That's it for today, thanks for reading

Here are the main stories on 18 December 2022:

  • Football Australia vows to “weed out” fans who stormed pitch during the A-League Men’s Melbourne derby, as police warn that arrests are imminent;

  • A child who has been admitted to hospital is among more than 120 people believed to have suffered symptoms after consuming spinach contaminated with a weed;

  • A sitting member of the Northern Territory government has died suddenly at the age of 52;

  • Fiji’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, has lost his parliamentary majority with the election’s final ballot count being returned; and

  • Queensland police charge two men for allegedly attempting to loot the remote property in Wieambilla where six people were shot dead on Monday.

We will see you back here for more news tomorrow.


Two men charged for looting police shooting scene in Queensland

Queensland police have charged two men for allegedly attempting to loot the remote property in Wieambilla where six people were shot dead on Monday.

In a statement, police allege that about 2am today the men parked their car near the Wains Road property and travelled on foot through bushland to the house and shed area. They removed two motorcycles and began pushing them to their vehicle, police said.

Police patrolling the property as part of their crime scene duties detected the men and arrested them.

A 23-year-old and a 25-year-old, both from the nearby town of Tara, were each charged with one count each of unlawful trespass, and stealing by looting. In unrelated matters, they were also both charged with two counts of supplying cannabis.

They are due to appear in the Chinchilla magistrates court on 2 February.


The Australian Professional Leagues, the governing body for the A-Leagues, just released this statement about the Melbourne derby:

Football is the most inclusive sport.

It is for families and for law-abiding citizens who want to passionately support their team.

The events that unfolded at the Melbourne Derby last night, demonstrated that a small minority of people with criminal intent hide within our game.

They neither understand nor love our game.

What they do understand is how to use our game as a platform for their anti-social and illegal objectives.

This is a watershed moment for our game that demands a zero tolerance for the incidents that we witnessed last night and the kind of people that perpetrated them.

Our Clubs will work deliberately and exhaustively, hand-in hand with law enforcement agencies, and with Football Australia – as the game’s regulator – to ensure that our game can never again be used as camouflage for criminals.

AAMI Park pitch invaders to be prosecuted, police say

Victoria police inspector Jason Goddard, from north-west metro region specialist operations, has provided an update on the investigation into the pitch invasion in the Melbourne derby.

Goddard was unable to confirm whether any arrests had already been made but expected police to be “knocking on doors very soon”. Police are reviewing footage of the invasion.

He also said that while three assaults had been reported – to City goalkeeper Tom Glover, a Channel Ten camera operator and a referee – police would also pursue possible charges against any person who invaded the pitch:

If we can identify them, you can … rest assured we will be investigate that, we will prosecute where we can.

When asked about Glover throwing a flare back into the crowd immediately before the invasion, Goddard said “I’m not upset by anything at this stage when it comes to that” but added detectives would investigate all parts of the incident.

Goddard was on duty at the game last night as part of a contingent of 134 police.

He said this was more officers than are usually rostered on for a capacity crowd at the MCG, which is more than three times the size of AAMI Park, where the match was played.

Goddard said police also prepared for the possibility for a pitch invasion in its planning for the event. He said in reference to preparations for the match, which occurred after a decision by the league to award grand finals to Sydney:

In recent times there has been a little bit of controversy … in relation to a decision made by the league.

We work very, very hard in the lead-up to these games, and we worked especially hard in the lead-up to this game.


NSW Greens propose taxing mansions to fund affordable housing

The NSW Greens have launched a push to tax luxury homes and investment properties owned by the mega rich to help tackle the state’s affordable housing shortfall.

The party’s extreme wealth property tax package, announced today, includes plans to raise land tax for property developers and owners of mega-mansions worth tens of millions of dollars.

Greens MP Jenny Leong said the wealthy owners of trophy mansions and large property portfolios had remained unchecked for too long:

Addressing economic inequality by making housing affordable should be one of the highest priorities in the state, but the Liberal National Government has failed to address this crisis.

The Greens have a plan to take on growing housing inequality and address the chronic lack of affordable housing in NSW, by introducing a suite of measures to tax billionaires, big investors, property barons and the super wealthy.

Under the plan, additional tax applied to just 10 mega-mansions would fund 86 new affordable homes each year, according the the Greens.

If the party has its way a new land tax would be introduced on high-end residential properties and the existing land tax payable on investment properties would be increased and expanded.

The plan would also scrap land-tax concessions for developers under “build-to-rent” schemes that the Greens say don’t deliver affordable housing:

NSW is in the middle of a serious housing crisis and the inequality gap is widening, but instead of addressing this, the Liberals and Nationals continue to provide special treatment and tax breaks for big investors.

