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Hopes for an early resolution of the legal dispute between Victorian Liberal leader John Pesutto and his exiled MP Moira Deeming faded in the middle of last week, with Pesutto telling ABC radio that attempts at mediation had gone, well, nowhere really.
Deeming provided a statement to the broadcaster later that day saying, well, not much really. But that evening the hardline, ahem, gender critical Liberal was a little more forthcoming in an online forum hosted by the Australian Jewish Association’s President David Adler — someone whose own views on questions of identity have made news of late.
With many Liberal Party members in attendance along with a man from the Australian Christian Lobby, Deeming appeared to offer her estranged leader an out, while making clear the consequences of him not taking it.
“I think it’s going to be able to be undone, so just watch this space and we’ll see how we go,” Deeming told the forum.
“My lawyers have sent out another offer and if that’s rejected, well…
“It’s going to be very unfortunate if it has to go to court, but when you’re fighting for your children, you’ll do anything.”
Pesutto, remember, has still not convinced his party to fund his defence to Deeming’s defamation action — and these things can get expensive, CBD can assure you — while we’re reliably informed that Deeming has no particular worries on that score.
And while neither party was keen to provide CBD with a comment on Sunday, never fear; we remain utterly incapable of taking our eyes off this saga.
Warren Mundine might be the nation’s busiest man right now. Aside from being one of the main faces of the campaign against a constitutionally recognised Indigenous voice to Parliament and his varied business interests, he’s also in hot pursuit of the Senate seat left vacant by the retirement of former Liberal defence minister Marise Payne.
It’s Mundine’s sixth attempt at wrangling a seat in state or federal parliament — four for Labor, two for the Liberals — and as the acknowledged front-runner to replace Payne, you wouldn’t want to leave anything to chance, would you?
So perhaps it’s no surprise that Mundine cited a scheduling clash for cancelling an appearance on Friday evening at the North Sydney Catholic Parish to debate Jesuit priest, human rights lawyer and academic Frank Brennan.
But Mundine’s fellow-No campaigner, barrister and Murdoch press opinioniser Louise Clegg, who is married to shadow treasurer Angus Taylor, is on hand to ensure that Frank isn’t pitting his wits against an empty chair.
And we’re sure that parish priest Richard Leonard meant no disrespect to Clegg when notifying the local faithful of the line-up change.
“We have 400 registrations already, but if Warren’s withdrawal changes your attendance, please amend your entry…ASAP,” Father Richard advised.
Don’t worry Louise, we’re tipping a packed house on the night.
Mundine was good enough on Sunday to allay CBD’s fears that he might be spreading himself a little thin, explaining that he was taking a couple of days for “rest and health”.
We’re all for it.
Seems like even the most powerful residence in the country is conscious of keeping energy costs down.
Electricity bills from Kirribilli House, obtained under freedom of information, show that under Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, energy usage and emissions were lower than during the days of Scott Morrison.
Between July and October of 2022, Kirribilli House copped a $4679.22 electricity bill, with usage down 14 per cent from the previous year. Over the next two billing periods, energy usage was down 22 per cent and 28 per cent from the previous year.
Albo’s keeping the bills down.Credit: Jozsef Benke
It was a slightly different story at The Lodge in Canberra, where electricity costs remained relatively similar with the last Morrison year, topping off at a $5696.22 bill in July of last year, during the height of winter.
It also makes sense that Albo would be a little more emissions conscious when it comes to his own digs. In the PM’s stomping ground of Marrickville, homeowners flex their environmental credentials and household solar panels like a badge of honour. Morrison’s Sutherland shire, meanwhile, is true Toyota Hilux territory.
Modern Australia, as you’ve probably heard, is grappling with the complicated legacy of one of its foundation figures Alfred Deakin — inventor of the White Australia Policy and proponent of the laws that allowed forced removals of Aboriginal children from their families. Oh, and the bloke who decided to put Canberra in, well, Canberra.
Well, most of modern Australia anyway. Over at Deakin’s alma mater, Melbourne Grammar, the distinguished seat of Anglican learning where annual fees are nudging 40 grand these days and where one of the school houses — like in Hogwarts — is called Deakin House, they don’t seem terribly fussed over the problematic aspects of Alfie’s thinking.
Deakin University is grappling with its namesake’s legacy too, but the authorities there are resisting calls for a name change.
We asked Grammar’s principal Philip Grutzner if a re-think of the name of Deakin House might be on the cards. His response, could be fairly summarised as a polite yeah, nah.
“While we recognise that there are some new claims being made about Alfred Deakin in the media, we currently have no intention to change the name of Deakin House,” Grutzner told us.
We’ll let you know if things change.
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