Australia news LIVE: Daniel Andrews steps down as Victorian premier after nine years; Alan Joyce rules out Qatar Airways inquiry appearance

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  • Alan Joyce to skip aviation Senate inquiry
  • Trump defrauded banks, insurers as he built real estate empire: judge
  • This morning’s headlines at a glance
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Alan Joyce to skip aviation Senate inquiry

Former Qantas boss Alan Joyce will not front the Senate select committee into the federal government’s decision to reject extra flights from Qatar Airways due to “personal commitments” as newly minted chief executive Vanessa Hudson prepares for her first public hearing at the helm of the embattled airline.

Senator Bridget McKenzie confirmed yesterday the former Qantas boss, Joyce, who has been overseas since he unexpectedly quit the business two months early, cannot accommodate the request to explain his role in the rejection of Qatar Airways’ application in person or by video link.

Qantas chairman Richard Goyder and Vanessa Hudson will appear at the inquiry on Wednesday. But Alan Joyce will not.Credit: Rhett Wyman

Hudson and Qantas chair Richard Goyder will appear before the senate to answer questions on behalf of Australia’s biggest airline today.

The federal government has faced fierce criticism from the opposition, airports, airlines and industry experts for allegedly preferencing the interests of Qantas over the rest of the industry when it rejected Qatar Airways’ application to double its flights to Australia.

Read the full story here. 

Trump defrauded banks, insurers as he built real estate empire: judge

In breaking overseas news, a judge has ruled that Donald Trump committed fraud for years while building the real estate empire that catapulted him to fame and the White House.

Judge Arthur Engoron, ruling in a civil lawsuit brought by New York’s attorney general, on Wednesday (AEST) found that the former president and his company deceived banks, insurers and others by massively overvaluing his assets and exaggerating his net worth on paperwork used in making deals and securing financing.

Former President Donald Trump ends his remarks and holds up his fist at a rally in South Carolina.Credit: AP

The decision, days before the start of a non-jury trial in Attorney-General Letitia James’ lawsuit, is the strongest repudiation yet of Trump’s carefully coiffed image as a wealthy and shrewd real estate mogul turned political powerhouse.

Beyond mere bragging about his riches, Trump, his company and key executives repeatedly lied about them on his annual financial statements, reaping rewards such as favourable loan terms and lower insurance premiums, Engoron found.

Those tactics crossed a line and violated the law, the judge said, rejecting Trump’s contention that a disclaimer on the financial statements absolved him of any wrongdoing.

Updates on this breaking news here, from AP.

This morning’s headlines at a glance

Good morning, and thanks for your company.

It’s Wednesday, September 27. I’m Caroline Schelle, and I’ll be anchoring our live coverage for the first half of the day.

Here’s what you need to know before we get started:

  • Noel Pearson will invoke former prime minister John Howard and urge Australians to seize our “last best hope” for reconciling the nation in the upcoming referendum.
  • A specific migration pathway for electrical trades is needed to plug a desperate shortfall of skilled workers needed in the transition to renewable energy, according to a union.
  • Former Qantas boss Alan Joyce will not front the Senate committee probe into the decision to reject extra flights from Qatar Airways due to “personal commitments”.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese praised Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews after he announced he was stepping down.Credit: Alex Ellinghausen

  • Daniel Andrews is stepping down as Victorian premier after nine years in power, saying he made the decision “very recently”.
  • In NSW, drug detection dogs incorrectly detect illicit substances up to 75 per cent of the time, according to a new report.
  • Embattled consulting firm PwC Australia will bring in a raft of changes to improve governance and culture following a review into the group after the tax leak scandal.
  • Overseas, up to 68 people have died at an explosion and fire at a fuel depot in Nagorno-Karabakh, a breakaway enclave in Azerbaijan, as ethnic Armenians flee.

Let’s get into it.

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