The Greens believe that those who own and live in obscenely expensive properties – as well as those who have big property portfolios – should pay their fair share.



Beyond fur: Christmas tree alternatives

Real Christmas trees have been in short supply and subject to rising prices this year due to floods and pandemic delays.

Many households have been considering alternatives.

Christmas tree alternatives – that aren’t plastic or pines – have their own benefits, from cost to aesthetics, Melbourne-based horticulturist Bianca Plumley says:

They can give the festive season a native touch and are often better for the budget and the planet. There are lots of other options.

Guardian Australia reporters Rafqa Touma and Cait Kelly have put together a list of alternatives to traditional Christmas trees:


Australia must invest in renewable energy to address prices, Aemo boss says

The head of Aemo has warned Australia must commit meaningfully to renewable energy to avoid future energy price shocks.

In an interview with Nine newspapers, chief executive Damien Westerman said moving away from international coal and gas suppliers would help protect Australians from power bill pain.

He also said the Russian invasion of Ukraine underscored the need to boost the level of wind and solar in the national grid:

Domestic thermal coal and gas prices are vulnerable to international events and conditions, as we’ve seen this year with the war in Ukraine.

This has contributed to higher than average wholesale energy prices, prompting short-term solutions to assist consumers.

His comments echo findings by the International Energy Agency in its latest World Energy Outlook that doubled down on statements in 2021 by saying no new coal, gas or oil developments were needed beyond the end of that year to reach net zero:

In the words of the 2021 Summary for Policymakers: “the unwavering policy focus on climate change in the net zero pathway results in a sharp decline in fossil fuel demand, meaning that the focus for oil and gas producers switches entirely to output – and emissions reductions – from the operation of existing assets” …

It remains the case that – with the steep reductions in fossil fuel demand in the NZE Scenario in this Outlook – fossil fuel demand can be met through continued investment in existing assets and already approved projects, but without any new long lead time upstream conventional projects.

The report said that, despite calls for new investment in gas and other fossil fuel developments to make up for a shortfall in Russian gas, “new conventional oil and gas field approvals taken today would not help to meet these immediate needs, as the lead times for large new supply projects mean that they take many years to start producing meaningful volumes”.


The push for ‘roster justice’

Alex* loves his job. It’s an interesting workplace filled with interesting people. He is so committed, he has an app on his phone with a credo outlining values the company expects its employees to uphold.

The only issue is that Alex, who asked his real name not be used, feels as if he is always on call and what he says is unpredictable rostering means he can never be sure when he is working.

The problems caused by variable rosters affects hundreds of thousands of workers across Australia. From workers in the arts and aged care to casual and part-time retail and hospitality workers, many can have their workdays change from week to week, month to month. Now unions and some politicians are beginning to call for “roster justice” – for the right to predictable and stable shifts.

It is an issue Alex knows intimately. The workers at the Apple store where Alex works voted in early December to strike on Christmas Eve as part of an industrial dispute which includes, among demands for better pay and conditions, a push for clear work times and guaranteed set days off.

To find out more about “roster justice” and why Apple store workers are striking this Christmas Eve, read the full story here:


A cyclone watch has been issued for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands after the development of a tropical low:

Cyclone Watch issued for the Cocos (Keeling) Islands for developing Tropical Low (05U). The Cocos (Keeling) Islands may experience peripheral impacts from this system from Monday evening.

— Bureau of Meteorology, Western Australia (@BOM_WA) December 18, 2022


Serving member of NT parliament dies at 52

A sitting member of the Northern Territory government has died suddenly at the age of 52.

ABC reports the Tiwi islands man and member for Arafura died suddenly yesterday. His name is withheld for cultural reasons.

He represented communities across the Tiwi Islands, Kakadu and west Arnhem Land for six years.

In a statement posted to Facebook, NT chief minister Natasha Fyles paid her respects to her colleague:

Our sincerest condolences to the family of our colleague, the Member for Arafura.

He was a caring and committed member of our team who ensured the views of his community were heard.

To his wife Ebony and beautiful family – you meant the world to him and he was so proud.

We are heartbroken and in disbelief.

May he rest in eternal peace.


Police issue statement on field invasion

Victoria police have released an official statement about their investigation into the moment when 150 people invaded the pitch of an A-League derby match at AAMI Park last night.

Police said three men – previously identified as City goalkeepr Tom Glover, a Channel 10 camera operator and a referee – were injured:

Detectives investigating, as part of Operation Astute which was launched today, are appealing for witnesses, vision and for anyone with information to come forward.

