Crikey Worm

Three men and a boat

Tomorrow Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden and UK PM Rishi Sunak will announce which submarines Australia will acquire under the AUKUS treaty, and if reelected NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet will create a savings fund for each child in NSW at a cost of $850 million.

Charlie Lewis

Mar 13, 2023

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese launches his cultural policy
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese (Image: AAP/James Ross)


Prime Minister Anthony Albanese is in the United States to meet with his US and UK counterparts on Tuesday ahead of an announcement concerning the future of the AUKUS treaty.

The Nine papers ($) report that Albanese’s first formal meeting while he’s in San Diego will be with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Then he meets US President Joe Biden, before the three leaders reveal the choice of new submarines.

The Australian ($) is reporting that part of this announcement will be a “warning” to taxpayers that the plan, to be overseen by a multi-agency body, will cost more than $200 billion over 30 years. Further, the plan is to create 20,000 direct Australian jobs — Indeed, per Nine, the Australian Navy will launch a recruitment drive next week, hoping to find “hundreds of personnel to support the shift to nuclear-powered submarines and make more staff available to train with the US and Britain”.

The next stage in the AUKUS pact is to build these vessels in Adelaide, based on a new British design, with the capacity to fire cruise missiles.

Crikey Worm


Still on politicians promising to spend big, NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet has announced that a reelected Coalition government would create a dedicated savings fund for each child in NSW, to be used towards the cost of education or a home deposit. It would cost $850 million over four years.

As The Sydney Morning Herald ($) reports, Perrottet was speaking at his party’s launch ahead of the state poll on March 25, telling the party faithful: “This investment will change the lives of millions of children across our state … This is a down payment to secure the future dreams of our children.”

The plan is for the government to pay parents an initial $400 for children under 10, and then match any future contributions up to $400 every year until the child turns 18.

Labor questioned the value of the policy, with its Treasury spokesman, Daniel Mookhey, telling The Guardian: “At a time where interest rates are skyrocketing mortgages, families don’t have to spare money. It seems as though the families that need the help the most will benefit the least from this policy because they don’t have the money to put into this account.”


Hillsong Church will launch an independent review of its financial structure and systems following allegations of fraud and extravagant spending. Last week, as reported in Crikey, independent Tasmanian MP Andrew Wilkie tabled 17 binders of financial information which he alleged reveal the church breaking “numerous laws” in Australia and around the world, relating to “fraud, money laundering and tax evasion”. Wilkie said in Parliament that the documents had been provided to him by a whistleblower and revealed “the kind of shopping that would embarrass a Kardashian”.

Details allegedly contained in the documents included members of the Houston family spending $150,000 of church money on a luxury retreat in Cancun, Mexico, during Australia’s strict COVID-19 lockdown, and Hillsong founder and former leader Brian Houston treating private jets “like Ubers”. You can read all of Crikey’s coverage here.

Addressing the congregation on Sunday morning, global senior pastor Phil Dooley and church board member Stephen Crouch both apologised to the faithful, announced a “forensic audit” and said the church had implemented a new policy on gifts and honorariums, and changed its structures.

“I am also announcing today that on top of the forensic audit that has been conducted by [accounting firm] Grant Thornton regarding the allegations, we will be beginning this week a complete reevaluation, via an outside third party, of our financial structure and systems to ensure they line up with the mission going forward,” Dooley said.

Dooley also said that Wilkie’s use of parliamentary privilege “kind of feels like being king hit from behind. But Jesus loves you Mr Wilkie … Mr Wilkie, you’re still welcome to attend any of our services”.

The art of turning faith into profit: inside Hillsong’s financial machine

David Hardaker

Mar 10, 2023

“The Hillsong papers spell out for the first time that the church operates with a form of franchise model whereby other churches in the Hillsong orbit pay an annual fee to Hillsong HQ.

“There are two kinds of Hillsong churches: the fully fledged churches owned and operated by Hillsong, and a second category known as Hillsong family churches. Hillsong family churches have a degree of autonomy from the Hillsong mothership but pay a fee to use Hillsong branding and other Hillsong products.”

Network 10 faces threats, protest after Christian Lives Matter campaign against The Project

Cam Wilson

Mar 10, 2023


“Multiple Ten staff members who were not authorised to speak publicly told Crikey of the fallout of the joke. The Project had received threats against its staff and had increased security around its Sydney office ahead of the protests.

“Former Project host Dave ‘Hughesy’ Hughes spoke publicly about being approached by two men on the beach asking if he was still part of the show earlier this week.

” ‘You on The Project? You against Jesus? If you are, I’m going to bash you,’ the man allegedly said, according to the comedian on 2DayFM earlier this week.”

Mark McGowan’s approval rating sinks to lowest level since start of COVID-19 pandemic

Josh ZimmermanThe West Australian

Sun, 12 March 2023 9:13AM


Josh Zimmerman

Voter satisfaction with Premier Mark McGowan has fallen to its lowest level since the start of the COVID pandemic, while new Liberal Leader Libby Mettam has nearly tripled the approval rating of her predecessor David Honey.

Published by Nelle

I am interested in writing short stories for my pleasure and my family's but although I have published four family books I will not go down that path again but still want what I write out there so I will see how this goes

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