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"Just doing her job": Hero cop Amy Scott breaks silence after Bondi stabbing

<p>The hero police officer who shot Joel Cauchi after his killing spree has spoken out after the devastating incident. </p> <p>NSW Police Inspector Amy Scott was confronted by the knife-wielding 40-year-old after he had fatally stabbed six people and injured several others at Bondi Junction Westfield on Saturday afternoon. </p> <p>Witnesses of the incident recall hearing the officer shout for Cauchi to "put it down" before the knifeman charged at her, prompting her to fire her weapon and shoot him dead. </p> <p>“Amy is content with what she had to do," Police Association of NSW boss Kevin Morton said. </p> <p>“I spoke to her last night and again this morning and she said, ‘It was a night with not a lot of sleep’.”</p> <p>Mr Morton said the officer, who he has known personally for years, was playing down the praise she had received after being dubbed a "hero" for her actions. </p> <p>“She knows she has been tagged a hero but to her she was doing her job. I didn’t ask her about the exact incident, because she is yet to be formally interviewed,” he said.</p> <p>“Everyone will be keeping an eye on her obviously, there will be a lot of support from everyone,’’ he said</p> <p>She also drew praise from Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, and NSW Premier Chris Minns, as well as NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb.</p> <p>“She showed enormous courage and bravery,” Ms Webb said.</p> <p>Witnesses backed up the officer's actions at the shopping centre, as Bondi man Jason Dixon witnessed Inspector Scott's response firsthand. </p> <p>“All she said was ‘Put it down’. Just once. Then she shot him in the chest and he went down,” Mr Dixon told <em>The Sunday Telegraph</em>. </p> <p>“Then when he fell on the ground she was giving him CPR,” Mr Dixon said.</p> <p>“She had to shoot him, because he just kept coming,” Mr Dixon said. “He had a knife and he wasn’t going to stop.</p> <p>“He was advancing at her and he was running, coming to get someone else,” Mr Dixon said.</p> <p>“She shot him once in the heart or the chest,” he said. “I’m glad she got him, because if she didn’t he would have stabbed her too.”</p> <p>Inspector Scott will be formally interviewed by police later this week as part of the major investigation into the stabbing. </p> <p><em>Image credits: news.com.au / X (Twitter)</em></p> <div class="media image side-by-side" style="box-sizing: inherit; margin-bottom: 24px; display: flex; flex-direction: column; align-items: center; width: 1209.375px; max-width: 100%; font-family: Charter, Georgia, serif; font-size: 18px;"> </div>

Caring

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Unimaginable scenes as Baltimore bridge collapses

<p>The tranquil waters of Baltimore's Patapsco River turned tumultuous in the early hours of Tuesday following a catastrophic event that shook the city to its core. The aftermath of the Francis Scott Key Bridge collapse has left a community reeling, with one confirmed fatality and six individuals still missing as rescue efforts persist amid harrowing conditions.</p> <p>The calamity unfolded when a mammoth container ship lost power, careening into the Francis Scott Key Bridge on the US East Coast. The impact tore through the bridge's supports, sending vehicles and people plummeting into the frigid river below. In the chaos that ensued, heroes emerged as authorities swiftly responded, managing to halt traffic on the bridge, averting further catastrophe. However, the toll was already significant, with one individual confirmed dead and six others, believed to be part of a construction crew, still unaccounted for.</p> <p>As the day wore on, Baltimore City Fire Department Chief James Wallace provided updates on the situation, indicating that one survivor had been rescued and rushed to a local trauma centre in critical condition. Meanwhile, the US Coast Guard initiated a relentless search for the missing individuals, leveraging sonar technology to scour the depths of the river.</p> <p>The vessel responsible for the devastation, known as the <em>Dali</em>, was under the management of Synergy Marine Group, navigating under the Singapore flag. Although the crew and pilots were reported safe, the repercussions of the collision have reverberated far beyond the immediate vicinity. US President Joe Biden has pledged federal support for the reconstruction efforts: "This is going to take some time," he said. "The people of Baltimore can count on us, though, to stick with them at every step of the way until the port is reopened and the bridge is rebuilt."</p> <p>The collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge not only claimed lives but also severed a vital link in the region's infrastructure. The Port of Baltimore, a bustling gateway for maritime commerce, now faces significant disruption, with vessel traffic suspended indefinitely. The reverberations of this tragedy extend beyond Baltimore, with logistical challenges expected to ripple along the entire East Coast.</p> <p>As the day progressed, stories of resilience and compassion emerged. Retired Chief Donald Heinbuch, startled from his sleep by the rumbling impact, bore witness to the unimaginable destruction. "Never would you think that you would see physically see the Key Bridge tumble down like that - it looked like something out of an action movie," he said. "And you just think about, most importantly, which is what we all should be thinking about right now, nothing but those families and people that are impacted and those people who are risking their lives right now, for not just Baltimore City and Baltimore County but all over the state, to try to save lives. That should be our focus - the preservation of life. Because no one wants to see that happen, let alone someone in their family someone that they know, be injured in an incident like this."</p> <p>Baltimore Mayor Brandon Scott echoed the sentiments of a community in shock, emphasising the paramount importance of preserving life above all else.</p> <p><em>Images: Streamlive | 9News</em></p>

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West Side Story returns to Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour

<p>Get ready to snap your fingers, tap your toes and experience the magic of Broadway in Sydney as Opera Australia presents t<span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">he electrifying musical extravaganza <em>West Side Story</em> – making its triumphant return to the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour stage in 2024.</span></p> <p>The 2019 production of <em>West Side Story</em>, if you were fortunate enough to grab seats, was an absolute smash hit. With record-breaking ticket sales and rave reviews, it's no wonder this show stole the hearts of over 65,000 theatre and musical buffs. </p> <p>Directed by the incomparable Francesca Zambello, <em>West Side Story</em> promises to once again whisk audiences away to the bustling streets of New York City, complete with iconic songs, heart-pounding dance numbers, and enough drama to fill the harbour twice over. </p> <p>Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's musical masterpiece will once again take centre stage, accompanied by Jerome Robbins' legendary choreography – and this year, we were fortunate enough to be able to pose a few pre-performance questions to none other than Guy Simpson, the show’s musical director, and the all-singing, all-dancing Wayne Scott Kermond, who is playing “Doc” onstage.</p> <p>Let’s raise the curtain and see what they have to say!</p> <p><strong><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/03/Guy-Simpson.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></strong></p> <p><strong>Guy Simpson</strong></p> <p>Guy Simpson, a seasoned musical director with nearly 45 years of experience, boasts an illustrious career spanning global productions. Notably, his involvement with iconic shows like <em>Miss Saigon</em> and <em>The Phantom</em> <em>of the Opera</em> has taken him across continents, from Australia to Asia and beyond. Simpson's extensive repertoire includes serving as Musical Supervisor and Director for Opera Australia's acclaimed productions such as <em>Evita</em>, <em>My Fair Lady</em>, and of course <em>West Side Story</em>. Additionally, his contributions as an orchestrator and producer of cast recordings further solidify his stature in the musical theatre realm. With credits ranging from beloved classics like <em>Les Misérables</em> to contemporary hits like <em>Muriel's Wedding</em>, Simpson's versatile talent continues to enrich the world of musical theatre on an international scale.</p> <p><em><strong>OverSixty:</strong></em> What memories do you have of your first time working on <em>West Side Story</em> – when was it and what was the experience like? </p> <p><em><strong>Guy:</strong></em> “I was a rehearsal pianist for the 1983 production of <em>West Side Story</em>. The conductor was Dobbs Franks, who came from the US to conduct the first production of the show in 1960. So I was lucky to learn the show from him. I wasn’t in the orchestra and had tickets to watch opening night but during the afternoon of that day I received a call to play in the orchestra that night because the pianist was unwell. I’ll never forget that! Since then I have conducted three seasons of the show and learn more and more about it each time.”</p> <p><em><strong>OverSixty:</strong></em> What were Bernstein’s influences and what impact did Bernstein’s score have when the musical first premiered? And why do you think it remains so recognised today? </p> <p><em><strong>Guy:</strong></em> “Bernstein was influenced by many things. There is an <a href="https://www.wrti.org/arts-desk/2018-08-23/the-surprising-backstory-to-west-side-story" target="_blank" rel="noopener">excellent article by Debra Lew Harder</a> that outlines these influences. I love the combination of Jewish themes, Puerto Rican rhythm, Mexican dance music and of course American jazz. His classical roots also come in here – especially the music of Aaron Copland and George Gershwin. The genius is Bernstein's ability to blend all this into a score that tells the story so brilliantly."</p> <p><em><strong>OverSixty:</strong></em> What’s your favourite moment in the music that audiences might not always notice but could listen out for?</p> <p><em><strong>Guy:</strong></em> I like what is known as ‘THE BALCONY SCENE’. Most people will know it as the iconic love duet ‘TONIGHT’. In the show this scene moves between spoken dialogue (with underscoring), into the song and back into dialogue in a wonderfully cohesive way. It is so well crafted and is quite a challenge for the conductor to fit the music with the dialogue in a seamless way. I also love the scene in the bridal shop that includes the song ‘ONE HAND ONE HEART’.</p> <p><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2024/03/Wayne-Scott-Kermond-as-Doc.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></p> <p><strong>Wayne Scott Kermond</strong></p> <p>Wayne Scott Kermond, hailing from a rich lineage of Australian Vaudeville performers, epitomises the essence of musical theatre, comedy and cabaret. With a repertoire spanning from <em>Anything Goes</em> to <em>Hairspray</em>, including acclaimed performances in several productions of<em> West Side Story</em>, Kermond's versatility shines through. Additionally, he's showcased his creative prowess as the creator and star of captivating cabaret shows such as <em>Candy Man</em> and <em>Jive Junkys</em>. Beyond the stage, Kermond's talents extend to film, where he's contributed to projects like <em>Happy Feet 1 &amp; 2</em>, and as a respected scriptwriter and director for various musicals, cabarets and corporate events. With accolades including a Green Room Award and Mo Award, alongside nominations for Helpmann Awards, Kermond's exceptional abilities and esteemed showbiz heritage solidify his status as an extraordinary Australian talent.</p> <p><em><strong>OverSixty:</strong></em> You and Guy first worked on this musical 40 years ago, how does it feel to be coming back together on the Handa Opera version?</p> <p><em><strong>Wayne:</strong></em> “I first performed in <em>West Side Story</em> at the old Her Majesty’s Theatre (Sydney), 40 years ago playing the youngest member of the Jets gang, ‘Baby John’, and then again in another fabulous production touring Australia / New Zealand in the mid-nineties playing Arab. And so it was lovely to be reminded by Guy on the first day of rehearsals for this season how special it is to us both, here we are, doing it again, just a little greyer."</p> <p>“We shared a few laughs about ‘where did that time go?’, and how ‘young’ we still look after all these years. It’s so great to work with Guy again, I think the last show we did together was <em>Chicago</em>, back in the late nineties. So with Guy's huge amount of expertise and experience at the helm as our Musical Director the show is in great hands. Wait till you hear the amazing Orchestra.”</p> <p><em><strong>OverSixty:</strong></em> What about this musical’s story, lyrics, etc resonate with you and why do you think it keeps being seen on stage? Can it appeal to all ages?</p> <p><em><strong>Wayne:</strong></em> “<em>West Side Story</em> is as iconic to music theatre as <em>Swan Lake</em> is to ballet. All great musicals such as <em>West Side</em> have to have a great love story; <em>West Side </em>certainly has that. And to add to that, also an incredible score, dynamic original choreography and a beautifully written book makes it a triple threat. That's why it stands the test of time – it's an inter-generational piece, whose story and message still stands today, which is the reason why I’m now getting the opportunity to play an adult character ‘Doc’ in this OA production 40 years later, as it will be for another artist, in another 40 years' time.”</p> <p><em><strong>OverSixty:</strong></em> What’s your favourite moment in the show and why?</p> <p><em><strong>Wayne:</strong></em> It is very difficult to say there is a favourite moment as there are so many. The whole journey of the show is something everyone who loves theatre should experience. The Prologue, Dance at the Gym, America, Cool, Tonight, Something's Comin, and not forgetting the Quintet powerhouse... Every part of this show is special, whether you're seeing the show for the first time or for the tenth time, it’s exhilarating, poignant and moving."</p> <p>“It’s especially wonderful for me to have been given the opportunity to revisit the show, after all these years later as a performer. And it’s very exciting to watch another generation of performers being given the opportunity to experience such an exceptional piece of theatre.”</p> <p>So, mark your calendars, Sydney-siders, because Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour is about to serve up a theatrical experience like no other. With world-class performances, breathtaking views of the harbour, and enough fireworks to make New Year's Eve jealous, this is one event you won't want to miss. </p> <p>So grab your tickets, grab your friends, and get ready to experience the magic of <em>West Side Story </em>like never before. See you at the opera!</p> <p>For more information and ticket sales, check out <a href="https://opera.org.au/productions/west-side-story-on-sydney-harbour/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">opera.org.au/harbour</a></p> <p><em>All images: Supplied</em></p>