Police have a number of active and ongoing enquiries to make after viewing the vision of the incidents and of those involved in the pitch invasion.

Investigators from Operation Astute are also working with Football Australia, A-League officials and the clubs.


More contaminated spinach cases reported in Queensland

More than a dozen additional cases potentially linked to the contaminated spinach products have been reported across Queensland today.

The state’s poison information centre has received 26 calls from people experiencing a range of systems understood to be related to the contaminated leaves.

Earlier today Queensland Health was reporting 11 people were believed to be impacted, including a child who was kept in hospital overnight.

The industry body Ausveg has urged Australians to keep eating their greens with the body’s chief executive Michael Coote saying the recall was limited to spinach from a single farm in Victoria:

Given the affected products have originated from a single farm, and all affected products are being removed from shelves, Australian consumers can be confident in other spinach and leafy salad products that are currently available for sale, which are unaffected by the recall.

We have spoken to growers who have experienced reduced orders and drops in sales who are not even in the same state as the source of the recalled spinach, which is an avoidable situation that hurts the entire industry.


NSW premier calls for stricter national gun control laws

Dominic Perrottet has added to calls for gun reform across Australia after the shooting in Queensland lst week.

Speaking today, Perrottet said NSW had already been through a reform process but wanted to see consistency across states:

We do need a national response and we will work through that.

We have already reformed the firearm registry here in NSW but when you have different regimes in different states, I think that’s problematic.

We can work together to focus on community safety. If we can get national [consistency], what a positive thing that would be.

The premier said he hoped to use the national cabinet as a way to enact reform.


Fiji's PM loses parliamentary majority

Fijian prime minister Frank Bainimarama has lost his parliamentary majority with the final ballot count being returned.

The former opposition Social Democratic Liberal party is in negotiations with the FijiFirst government and People’s Alliance over which it will support with its balance of power.

Bainimarama’s FijiFirst party is the largest single party with 42.5% of the vote, while People’s Alliance and the National Federation party – which have already said they would join forces – sit at 36% and 9% respectively.

Frank Bainimarama casts his vote in Suva on Wednesday
Frank Bainimarama casts his vote in Suva on Wednesday. Photograph: Pita Simpson/Getty Images

Sodelpa holds just over 5% of the vote. The other five political parties failed to clear the 5% threshold needed to get a member elected to the expanded 55-member parliament.

Its general secretary Lenaitasi Duru said today it would enter the second round of negotiations with both parties.



Praise for ‘sensational’ Melbourne derby referee

Victorian police are expected to release a statement shortly regarding their investigation into crowd behaviour at the A-League men’s match between Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City last night.

An officer involved in the investigation is also expected to speak to media later today.

State government minister Shaun Leane has praised the conduct of the referee, Alex King.

The referee last night was sensational

— Shaun Leane (@ShaunLeaneMP) December 18, 2022


Victorian opposition unveils shadow cabinet

Liberal leader John Pesutto announced his new frontbench today, with Sandringham MP Brad Rowswell becoming shadow treasurer and David Southwick maintaining his post as deputy leader.

Rowswell was not previously in the shadow cabinet.

Pesutto also takes on the role of shadow spokesperson for multicultural affairs.

The Liberals and Nationals will put Victoria’s diverse and growing multicultural communities “front and centre”, he said:

My parents, like many others, came to Australia from southern Italy in the 1960s and taught me the important values and principles that guide me today.

Multicultural communities have and continue to contribute enormously to what makes Victoria great.

John Pesutto outside Victoria’s parliament last week
John Pesutto outside Victoria’s parliament last week. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

Berwick MP Brad Battin, who was up to succeed former Liberal leader Matthew Guy, maintains his role as opposition spokesperson for police, but also takes on youth justice, crime prevention and criminal justice reform in the new layout.

He will focus on finding new ways to give disadvantaged young people opportunities to lead fulfilling and productive lives, the Liberals say. He said:

I look forward to working with experts in the field, academics and community-based organisations to put together reforms that deliver on improving community safety.

These reforms will focus on prevention and working with the health sector to establish ways to work with people living with a mental health issue so we can treat them, not jail them.

David Davis, who previously held the shadow treasurer role, has been demoted but stays on the frontbench as opposition special minister of state and arts and creative industries spokesperson.

Deputy opposition leader in the Legislative Council Matt Bach will take on education, and Evelyn MP Bridget Vallence’s responsibilities have been expanded to include manufacturing, industry, innovation, skills and training, employment and industrial relations.

