Australia news live: Kerry Stokes stands by Ben Roberts-Smith after reports of fresh allegations

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12.42am BST

Australian defence force troops are slowly withdrawing from flood-hit NSW after three weeks spent helping residents, AAP report.

Hundreds of ADF troops helped thousands of people with the clean-up from last month’s catastrophic floods. At its peak, around 850 army, navy and air force personnel were assigned to the operation, supporting recovery efforts in and around Grafton, Coffs Harbour, Nambucca, Kempsey, Port Macquarie, Taree and the Hawkesbury Nepean.

12.33am BST

Former PM Malcom Turnbull has told the media diversity inquiry he wants to talk about the dominance of the Murdoch media in Australia and how it is a “real threat to our democracy”.
Media has become so partisan and divided that we now have the ability for people to live in an “echo chamber” in their own silo, Turnbull said, echoing comments made by Kevin Rudd last month at the same inquiry.

Turnbull said the attack on the Capitol in the US “underlines the divisions in America” that have been promoted by rightwing media “narrowcasting”, led by the Murdoch media.

In Australia, News Corp has evolved into a political party with only one member and is used in a partisan way against Muslims and to promote climate change denial, he said.

Turnbull said News Corp puts pressure on politicians who are then intimidated by the power of the newspapers they publish.

The NSW government asked me to chair a committee to advise on zero admissions and a “ferocious campaign” was launched by the Daily Telegraph and they “crumbled”, he said.

The “saddest thing of it all” was the way the NSW minister for environment Matt Keane had to then be quoted in the Daily Telegraph to say News Corp had nothing to do with it, like a fake confession after being beaten by police, he said.

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Source: The Guardian
Australia news live: Kerry Stokes stands by Ben Roberts-Smith after reports of fresh allegations