Domestic Travel

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An emotional Scott Morrison delivers his last speech to parliament

<p>In a poignant and somewhat unexpected farewell, former Prime Minister Scott Morrison bid adieu to federal parliament, leaving behind a legacy tinged with tears – and a surprising tribute to pop sensation Taylor Swift.</p> <p>As he marked his exit, Morrison delivered a heartfelt address, reflecting on his political journey, acknowledging his colleagues, and offering insights into his future endeavours.</p> <p>Flashing a Swiftie friendship bracelet emblazoned with the nickname "ScoMo" beneath the sleeve of his suit, Morrison's speech was a blend of personal anecdotes, political reflections and nods to popular culture. Surrounded by his family – his mother Marion, wife Jenny, and daughters Abby and Lily – Morrison addressed a gallery that, while not at full capacity, held a significant emotional weight for the departing leader.</p> <p>With a touch of humour, Morrison recounted his daughters' suggestion of incorporating references to Taylor Swift albums into his remarks, a challenge he gamely accepted. Seamlessly weaving Swift's song titles into his speech, Morrison painted a picture of his political journey, acknowledging the challenges he faced and the steadfast support of his loved ones, particularly his wife Jenny, whom he affectionately referred to as his "Lover":</p> <p><em>"It is true that my political opponents have often made me see <strong>Red</strong>.</em></p> <p><em>Often when subjected to the <strong>Tortured Poets</strong> who would rise to attack my Reputation. </em></p> <p><em>In response, I always thought it important to be <strong>Fearless</strong> and <strong>Speak Now</strong>. </em></p> <p><em>Or forever hold my silence and allow those attacks to become <strong>Folklore</strong>. </em></p> <p><em>Ever since leaving university in <strong>1989</strong> this has always been my approach.</em></p> <p><em>My great consolation has always been my <strong>Lover</strong>, Jen, who has always been there for me whenever I needed her from dawn, and beyond the many <strong>Midnights</strong> we have shared together.</em></p> <p><em>See? I'm actually a <strong>True Romantic</strong> after all.</em></p> <p><em>I can assure there is no <strong>Bad Blood</strong>, as I've always been someone who has been able to … <strong>Shake It Off</strong>."</em></p> <p>Reflecting on his tenure as Australia's 30th prime minister from 2018 to 2020, Morrison expressed gratitude to the Indigenous community and the defence personnel, emphasising their contributions to the nation's freedom and prosperity. He cautioned against what he termed a "drift of secularism" and advocated for a reconnection with traditional Christian values, underlining the importance of faith in his own life.</p> <p>Amid tears, Morrison thanked his staff, household personnel and security detail, acknowledging their dedication and sacrifice – particularly recalling two individuals injured while protecting him. “I want to specially mention Travis Ford and Jen McCrae," he said, "who were <a href="https://www.oversixty.com.au/news/news/dangerous-traffic-crash-rocks-scott-morrison" target="_blank" rel="noopener">terribly injured in the line of duty</a> protecting me … in a terrible car accident in Tasmania. I will always be grateful for your sacrifice.”</p> <p>Emotionally addressing his family, Morrison expressed profound gratitude to his wife and daughters, recognising the challenges they endured due to his public role.</p> <p>In a magnanimous gesture, Morrison extended well wishes to his political opponents and congratulated Prime Minister Albanese on his recent engagement. He also expressed appreciation for his party colleagues, including former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Peter Dutton, highlighting their support and camaraderie.</p> <p>Touching upon his role in the AUKUS nuclear submarine deal and Australia's stance against Chinese coercion, Morrison underscored the importance of standing firm in the face of geopolitical challenges. He warned against complacency and urged vigilance in safeguarding national interests against external threats.</p> <p>Closing on a deeply personal note, Morrison reaffirmed his faith in Jesus Christ, acknowledging his own imperfections and the power of forgiveness. Quoting scripture, he embraced his Christian beliefs unapologetically, emphasising the strength derived from his faith.</p> <p>The solemnity of the moment was then relieved somewhat when Morrison ended his speech with the words "And, as always, up, up, Cronulla!", as colleagues from across the political spectrum approached to bid him farewell.</p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Morrison made a point of highlighting the main lessons he says he's learned during his political career, which we have summarised here:</span></p> <p><strong>1. Without a strong economy, you cannot achieve your goals as a nation</strong></p> <p>He said there have been strong contributions made in this respect by both sides of politics, and Australia must be careful not to "reinstitutionalise our economy" and crush entrepreneurial spirit.</p> <p><strong>2. Threats are out there, and they are real</strong></p> <p>Morrison talked about a new era of strategic competition, in which the old rules-based international order is being challenged by "a new arc of autocracy" ranging from Pyongyang to Beijing to Tehran and Moscow.</p> <p>He cited AUKUS, the Quad and new trading and defence relationships as key achievements of his government in this arena, but said that "continued vigilance and the connection between all spheres of police" is required going forward.</p> <p><strong>3. Judeo-Christian values shouldn't be forgotten in the 'increasing Western embrace of secularism'</strong></p> <p>"Individual liberty, the rule of law, equality of opportunity, responsible citizenship, morality, liberty of speech, thought, religion and association. All of these stem from the core principle of respect for individual human dignity," Morrison said. "So does representative democracy. And even market-based capitalism. This is a unique Judeo-Christian principle."</p> <p><em>Image: ABC News</em></p> <p> </p>

Retirement Life

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Papa Swift vs Paparazzi: Taylor Swift's dad accused of assault