Brighton MP James Newbury retains his environment, climate change and equality portfolios but takes on the additional role of the Legislative Assembly’s leader of the opposition business.

Newly elected member for Kew Jess Wilson becomes opposition spokesperson for finance, economic reform and regulation, and home ownership and housing affordability.

She will focus on developing pathways to home ownership for Victorians who can’t afford to enter the housing market. She said:

Our ambition is to reverse the generational decline in home ownership and ensure every Victorian the opportunity to enjoy the stability, continuity and financial security it brings.

Nepean MP Sam Groth – also newly elected – becomes opposition spokesperson for tourism, sport, events and youth.

Pesutto flagged Wilson’s and Groth’s elevation to the shadow cabinet when he was elected as the Liberals leader.

Newly elected south-eastern metropolitan region member Ann-Marie Hermans becomes the opposition’s spokesperson for emergency services, WorkCover and the TAC.

The Nationals have added an extra shadow minister, Tim McCurdy, as they were entitled to because of their increased numbers in the party room.

McCurdy takes on the water and consumer affairs portfolios.



Perth bushfire threat reduced

A bushfire in Perth’s southern outskirts has been downgraded to watch and act after a near 24-hour battle for firefighters.

Earlier this morning strengthening easterly winds had threatened to push the fire beyond containment lines. Authorities now say the blaze is contained but not controlled.

The watch and act alert is in place for people bounded by Wattleup Road and the intersection of Rockingham Road and Cockburn Road to the south, the coast and Cockburn Road to the west, Gemma Road and Torgoyle Road to the north and Rockingham Road and Moylan Road to the east in parts of Henderson and Wattleup in the City of Kwinana.

Lives and homes remain under threat in the area and conditions could change.

The blaze started near the intersection of Rockingham Road and Lussky Road in Hope Valley yesterday, prompting emergency warnings that forced people to flee.

People in the watch and act area today were told to leave if they planned to or had no bushfire plan.

Those who planned to stay and defend their homes were warned to make final preparations now. Mains water would be unreliable and homeowners should be patrolling their properties for spot fires.

Alert level warnings are in place for several areas around the watch and alert zone, with people in the alert areas to stay vigilant for signs of the fire.

While most of Western Australia has joined above average rainfall this year, the state’s south-east, which includes Perth, has seen average to below average wet spells.



Weather warnings

The Bureau of Meteorology has issued warnings for severe thunderstorms across western and south-western Queensland over the rest of today and into tomorrow.

Possible severe #thunderstorms central and southwest Qld today with heavy rainfall, damaging winds. Large hail is possible south of Longreach.
Severe thunderstorms with locally heavy rainfall are possible about the North Tropical Coast. Check warnings:

— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 17, 2022

Severe #thunderstorms possible in western and southwestern Qld on Mon. The primary hazards are expected to be heavy rainfall and damaging winds.
Slight risk of Isolated locally heavy rain with thunderstorms in the Gulf Country in the evening, but risk is too low to be included.

— Bureau of Meteorology, Queensland (@BOM_Qld) December 18, 2022

Meanwhile, South Australian emergency services have issued warnings to residents in the Riverland as flood waters from the eastern states continue to advance.

#FLOOD Watch and Act Prepare to Isolate issued for Ponde. There is a high risk of flooding which may threaten your safety. There may be a need to isolate. More info: ID:445/1

— SASES (@SA_SES) December 17, 2022


Sport minister attacks ‘disgusting’ behaviour

The federal minister for sport, Anika Wells, has slammed the behaviour of some Melbourne Victory fans as “disgraceful and disgusting”, backing an investigation into the pitch invasion and violence.

In a statement, Wells said there was “no place for violence at sporting events”:

The behaviour from sections of the crowd in Melbourne was disgraceful and disgusting. I welcome the news that Football Australia has launched an immediate investigation.

This morning I spoke with their CEO James Johnson and support his action to ensure there will be severe sanctions for the offenders.

Sport should always be safe for participants and supporters.


Nine arrested in Adelaide hotel drug bust

South Australian police have arrested nine people, including seven teenagers, in an Adelaide hotel room after a search found drugs and weapons.

A police statement this morning said officers, including Operation Meld detectives, crime gangs taskforce and special tactics and rescue officers, searched a hotel room on Franklin Street in Adelaide just after midnight.

During the search police found a “large amount of methamphetamine and a number of knives”.

Police arrested the room’s occupants, including a 19-year-old man, two 18-year-old men, five 17-year-old boys and one 16-year-old boy for a range of offences. All were from South Australia, except one 17-year-old who was from Victoria.

