Daily News Roundup

December 3, 2018

MONDAY, December 3

Malcolm Turnbull has intervened in the preselection process of Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly. Denying the move was driven by a personal vendetta, Mr Turnbull speaks about the importance of democracy and believes the Liberal party should be allowed the preselection process take its course.

Kelly had apparently threatened to quit the Liberal party and sit as an independent, which Mr Turnbull says is the weakest reason not to have a preselection process.

As Prime Minister, Mr Turnbull intervened in the process to ensure Mr Kelly and Liberal MP Angus Taylor won their preselection before the 2016 federal election.

It is believed the move to endorse all sitting members was a direction from Mr Morrison and was conveyed to the NSW State Executive and a handful of federal MPs on Sunday.

Mr Turnbull has also urged his successor Scott Morrison to go to the polls shortly after the long summer break, stating that he and the then treasurer had planned to call an election for March 2 before Mr Turnbull had been ousted.

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The Commonwealth Bank is urgently investigating a potential data breach that may have given its staff access to customer’s sensitive medical information.

As part of a $3.8 billion sale of its insurance arm, CommInsure, to the AIA group, the breach supplied an unknown number of customers medical information to other arms of the branch, including staff who decide whether to approve or decline loan applications.

Discovered in late July, the bank investigated whether the data had been “accessed inappropriately” by employees, however said it found no evidence data had been accessed by staff outside CommInsure.  

Under the notifiable data breaches scheme, the bank would be obliged to inform customers if “there is unauthorised access to or unauthorised disclosure of personal information, or a loss of personal information that an entity holds”, and that “this is likely to result in serious harm to one or more individuals”.

While the Commonwealth Bank informed the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, The Australian Security and Investment Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA), they did not inform its CommInsure customers believing a privacy breach had not occured.

The bank has retained consultancy firm McGrathNicol to oversee the investigation into whether data breaches occurred.

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Bush fires continue to burn across Queensland as sweltering conditions exacerbate the fire threat.

Fortunately, the heat is set to ease across the south-east from tomorrow, according to Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) Forecaster Adam Blazak.

By the end of the week most of Queensland should be back to reasonably average temperatures for this time of year, however today will be another heavy day for firefighters and people just dealing with the heat.

Storms are forecast for later today and tomorrow across the Wide Bay and Capricornia. Some areas will see large rainfall while others will miss out. ‘

500 interstate firefighters are on the ground today and the main area of concern today is around Deepwater and Baffle Creek in Central Queensland and at North Stradbroke Island.

Emergency services are closely monitoring a fire on North Stradbroke Island which broke out several days ago, which is blanketing south-east Queensland in smoke.

Water bombing continues today and a change of wind direction will bring increased smoke across Dunwich, southern Moreton Bay islands and mainland Redlands Coast as well as across Brisbane.

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The ban on single-use plastic bags from Australia’s two largest supermarkets has prevented the introduction of an estimated 1.5 billion bags into the environment.

Initially met with harsh criticism earlier in the year, the plan to stop offering single-use plastic bags has seen an 80% drop in plastic bag consumption nationwide in the three months since the introduction.

With the success of the move from Coles and Woolworths, the National Retail Association is hoping smaller businesses will soon follow suit.

The NRA is also hopeful major retailers will lead the charge towards a more sustainable industry and ban other single-use packaging options.

NSW is currently the only state or territory in Australia that has not moved to legislate to phase out plastic bags.

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