Behind the story

AAP Wins: May - June 2018

In an industry of constant change, AAP remains relevant. Over the past two months we have covered, a Federal Budget, dual citizenship issues in parliament, a Cardinal in court, the Logies, some major sporting events, and much more. Here are the AAP wins for May and June 2018, and the people who made it happen. Read on...


  1. The national highlight was the Federal Budget on Tuesday, May 8 with AAP boasting a team of 26 in the lockup in Canberra. Deputy Editor Jo Williamson again coordinating the coverage that involved a senior editorial line-up including Editor Mike Osborne, Jo, Deputy National CoS Kaaren Morrissey and Canberra, Sydney, Finance and News Extra Bureau chiefs Paul Osborne, Julian Drape, Peter Trute and Belinda Tasker.
  2. The Victorian state budget was handed down on May 1, the last before the state election in November. Likewise, the NT Budget was also on May 1. The NSW, ACT, Tasmanian and Queensland budgets were all handed down in June
  3. The dual citizenship issue continued with five politicians resigning and resulting in a super Saturday by-election date set for July 28.
  4. Former One Nation senator Brian Burston quit the party and joined Clive Palmer’s UAP.
  5. The Federal Government also announced it would set up a national Office for Child Safety and would apologise to survivors as part of the response to the child abuse royal commission.
  6. And News Extra’s Megan Neil covered all the action from the Banking Royal Commission including spending a week in Brisbane for hearings at the end of June.
  7. The Barnaby Joyce and Vikki Campion interview aired on Seven’s Sunday Night.
  8. In other news, a Queensland woman and twin girls who went missing four years earlier were found safe and well in northern NSW; seven people were found dead, including four children, at a rural property south of Perth in a family murder-suicide; a man was charged with murder and rape after a woman’s body was found on a Melbourne soccer field; and following a long siege a man was charged with the murder of young Brisbane woman Larisa Beilby whose body was found in a barrel in the back of his ute.


  1. May began with Cardinal George Pell being ordered by a magistrate to stand trial on historic sex offence charges, the bulk of which were dropped. Melbourne court reporter Jacqui Le and National Bureau’s Megan Neil covered the action.
  2.  Adelaide Archbishop Philip Wilson was found guilty of concealing allegations of child sexual abuse in the 1970s
  3.   AFL premiership player and coach Mark “Bomber” Thompson was charged with drug trafficking and possession.
  4.   Rebel Wilson was ordered to return $4.1 million from the Bauer defamation payment.
  5.   Former politician Sophie Mirabella won a $175,000 defamation case against a regional Victorian paper.
  6.   Alan Jones faced a $4.8 million defamation case brought by the Wagner family over his comments about the fatal Grantham floods in 2011.
  7.   Rick Thorburn was jailed for 20 years for the murder of his foster daughter Tiahleigh Palmer.
  8.   Ron Medich was jailed for 30 years for the 2009 Michael McGurk contract killing.
  9.   Former NT police chief John McRoberts was found guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice over his then-girlfriend. He also lost a bail application in early July.
  10.  And former local councillor and Sydney identity Salim Mehajer will serve 11 months in jail for electoral fraud.


  1.   The big news on the world front was the much-heralded meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-Un, after which North Korea promised to start the denuclearisation process - easing tensions on the peninsula for the first time since the Korean War armistice 65 years ago.
  2.   The other big event was the Royal wedding on May 19 when Prince Harry married TV star Meghan Markle. The planning team issued a package of content in the weeks leading up to the wedding.
  3.   Malaysia went to the polls on May 9 and elected former PM Mahathir, ousting the now disgraced ex-PM Najib Razak. Mahathir plans to serve for two years and hand over to Anwar Ibrahim.
  4.   US shootings continued - eight were killed at a Texas high school and five murdered in a Maryland newspaper office.
  5.   In NZ, PM Jacinda Ardern gave birth to a baby girl while deputy PM Winston Peters stepped into the chair. NZ correspondent Boris Jancic revelled in the story that made headlines around Australia.
  6.   Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was indicted for rape in the US.
  7.   And Russian journalist Arkady Babchenko turned up alive after faking his own murder


  1. The month began with the ANZ announcing half year profit had fallen 16 per cent to $2.88 billion, although underlying cash profit rose 4.1 per cent to $3.49 billion.
  2. CBA paid $700 million to resolve anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism breaches.
  3.  Westpac was found guilty of unconscionable conduct after a rate-rigging trial.
  4.  Wesfarmers ended its UK hardware operation by selling the Homebase business.
  5.  The Australian economy grew at 1.0 per cent in the March quarter - slightly better than expected, while Australia’s minimum wage rose 3.5 per cent to $719.20 a week.
  6.  AGL turned down Alinta Energy’s $250 million offer to buy the Liddell Power station, which it plans to close in 2022.
  7.  And Telstra announces it will cut 8000 jobs in the coming years.


  1. July started with the Logies being held on the Gold Coast for the first time and Grant Denyer winning the gold Logie despite his Network Ten show Family Feud being axed. Danielle McGrane was on hand to file on the drama of the Logies before wrapping up her time with AAP.
  2. The Cannes Film Festival had Australia’s Cate Blanchett heading the jury.
  3. The Eurovision Song Contest was held in Lisbon, with Israel’s Netta Barzilai winning and  Australia’s Jessica Mauboy finishing 20th.