One 18-year-old and a 17-year-old were charged with trafficking in a controlled drug. All except one 17-year-old were charged with breach of bail, with two arrested on outstanding warrants.

All have been refused police bail and will appear in the Adelaide magistrates court and youth court tomorrow. The investigation remains ongoing.


Australia to host global nature summit

Environment minister Tanya Plibersek has announced Australia will host a global Nature Positive Summit to help nations get the support they need to attract private investment in nature.

Plibersek made the announcement in a statement this morning after speaking at Cop15 in Montreal, Canada:

Nature protection and repair is a massive job. Government funding has a critical role to play. But we can’t do it alone.

It is estimated Australia needs to spend more than $1bn a year to protect and restore nature.

That’s why the summit will focus on how to encourage private finance for on-the-ground nature repair projects, such as restoring mangroves, protecting waterways, and re-establishing habitat for threatened species.

She said the summit will be an opportunity for countries and businesses to share expertise to increase private investment in nature, to help funnel private investment to where it can make the biggest difference, and to help governments and business consider environmental impacts more clearly.

The summit will be held in 2024, with the host city to be announced in coming months.

Plibersek said Australia will ensure the summit has strong representation from the Pacific region.



Number of patients hospitalised over spinach contamination grows

A child admitted to hospital is among more than 100 people believed to have suffered symptoms after consuming spinach amid a widespread recall of fresh food items contaminated with “unsafe plant material”.

Authorities say the recalled spinach, thought to be from one source, has caused delirium and hallucinations.

People are being urged to check and dump any recalled products that have been sold at Woolworths, Coles, Aldi and Costco. Food Standards Australia New Zealand is coordinating the recall of products it says are “from a single source”.

A child who was admitted to hospital in Queensland on Saturday night before being released on Sunday was one of 11 possible cases in that state so far.

At least 11 Victorians have gone to emergency departments after consuming baby spinach.

More here:


Victorian premier Daniel Andrews has weighed in on events after the Melbourne Derby game last night with a post on social media:

Victorians are well known for our love of sport - and for enjoying it safely and respectfully.

The disgraceful actions by some at last night's A-League game have no place in our sporting community - and no place in our state.

— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) December 17, 2022


Tom Glover has concussion and severe cuts to his face

Melbourne City FC has provided an update on the condition of goalkeeper Tom Glover:

Following last night's pitch invasion during the Melbourne Derby, we can provide the following update on the condition of Tom Glover after receiving the formal medical report this morning.

Tom suffered a concussion and severe lacerations to the face. (1/2)

— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) December 17, 2022

He was taken to the Epworth Hospital for further checks and was cleared of any further trauma, returning home in the early hours of this morning.

He’ll stay home today and will then be managed by the club in his return to training based on concussion protocols. (2/2)

— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) December 17, 2022

Melbourne Victory managing director Caroline Carnegie suggested Glover may have required stitches but could not confirm during her morning press conference.

City goalkeeper Tom Glover is struck in the face by a metal bucket used to dispose of flares at the A-League men’s Melbourne derby
City goalkeeper Tom Glover is struck in the face by a metal bucket used to dispose of flares at the A-League men’s Melbourne derby. Photograph: Paramount +


Fiji’s political players scramble to form government

Fiji is heading towards a hung parliament with 99% of the vote tallied and no party coming away with a clear majority.

The former opposition Social Democratic Liberal Party is in negotiations with the FijiFirst government and People’s Alliance over which it will support in the likely case of a hung parliament.

Prime minister Frank Bainimarama’s FijiFirst party is ahead in the tally with 42% of the vote while People’s Alliance and the National Federation party – which have already said they would join forces – sit at 36% and 9% respectively.

Sodelpa holds 5.15% of the vote, which is dangerously close to the 5% threshold needed to get a member elected to the expanded 55-member parliament.

The party’s general secretary Lenaitasi Duru said it would enter the second round of negotiations with both parties today.

Duru said non-negotiables include their priority Indigenous and education policies.


Fiji’s prime minister and FijiFirst leader, Frank Bainimarama, votes the general election in Suva
Fiji’s prime minister and FijiFirst leader, Frank Bainimarama, votes the general election in Suva. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AP


Fiji election heading towards hung parliament

It is increasingly likely Fiji is heading towards a hung parliament with the race for the prime ministership coming down to two former coup leaders.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama’s FijiFirst government is ahead in the tally with 42 % of the vote, with only a handful of polling booths left to come in this morning.