<p>In the midst of celebrations marking the conclusion of Taylor Swift's Eras tour in Sydney, an unexpected and troubling incident has emerged involving her father – Scott Swift.</p> <p>The 71-year-old has been accused of assaulting an Australian photographer, Ben McDonald, in the early hours of Tuesday morning at a Sydney wharf in Neutral Bay.</p> <p>According to reports confirmed by NSW Police, the alleged altercation occurred around 2:30am, following Taylor Swift's final performance in the city.</p> <p>It's said that Taylor and her father had been enjoying post-show festivities when the incident took place, tarnishing what should have been a joyous occasion.</p> <p>McDonald, who serves as the chief executive of Matrix Media Group, recounted the events to <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-13128721/Taylor-Swift-father-Scott-assault-photographer-Sydney-wharf.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Daily Mail Australia</em></a>, shedding light on the confrontation. He stated that Taylor and Scott arrived at the wharf after travelling from Homebush on a luxury superyacht named <em>Quantum</em>.</p> <p>McDonald claims that after they disembarked, Scott allegedly 'charged' at him. McDonald originally thought that it was a security guard, and was surprised when he realised it was Taylor's dad.</p> <p>"In 23 years of taking pictures, I have never seen anything like it," he told the <em>Daily Mail</em>. "He probably decided he needed to defend his daughter, for some reason... She got off the boat, she walked towards security guards who were shoving umbrellas in our faces, and then he charged."</p> <p>Footage capturing the moments leading up to and following the alleged assault has surfaced, providing some insight into the incident. <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-13128721/Taylor-Swift-father-Scott-assault-photographer-Sydney-wharf.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The video</a> shows Taylor and her father walking up from the wharf, shielded by large umbrellas held by security guards. Amid the commotion, McDonald attempted to capture the scene, and was obstructed by the guards protecting Taylor and her companions, including Mr Swift.</p> <p>In the aftermath, McDonald reported the incident to authorities. He did not sustain serious injuries, though he described experiencing discomfort and soreness on the left side of his face.</p> <p><em>Images: YouTube</em></p>

Legal

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As Scott Morrison leaves parliament, where does he rank among Australian prime ministers?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-strangio-1232">Paul Strangio</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>This week Scott Morrison, Australia’s 30th prime minister, will deliver his valedictory speech to the House of Representatives. As Morrison leaves parliament, it’s timely to ask where he is placed in the pantheon of Australia’s national leaders.</p> <p>Already there have been unflattering verdicts on Morrison’s prime-ministerial standing. For example, in her withering account of his leadership, veteran columnist and author <a href="https://scribepublications.com.au/books-authors/books/bulldozed-9781922585981">Niki Savva writes</a> that among detractors, “Morrison was regarded as the worst prime minister since Billy McMahon”. Moreover, according to Savva, following the August 2022 revelation of his commandeering of five ministries during the COVID pandemic, his reputation sunk still lower: “he was worse than McMahon. Worse even than Tony Abbott, who lasted a scant two years in the job”.</p> <h2>How can we rank prime ministerial performance?</h2> <p>How might we know how Morrison’s record stacks up against his prime-ministerial peers? One device for evaluating comparative leadership performance is expert rankings. Australia has had a slow take-up in this field, unlike the United States, where presidential rankings have a lineage stretching back three-quarters of a century and are a veritable scholarly cottage industry.</p> <p>In recent years, there have been forays into this territory in Australia, with three prime-ministerial rankings conducted by newspapers and two initiated by Monash University in 2010 and 2020. (I was the organiser of both of these Monash rankings.)</p> <p>These rankings have been largely consistent in their results. The experts, mostly political historians and political scientists, have judged the nation’s greatest prime minister to be its second world war leader, John Curtin. The other leaders in the top echelon are, in rough order, Bob Hawke, Ben Chifley, Alfred Deakin, Robert Menzies, Andrew Fisher, John Howard, Paul Keating and Gough Whitlam.</p> <p>At the other end of the scale, Billy McMahon, who is chiefly remembered for being defeated by Labor’s Whitlam at the December 1972 election, thereby bringing to a close the Liberal Party’s postwar ascendancy, has been consistently rated Australia’s prime-ministerial dunce. Even his biographer, Patrick Mullins, acknowledges that McMahon has become “a by-word for failure, silliness, ridicule”.</p> <p>However, in the most recent of the rankings, the Monash 2020 survey, McMahon had a close competitor for bottom place: Tony Abbott. Forty-four out of 66 respondents to that survey assessed Abbott’s prime ministership a failure. Other prime ministers to the rear of the field included Abbott’s contemporaries, Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull.</p> <p>Morrison was not included in the 2020 rankings because as the incumbent his prime ministership was incomplete, and so it was premature to evaluate his performance. Let us now, though, measure his record against the nine benchmarks that the experts were asked to consider in rating the nation’s leaders.</p> <h2>So how does Morrison shape up?</h2> <p>The first is “effectively managing cabinet”. To date, little has been disclosed about the integrity of cabinet processes under Morrison’s stewardship. Yet, whatever the merits of that management, his scandalous breach of the norms of cabinet government by <a href="https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-the-bell-report-on-morrisons-multi-ministries-provides-a-bad-character-reference-195368">secretly assuming several ministries</a> will irretrievably stain his reputation in this regard.</p> <p>Next is “maintaining support of Coalition/party”. That Morrison avoided being deposed by his party, which was the fate of his immediate predecessors (Rudd, Julia Gillard, Abbott and Turnbull), counts in his favour. As the ABC docuseries Nemesis shows, however, his prime ministership was marked by serious frictions both within the Liberal Party and between the Liberal and National coalition partners.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/gLXdXUwGrJs?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>“Demonstrating personal integrity”. This was not one of Morrison’s strong suits. As Savva makes searingly evident, and Nemesis also highlights, Morrison earned a reputation for being economical with the truth (including hiding his acquisition of colleagues’ ministries), for evading accountability and shifting blame (“I don’t hold a hose, mate”), and for corrupted processes under his watch (an example being the <a href="https://theconversation.com/more-sports-rort-questions-for-morrison-after-bridget-mckenzie-speaks-out-133160">shameless pork-barrelling</a> of the community sport infrastructure program in the lead-up to the 2019 election).</p> <p>“Leaving a significant policy legacy”. Here Morrison is partly damned by his own words. In office, he insisted he was not concerned about his legacy, equating the idea with a vanity project. Indeed, an obsession with the theatre of politics and a corresponding lack of substance caused his prime ministership to come to be seen as bereft of purpose.</p> <p>On the other hand, management of the COVID pandemic, however mixed, accords a significance to his time in office. AUKUS stands as the other major legacy of Morrison’s prime ministership, entrenched as it has been by his successor, Anthony Albanese. The agreement promises to influence Australia’s defence capability until the middle of this century and beyond, although only time will tell whether it enhances the nation’s security or is a dangerous white elephant.</p> <p>“Relationship with the electorate”. Morrison’s record here is mixed. In his favour, he won an election (something McMahon couldn’t claim). Yet, by the time of the 2022 election, according to the Australian Election Study, he was the least popular major party leader in the history of that survey, which dates back to the 1980s.</p> <p>His public toxicity was a primary factor in the Coalition’s defeat, one of his Liberal colleagues comparing the depth of public sentiment against the prime minister in 2022 to “having a 10,000-tonne boulder attached to your leg”.</p> <p>“Communication effectiveness”. Styling himself as a Cronulla Sharks-supporting “daggy dad” from the suburbs, at least initially Morrison’s communication mode seemed to be well received in the community. He was relentlessly on message during the 2019 election campaign.</p> <p>But the shine rapidly wore off his persona following that victory, with growing doubts about his authenticity. Rather than persuade, his habit was to hector, and rather than empathise, he exuded smugness. A series of notorious tin-eared statements, which especially alienated women voters, came to define his image. By the end he was known as the “bulldozer-in-chief”.</p> <figure><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/yamdw5VeNtA?wmode=transparent&amp;start=0" width="440" height="260" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen"></iframe></figure> <p>“Nurturing national unity”. An innovation of Morrison’s at the beginning of the pandemic was the national cabinet. Bringing together the prime minister and premiers, it worked effectively for a time, only for partisan interests over lockdowns to strain relations between Canberra and the states.</p> <p>Under pressure, Morrison also flirted with divisive culture-war politics, instances being his divisive Religious Discrimination Bill and his egregious handpicking of the anti-transgender Liberal candidate Katherine Deves to contest the 2022 election.</p> <p>“Defending and promoting Australia’s interests abroad”. The AUKUS pact has vehement critics, led by Morrison’s prime-ministerial peers Keating and Turnbull, who argue it jeopardises national sovereignty.</p> <p>There is no denying, however, that AUKUS was Morrison’s signature foreign policy enterprise. On the other hand, Australia’s reputation as a laggard on climate change under the Coalition hurt our international standing, not least among Pacific neighbours. The Morrison government’s belated commitment to a net zero carbon emissions by 2050 target was too little, too late. Bellicose rhetoric towards Beijing also led to a deterioration in relations with the nation’s major trading partner (as well as estranging Chinese-Australian voters).</p> <p>“Being able to manage turbulent times”. Here, again, Morrison’s record is at best mixed. In his favour is decisive early actions to ameliorate the COVID pandemic, headed by the JobKeeper program. As the pandemic progressed, however, his government was too often flat-footed, demonstrated by its dilatory approach to procuring vaccines. His response to natural disasters, most notably the 2019-20 Black Summer bushfires, was another shortcoming, exemplified by his secret holiday to Hawaii in the midst of the crisis. Arguably, his prime ministership was doomed from that moment.</p> <h2>And the verdict?</h2> <p>Prime-ministerial reputations can take time to settle. The passing of years fleshes out historical knowledge as well as providing greater perspective on performance in office. For example, the fate of AUKUS will quite possibly affect Morrison’s standing well into the future.</p> <p>Even allowing for this, it seems safe to forecast that Morrison will be rated among the least distinguished of Australian prime ministers. His government’s relatively successful early management of the COVID pandemic and the legacy of AUKUS might spare him from falling below McMahon and Abbott at the bottom of the prime-ministerial heap. But avoiding that ignominy will probably be a close-run thing.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/223003/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-strangio-1232">Paul Strangio</a>, Emeritus professor of politics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images </em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/as-scott-morrison-leaves-parliament-where-does-he-rank-among-australian-prime-ministers-223003">original article</a>.</em></p>

