the Nationals leadership did this week, that their Indigenous authority is more truly representative than anything the Voice could be. In the Nationals’ case, they assert this without knowing how exactly the Voice would be constituted.”

We didn’t ask for Lady Hussey to resign. But, really, the monarchy must do better on raceMandu Reid (The Guardian): “I generally avoid news about the royals. So it was a real eye-opener to find myself at the centre of a royal story. At a reception on Tuesday to honour those working to end violence against women and girls, I witnessed racist remarks from a member of the royal household directed at my friend and fellow activist, Ngozi Fulani. Lady Hussey’s prolonged interrogation about where Ngozi was really from, what her nationality was and where her people were from, was not – as many people have insisted to me over the past 24 hours – the kind of well-meaning curiosity that all of us experience from time to time (though it’s possible that Hussey believed that it was).

“‘Hackney’ was Ngozi’s answer, but Hussey refused to accept this. Her response implied that Black and brown people couldn’t really be British. It implied that we were trespassing – and it made me reflect on the increasingly hostile environment of this disunited kingdom. Even so, the media furore feels disproportionate, given the avalanche of huge stories you might expect to be dominating the news cycle. It’s not that this one isn’t serious. Racism always is, which is why I’ve spoken out. But something about this media frenzy feels… off. Even as I write this, interview requests are coming in faster than I can say no to (in one case my refusal was countered with the offer of a huge fee) …The initial calls I received were from journalists not looking for my account, but my corroboration.”


The Latest Headlines


Eora Nation Country (also known as Sydney)

  • Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will welcome the Prime Minister of Finland Sanna Marin — Marin is going to speak to the Lowy Institute about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other things. You can stream it online.

  • Comedian Tom Ballard will launch his new book, I, Millennial, at Better Read Than Dead bookshop.

  • Australian photographic artist Bill Henson will explore how music has impacted his life as part of an event hosted by the Wheeler Centre at Pier 2/3.

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