Sitiveni Rabuka’s People’s Alliance is sitting on 36%, while the National Federation Party has just under 9% and the Social Democratic Liberal Party (Sodelpa) 5%.

The other five political parties are sitting under the 5% threshold needed to get a member elected to the expanded 55-member parliament.

With People’s Alliance and the National Federation Party already saying they would join forces, the deciding vote looks to come down to Sodelpa leader Viliame Gavoka.

Gavoka ousted Rabuka as Sodelpa leader, which led to the former coup leader turned prime minister establishing the People’s Alliance and drawing nine additional members across.

Bainimarama, who came to power after instigating a coup in 2006, and Gavoka have both gone to ground since election day.

Rabuka and opposition parties have been vocally alleging problems with the voting system and say they’ve lost faith in the Fijian Elections Office after falling behind.

The Multinational observer group says it has not observed “any significant irregularities or issues during pre-polling, postal voting or election day voting”.

There have been allegations of election fraud but supervisor of elections Mohammed Saneem said he has not been presented with evidence of wrongdoing.



Remembering when Sydney fans were in the spotlight …

It is worth a reminder that the events of last night aren’t the only incident to befall Australian football in the last year.

Football Australia was left trawling through footage of the crowd at the Australia Cup final in October after Sydney United 58 fans gave a Hitler salute during the welcome to country and the national anthem.

Fans chanted songs associated with the Ustaše – a fascist group that collaborated with the Nazis during the second world war and participated in war crimes, ethnic cleansing and acts of genocide – and made Hitler salutes visible on camera.

A Sydney United 58 fan was given a lifetime ban from Football Australia after an investigation.


‘No justification for behaviour’

James Johnson says there is “no justification for the behaviour we saw last night”:

I don’t care about people who think that this decision about the grand final was good or bad. That is not a reason for what happened last night and anyone who says it is justified because of a decision to move the final to Sydney, in my view, is completely out of touch.

Johnson is also asked whether all the goodwill built up with the Socceroos’ performance in the World Cup has been thrown away – and whether the league’s current operators, the Australian Professional League, are up to the job:

I don’t think we can go as far as to say that they aren’t capable of running the league, I don’t agree with that.

He went on to stress that this issue was a problem with the A-League and not an issue with the future of the sport in Australia:

There are some things that haven’t gone well this week with the league and my role as the leader of this board is to find a resolution because we can’t have that going forward. I think this is a legal issue, and of course he does have some consequences for the rest of the game but we also need to remember that this is A-League, not the game. The game is 2 million people who play week in, week out.


‘I’m not worried at all about hosting the Women’s World Cup’

James Johnson says he will not pre-empt any investigation on whether Tom Glover will face disciplinary action for throwing a flare back into the crowd during the game but says the moment will be considered as part of the broader investigation into what occurred last night.

Johnson flags that the use of flares inside stadiums should be something “we do need to look at”.

He is also asked whether Australia can responsibly hold the Women’s World Cup next year and Johnson stresses that those responsible last night were a small minority of fans:

This matter doesn’t reflect the broader game. We saw in Melbourne at Federation Square thousands and thousands of great football fans coming together to support the Socceroos. We saw this in other cities around Australia – Sydney, Brisbane, and so on and so forth. These are fans and they cannot be branded or painted with the same brush as those individuals that invaded the pitch last night. These are two separate groups. We have fans and then we have individuals. I’m not worried at all about hosting the Women’s World Cup, this is the biggest opportunity for the sport.


‘We will look at the facts’

James Johnson is asked whether Melbourne Victory has any outstanding sanctions for past incidents. He says he is not aware of any but past events may be considered as an “aggravating factor” as an investigation into the incident unfolds:

There is no other suspended disciplinary action that I’m aware of, but what I will say is that we will be working through that today. We have already started working on the show cause process as of late last night, and we will be moving forward as quickly and swiftly as possible to finalise it, because it is important we get ahead of this issue as a sport.

Johnson says he will not be commenting on questions around suspensions as Football Australia wishes to let the investigation play out:

What I can say is that we will look at the facts, we’ll look at it objectively and we will take a decision that we believe is in the overall best interest of the game but I prefer not to comment on the specifics of the outcome because we have to go through that process first.

On the negotiation about the sale of rights, Johnson says he was informed about the decision “the Sunday evening before it was communicated” but said Football Australia do not “run the business” of the league and its role is to regulate “not to get involved in business decisions”.


Football Australia opens investigation into derby violence

Football Australia’s James Johnson is speaking to the ABC now about the events at the Melbourne derby game last night where he says an “investigation has been opened”.