Retirement Life

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Scott Morrison resigns from parliament

<p dir="ltr">Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison has resigned from parliament, marking an end to his 16-year career in politics. </p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Morrison said he would leave politics at the end of February, setting up a by-election a year out from the next federal election.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a lengthy statement, the 55-year-old explained that he would be stepping back from politics to spend more time with his family, and be more involved in his church community. </p> <p dir="ltr">ScoMo paid tribute to his family – wife Jenny and daughters Lily and Abbey – in the statement, who he said “have sacrificed a great deal to support my service to our country and local community”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“I am grateful for their support, but the time has come for me to return to my private life and support my family to pursue their goals and for us to spend more time together as a family,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I am also looking forward to being more active in my church community outside the constraints of public office.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Morrison said it had been his “great privilege” to represent his constituents in the Sydney electorate of Cook and noted the decision to leave had been “difficult”. </p> <p dir="ltr">“However, I believe the timing is now right to move on to a new season with my family and take on fresh challenges,” he said.</p> <p dir="ltr">After making the announcement of his resignation, Morrison appeared on <em>Sky News</em> to discuss his lasting legacy as one of Australia’s most controversial prime ministers. </p> <p dir="ltr">He told the <em>Sky News</em>’ Paul Murray, “I’m sure there’s things that people will need to forgive me for and I’ll forgive them. You just don’t carry these things around with you. You look forward.”</p> <p dir="ltr">He then quoted former US president Theodore Roosevelt, who Mr Morrison described as a “hero” for him. </p> <p dir="ltr">“He used to talk about – I’m one of those ones who was on the field, who has known victory and defeat, not one of those timid souls who have known neither, and just looks on from the outside,” he said.<span id="docs-internal-guid-a7151a37-7fff-a3f1-de75-5a7687aa9fec"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

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"Nobody wins": Sam Newman provides update after explosive outburst

<p>The future of Sam Newman's podcast is in jeopardy after his co-host Don Scott has officially quit the program. </p> <p>The shock exit comes after Newman launched into an expletive-ridden tirade at Scott last week in a now deleted segment of the podcast, which ended with Newman telling Scott to "f**k off" as he left the building. </p> <p>Now, Scott has returned to the You <em>Cannot Be Serious</em> podcast, but only to confirm he isn't coming back. </p> <p>“You do whatever you want to do … (but) what is the point of trying to have a discussion with somebody who is going off their brain?” Scott asked.</p> <p>“You do not talk to anybody no matter whether it is on-air or wherever in life when they are not rational, so you walk away."</p> <p>“I’m not getting into this … This is like a domestic and nobody wins in a domestic."</p> <p>“You can put your view as much as you like and I am not here to defend or whatever else."</p> <p>“Everybody has a different personality. I am not in to conflict.”</p> <p>Newman, who refused to believe he overreacted during the argument, asked, “Can we finally say that you’re not going to do the podcast anymore? Is that what’s going to happen?”</p> <p>Scott replied, “That’s fine at the moment, no.”</p> <p>Newman doubled down, saying, “This is history … This is breaking news. Don has now left the building, as Elvis has, and he’s not going to do the podcast anymore."</p> <p>“This is another show of disgraceful behaviour from someone who is acting like a child … it’s beyond belief.”</p> <p>Later on social media, Newman said that if Scott wasn't taking part in the podcast anymore, he wasn't sure how long they would continue with the show. </p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CyPXhh5vX0W/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/CyPXhh5vX0W/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by John ‘Sam’ Newman (@originalsmartassam)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>“Won’t do it without Don, and even if he reconsiders, it will not be the same. So …”</p> <p>He finished the video by leaving the future of the podcast up the air, saying “<em>You Cannot Be Serious</em>, I don’t know if we’ll be on again but who cares.”</p> <p>Speaking to the <a href="https://www.heraldsun.com.au/entertainment/fiona-byrne/sam-newman-blows-his-stack-as-don-scott-quits-their-podcast/news-story/97e08f9c1549100c36e0dfc7fe46cfab" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Herald Sun</em></a> after the podcast dropped, Newman labelled Scott’s exit a “pathetic act of treachery”.</p> <p>“I am a friend of Don’s, yes, nice to know who you are dealing with though, someone who won’t stand up and face the music if you have a disagreement, not sure how that works,” he said.</p> <p>“Walking away from something shows a complete disregard for any relationship you have had in the past.</p> <p>“That is just a pathetic act of treachery.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram </em></p>

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"F*** off, go home": Sam Newman loses it at podcast co-host

<p>Sam Newman's podcast could be on the rocks after an expletive-ridden tirade caused a rift between the pair. </p> <p>The former AFL player hosts the <em>You Cannot Be Serious</em> podcast with Don Scott, who stormed off in the middle of a recording. </p> <p>The<em> Herald Sun</em> first reported Newman’s foul-mouthed blow up at Scott over technical issues they were having in the studio. </p> <p>“Holy s**t. Jesus Christ, if you touch that f***ing thing again. Stop it, I’m serious, f*** you, God almighty,” Newman said.</p> <p>Newman went on to say: “I can’t do it. If you could f***ing do something properly for once in your f***ing life, don’t touch the microphone and speak into it and stop eating. F***. Go out, go home.”</p> <p>As Scott appeared to walk away, Newman said, “Good, f*** off”.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cx9g3W9vuRB/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/reel/Cx9g3W9vuRB/?utm_source=ig_embed&utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by John ‘Sam’ Newman (@originalsmartassam)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>Newman posted a video to his Instagram page to promote the episode of the podcast, with his producer saying, "We've just had the biggest blow up that I've ever seen, and I don't know if Don is going to be back."</p> <p>Sam then chimed in, saying "Don has left the premises! This podcast could be the last one we ever do because he left!"</p> <p>Newman and Scott have both spoken publicly since the argument with Newman admitting he “temporarily lost it” when Scott broke a microphone and headphones.</p> <p>When approached by the <em>Herald Sun</em> for a comment on the blow up, Don Scott refused to confirm if he would ever return to the podcast, leaving its future up in the air. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images / Instagram </em></p>

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Shaynna Blaze breaks her silence on feud with Scott Cam

<p>Shaynna Blaze has finally addressed the allegations of a long-running feud with Scott Cam on the set of <em>The Block</em>. </p> <p>For several years, there have been rumours that the judge and the host of the renovation show were butting heads on set, resulting in a seemingly permanent rift between them. </p> <p>However, chatting to <a href="https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-12489611/The-Blocks-Shaynna-Blaze-FINALLY-addresses-long-running-feud-Scott-Cam-thinks-nasty-comments.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener">Daily Mail Australia</a> at Channel Nine's 2024 Upfronts event on Wednesday, the 60-year-old interior designer denied there was ongoing beef between the two.</p> <p>"Oh God, no, there's nothing going on between me and Scotty," she explained.</p> <p>"There's no bad blood. People just make stuff up. It happens every year..."</p> <p>When questioned about why such rumours about a feud had surfaced, Blaze suspected it might just be a tactic to keep the audience hooked, stirring the pot to give the ratings a nudge northward.</p> <p>Shaynna was then asked what she thought about Scott taking a subtle swipe at her during a recent radio interview, she explained it's "all a bit of fun" and she hasn't taken any passing comments personally. </p> <p>Blaze's clarification of the rumours comes just weeks after an anonymous source claimed she was at her wits end with Cam's unnecessary remarks. </p> <p>"He's turning the set into a pressure cooker, making things a lot more strained than they need to be," a source told Daily Mail Australia in August.</p> <p>"She is really getting sick of his pointless comments. They've all got a job to do and these comments are just making things more awkward and tense than it has to be."</p> <p>Scotty infamously called Shaynna a b***h on national television back in 2017 after what he perceived as "unfair scoring" on the renovation show, in what many believed to be the start of their so-called feud. </p> <p><em>Image credits: Nine</em></p>

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Scott Cam to host new show as Nine reveals 2024 line-up

