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What we know today, Monday June 6


The Federal Court has ordered Google to pay $715,000 in defamation damages to a former deputy premier over YouTube videos targeting him, with commentator Jordan Shanks now facing possible prosecution for contempt of court.

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Google’s big defamation payout for ‘racist’ YouTube videos targeting Australian MP

The Federal Court has ordered Google to pay $715,000 in defamation damages to a former NSW deputy premier over YouTube videos targeting him, with commentator Jordan Shanks now facing possible prosecution for contempt of court.

John Barilaro sued Google, the owner of YouTube, and  Shanks over videos titled “bruz” and “Secret Dictatorship” published on the friendlyjordies channel in 2020.

The videos included claims that Barilaro, a now-retired MP, was a corrupt conman who should be jailed, who committed perjury nine times and engaged in blackmail.

Barilaro settled his Federal Court case against Shanks in November when he provided an apology, edited the videos and was ordered to pay $100,000 costs.

Google initially defended the case but later withdrew all defences and conceded the widely viewed videos defamed Barilaro.

On Monday in the Federal Court, Justice Steven Rares said Barilaro was subjected to a relentless, racist, abusive and defamatory campaign on YouTube for over a year.

The judge said Shanks repeatedly and vindictively used descriptions of him like “wog”, “greasy”, “greasy little scrotum”, “meatball” and innuendos linking him to the Italian mafia.

Shanks also engaged in cyberbullying trying to intimidate Barilaro from bringing proceedings to court and to intimidate Barilaro’s lawyers from acting for him.

In a YouTube video called “bruz eternal” in May 2021, Shanks said Barilaro and his lawyers should have watched a video he published earlier about Clive Palmer, saying “it would have given you a preview into what threatening to sue me would look like for you”.

Shanks then told viewers that he had created and was selling a keychain, which he displayed with Barilaro’s head in a Mario cap and a scrotum below it.

“Google was part and parcel of this disgusting behaviour because it facilitated, published and kept up on YouTube this and similar videos,” Justice Rares said.

Days after his settlement with Barilaro, Shanks mocked it and threatened “we finished the defo suit, but make no mistake; this entire ordeal is far from over”.

He repeated segments from earlier videos of his racist and offensive comments.

Google did nothing to stop the conduct on its YouTube platform and Google’s conduct in this proceeding was improper and unjustifiable, Justice Rares said.

“That conduct aggravated the damage to Mr Barilaro’s reputation and the hurt to his feelings very considerably,” he said.

“In my opinion, it is necessary to award a substantial sum in damages to compensate Mr Barilaro for the harm that Google caused to him and to vindicate his reputation.”

Justice Rares has referred the conduct of Shanks and Google to the court’s principal registrar to consider proceedings against each for “what appear to be serious contempts of court by bringing improper pressure to bear on Mr Barilaro and his lawyers not to pursue this proceeding”.

The judge will also hear from the parties on what costs order he should make.

Gawler train line to reopen on Sunday after numerous delays

The Malinauskas Government says the Gawler rail line will finally reopen to commuters on Sunday, marking the end of an issue-plagued project defined by delays and cost blowouts.

The train line, which services the northern suburbs around Playford and Salisbury, has been closed for electrification works since December 2020.

Transport Minister Tom Koutsantonis announced today that the line will reopen on Sunday, June 12, featuring improved amenities at 14 stations along the route.

However, a full complement of electric trains to run along the line will not be available until mid-2023, Koutsantonis said, with Adelaide Metro to operate a mix of diesel and electric trains in the interim.

“The opening of the Gawler rail line will be a game-changer for the people of the northern suburbs – who have been catching substitute buses for almost a year and a half,” Koutsantonis said in a statement.

“Finally, the train to the north will be back and these extremely patient South Australians can get back to catching the train.

“We recognise that the prolonged closure of the Gawler rail line has been extremely inconvenient, but commuters will soon be enjoying a smoother, quieter journey.”

Four pedestrian crossings have also been upgraded along the line while work is ongoing to a further nine, Koutsantonis said.

The project, first announced by the Rann Government in 2008, has been plagued by numerous delays and cost blowouts.

