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The West Australian’s PM briefing: BHP heritage site controversy, Gosnells race attack and Facebook deals

Another Aboriginal heritage site controversy in the Pilbara, a shocking race attack in Gosnells and huge news concerning Facebook and Australian media are making headlines this afternoon.

The McGowan Government has also revealed that it received a report into the adequacy of its hotel quarantine system — but is holding back on releasing it to the public.

Here are five must-read stories from The West Australian this afternoon.

BHP to probe rockfall at Aboriginal heritage site

BHP and a Traditional Owner group are investigating the disturbance of a registered Aboriginal heritage site at the mining giant’s Mining Area C operations in the Pilbara.

The company informed the Banjima people of a rockfall at the site in January, but it is not yet known whether mining activity or something else caused the disturbance.

BHP Minerals Australia president Edgar Basto said the disturbance had been identified during regular monitoring of Mining Area C.

Read the full story here.

Man with swastika on forehead wanted over race attack

Cowardly, atrocious and unprovoked is how police have described a racially motivated flamethrower attack on an Indigenous woman and her daughter in Gosnells on Saturday night.

On Tuesday detectives released a composite image of the attacker, who had a white Swastika painted backwards on his forehead.

Police have also released CCTV footage of a man they wish to speak to over the incident.

Detectives today released a composite image of the attacker, who had a white Swastika painted backwards on his forehead.
Camera IconDetectives today released a composite image of the attacker, who had a white Swastika painted backwards on his forehead. Credit: Simon Santi/The West Australian

Read the full story here.

Why WA Govt is yet to release hotel quarantine report

Western Australia’s government has received a report into the adequacy of its hotel quarantine system but is yet to reveal when it will be released.

Former WA chief health officer Tarun Weeramanthri was tasked with reviewing the system after a security guard at the Sheraton Four Points hotel contracted COVID-19 then unwittingly roamed the streets while infectious.

Metropolitan Perth and nearby regions went into a five-day lockdown on January 31 and authorities braced for an influx of cases.

Health Minister Roger Cook.
Camera IconHealth Minister Roger Cook. Credit: Iain Gillespie/The West Australian

Read the full story here.

The story behind Frydenberg’s deal with Facebook

It’s been a tremendous task that has required special sauce and then some.

Facebook’s threat, and subsequent actions, to suspend all Australian news and public information sites on its platform threatened to derail years of work on a media bargaining code.

When Treasurer Scott Morrison started the ball rolling just before Christmas in 2017 by tasking the consumer watchdog to look into the reach big tech giants have in Australia he knew it would be a mighty task.

And now Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, often referred to as the energiser bunny, was not about to let things slip at the 11th hour.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has negotiated a deal with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (inset) to lift a ban on Australian news on the social media platform.
Camera IconTreasurer Josh Frydenberg has negotiated a deal with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg (inset) to lift a ban on Australian news on the social media platform. Credit: Getty Images/Getty Images

Read the full story here.

Party crasher ‘seen hooning’ before killing teen

An apprentice baker who was not welcome at a joint birthday party was seen “hooning”, “fishtailing” and doing “burnouts” outside the event minutes before he lost control of his high-powered utility and ploughed into partygoers, killing a teenage girl.

Details of Brodie Lee Gibbard’s “reprehensible” actions on August 11, 2018 that cost 16-year-old Kaitlyn Scott her life were revealed during what was supposed to be his sentencing hearing today.

WA’s Supreme Court was told the 21-year-old was not invited to the celebration on Davis Road, Monjingup, north of the Esperance because of a dispute between his ex and his new girlfriend but that he had decided to drive past with his new partner after he had finished work.

Brodie Gibbard at the Supreme Court today.
Camera IconBrodie Gibbard at the Supreme Court today. Credit: Michael Wilson/The West Australian

Read the full story here.

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