He says Football Australia as an independent regulator has been consulting with Victorian police overnight and speaking with governments at federal and state level.

Johnson says the body will have three areas of focus in its investigation:

  1. What happened during the game last night and what happens with the result;

  2. A “show cause letter” to Melbourne Victory;

  3. An attempt to identify individuals involved in the pitch invasion.

Johnson also stresses that the incident has “has nothing to do with a groundswell [of support] and a rising of our game”:

This is an element that … infiltrates our game and tries to ruin it for the people who love us was in. We’ll be looking to weed out those people from the sport.

Football Australia’s James Johnson
Football Australia’s James Johnson says an ‘investigation has been opened’. Photograph: Darren England/AAP


Terry Campese to run for Labor at NSW election

NRL great Terry Campese is hoping to represent Labor in the upcoming NSW state election, announcing he will stand for preselection in the regional seat of Monaro.

Campese captained the Canberra Raiders from 2010 to 2014 and has represented NSW in State of Origin and Australia internationally.

The Queanbeyan local said politics was the natural next step from his ongoing work in the community through the Terry Campese Foundation. He said in a statemennt today:

I am driven by working in and for the community and I want to take that commitment to the next level.

The seat of Monaro was held by former Nationals leader and deputy premier John Barilaro before his resignation late last year.

If successful in gaining preselection, Campese is expected to run against the current member for Monaro, Nichole Overall from the Nationals.

Labor leader Chris Minns said he was delighted with the news and believed Campese could make a real difference for the community:

While we all will miss Terry running around as captain-coach for the Queanbeyan Blues, his most important and valued work has always been his community and charitable works.

Terry knows what the people of Monaro and Queanbeyan need in terms of service delivery and support, because he listens and delivers for them as a community worker each and every day.

Campese founded his namesake foundation in 2012 with the aim of building brighter futures for young people.

Since leaving the NRL he has remained active in the sport by serving as captain-coach of Queanbeyan Blues since 2017 as well as commentating on Raiders games on local radio.

He has acted as an ambassador for several charities including Canteen Cancer, the Ronald McDonald House and a Patron of Raising Hope Education Foundation and continues to work with the NRL on their roads to regions projects. He said:

I’m prepared to work with anyone and everyone to make Monaro a better region.

It’s time for a fresh start in Monaro and I’m determined to ensure a Minns Labor government delivers better schools and hospitals for our community.



‘There is no defending what happened last night in any way, shape or form’

Caroline Carnegie stresses the club is “bigger than a group of fans that did the wrong thing”.

She says that the excitement over the World Cup and the Women’s World Cup shows the sport has a future in Australia and the club wants to be part of that but “what is important is how we deal with the appalling behaviour that happened last night and stamp that out of our game.”

Carnegie also defended the actions of Tom Glover who picked up a flare and threw it back into the crowd:

It doesn’t matter what he did, there is nothing that excuses what came after that.

I think it would be better if we weren’t throwing flares on to the pitch in the first place and that wouldn’t have occurred. As I said, I don’t – maybe it was a little bit silly on Tom’s behalf, but there is no defending what happened last night in any way, shape or form.

She said the event has been “devastating” for the club and flagged that there may be more consequences for those responsible than a lifetime ban:

We are devastated about the club. This isn’t the sort of press we want to be have around our game. We want to be talking about how wonderful it is and how exciting and fantastic and to be doing that following a Melbourne Derby which is meant to be an amazing spectacle of football is devastating.


A lot of fans ‘do the right thing’

Caroline Carnegie says those responsible for last night only represent a small fraction of the club’s 23,000 fans:

This is a group that we don’t condone the behaviour of and we don’t want at our club.

But there are a lot of fans and members of Melbourne Victory that do the right thing, and they turn up and support the boys and girls, and we stand as one with those fans.

Carnegie adds that those responsible “aren’t true Melbourne Victory fans because if they were, they wouldn’t have hurt the game, the League or the sport last night”.

Melbourne Victory will work with police in any investigation into the events of last night.


Victory CEO 'disgraced and appalled' by derby violence

Managing director of Melbourne Victory football club Caroline Carnegie is giving a press conference now about the events at the derby game last night.

She says that in addition to City goalkeeper Tom Glover receiving a head injury, a channel Ten camera operator was also injured as fans stormed the pitch:

I also want to make it very clear that in no way, shape or form does Melbourne Victory advocate for what happened last night – in fact, we condemn it – and there is no possible excuse for players, cameramen, referees coming to work and not being safe. There is no place at our club, no place in the game, no place in the league for that sort of behaviour.

