We have made it to the final sitting day for this week, which is an accomplishment in itself, so congratulations.
We start today with the issue that has hung over the parliament all week, since the airing of the Four Corners episode.
The Sydney Morning Herald and the Age report that Rachelle Miller, a press sec who had an affair with minister Alan Tudge, has lodged a complaint against Michaelia Cash, accusing the minister of running a “fake redundancy process” to get rid of her, once rumours of the (then ended) affair took hold. The paper reports that Cash has rejected the claims.
You can read the whole story, here.
Miller who spoke publicly about her experience with Tudge on Monday’s Four Corner’s program, has made a separate complaint about her treatment after her affair, alleging her career was blocked.
Overnight the executive producer of Four Corners tweeted that another woman who was interviewed by the program, Kathleen Foley, who spoke about her experiences of Christian Porter during university, had been voted off the Victorian Bar Council. The council said it had nothing to do with her appearance on the program a few days earlier.
Meanwhile, Anthony Albanese said the Labor party he led would back the “bonk ban” put in place by Malcolm Turnbull after Barnaby Joyce’s relationship with a member of his staff.
As Katharine Murphy and Michael McGowan reported last night:
The federal Labor leader told the ABC on Wednesday night the opposition had convened an all-staff meeting on Tuesday in the wake of a Four Corners program that aired allegations of inappropriate conduct by two government ministers.
“We had a meeting yesterday of all staff to remind them of what [our] procedures are,” Albanese said on Wednesday. “We think that all workplaces should be safe workplaces for women and we also, importantly, understand that we are in a particular leadership position.”
The Labor party itself is understood to be coming up with a new complaints process, which would also apply outside Canberra.
One of the issues for MPs’ staff, highlighted by Miller and taken up by Larissa Waters, is the complaints process offers little protection or anonymity. Waters is pushing to change that.
Albanese has also backed Gladys Berejiklian in her call to change the national anthem lyrics from “young and free” to “one and free”.
Berejiklian has said she feels for Indigenous Australians who say the national anthem doesn’t reflect them and their history.
Albanese told ABC TV on Wednesday night he supported the move too.
“I think this is a really practical suggestion by the NSW premier,” the Labor leader said. “It does jar. We are a country that should be proud of the fact we have the oldest continuous civilisation on the planet right here with First Nations people.”
And the federal integrity commission that Porter is in charge of delivering is not exactly winning support in the parliament or elsewhere, as Christopher Knaus reports:
We’ll cover all of that and more as the day rolls on. You have Amy Remeikis, Mike Bowers, Katharine Murphy, Daniel Hurst and Paul Karp at your service, as well as the everyone in the Guardian brains trust.
It’s going to be a four-coffee day. I can feel it.