Treasurer Joe Hockey has won a defamation case against Fairfax Media in the NSW Federal Court, claiming the headline “Treasurer for Sale” damaged his reputation.
Mr Hockey was compensated $200,000 in damages. Justice Richard White dismissed Fairfax media’s defence of qualified privilege to justify the headline and tweets, finding it was motivated by ‘malice.’
Hillsong Conference controversy
Former pastor Mark Driscoll has made a controversial appearance via video feed at the Hillsong Church conference in Sydney this week, despite organisers saying he would not appear. Mr Driscoll was dropped from the conference due to a series of spiteful comments made towards women. A pre-recorded video interview of Mr Driscoll and his wife Grace was seen on a large screen at the event. Among the thousands in the audience at Allphones Arena was Justin Bieber, who attended the annual event as a guest.
Mr Fluffy warning
The ACT Government has listed more than 1000 locations potentially affected by Mr Fluffy Asbestos. It is believed that 30,000 people who have lived in the homes are at risk of contamination. The ACT Government had disregarded the advice from an expert group in publicly announcing the affected properties. Head of the Asbestos Response Taskforce Andrew Kefford said while the danger of exposure was low, people of the wider community had the right to know if they have lived in an affected house. It has been suggested that another company has been replicating Mr Fluffy’s methods in NSW homes for years, however this is yet to be confirmed.
Call for fur seal cull
Fishermen in Coorong want the right to commercially hunt the New Zealand fur seal to protect their livelihoods and to harvest their skins for oils, furs and meat. The Goolwa Pipi Harvesters Association has requested scientists research the potential culling of the fur seals and the affect it might have on the ecosystem, claiming that a culling is inevitable. The Association chair Roger Edwards said: “If these populations continue to increase at the levels they have been, the impact on the broader ecosystem will be such that something will need to be done.” The number of New Zealand fur seals is well above 200 and management of the colonies is now being discussed.
Leap in time
For the first time in three years, a leap second has been added to the official time set by atomic clocks. The leap second, meaning June’s last minute had an extra second, indicates Tuesday, June 30 had 61 seconds in it. Leap seconds and leap years are used primarily to keep the clocks in accordance with the rotation of the Earth and its seasons.
Prison riot leads to talks on NSW smoking ban
An emergency briefing has been called by the NSW Corrective Services Commissioner amid plans to implement the smoking ban in New South Wales jails that caused a prison riot in Victoria on Tuesday. Corrections Victoria regained control overnight of the Metropolitan Remand Centre in Melbourne’s west. The smoking ban in Victoria’s jails came into effect today and sparked the 15-hour riot. The prison remains in lock-down with inmates facing additional criminal charges due to the uproar. – Compiled from news sources by Luke Rufford and Greta Levy
Top photo from International Monetary Fund’s Flickr photostream