Carnegie says she spoke to Glover last night and that he is doing well after his injury.

Carnegie is asked “why this keeps happening with Melbourne Victory fans” but she says she is at a loss:

It is a question I would love to be able to answer, Joey. I’m disgraced and appalled at what happened last night. We’ve tried to work with our fans in a number of different ways to make sure that they can be here to support the club and do it in the right way and I think last night shows us that we’ve come to a point in time where what we’ve been doing hasn’t been as successful as we would like and we just can’t condone what has gone on.


Millions in additional emergency funding for flood-affected areas

The federal government has announced it will provide more than $10m in additional funding to emergency and food relief providers, in the wake of floods and amid cost-of-living pressures.

Social services minister Amanda Rishworth said today the government was “committed to helping those in need”:

This additional funding means 84 Emergency Relief providers can continue helping Australians when they need it most, providing vouchers, food and clothing parcels, as well as referrals to other services.

About $7.4m will be distributed to 84 emergency relief providers across NSW, Victoria, and Tasmania impacted by flooding.

A further $2.8m will be shared between food relief providers nationally.

The allocation of funding is in response to a recommendation by the national coordination group:

We have acted immediately to ensure this support is there. We have also taken the step to provide one-off funding to our national food relief providers.



Wade calls for fans who invaded pitch to be investigated

Scenes from the Melbourne derby reminded former Socceroos captain Paul Wade of England during the 80s where “police dogs were channelling fans to the opposition stadium”:

It was scary. I just spoken to a mate who took his grandson and his grandson is going, “Grand-dad, what is happening?” He has never seen anything like this before. And he should never see stuff like that again. Something has got to happen, banning somebody for life is not good enough, [James] Johnson. We got to actually come down and smash these people.

Wade said he wanted to see an investigation to find those who stormed the pitch, saying authorities should “do something that will affect them for the rest of their life”.

Asked about the trigger for the pitch invasion – the league selling the rights to the grand final for the next three years – Wade said he hoped the incident would not eliminate the chance of reversing the decision, saying fans should walk out or boycott games peacefully if they wanted to object.


'I'm still angry,' former Socceroos captain says

Former Socceroos captain Paul Wade has unloaded on fans who invaded the pitch during a Melbourne Derby game last night in an early interview with the ABC this morning.

The game had to be abandoned after supporters before the goal threw flares on to the pitch and jumped over barricades. Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover suffered a head injury in the melee.

Football Australia has since condemned the scenes but Wade called for fundamental change to prevent the situation from recurring.

First of all, I’m shocked. I thought, no, no, this – just one of those little scuffles and then as the game went on, or as the vision went on, I was disgusted. I was ashamed and now I’m angry. I’m still angry. I can’t believe it that these morons can destroy an A-League that’s been going since 2006. I swear, Jared, I’m just about to pull the plug. Seriously. I am over this. And I’m sure a lot of people are. Maybe we walk away and start all over again, I don’t know. That’s how cheesed off I am.

Wade said responsibility ultimately laid with clubs and their ultras as “they provide the atmosphere” and suggested a solution might be to ban supporters from sitting behind the goal:

So much good atmosphere. You won’t find it in any other sport in this country, they sing and shout and they’re passionate, and then morons like these, and it all comes undone. Maybe we should get rid of the active support all together. Nobody is allowed to go behind the goal. At all!


Good morning

And welcome to another Sunday morning Guardian live blog.

Former Socceroos captain Paul Wade has described his disgust at images from the Melbourne Derby last night where fans threw flews and stormed the pitch, leaving Melbourne City goalkeeper Tom Glover bleeding from a head wound. Wade called for fundamental changes from the league to prevent a repeat of the scenes, saying:

I was ashamed and now I’m angry.

Baby spinach products responsible for hallucinations and other toxic reactions “appear to have come from a single source”, according to Food Standards Australia New Zealand. A recall has been ordered after spinach had been contaminated “with unsafe plant material” caused 33 people to seek medical attention in New South Wales after experiencing symptoms. So far 88 people are known to have experienced poisoning symptoms within the state with health authorities investigating the matter.

The full list of affected baby spinach products is on the Food Standards Australia New Zealand website.

I’m Royce Kurmelovs, taking the blog through the day. With so much going on out there, it’s easy to miss stuff, so if you spot something happening in Australia and think it should be on the blog, you can find me on Twitter at @RoyceRk2 where my DMs are open.

With that, let’s get started ...



Nino Bucci (now) and Royce Kurmelovs (earlier)

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