Australia news live: monarchy’s legacy ‘fraught’, Linda Burney tells parliament; Optus CEO speaks after cyber-attack

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Linda Burney says legacy of monarchy ‘fraught’ for Indigenous Australians

The minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, a member of the Wiradjuri nation, has spoken on the Queen’s death in the parliament and the effect the last two weeks have had on Indigenous people:

In Aboriginal culture, sorry business is deeply important. Just this week, I have been to two funerals of women of Elizabeth II’s generation. Aunty Esther Carol in Sydney on Monday and Aunty Nita Scott in Narromine on Tuesday. Two extraordinary women, born at a time in this country where they were subject to the horrors of a New South Wales Welfare Board, which rendered every Aboriginal person a ward of the state.

It had total control. Both women grew up on Aboriginal reserves and experienced the welfare board. But they were women of great determination and courage and, like the Queen, full of grace and dedicated to service. For many Indigenous Australians, the legacy of the monarchy is fraught, a complex, difficult and painful reminder of the impact of colonisation.

This week has seen many wrestling with the swirling emotions, as Stan Grant has said, but equally there are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that have respect for the Queen, especially as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. The Queen’s relationship with Indigenous Australians reflects both how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

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Women's march attendees will be asked to asked to excuse themselves from Lehrmann trial

Paul Karp

Paul Karp

The ACT supreme court had a brief pre-trial mention today in relation to the alleged sexual assault of Brittany Higgins by Bruce Lehrmann.

The chief justice, Lucy McCallum, told the court on Friday that she intends to tell members of the jury panel they should seek to excuse themselves if they attended any event at which Higgins had spoken about the matter, including the women’s march in 2021 and her appearance alongside Grace Tame at the Press Club.

I also thought to flush out any person who follows Ms Higgins on Twitter,” McCallum said.

McCallum said she will not seek to exclude “anyone who knows who Lisa Wilkinson is” – the journalist who conducted a TV interview with Higgins.

But she will ask anyone who has “effectively indicated ... that they’re a champion of the cause” or anyone with strong views on the other side, such as people who may have protested against the women’s march. The judge described her task as asking people “to search their souls about whether they can be impartial”.

Lehrmann has pleaded not guilty to sexually assaulting Higgins, the former Liberal staffer, at Parliament House in Canberra in 2019. The case goes to trial on 4 October for up to seven weeks of hearings.

Vegetarian food reportedly returning to Qantas

Chalk this up as a win – Qantas has caved and is bringing back vegetarian offerings for its flights.

That’s down to John Dee, who broke the news when he was told there would be no more vegetarian options on flights, and went public.

Now they’ve told him they are bringing it back.

Optus CEO addressing media

The Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin is addressing media on the cyber-security breach.

Josh Taylor is listening to that and will give you an update when he can.

Greens senator says Labor must stay course on integrity

The Greens senator David Shoebridge is getting ahead of any potential deals between the government and the opposition when it comes to the integrity commission, saying a deal between the two would prove “they were never serious about stamping out corruption and ending the rotten bipartisan culture of favours for mates”.

To be clear, it is just talks at the moment – as it is with all of the parties and independents who want to have a chat – and the Coalition has not announced its position as yet. Labor’s position on the bill (we haven’t seen the legislation as yet) is stronger than the previous government by some way and, during the election campaign, Labor had said they would want it to be retrospective. Mark Dreyfus has since said perhaps by up to 15 years.

That is not something the Coalition has been comfortable with.

Shoebridge says Labor needs to stay the course on integrity:

Millions of Australians voted at the election for a fresh take on politics and to clean out the rottenness of the Morrison government, not for Labor to cut a new grubby deal with them.

The only deal on offer from the Coalition is a Morrison-lite anti-corruption commission and if Labor takes that path they will have surrendered integrity within six months of taking office.

A Liberal-Labor cabal on integrity would prove once again that they are more interested in protecting their special deals and special interests than the public interest.