The former Marshall Government intended to reopen the line in late 2021 but that was pushed back to January 2022 and then April amid problems attracting skilled workers from interstate due to COVID-19.

After coming to government in March, Labor announced the April timetable for completing the project was unrealistic and said the line would reopen by June 30.

The project’s cost was initially put at $615 million but that has since blown out to $715 million and now more than $842.43 million.

The first train will run on the new electrified Gawler line at 6.25am on Sunday. Free substitute buses will continue to operate the route in the interim.

Libs make Bragg preselection call

The State Liberals will have just two women MPs in parliament’s lower house after former party staffer Jack Batty was overwhelmingly endorsed to replace retiring Vickie Chapman in a preselection contest last night.

It’s understood senior figures from the moderate wing of the party had advocated strongly behind closed doors for Bragg preselectors to endorse a woman in the ballot.

But that plea was ignored with Batty, a moderate faction mainstay who has worked for former federal minister Christopher Pyne and Australian High Commissioner to the UK George Brandis, winning in a landslide.

He snared 113 votes, with his closest rival, lawyer Melissa Jones, garnering just 33. Strongly-touted businesswoman Cara Miller managed 12 votes, while Sandy Biar – the national director of the Australian Republican Movement, former advisor to ex-minister Stephen Wade and one-time candidate for the Australian Democrats – got just eight.

Miller’s political aspirations continued to be dogged by an ongoing dispute with the family of her late husband over his estate, a matter previously raised during her previous unsuccessful preselection bid in Waite, as revealed by InDaily last year.

Chelsey Potter, a prominent former staffer and whistleblower against alleged sexual assault, was barred from contesting the ballot, but is expected to decide imminently whether to run as an independent.

Chapman’s departure leaves just two Liberal women in the House of Assembly – Penny Pratt and Ashton Hurn, both of whom were elected in March.

-Tom Richardson

Adelaide weather to ease after weekend drenching

The Bureau of Meteorology has revoked a severe weather warning for the Adelaide metropolitan area after a huge weekend downpour.

It comes after the BoM’s Adelaide (Glen Osmond) station recorded 54.8mm of rain on Sunday while Adelaide (West Terrace) copped 43mm.

The 43mm at West Terrace yesterday represents around 60 per cent of the station’s average June rainfall.

The downpour saw a section of Greenhill Road south of the park lands closed off to eastbound traffic due to flooding.

Cudlee Creek Road in Cudlee Creek was also temporarily closed due to a landslide near the Hannaford Road intersection. Police said it reopened around 7.20pm on Sunday.

The SES responded to around 90 incidents on Sunday, including overnight flooding at the Burnside Village shopping centre in the eastern suburbs.

The BoM this morning revoked a severe weather warning which was in place for the Adelaide metro region.

Maximum temperatures in the metro area are set to remain around 14 degrees for the rest of the week.

The latest bout of wild weather comes only a week after a ‘mini tornado’ struck the Salisbury area, damaging around 65 properties and leaving more than 4000 homes without power.

Birmingham gets foreign affairs in new Lib frontbench

Simon Birmingham has been reassigned from the finance portfolio he held in government Photo: Jono Searle/AAP

Senior South Australian Liberal Simon Birmingham has been given the foreign affairs portfolio in Opposition leader Peter Dutton’s shadow ministry.

The role will see Birmingham shadowing fellow South Australian Labor senator and Foreign Minister Penny Wong.

Birmingham said he would “look forward to the opportunity to contribute in this critical policy space”.

“Australia’s foreign policy settings enjoy significant areas of bipartisan support,” he said on Facebook.

“We should seek to engage the world with one voice where possible and, where appropriate, I look forward to constructively working with foreign minister Penny Wong.”

Dutton announced the Coalition’s frontbench yesterday after its defeat at the May 21 election.

The 24-strong team features 10 women, including another South Australian senator, Anne Ruston, who has been handed the health and aged care portfolio.

Ruston was former Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s pick for the role if the Coalition won last month’s election.

Former energy minister Angus Taylor got the coveted shadow treasurer role.

Albanese to meet with Indonesian president

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says he wants to strengthen relations not just with Indonesia but across the region, as he arrived in Jakarta ahead of key talks.

Albanese will meet with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday to discuss trade, climate and regional issues.