<p>Nine has unveiled its lineup of TV programs for the remainder of 2023 and on into 2024 at its annual Upfronts event – with several standouts sure to grab viewers' attention.</p> <p>While confirming new seasons for popular shows like <em>The Block</em>, <em>LEGO Masters</em> and <em>Travel Guides,</em> that news served as the backdrop for one of the world's most significant sporting events: the 2024 Olympic Games.</p> <p>Nine boasts exclusive broadcasting rights for both the Olympics and Paralympics, and in 2024, Australia will say "bonjour" to Paris as Wide World of Sports brings the most innovative and captivating Olympics experience to the country. The festivities will commence with the Opening Ceremony on July 26, followed by the Paralympics on August 28.</p> <p>Nine's extensive coverage will encompass 32 sports and 329 events, featuring Australia's most respected athletic talents as commentators and experts.</p> <p>In addition to the exciting 2024 programming, there's a wealth of captivating entertainment still in store for the remainder of this year. Upcoming highlights include <em>My Mum Your Dad</em> and <em>Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars</em>, as well as festive Christmas specials and thrilling new dramas to close out the year.</p> <p>Here's a sneak peek at what to expect:</p> <p><strong>Still to come in 2023:</strong></p> <p><em><strong>Gordon Ramsay's Food Stars:</strong></em> A brand-new series where Aussies aspiring to turn their culinary dreams into reality will compete for a chance to secure mentorship and a $250,000 investment from Gordon Ramsay and Australian business mogul Janine Allis. Contestants will pitch their innovative food and drink ideas to win a spot on the show and battle through high-pressure challenges to prove their business acumen.</p> <p><em><strong>My Mum Your Dad:</strong></em> In Season 2, Kate Langbroek assists a new group of single parents in their quest for love. This time, the adult children take charge of their parents' dating lives with their blessings, leading to cringeworthy and amusing dating moments. Romance, drama, and truth bombs ensue as the parents and offspring navigate the path to the ultimate test – the Blessing Ceremony.</p> <p><em><strong>Love Island Australia:</strong></em> Hosted by Sophie Monk, Season 5 returns to Mallorca with new singles looking for love. Islanders must form and maintain couples to secure their place in the Villa, even when new contestants arrive to stir up trouble. Risky challenges, date nights, and plenty of drama promise an unforgettable season.</p> <p><em><strong>Australia's Most Identical:</strong></em> This two-part special features 100 sets of twins competing in tests and challenges to determine the nation's most identical pair. Hosted by <em>The Block's </em>Scott Cam and Dr. Jana Pittman, the show delves into the nature versus nurture debate with the help of twin experts and challenges set by Dr. Xand and Dr. Chris van Tulleken.</p> <p><em><strong>The Hundred with Andy Lee: Christmas:</strong></em> Returning in December, this show features Andy Lee and 100 everyday Aussies sharing their thoughts on the festive season. Panellists include Sophie Monk, Rhys Nicholson, Kate Langbroek, and a special seasonal guest.</p> <p><em><strong>Australian Crime Stories: The Investigators:</strong></em> A new series, narrated by the investigators themselves, focuses on one case per episode. It provides unprecedented insights into the investigations, including interviews with detectives, families, journalists, and authors who have closely followed these cases.</p> <p><em><strong>Million Dollar Murders:</strong></em> Hosted by retired Detective Superintendent Deborah Wallace, this series explores unsolved murders in Australia, offering a one-million-dollar reward for information leading to a conviction. Wallace interviews detectives, witnesses, and family members to shed light on these chilling mysteries.</p> <p><em><strong>Christmas with Delta:</strong></em> Delta Goodrem returns to host a festive night of musical magic featuring Australian and international entertainment stars.</p> <p><strong>New in 2024:</strong></p> <p><em><strong>Tracy Grimshaw's Return:</strong></em> Tracy Grimshaw returns to Channel 9 in 2024, with details about her new project yet to be revealed.</p> <p><em><strong>Tipping Point Australia: </strong></em>Hosted by Aussie sporting legend Todd Woodbridge, this Australian version of the popular international quiz show invites contestants to answer general knowledge questions to win counters, which they can use on a coin pusher arcade-style machine. With mystery prizes and a jaw-dropping jackpot at stake, it's a test of wits and luck.</p> <p><em><strong>Human Error:</strong></em> Inspired by real events, this drama series follows Detective Holly O'Rourke and her homicide team as they investigate a murder case that threatens to jeopardize her career, family, and faith in justice. As they dig deeper, they uncover a criminal conspiracy that will change their lives forever.</p> <p><em><strong>Blood On The Tracks - The Platform Killer:</strong></em> Detective Kate Fletcher investigates a suspicious train commuter's death, uncovering links to other 'accidental' deaths on the rail network. Pressure mounts as she tries to solve the case while potentially becoming the killer's target herself.</p> <p><em><strong>Do You Want To Live Forever?</strong></em>: Dr. Nick Coatsworth guides six Aussies on a journey to explore the possibilities of reversing aging, ending disease, and extending human lifespans. The series delves into scientific breakthroughs and examines the secrets of living younger longer.</p> <p><em><strong>Beyond The Dream:</strong></em> This documentary series captures the untold stories behind some of the greatest Olympic and Paralympic moments, offering unprecedented access to the athletes' journeys and achievements.</p> <p><em><strong>Jeopardy! Australia:</strong></em> Australia gets its own version of the iconic quiz show, hosted by Stephen Fry. Contestants must respond in the form of a question to accumulate cash prizes, making it a test of general knowledge and quick thinking.</p> <p><em><strong>The Garden Hustle:</strong></em> Hosted by Lisa McCune and garden landscaper Dave Franklin, this gardening makeover program showcases everyday homeowners and renters as they transform their outdoor spaces into garden oases. The series offers practical gardening tips and heartwarming stories.</p> <p><em><strong>Listing Melbourne: </strong></em>Six elite real estate agents navigate Melbourne's property market while balancing their personal lives. The show provides a glimpse into the glamorous real estate market in Melbourne.</p> <p><em><strong>Budget Battlers:</strong></em> Norm and Jess from "The Block" take on incredible renovations for unsung heroes, demonstrating how viewers can renovate their homes on a budget.</p> <p>Nine's upcoming lineup promises a diverse range of entertainment, from thrilling dramas and heartwarming documentaries to exciting game shows and captivating reality programs. Viewers can look forward to a year filled with engaging and memorable television experiences.</p> <p><em>Images: Getty / Nine</em></p>

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Modern prime ministers have typically left parliament soon after defeat. So why doesn’t Scott Morrison?

<p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-strangio-1232">Paul Strangio</a>, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p>With each passing month, Scott Morrison is developing into a post-prime-ministership peculiarity. Well over a year since voters cast him from power, he remains limpet-like in the House of Representatives, defying speculation that he is ready to quit parliament and trigger a byelection in his New South Wales seat of Cook. Hanging around on the backbench is generally not the way of ousted national leaders in the modern political era.</p> <p>It is true that in bygone times former prime ministers did not scurry to leave parliament after losing office. The most spectacular example is Australia’s leader during the first world war, William Morris Hughes. Bumped from office in 1923, the “Little Digger”, as he was known, remained in the House for another three decades, relentlessly scheming for power. Only death in 1952 brought closure to his parliamentary career.</p> <p>Since the 1980s, however, the habit of former PMs has been to hastily abandon politics once the mantle of office has slipped their grasp. Malcolm Fraser established this modern pattern, triggering a byelection in his seat of Wannon two months after his Coalition government was defeated by the Bob Hawke-led Labor Party in March 1983.</p> <p>From that time there have been few exceptions to this norm. Deposed from office by Paul Keating in December 1991, Hawke was out of the parliament by February 1992, with his seat of Wills won by the independent, Phil Cleary. Keating, too, followed the trend. After his Labor government lost power to the John Howard-led Coalition in March 1996, Keating resigned from the House the following month.</p> <p>For Howard, the decision was taken out of his hands, as voters not only finished his prime ministership in November 2007 but terminated his more than three decades as the member for Bennelong.</p> <p>Howard’s slayer, Kevin Rudd, did buck the trend after he was overthrown by caucus colleagues in June 2010. Convinced of the righteousness of his resurrection and thirsting to avenge his usurper, Julia Gillard, he stayed on for another parliamentary term, wresting the prime ministership back in June 2013. However, when electors put an end to his second government three months later, Rudd swiftly exited politics. Meanwhile, Gillard had resigned as the member for Lalor only weeks after being dethroned by Rudd.</p> <p>Prone to eccentricity, Tony Abbott is the clearest exception to the rule of modern ex-PMs not dallying in parliament once their reign is over. Deposed by Malcolm Turnbull in September 2015, less than two years after becoming prime minister, Abbott lingered mostly aimlessly on the backbench for the rest of that term and the next. Recontesting his seat of Warringah again at the May 2019 election, he lost to the independent, Zali Steggall.</p> <p>In contrast to Abbott, Turnbull left parliament with almost unseemly haste once he was unseated from power. After being dumped from the leadership in favour of Morrison in August 2018, he tendered his resignation as the member for Wentworth within a week. In the ensuing byelection, his seat too went to an independent, Kerryn Phelps.</p> <p>How do we explain the modern pattern of former prime ministers sprinting to the exit door once their time in office is over?</p> <p>In earlier times, there was a role for ex-leaders as elder statesmen in parliament. The best example is the Great Depression-era PM, Labor’s James Scullin. Despite failing health, he remained in the House for nearly another two decades and served as a trusted confidant to John Curtin throughout the harrying days of the second world war.</p> <p>Modern former prime ministers can be a source of counsel to their successors, offering advice both welcome and unwelcome. But there is no appetite among colleagues for them to hang around in parliament fulfilling that function. The media are quick to portray them as an unhelpful distraction or curiosity, while opponents point-score off them. Better they are out of the way.</p> <p>Another reason modern former leaders are impatient to move on is that, with extended lifespans and expanded opportunities post-office (for example, book-writing deals, lecture circuits, ambassadorships, business ventures, NGO and think-tank appointments), ex-PMs can now enjoy a second wind once out of parliament in a way that was not so open to earlier predecessors. Politics is now less of a lifetime vocation.</p> <p>Why, then, is Morrison clinging on? We can discount his declarations that he is relishing being the member for Cook. Being a humble backbencher visits daily humiliation on him. Indeed, Morrison’s post-prime ministership has been most notable for his reputation being tarnished by revelations of his bizarre commandeering of several portfolios while PM, and by the adverse findings against him by the Robodebt Royal Commission.</p> <p>These scandals have undoubtedly complicated an early departure for Morrison because, in going, he would be seen to be retreating in disgrace. He needs time and space from the scandals for the semblance of a dignified escape. The opportunities Morrison had hoped for following politics have potentially also thinned because of his sullied reputation.</p> <p>Finally, there is the political calculation surrounding his exit for his party. Stay or go, Morrison is a headache for Opposition Leader Peter Dutton. As long as the scandal-ravaged Morrison hangs around, he is damaging the Liberal brand.</p> <p>Yet a byelection in his electorate is also unwelcome. Though Cook is very safe on paper, the history of the seats of three former PMs going to independents over the past 30 years is intriguing and not to be lightly dismissed.<!-- Below is The Conversation's page counter tag. Please DO NOT REMOVE. --><img style="border: none !important; box-shadow: none !important; margin: 0 !important; max-height: 1px !important; max-width: 1px !important; min-height: 1px !important; min-width: 1px !important; opacity: 0 !important; outline: none !important; padding: 0 !important;" src="https://counter.theconversation.com/content/212544/count.gif?distributor=republish-lightbox-basic" alt="The Conversation" width="1" height="1" /><!-- End of code. If you don't see any code above, please get new code from the Advanced tab after you click the republish button. The page counter does not collect any personal data. More info: https://theconversation.com/republishing-guidelines --></p> <p><em><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/paul-strangio-1232">Paul Strangio</a>, Professor of Politics, <a href="https://theconversation.com/institutions/monash-university-1065">Monash University</a></em></p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p> <p><em>This article is republished from <a href="https://theconversation.com">The Conversation</a> under a Creative Commons license. Read the <a href="https://theconversation.com/modern-prime-ministers-have-typically-left-parliament-soon-after-defeat-so-why-doesnt-scott-morrison-212544">original article</a>.</em></p>

