The old duck defence. You know it - if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, then chances are ... it's a duck.
Well, chances are beleaguered MP Alan Tudge is for the high jump. But there's the messy matter of an election to call, so let's just not say anything right now.
Instead Prime Minister Scott Morrison played a straight bat in parliament today when asked if he had confidence in the minister: "The matters relating to the minister for education I have been taking extremely seriously."
Former intelligence specialist Dr Vivienne Thom presented the PM with a report on January 28, after an allegation by Mr Tudge's former staffer Rachelle Miller last year of emotional and, on one occasion, physical abuse while the pair had an affair.
The matter, the PM said, is "in process" so he could not elucidate further. And when Labor asked why the minister's parliamentary office name-plate had been removed, Speaker Andrew Wallace stepped in and ruled the question out of order.
And yes, this is the same PM who days earlier stressed the need for discipline from his coalition colleagues ahead of the federal election. But that message came after five Coalition types crossed the floor, so maybe that's a different type of discipline.
Meanwhile, in case there was any doubt, Michaelia Cash has confirmed an anti-corruption watchdog won't be implemented before election, while today at Senate estimates the taxation office revealed the leniency it showed during the COVID pandemic is over and it's restarted tax debt collections. Be warned.
And the pandemic must really be on its way out as today Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews confirmed the state's bid to host the 2026 Commonwealth Games. The state has entered "exclusive negotiations" with the games' governing body, which is sad news for Tasmania. Only a week ago the Apple Islanders thought they might have a crack at host duties. But, alas, no.
And regardless of how you feel about politics, sportsfests and the pandemic (can they even be separated?), let's embrace some goodness.
All the stops were pulled out when Brian Adamson went missing on Monday evening from Warilla, just south of Wollongong. Multiple SES crews as well as police were involved in the search. After a number of sightings it ended up being a passer-by walking their dog who spotted Mr Adamson and alerted authorities.
Man's best friend indeed.
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