The integrity commission’s jurisdiction must extend to potentially corrupting conduct by third parties in relation to government policies – the serious money is made by corporations when they change government policy on things like climate and privatisation, not through one-off contracts.

The Greens are also in negotiations with the government on the bill, but have yet to come to an agreement. The Greens Senate bloc will be crucial to passing the legislation, if the Coalition opposes it.

Linda Burney says legacy of monarchy ‘fraught’ for Indigenous Australians

The minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, a member of the Wiradjuri nation, has spoken on the Queen’s death in the parliament and the effect the last two weeks have had on Indigenous people:

In Aboriginal culture, sorry business is deeply important. Just this week, I have been to two funerals of women of Elizabeth II’s generation. Aunty Esther Carol in Sydney on Monday and Aunty Nita Scott in Narromine on Tuesday. Two extraordinary women, born at a time in this country where they were subject to the horrors of a New South Wales Welfare Board, which rendered every Aboriginal person a ward of the state.

It had total control. Both women grew up on Aboriginal reserves and experienced the welfare board. But they were women of great determination and courage and, like the Queen, full of grace and dedicated to service. For many Indigenous Australians, the legacy of the monarchy is fraught, a complex, difficult and painful reminder of the impact of colonisation.

This week has seen many wrestling with the swirling emotions, as Stan Grant has said, but equally there are many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people that have respect for the Queen, especially as a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. The Queen’s relationship with Indigenous Australians reflects both how far we have come and how far we still have to go.

Wong expected to discuss meeting with China’s foreign minister

Penny Wong has announced a doorstop interview at 11.20 AEST, so we should hear more about the meeting with China’s foreign minister Wang Yi quite soon.

Shadow minister says Optus attack ‘most significant breach’ in recent cybersecurity history

The shadow minister for cybersecurity, James Paterson, has asked the government for a briefing on the Optus data breach.

He told the ABC this morning:

It would be the most significant breach of Australians’ user data in any recent cyber attack. There’s certainly been other Australian based companies that have been attacked, but none who hold so much personal detail of Australian users. And it is the nature of the information which appears to have been stolen which is particularly concerning. It’s personally identifiable, identifying information like people’s names, their phone numbers, their email addresses, their home addresses and in some cases even identification document numbers like passport numbers. And the worrying thing about that is that that is the building blocks for engaging in identity theft, and it could be used to victimise those people to further crimes.

‘Dynamic’ flood risk on Queensland-NSW border

Meanwhile, exhausted communities are facing the possibility of another flood, as AAP reports:

Communities on the Queensland-NSW border are on high alert for flash flooding after more than 20 centimetres of rain fell in three hours in some areas.

An intense weather system moved east overnight across the Gold Coast and the already-soaked NSW’s Northern Rivers, prompting emergency text messages to be sent to some residents.

Several areas received 100mm of rain in a few hours with the highest totals 30 kilometres inland of Coolangatta, at Couchy Creek and Upper Springbrook, which each copped 222mm in three hours.

“This type of intense rainfall on top of our wet catchments does lead to flash flooding and results in some rivers rising very quickly,” NSW SES superintendent Tony Day said.

“It’s a dynamic situation that puts vulnerable communities at risk.”

All residents and visitors should consider their travel plans, check on neighbours and review their emergency plans.

“Just because it was safe last time doesn’t mean it will be safe again,” Mr Day said.

A number of inland river catchments are flooded and are expected to stay that way over coming months.

Multiple climate drivers were behind the scenario, including a rare third consecutive La Nina year.

Sandbags in the CBD of Lismore on Thursday as rain in the region threatens more flooding.
Sandbags in the CBD of Lismore on Thursday as rain in the region threatens more flooding. Photograph: Jason O’Brien/AAP

The NSW premier has just been greeted with applause for telling a room “the Swans will smash it tomorrow”.

‘It’s time for some honest conversations’: Dorinda Cox on treaty and republic

The Greens senator Dorinda Cox has been working on her speech to the Senate since the Queen’s passing:

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