Nationals go into the ruck to decide leader

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Nationals go into the ruck to decide leader


Christian speakers circuit is calling

Former Prime Minister Scott Morrison and former Hillsong Church pastor Brian Houston.Credit:Getty, NYT

Following Pentecostal Scott Morrison’s tearful address at his Horizon Church in Sutherland last Sunday, there’s been whispers that the former prime minister could make a fortune on the lucrative Christian speakers circuit, should he decide to leave politics.

The US-based Christian Speakers network as well as the All American Speakers bureau offer as much as $US30-50,000 as “live speaking fee” plus travel costs, or “virtual speaking fees” of $US10-$20,000 for “motivational” Christian addresses such as the one he gave last week quoting the Bible passage Habakkuk 3:17.

He only needs to take a look at his friend and former Hillsong pastor Brian Houston’s Instagram account for inspiration of the places he could go. Houston and wife Bobbi have been pictured this month sniffing tulips in Amsterdam, eating homemade sausages in Germany, and at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate.

Although the former PM has distanced himself from his fellow evangelical after he resigned from the church over allegedly inappropriate behaviour towards two women, it seems Houston’s European Hillsong congregation has not. “I am so grateful to God for all these beautiful European pastors who have treated Bobbi and I with such kindness,” the mega-church founder told his 703,000 Insta flock.

Thai King honours Aussie ambo

Australian Ambassador to Thailand Allan McKinnon sure seems to have made an impression on the locals in his three-and-a-half year tenure in Bangkok.

So much so, that Thai king Maha Vajiralongkorn has just named the street on which the Australian embassy is situated, Soi Arun McKinnon. This will give the veteran public servant something special to boast of in the tea room when he gets back to Canberra.

The king has deep Australian links – he studied at King’s School in Sydney and at Royal Military College in Duntroon – that’s in Canberra too.

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The fact that McKinnnon hosted the monarch at the Bangkok embassy last year for a screening of an Australian government-made doco about Vajiralongkorn’s time in Australia, wouldn’t have done the ambassador’s royal standing any harm, either.

But the diplomat was confronted with more than his share of tricky situations during his posting.

With McKinnon right in the middle of the negotiations with the cops in March about getting the body of deceased cricket legend Shane Warne home.

The detention in 2019 of Hakeem Al-Araibi, the Bahraini-born Australian footballer and refugee detained by Thai authorities – on an Interpol red notice – sparked a diplomatic crisis that would have been no picnic for McKinnon either.

So you wouldn’t begrudge the man the king’s high honour.

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