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"If you’ve got nothing to hide." Waleed Aly and Jacqui Lambie's heated exchange over random drug testing, & more in news in 5.

-With AAP.

1. “If you’ve got nothing to hide.” Waleed Aly and Jacqui Lambie’s heated exchange over random drug testing.

On Monday night, The Project co-host Waleed Aly questioned Senator Jacqui Lambie about her stance on drug testing welfare recipients.

It comes after Scott Morrison announced the Coalition government wants a rollout of cashless debit cards for welfare recipients to prevent the payments being spent on alcohol, drugs and gambling. On top of this, the government has proposed drug-testing welfare recipients at random.

Jacqui Lambie has said she will support this decision if politicians, and by extension all those paid “from the public purse”, are also obliged to the random drug test.

“If you’ve got nothing to hide up there in that big white house then it’s now your turn to go and do that random drug and alcohol test. What’s wrong with you people, might miss a few wines after 8 o’clock at night will we? That’ll keep the backbenchers in line,” she said.

Lambie appeared on The Project to clarify her position: “Whether you are a teacher, whether you are working for a politician or you are a politician, tell me why you should not be random drug and alcohol tested, you know, I think that is where I am at with all of this.”

The senator’s mention of teachers saw journalist Waleed Aly question just how many public-funded professions would be included in her proposition.

“Every ABC journalist? Every academic working in the country that is not private?” he asked.

“Why not, we do it in mining, we do it out there in construction, there are many other places in Australia that do it, why are we so special that, because we are on the public purse that shouldn’t have random drug and alcohol testing,” she responded.

Watch: Waleed Aly questions Jacqui Lambie on her stance on drug-testing welfare recipients. Post continues after video. 

She continued: “I have academics teaching kids and politicians up here making billions of dollars, making decisions about billions of dollars that affects the country.”

“If I am right, you are saying you have been presented about a proposal about drug testings people in welfare and your counter-proposal is — let’s drug test everyone in the public service, which is millions of people?” Aly again questioned.

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“It is random,” she replied. “It is random drug and alcohol testing, Waleed, so, that is why it is called ‘random’… they are not testing everybody.”

Panellist Peter Helliar then asked Lambie if her desire to have politicians drug tested was because she believed there was a problem in Canberra.

“I can’t verify that. But why discriminate, why is it only the poor?” she responded. “Why is it only the poor that we have to go after? Are we too good, none of us do alcohol and drugs or anything? That is rubbish, drugs do not discriminate, certainly ice does not.”:

2. “Devastating day.” AFL legend Danny Frawley killed in car crash in Victoria.

St Kilda is broken-hearted and the rest of the AFL community is devastated by the death of Saints great Danny Frawley.

The 56-year-old died on Monday when the ute he was driving hit a tree near Ballarat on Monday afternoon.

No-one else was in the car at the time and investigators are working to determine the exact cause of the crash.

“The St Kilda Football Club is heartbroken by the passing of club great Danny Frawley,” the club said in a statement.

AFL boss Gillon McLachlan said it was a “devastating day” for the football community.

“Danny’s loss will be taken very hard by so many people within our industry, as well as within our own organisation,” he said in a statement.

“Danny was passionate about footy and passionate about people. He made such a positive and lasting influence on so many in our game.”

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Frawley, nicknamed Spud because he grew up on a potato farm in Bungaree near Ballarat played 240 games for St Kilda from 1984-95.

He was the club’s longest-serving captain until Nick Riewoldt surpassed him recently and was inducted into the club’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Following his playing career, Frawley coached Richmond for five years until 2004, before becoming the chief executive of the AFL Coaches’ Association.

His term there coincided with the turmoil of the Essendon supplements saga and it took a toll on his mental health.

“I wasn’t in a position to deal with any of that,” he told a Herald Sun podcast in August.

“It did my head in eventually. It was something in my psyche, maybe from the Richmond days, not playing in a final, all those things built up to a tipping point.”

Frawley also worked as an AFL commentator for Triple M, Fox Sports, SEN and the Nine Network, as well as a part-time defensive coach with his beloved Saints.

St Kilda president Andrew Bassat said the club was still coming to terms with his death.