Legal

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Son of death cap mushroom victim reveals mother's last message

<p>Simon Patterson, the son of Don and Gail Patterson, who tragically fell victim to a mushroom-related incident in Victoria, has spoken emotionally at a public memorial in Korumburra. This marked Simon's first public address since the unfortunate incident.</p> <p>Don and Gail Patterson, along with Gail's sister, Heather Wilkinson, tragically passed away after consuming a mushroom-infused meal at Erin Patterson's residence in Leongatha, Victoria. </p> <p>At the Korumburra Recreation Centre, Simon emotionally shared, “Mum and dad were very much a team working at life together. The fact they died on consecutive days is fitting in some ways, as it reflects their togetherness as a couple that they always worked so hard to grow.”</p> <p>Simon also disclosed the remarkable resilience of his father, who, despite being in his 70s, managed to survive an emergency liver transplant after the toxic meal. Sadly, his overall health deteriorated rapidly thereafter. Simon recounted the final message his mother sent to their family group chat before her hospitalisation, expressing gratitude for the love they shared.</p> <p>“It was no fluke that mum’s final text message as she lay in Dandenong Hospital was: ‘Lots of love to you all’.</p> <p>"As Mum and Dad lay in comas in the hospital in their final days and each day, we were unsure if they would recover or not, it was comforting to know that when we said: ‘See you later,’ we knew it was true.</p> <p>“The only thing we didn’t know was when. In the meantime, we’ll miss them.” </p> <p>Simon acknowledged his parents' strong Christian faith and emphasised that they were open-minded believers who respected diverse perspectives. He reflected on their perspective on death as an inevitable part of life but not the ultimate end.</p> <p>In a gesture of gratitude, Simon thanked the medical staff at Austin and Dandenong hospitals for their care, particularly noting the compassionate act that allowed Gail to see Don one last time before his transfer to the ICU.</p> <p>Heather Wilkinson's situation remains critical, and her husband, Ian Wilkinson, a church pastor, is recovering in the hospital after consuming the same meal. Reverend Fran Grimes expressed support for Ian's recovery during the memorial service.</p> <p>Detectives are collaborating with the Department of Health to further investigate the incident.</p> <p><em>Images: 7 News / Twitter (X)</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Former Neighbours star admits to assault

<p>Former <em>Neighbours</em> star Scott McGregor will have to write a formal apology letter to a female patron at an iconic Melbourne pub after admitting to assault. </p> <p>The 42-year-old actor returned before the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday, supported by his wife and father-in-law. </p> <p>McGregor was initially charged with intentional sexual touching without consent in November last year, after an incident at the iconic St Kilda beachside pub “The Espy”. </p> <p>However, the charge was formally withdrawn after the prosecution accepted it was a “non-sexual episode”, and substituted it with a common law assault charge, which McGregor accepted. </p> <p>Although details of the incident were not aired in court, Magistrate Simon Zebrowski said there was no “sexual element” in the incident. </p> <p>“The summary I have taken account of is one momentary very slight touch – that’s all,” he said.</p> <p>“Its an appropriate matter for diversion, no doubt about that.”</p> <p>The Magistrate placed McGregor on diversion, where no criminal conviction is recorded if he complies with a number of conditions as part of the diversion plan/</p> <p>The prosecution, defence and the complainant all accepted this as a "favourable" and appropriate course of action. </p> <p><span style="font-family: -apple-system, BlinkMacSystemFont, 'Segoe UI', Roboto, Oxygen, Ubuntu, Cantarell, 'Open Sans', 'Helvetica Neue', sans-serif;">Diversion means that he did not plead guilty and was not formally found guilty, but he will have to write a letter of gratitude to the police informant, an apology letter to the woman and donate $300 to his charity of choice. </span></p> <p>If he complies with these conditions by December, his charges will be formally struck out. </p> <p><em>Image: Instagram</em></p>

Legal

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Denise Scott, star of Mother and Son, reveals cancer battle

<p>Cherished Australian entertainer, comedian, and author Denise Scott has unveiled her private battle against cancer that has spanned several months.</p> <p>In an intimate conversation with the <a href="https://www.womensweekly.com.au/news/celebrity/denise-scott-cancer/" target="_blank" rel="noopener"><em>Australian Women's Weekly</em></a>, Scott, who was honored with an Order of Australia earlier this year, candidly discussed receiving a breast cancer diagnosis just as she was gearing up to commence filming her inaugural leading role in a new television series. This role marked her portrayal of one of the central figures in the revived version of <em>Mother and Son, </em>a show where she is starring alongside comedian Matt Okine.</p> <p>Recounting the moment, Scott shared: "The night I noticed the rash, I thought, 'This is breast cancer'... Then, when the GP said mastitis, there was a momentary sigh of relief. But she also said, 'You've got to have a mammogram as soon as possible.' And then I think I knew."</p> <p>Medical advice informed Scott that she was confronting an aggressive cancer variant necessitating prompt intervention.</p> <p>Scott assumed the character Maggie in the reimagined rendition of <em>Mother and</em> Son, while Okine is taking on the role of her on-screen son, Arthur. These roles had been originally played by Ruth Cracknell and Garry McDonald during the 1980s to much acclaim, and it remains one of the most beloved TV shows of all time.</p> <p>As a result of the shock diagnosis, Scott embarked on chemotherapy and filming simultaneously. For scenes where she didn't need to face the camera directly, a stand-in body double was employed.</p> <p>"This production meant a lot to me," Scott told <em>AWW</em>. "But the doctors were making it clear: 'You have to start chemotherapy within days.' I don't know who first suggested I try to do both, which in hindsight was insane. I think it was me. I was thinking, I don't want to shut this whole production down, and I was also thinking, I want to live!"</p> <p>Okine, the visionary behind the show's revival, collaborated closely with the original creator, Geoffrey Atherden, to actualise the project. He said in an interview with ABC News that Scott showed remarkable bravery throughout the entire filming process, lauding her for her award-worthy depiction of Maggie.</p> <p>"I mean, ask anyone on the set and they'll tell you that the performance that Denise put into this show is nothing short of a world-class achievement," Okine said.</p> <p>"What she was going through personally and the character that she was able to build, and the moments that she was able to make, I mean, we joked but we were like 'you deserve the Gold Logie already'.</p> <p>For more on Denise Scott's journey, the September edition of AWW features an exclusive interview that you can also read <a href="https://www.womensweekly.com.au/news/celebrity/denise-scott-cancer/" target="_blank" rel="noopener">here</a>.</p> <p><em>Images: YouTube / ABC</em></p>

Caring

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Is Scott Cam leaving The Block?