  • Golfing great Peter Thomson, 88
  • Joe Jackson, father of Michael, 89
  • Scientist David Goodall, 104, after voluntary euthanasia in a Swiss facility
  • Chef, TV personality Anthony Bourdain, 61
  • Actress Cornelia Frances, 77
  • Boxer Troy Waters, 53
  • Superman actor Margot Kidder, 69


  • The soccer World Cup was the major set piece in June and July, although Australia was out of the competition without a win in the group stage. Ben McKay, Steve Larkin and Dean Lewins covered the action in Russia while Theo Katsaros and Billy Freeman handled the bulk of the production work.
  • Also in the round ball game, Melbourne Victory won the A-league title with a 1-0 triumph over Newcastle.
  • State of Origin was the league highlight, with Freddy Fittler’s Baby Blues allowing NSW to win the series 2-0 with a game in hand in July. Australian and Queensland captain Cameron Smith retired from representative football just ahead of the Origin series.
  • In rugby, Ireland beat the Wallabies 2-1 in the three-Test series. Just before the series started, James Slipper was suspended for two months after testing positive to cocaine.
  • In cricket, Justin Langer was named new Australian cricket coach as Tim Paine’s team headed to England for a one-day series they lost 5-0. Ian McCulloch covered the action for AAP. The Aussies then went to Zimbabwe for a T20 series. Meanwhile suspended players
  • Steve Smith and David Warner were in action in a Toronto T20 comp.
  • Vince Rugari was in Las Vegas to see US boxer Terence Crawford beat Australia’s Jeff Horn in their WBO welterweight title fight.
  • The European tennis season got serious when the French Open began on May 21 with Darren Walton back in the dusty red clay at Roland Garros.
  • Group 1 Racing focussed on the Winter Carnival in Brisbane and in motor racing, Australia’s Will Power won the Indianapolis 500.



  • The so-called super-Saturday on July 28 will see five by-elections held on the same day for the first time. Four of the by-elections - Longman, Mayo, Fremantle and Braddon - were forced by the ineligibility of the sitting MPs to contest the previous election because they were still citizens of other countries. The fifth - Perth - is being held following the resignation of the sitting MP for family reasons.
  • The Banking Royal Commission is holding hearings in Darwin, with Greg Roberts on the spot for AAP.
  • Melbourne Bureau will be busy with a four-week committal for Borce Ristevski over the murder of his wife Karen. There will also be a trial for three men accused of planning an Islamic State-inspired terror attack in Melbourne on Christmas Day 2016. And in Brisbane, Logan man Agim Kruezi will stand trial for allegedly stockpiling weapons for a terror attack in Australia and trying to recruit members for IS.
  • July 4 marked the 100th anniversary of the WWI Battle of Hamel - the famous Sir John Monash-led victory with Australian and US troops fighting together under Australian command - and reporter Miranda Forster was there for AAP. July 27 also marks the 65th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. Officially the war that claimed more than 300 lives has not ended.
  • The Australian population is expected to pass 25 million in the middle of June and the Planning desk has a package of content ready to go.
  • July 17 marks the 4th  Anniversary of the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 over Ukraine, killing all 298 on board including 38 Australians.
  • The ACTU congress will be held in Brisbane July 17-18 with 800 union members in attendance.
  •  Federal Parliament resumes in August, as do most of the state parliaments, after the winter break..
  • Aug 21 marks the 75th anniversary of the first woman in federal parliament. Dame Enid Lyons, previously wife of PM Joseph Lyons, stood in her own right as member for Darwin for the United Australia Party (Liberals predecessor),  serving from 21 August 1943 to 19 March 1951.
  • And in finance, the company reporting season gets under way in August with the likes of  Rio Tinto, BHP, Qantas, TabCorp, Commonwealth Bank, Wesfarmers, Fairfax, and the first full-year results for Domain after the spin-off from Fairfax Media in November 2017.


  • The soccer World Cup in Russia will be decided in mid-July, although the AAP team of Ben McKay, Steve Larkin and Dean Lewins decamped after Australia was knocked out.
  • Tennis writer Darren Walton is back in the UK for the Wimbledon tennis tournament from July 2-15. When he finishes with the strawberries and cream set, Darren will be heading to Carnoustie in Scotland to cover the British Open golf.
  • The European summer of sport continues with the Tour de France starting on July 7 and running until July 29 with Tasmanian Richie Porte Australia’s best hope in the annual cycling extravaganza.
  • Although NSW have the series wrapped up, Queensland will be hoping for some redemption in the final State of Origin rugby league match on July 11. They will have to do it without injured skipper Greg Inglis, who has been the Maroons best player in the series.
  • In his absence, Billy Slater will be captain for the first time - in his last game before retiring from representative footy.
  • Elsewhere in footy the AFL and NRL competitions build towards the finals in September, with Richmond and St George looking like the competition favourites at this stage.
  • In Super Rugby,  the finals will start from July 21 with the grand final scheduled for early August. The Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby Championships also start in mid-August.
  • Meanwhile, the Australian cricket team is playing a three-nation T20 series in Zimbabwe and is likely to play Pakistan in the final.

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