Arriving in Jakarta on Sunday night, the prime minister said increasing links with Indonesia was crucial amid growing tensions in the Indo-Pacific.

“We want to strengthen the relationship with Indonesia, but also with southeast Asia, we see that ASEAN is central to the region,” he told reporters upon arriving in the Indonesian capital.

“In recent times, I think there shows there’s a need for us to strengthen that relationship.”

The prime minister is travelling with a large Australian delegation including Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Trade Minister Don Farrell, Industry Minister Ed Husic and Darwin-based MP Luke Gosling.

He will also be joined by 11 prominent Australian business leaders including Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn, Commonwealth Bank chief executive Matt Comyn and Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott.

Albanese will begin his first full day in Indonesia with a business breakfast, before one-on-one talks with President Widodo.

The meetings come as China tries to convince Pacific island nations to join a regional security partnership.

The prime minister will also meet with ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, before taking part in a wreath-laying ceremony and then a business dinner.

The final day of the prime minister’s visit to Indonesia will see him fly to Makassar in the country’s east on Tuesday.

Queen makes surprise appearance to conclude Jubilee festivities

Millions gather for Queen's celebration

10 News First Adelaide – Disclaimer

Channel Ten

Queen Elizabeth says she has been “humbled and deeply touched” by the number of people coming out to celebrate her Platinum Jubilee, as she made a surprise appearance to conclude four days of festivities marking her 70 years on the British throne.

Tens of thousands of people have attended street parties or cheered on parades through central London, while millions watched a pop concert outside Buckingham Palace which was broadcast on live television.

In her message to the nation, she thanked the public for their good wishes and the role they had played.

“When it comes to how to mark 70 years as your Queen, there is no guidebook to follow. It really is a first. But I have been humbled and deeply touched that so many people have taken to the streets to celebrate my Platinum Jubilee,” she said in a statement on Sunday.

The Queen herself has been forced to miss a number of the major events due to mobility problems, but was able to appear on the balcony of Buckingham Palace to wave to cheering crowds at the finale of celebrations on Sunday.

“While I may not have attended every event in person, my heart has been with you all; and I remain committed to serving you to the best of my ability, supported by my family,” she said.

“I have been inspired by the kindness, joy and kinship that has been so evident in recent days, and I hope this renewed sense of togetherness will be felt for many years to come.”

Rafael Nadal lifts 14th French Open title

Nadal celebrates with the trophy La Coupe des Mousquetaires after winning the French Open overnight. Photo: Martin Divisek/EPA

Rafael Nadal has beaten Casper Ruud to lift a record-extending 14th French Open trophy and increase his lead at the top of the list of men’s grand slam champions.

The Spaniard, who turned 36 on Friday, swept aside the Norwegian Ruud 6-3 6-3 6-0 on a balmy Sunday afternoon in Paris to ensure he’s won every time he’s reached the final at the claycourt slam.

By lifting the Coupe des Mousquetaires again, Nadal is halfway to the calendar grand slam for the first time in his career after he won the year’s opening major at the Australian Open.

Victory gave Nadal a record-extending 22nd slam and put him two clear of Serbian world No.1 Novak Djokovic and Swiss Roger Federer in the men’s race for the most major titles.

Similar to his lead-up to the Melbourne Park major, Nadal arrived at Roland Garros with persistent fitness doubts after suffering a rib stress fracture and a chronic foot injury.

But Nadal, who passed fellow Spaniard Andres Gimeno as the oldest Roland Garros men’s singles champion, again proved that even at less than 100 per cent per cent he is still a mountain too steep to conquer on the red clay of Roland Garros.

Nadal said he will play Wimbledon later this month if his body allows him.

“I am going to be in Wimbledon if my body is ready to be in Wimbledon. Wimbledon is not a tournament that I want to miss,” he said after the match.

“Wimbledon is a priority, always has been a priority. If I’m able to play with anti-inflammatories, yes.

“To play with anaesthetic injections, I do not want to put myself in that position again. It can happen once but no it’s not the philosophy of life I want to follow.

“Let’s see. I am always a positive guy and always expect the things are going the right way. Let’s be confident, let’s be positive and let’s see what’s going on.”

– With AAP and Reuters

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