<p>Channel Nine has responded to rumours that Scott Cam is quitting his hosting gig with the long-running renovation series <em>The Block</em>. </p> <p>Rumours emerged of Scott's retirement after an insider said producers were “scrambling” to find a way to honour the veteran television presenter, ahead of his apparent shock departure from the show.</p> <p>The insider told <em><a href="https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/the-block-2023-channel-nine-hit-back-at-scott-cam-hosting-rumours-051247651.html?guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZGFpbHltYWlsLmNvLnVrLw&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAEEcIDfvSNLFVcG2S_fr7RFSWk9sPsyIyYw0V1saAY0iOGLDr_ZXRpRi0hWX3pMLWTHdUQ3GnD40d3VeY-PxiHsf7-XZX2VppZvXASmpnh1jH45oejdbfy13rQ8LcvNSShES_9pCnU2G4rqlHCyFUtpzPQY6YgOSQ3LrHQuL0jsd" target="_self">Yahoo! Lifestyle</a></em> it is believed Cam isn’t signing any more contracts after his current one terminates, which was said to end prior to the 20th season, at the end of this year.</p> <p>“We want to celebrate while we have Scotty on contract and that may very well mean getting our skates on now,” the insider told the platform.</p> <p>Another claim made by the publication was that a big reunion special would air before the 20th season of the show, “featuring the most iconic teams from the past”. </p> <p>Yahoo! Lifestyle alleged that phone calls to memorable stars were already underway, saying, “We are looking at the contestants that made the most amount of noise and those who are still remembered all these years later.”</p> <p>However, when these claims were posed to <em>The Block</em>’s publicist, a spokesperson denied them, stating, “The report is not true”.</p> <p>Cam, who has hosted <em>The Block</em> since 2010, has said in the past working on the show is “never a drag” and was thrilled to be kicking off another season this year.</p> <p>“This series is guaranteed to be a deadset blockbuster,” he said late last week.</p> <p>“Our five new teams from across the country are all fired up to make their home states proud.”</p> <p><em>Image credits: Getty Images</em></p>

TV

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Great Scott! Michael J. Fox poses with new pup

<p>Michael J. Fox has a new furry friend, and fans are saying the pup resembles the dog from the <em>Back to the Future</em> movies.</p> <p>The 61-year-old icon shared a post on Instagram featuring himself snuggled up with his adorable new dog, whom he named Blue.</p> <p>The star captioned his post, “Hey Blue, welcome to your new home!”</p> <p>Fans of Fox flocked to the comments to share their thoughts on the new pup as well as comparing the dog’s looks to Dr Emmet Brown’s dog in the <em>Back to the Future</em> trilogy.</p> <p>The dog featured in the trilogy, the infamous Einstein, was a similar breed to Fox’s new furry friend.</p> <blockquote class="instagram-media" style="background: #FFF; border: 0; border-radius: 3px; box-shadow: 0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width: 540px; min-width: 326px; padding: 0; width: calc(100% - 2px);" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-permalink="https://www.instagram.com/p/CpePqBRr3A5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" data-instgrm-version="14"> <div style="padding: 16px;"> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; align-items: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 40px; margin-right: 14px; width: 40px;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 100px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 60px;"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="padding: 19% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: block; height: 50px; margin: 0 auto 12px; width: 50px;"> </div> <div style="padding-top: 8px;"> <div style="color: #3897f0; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: 550; line-height: 18px;">View this post on Instagram</div> </div> <div style="padding: 12.5% 0;"> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: row; margin-bottom: 14px; align-items: center;"> <div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(0px) translateY(7px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; height: 12.5px; transform: rotate(-45deg) translateX(3px) translateY(1px); width: 12.5px; flex-grow: 0; margin-right: 14px; margin-left: 2px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; height: 12.5px; width: 12.5px; transform: translateX(9px) translateY(-18px);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: 8px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 50%; flex-grow: 0; height: 20px; width: 20px;"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 2px solid transparent; border-left: 6px solid #f4f4f4; border-bottom: 2px solid transparent; transform: translateX(16px) translateY(-4px) rotate(30deg);"> </div> </div> <div style="margin-left: auto;"> <div style="width: 0px; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-right: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(16px);"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; flex-grow: 0; height: 12px; width: 16px; transform: translateY(-4px);"> </div> <div style="width: 0; height: 0; border-top: 8px solid #F4F4F4; border-left: 8px solid transparent; transform: translateY(-4px) translateX(8px);"> </div> </div> </div> <div style="display: flex; flex-direction: column; flex-grow: 1; justify-content: center; margin-bottom: 24px;"> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; margin-bottom: 6px; width: 224px;"> </div> <div style="background-color: #f4f4f4; border-radius: 4px; flex-grow: 0; height: 14px; width: 144px;"> </div> </div> <p style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; line-height: 17px; margin-bottom: 0; margin-top: 8px; overflow: hidden; padding: 8px 0 7px; text-align: center; text-overflow: ellipsis; white-space: nowrap;"><a style="color: #c9c8cd; font-family: Arial,sans-serif; font-size: 14px; font-style: normal; font-weight: normal; line-height: 17px; text-decoration: none;" href="https://www.instagram.com/p/CpePqBRr3A5/?utm_source=ig_embed&amp;utm_campaign=loading" target="_blank" rel="noopener">A post shared by Michael J Fox (@realmikejfox)</a></p> </div> </blockquote> <p>People wrote comments such as, “Einstein came back using the time machine,” and “Aww he looks like a baby Einstein!”</p> <p>The dog in the films was a fully grown sheepdog that went on some serious adventures with Fox’s character, Marty McFly and Doc Brown, played by Christopher Lloyd.</p> <p>Several A-list stars also took to the comments on Fox’s post.</p> <p>“Oh my gosh!! So cute 🥰,” wrote Julianne Moore.</p> <p>Jennifer Grey from <em>Dirty Dancing</em> expressed her thoughts through a series of emojis, commenting, “💞🐶👅🐶👅💞,"</p> <p>Fox is known to be a dog lover, having mourned the loss of his previous dog, Gus, in April of 2021.</p> <p>When he announced the loss of Gus on Instagram, he captioned his post, “Gus - great dog and loyal friend, we'll miss you.”</p> <p>The actor has mentioned several times how much of a “wonder dog” Gus had been over the years.</p> <p><em>Image credit: Instagram/Reddit</em></p>

Family & Pets

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Don Giovanni Sydney: Review

<p dir="ltr">From the first spine-tingling chord the orchestra plays beneath a stage covered in skulls and shrouded in shadow, <em>Don Giovanni</em> at the Sydney Opera House promises a thrilling take on the iconic opera.</p> <p dir="ltr">Ukrainian baritone Andrei Kymach shines as the suave Don Giovanni, highlighting the anti-hero’s enjoyment of his lifestyle and his unrepentant nature and showing off his velvety tone.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-4bb2f4d7-7fff-c825-2e92-5840650e8c05"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/01/don-giovanni1.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Andrei Kymach as Don Giovanni and the cast of Don Giovanni. Image: Keith Saunders (Supplied)</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Kymach is joined in his Australian debut by French-Israeli bass-baritone Yuri Kissin as Leporello, who brings a slice of comedic light to an otherwise dark and grim production. Acting as the “conscience” of his machiavellian and unrepenting master, Kissin does this all while delivering a rich tone and perfectly executing Mozart’s rapid passages.</p> <p dir="ltr">Following the final day of Don Giovanni’s life, the downfall of the serial rapist and scoundrel is apparent from the very beginning, in a story that is packed to the brim with vengeance, grief and rage.</p> <p dir="ltr">In a post-#metoo world, the solidarity between Donna Anna (Sophie Salvesani), Donna Elvira (Bronwyn Douglass), and Zerlina (Cathy-Di Zhang) in holding Don Giovanni accountable for his actions is a standout theme.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-eb234abf-7fff-4fa1-3756-ab2a5f551560"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/01/don-giovanni2.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Juan de Dios Mateos as Don Ottavio and Sophie Salvasani as Donna Elvira (left), Bronwyn Douglass as Donna Anna (middle), Cathy-Di Zhang and Andrew Williams as Zerlina and Masetto. Images: Keith Saunders (Supplied)</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Whisperings of what he’s really like and Donna Anna’s unrelenting campaign to prevent others from sharing her fate are moments that are reminiscent of the stories of women protecting each other from male abusers in the real world.</p> <p dir="ltr">Even in contrast to the scale of Don Giovanni’s misdeeds, no-one is without flaws and the cast portray their characters as authentic and messily human.</p> <p dir="ltr">Salvesani offers a believable depiction of grief and a need for justice following the death of her father, the Commendatore (David Parkin), while Douglass offers up a rich portrayal of a woman torn between love for Don Giovanni, hatred at his deceptions and grief over his impending death, and Zhang straddles the line between loyalty to her husband and the allure of a better life with Don Giovanni.</p> <p dir="ltr">Andrew Williams’ portrayal of Masetto throws an ugly light over the peasant’s jealousy and misguided anger towards his new bride, the victim of Don Giovanni’s attention, while Juan de Dios Mateos brings the supportive yet impatient Don Ottavio to life with great vocal artistry and control.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-6f97c350-7fff-3e60-cf6c-3777fbc0d821"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/01/don-giovanni3.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>The cast of Don GIovanni at the Sydney Opera House. Image: Keith Saunders (Supplied)</em></p> <p dir="ltr">This rendition of David McVicar’s Gothic reimagining - where even the chorus become part of the scenery - features a cast of debuting stars, supported by a slimmed-down orchestra that perfectly captures the range of Mozart’s score, from the boisterous celebration of Zerlina and Masetto’s nuptials to the chilling moment Parkin appears on Don Giovanni’s doorstep as the ghoulish statue of the Commendatore.</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-5ba2a2ff-7fff-e8e0-d980-fda7bf6ab269"><img src="https://oversixtydev.blob.core.windows.net/media/2023/01/don-giovanni4.jpg" alt="" width="1280" height="720" /></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>David Parkin as Commendatore and Andrei Kymach as Don Giovanni. Image: Keith Saunders (Supplied)</em></p> <p dir="ltr">Don Giovanni’s fate - being dragged to the Underworld by harpies with abdominal wounds of unknown origin - carries a haunting warning that our actions - and particularly our willingness to change - comes with consequences.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Don Giovanni</em> will be playing at the Sydney Opera House until February 17. To get tickets, head <a href="https://opera.org.au/productions/don-giovanni-sydney?scroll=story">here</a>.</p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Keith Saunders (Supplied)</em><span id="docs-internal-guid-9698cbf6-7fff-8157-e613-5a8407b3d146"></span></p>

Music

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What explained the seismic 2022 federal election?

