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The Informer: The economics of words laid bare

Families love the government's tourism package, one MP says. Really? All?
Families love the government's tourism package, one MP says. Really? All?

What's that song about sorry being the hardest word?

Not so much if there's a price-tag attached.

The nation's Defence Minister Linda Reynolds settled a defamation legal case with former staffer Brittany Higgins after calling her a "lying cow".

Senator Reynolds, on extended sick leave, is still embroiled in controversy over her handling of allegations raised by Ms Higgins, who says she was raped by a colleague at Parliament House in 2019.

The undisclosed sum will go towards an organisation in the Canberra area that provides sexual abuse survivors counselling and support.

The minister didn't just leave it at an apology and retraction but insisted in a statement her comment was not meant "in the sense it may have been understood".

Today Senator Reynolds' colleague Peter Dutton wasn't in the mood for apologies and instead fired off one of those broadsides only pollies can deliver. Community leaders were "playing politics" with the government's tourism package, he said.

The $1.2 billion tourism and aviation rescue package will provide an estimated 800,000 subsidised airfares on government-nominated routes.

"There are lots of people that will take any dollar that you give them, and if you give them one dollar they ask for a second," Mr Dutton told Nine on Friday.

"The fact is mums and dads love this policy because they want a cheap airfare and they want to go for a holiday, they want to be able to spend money in regional areas."

Well, presumably that's the mums and dads not on JobKeeper. It runs out in less than three weeks and then it's back to a JobSeeker base income of $43.57 a day.

Deputy Opposition Leader Richard Marles didn't mind politicising the package and declared it "half-price tickets to marginal seats". That's diametrically opposed to his opposite Michael McCormack who said: "Once again we're the white knight on the shining white horse."

Knights and horses aside, Australia's COVID-bubble is gradually expanding, funded or otherwise. On a personal front, my frontiers have grown, too. For the next few months a different voice will guide you through the day's happenings - well, weekdays at least.

Sarah Aquilina is far more experienced on all matters COVID, having not just survived but thrived through Victoria's hard lockdown. Here's hoping that remains the historical reference it is today. Stay safe.

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This story 'Mums and dads love this policy' All of them? first appeared on The Canberra Times.