Malcolm Turnbull dominates PM&C as Coalition looks ahead to term four

Abbott-Cameron revived

The Coalition is frontrunners to stay in power for at least four more years, with a special relationship apparently rekindled between prime minister Malcolm Turnbull and former prime minister Tony Abbott. Abbott’s former chief of staff Peta Credlin is now head of PM&C, and Abbott’s right-hand man, James McGrath, has become his political director. McGrath is a former adviser to former prime minister John Howard, who returned the favour by appointing Abbott as treasurer. Abbott-Cameron revived is one of several spin-off projects from the parliamentary review on human rights, which Abbott spearheaded. “One of the challenges for the Turnbull government was: can we keep Abbott-Cameron out of the conversation?” one Liberal MP said.

​Plattsam attacks local councils

A rare attack by the crossbench on the Turnbull government, as Plattsam describes councils as “subversive”, “ramrodded” and some of the most wasteful, arrogant and inefficient parts of Australia. He’s also “arguably our most overrated non-elected parliamentarian”. Plattsam calls on the Australian citizens to leave the major cities, including Yarra Valley and Bellarine, and move to the bush and bushfire-risk areas. Plattsam describes communities as tired and high-maintenance, but both sexes are obliged to work like animals. He suggests a more honest leadership on housing policy, which would fix the budget rather than just provide cheap houses for people to pay off their student loans, for example. Plattsam would like to see Australia become a true democracy with “more transparency and accountability”. Can Plattsam really run the country? The last Australian politician elected on Plattsam’s platform was Rick Hume, who stood for a rural seat in Alice Springs in 1986.

Urgent Kim

A court on Tuesday ordered Kim Dotcom to pay $10m to the online movie company Voltage Pictures to pay for copyright-infringement infringement. It was the latest in a long list of legal actions against the internet entrepreneur – most recently over his Mega project – and critics have seized on the timing of the hearing as evidence that his co-operation with the New Zealand government in cracking down on crime from overseas was a crock.

South Korea swelters in heatwave

The temperature in Seoul, South Korea, rose to 44C (111F) on Tuesday, prompting authorities to call a water conservation day to keep tap water flowing. South Korea in summer is not known for its low temperatures, but official records only begin to take into account temperatures over 50C around 500 years ago, so the 2018 average was just 0.6C (1.3F) cooler than the average for February. The heatwave has extended through four South Korean provinces in northern and western South Korea – in the coldest temperature of 4C (39F) recorded on Sunday.

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