<p>The 2022 Australian federal election was distinctive in two ways.</p> <p>First, it was held in the wake of a major crisis – the COVID-19 pandemic. While the salience of the pandemic had subsided by the time of the election, voters’ assessments of the Coalition government’s performance on the pandemic proved to be a major factor in their voting decision, as did the cost of living crisis it helped create.</p> <p>Second, almost one in three voters cast their ballots for a minor party or independent candidate, the highest since the 1930s. Of the two major parties, the Liberals fared worst, winning their lowest seat share since 1946 (the first election the party contested). But Labor didn’t reap the benefits of this Liberal decline, with the party recording its lowest primary vote since the 1930s.</p> <p>What explains this seismic result, and what does it tell us about the future of electoral politics in Australia?</p> <p>Using the just-released 2022 Australian Election Study (AES) – a comprehensive post-election survey conducted at each election since 1987 – we can answer these questions.</p> <h2>Why the Coalition lost</h2> <p>A perception of poor government performance played a key role in the Coalition defeat. In 2022 there were three performance explanations for the Coalition’s defeat – the economy, the pandemic, and Scott Morrison’s leadership.</p> <p>With rising inflation and a cost of living crisis, around two-thirds of voters thought the economy had worsened in the 12 months leading up to the election. This was the most pessimistic view of the economy in over three decades.</p> <p>In previous elections, voters have usually preferred the Coalition over Labor on economic issues. In 2022, however, voters preferred Labor over the Coalition on the cost of living – the single biggest issue in the election.</p> <p>The Coalition’s performance on the pandemic was also regarded as unsatisfactory. Just 30% of Australians thought the federal government had handled the pandemic well. Indeed, voters had much more favourable views of their state governments’ performance. Because virtually the whole period between the 2019 and 2022 elections was dominated by the pandemic, the public’s evaluations of the Morrison government’s performance were therefore closely associated with the pandemic.</p> <p>The third reason for the Coalition defeat was the negative opinions many voters formed of Morrison’s leadership. While Morrison was generally popular when he won the election in 2019, by 2022 he had become the most unpopular major party leader since at least 1987. Morrison wasn’t considered honest and trustworthy, two of the traits most closely associated with how favourable we view leaders. The public’s dislike of Morrison has its origins in his Hawaii holiday during the 2019-20 bushfires, and was strengthened by a perception of poor performance in the second year of the pandemic.</p> <h2>Labor’s ‘victory by default’</h2> <p>Labor won the election despite their record low vote and a 0.8% swing against them. Indeed one newspaper <a href="https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/anthony-albanese-wins-but-its-a-victory-by-default-for-labor/news-story/75b7d87c9b61157a16dc6d772c306deb" target="_blank" rel="noopener">described</a> it as a “victory by default”.</p> <p>During the election campaign, Labor adopted a “small target” strategy. While Labor fought the 2019 election on ambitious proposals for tax reform, in the 2022 election they avoided putting forward policies that would deter voters, and emphasised their policy agreement with the Coalition – even promising to keep the Coalition’s stage three income tax cuts.</p> <p>The effects of this change in Labor strategy are evident in the AES data. Fewer voters cast their ballots based on policy preferences than in 2019, and the proportion of voters who saw “a good deal of difference” between the parties declined from 40% in 2019 to 28% in 2022.</p> <p>Labor also entered the election with Anthony Albanese as leader, who was more popular than both Scott Morrison and Labor’s predecessor, Bill Shorten. The previous majority government win for Labor in 2007 was one that generally inspired voters. Indeed in 2007, Kevin Rudd was the most popular prime minister in the history of the AES, and satisfaction with democracy was at a record high at that time.</p> <p>By contrast, Labor’s 2022 win was more about directing attention to the Coalition’s weak performance, rather than putting forward a policy agenda that was really attractive to voters.</p> <h2>The big movers: women and young people</h2> <p>The 2022 election brought into sharp focus two major changes in party support that have been slowly eroding the social bases of the major parties: gender and generation.</p> <p>There’s a significant gender gap in voter behaviour – since the early 2000s, fewer women have voted for the Coalition than men. Labor has the opposite gender voting gap, attracting more votes from women than men (though to a lesser extent).</p> <p>Since 2016, the gender gap in voting has been greater than in all previous elections covered by the AES. In 2022 just 32% of women voted for the Coalition, the lowest share ever. One contributing factor to this collapse in female support for the Coalition is the treatment of women within the Liberal party.</p> <p>The divide between how younger and older generations of Australians vote is more pronounced than the gender gap. Millennials (the oldest of whom are now in their 40s) and Generation Z (those born after 1996) make up an increasing proportion of the electorate, greatly outnumbering Baby Boomers.</p> <p>These younger generations have different voting patterns to previous generations at the same stage of life, and are also much further to the left in their party preferences. Just 27% of Millennials said they voted for the Coalition in 2022.</p> <p>At no time in the 35-year history of the AES has there been such a low level of support for either major party among younger people.</p> <p>The assumption that Millennials and Gen Z will shift to the right as they age hasn’t been supported by the evidence thus far. Which generation one is in seems to have a much more significant effect on voting behaviour than one’s age.</p> <p>Therefore, the implication is the electorate is moving further to the left and becoming more progressive across a range of policy areas.</p> <h2>Increasing voter volatility</h2> <p>As the traditional social bases of the major parties have gradually changed, so too have the political ties that have bound voters to parties. Around one in four voters say they don’t have an attachment to a political party, the highest figure ever recorded in the AES. The proportion of voters who considered voting for another party during the election campaign, at 36%, has at no time been higher.</p> <p>This is reflected most dramatically in the proportion of voters who said they had always voted for the same party. In 1967 this figure was 72%, and in 2022 it declined to an all-time low of 37%.</p> <h2>What now for the party system?</h2> <p>If voters are drifting away from the major parties, who are they choosing instead and what are the implications for the party system?</p> <p>The “teal” independents were obviously an important beneficiary. However, most teal voters were former Labor and Green voters casting a tactical vote to unseat a Liberal candidate. The medium-term fate of the teals will depend on how far they can create a distinct political identity to hold their support together at the 2025 election. More broadly, support for minor parties and independent candidates will continue to increase.</p> <p>The gradual changes in voting behaviour that are taking place, and which were especially pronounced in the 2022 election, represent an existential crisis for the Liberals. With their support base declining through generational replacement, they must not only attract new voters but also stem defection to give themselves a chance of election.</p> <p>As the political agenda moves towards support for action on climate change, constitutional recognition for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, and (perhaps) moving to a republic – all issues on which the Coalition is divided – it’s unclear where these new voters will come from.</p> <p><strong>This article originally appeared on <a href="https://theconversation.com/what-explained-the-seismic-2022-federal-election-the-australian-election-study-has-answers-195286" target="_blank" rel="noopener">The Conversation</a>.</strong></p> <p><em>Images: Getty</em></p>

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“A disgrace”: Grace Tame slams Scott Morrison

<p dir="ltr">Grace Tame has hit out at former Prime Minister Scott Morrison, describing his secret acquisition of several government portfolios as a “disgrace”.</p> <p dir="ltr">Appearing on Thursday night’s episode of <em>Q&amp;A</em>, Ms Tame was asked about her thoughts on Mr Morrison’s self-appointment to five ministerial portfolios during his time as Australia’s leader, and the 23-year-old activist had plenty to say.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The gaslighting, the dishonesty, was another level that we witnessed,” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He wasn’t even a good enough villain – he had the ambitions of Voldemort with the brains of Peter Griffin,’ she added, referring to the villain of the <em>Harry Potter</em> series and main character of the TV series <em>Family Guy</em>.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It’s very important that we have people in positions of power that we can trust.</p> <p dir="ltr">“It was a disgrace – we need better than that.”</p> <p dir="ltr">Her comments come after Mr Morrison became the first former Prime Minister to be censured in federal parliament - a rare move to show parliament’s condemnation of his actions.</p> <p dir="ltr">Mr Morrison was condemned by members of the House of Representatives for failing to disclose that he had appointed himself as the minister for health, finance, home affairs and industry, energy, resources, science and treasury.</p> <p dir="ltr">During the <em>Q&amp;A</em> episode, Ms Tame also revealed that she has considered stepping back from her public life, given that the man who sexually abused her as a child has continued to harrass her.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ll be honest with you, yes I do (think about stepping back),” she said.</p> <p dir="ltr">“I’ve had a really hard 24 hours. This morning I was meeting with the Department of Public Prosecutions.</p> <p dir="ltr">“The child sex offender who abused me has been menacing and harassing me all this year.</p> <p dir="ltr">“He hasn’t really stopped for the last 12 years, behind the scenes.”</p> <p><span id="docs-internal-guid-301982ce-7fff-3d95-84c5-db66e50dafed"></span></p> <p dir="ltr"><em>Images: Twitter / Getty Images</em></p>

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