No relief for Joyce as former Nationals leaders call for resolution


The heat is still on Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce this morning.

Here’s what’s in the headlines:

1. Two former Nationals leaders, Mark Vaile and Warren Truss, have issued warnings about the Joyce situation and called for a resolution. An intervention like this is very rare for the Nationals.

2. Some Nationals MPs are discussing whether they should form a delegation to approach Joyce and urge him to step down. Although many are deeply reluctant to do that, given a traditionally very conservative approach to leadership changes in the party.

3. An in-depth piece of analysis from my colleague Jacqueline Maley on the awards night that is the subject of the latest claims against Joyce.

4. My colleague Michael Koziol has been in Tamworth, the heart of Joyce’s electorate, taking the temperature on the scandal. He finds a spectrum of views on the hottest topic in town.

5. More than 12,000 Australians have abandoned their hospital cover in the three months to December, according to new figures, with continuing doubts about the value of basic private health insurance.

6. Churches are calling for a new religious freedom law to permanently enshrine exemptions from anti-discrimination rules and further their protections from involvement in same-sex weddings.

7. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has made some sweeping changes in his office as Labor readies itself for an election. Chief political correspondent James Massola reports.

8. Treasurer Scott Morrison has accused One Nation of indulging in “flat earth economics” in opposing tax cuts, the Financial Review reports.

9. Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, a vocal backer of the Turnbull government’s proposed tax cuts, leads a company that has not paid company tax for almost 10 years, the ABC reports.

10. NSW Parliament is set to formally endorse Kristina Keneally as Sam Dastyari‘s replacement in the Senate today, meaning she can take her seat tomorrow.

11. The Murray-Darling rescue plan hangs in the balance. A Greens disallowance motion, which would scuttle the government’s plan, will be debated in the Senate this morning.

My name is Fergus Hunter and you can find me on Facebook and Twitter. Pictures, as always, from Alex Ellinghausen, also on Twitter.

Let’s get into it.

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