“Danny will be remembered as one of St Kilda’s greatest ever players and a dear friend to so many at the football club,” he said in a statement.

“He was a larger-than-life character, a generous and warm personality, and a favourite son who has left an indelible mark on St Kilda.”

A statement from Crocmedia, with which Frawley was also associated for many years, paid tribute to their “great friend”.

“Danny was simply loved. A true Australian character, a brilliant entertainer, a selfless father, husband and friend,” Crocmedia boss Craig Hutchison said.

In a statement, Foxtel CEO Patrick Delany and Head of Fox Sports Peter Campbell said: “Words cannot convey our deep love and respect for Danny Frawley.

“The Fox Sports family, and particularly Fox Footy, today lost one of its own – a leader, a man of incredible passion, insight and love for his family and for his game, AFL.”

Frawley is survived by his wife Anita and daughters Chelsea, Danielle and Keeley.

He turned 56 on Sunday.

3. NSW man ‘confessed’ to abducting and killing schoolgirl in 1998.

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A Sydney man repeatedly confessed to having abducted and killed a schoolgirl in 1998, describing it as a stupid, botched ransom attempt, a jury has been told.

But Vinzent Tarantino’s lawyer said he didn’t make admissions to two of those witnesses and made false confessions to others because he feared for his life and the lives of his loved ones.

The 52-year-old has pleaded not guilty in the NSW Supreme Court to murdering Quanne Diec, 12, who vanished on July 27 in 1998 after leaving her Granville home to walk to the train station on her way to school.

Her body has never been found.

“I expect the evidence will show the accused, then 31, took her from Factory Street in Granville to his father’s home in Second Street,” prosecutor Pat Barrett said in the crown opening address on Monday.

“The accused there strangled her and later disposed of her body in the bush south of Sydney.

“On the 20th of November 2016, the accused walked into Surry Hills police station and told police he wanted to confess to her murder.”

Tarantino’s then-girlfriend Laila Faily was expected to testify to going for a drive in a van with him to an area she believed was a national park.

She would say he stopped the car, took a wheelie bin out of the van and returned about an hour later.

He allegedly told her he had kidnapped Quanne because he wanted to get a ransom.

Tarantino also told a friend, Geoff Maurer, he had taken an Asian girl, things went horribly wrong, she was uncooperative and he “cancelled her out”, Mr Barrett said.

Years later, Tarantino told another girlfriend he had killed Quanne during a botched ransom bid.

Just before he went to police in 2016, Tarantino told a brother he had been on drugs and “did a horrible thing”.

“I killed a kid Alan. I am f***ed,” Tarantino said.

He told police it had been “a stupid ransom attempt” which just went wrong.

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But Tarantino’s barrister, Belinda Rigg SC, said the defence disputed claims he made admissions to Ms Faily and Mr Maurer, submitting they were witnesses “who are deliberately misleading you”.

She described what he told police and others as “false confessions” made because he believed he needed to do so to save his own life and his loved ones’ lives.

The jury would hear evidence of Tarantino becoming paranoid about perceived threats and of there being numerous incidents involving police and psychiatric hospitals relating to his perceptions.

Tarantino did use a borrowed white van on the day Quanne went missing, but Ms Rigg said the vehicle had nothing to do with her disappearance.

She referred to a Vietnam veteran, who had been working at a mail centre which was on the route Quanne took to the station.

He had expressed hatred towards Asians, told people he had a sexual interest in young girls and went on leave just after Quanne disappeared, Ms Rigg said.

The trial continues before Justice Robert Beech-Jones.

4. Queensland police investigate illegal fires.

A Queensland man has been accused of back-burning without a permit after a fire he allegedly lit spread to nearby bushland in extremely dangerous bushfire conditions.

It is just one of several police investigations into fires across the state as emergency crews battle an unprecedented start to bushfire season.

There were 83 fires burning in the state on Monday afternoon with hundreds of fire fighters were battling huge blazes that have gutted at least 20 homes since Thursday.

The 63-year-old Lakes Creek man has been charged with lighting an unauthorised fire after allegedly back burning just outside the central Queensland city of Rockhampton on Sunday.

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Police received reports about 1.45pm that a man was acting suspiciously.

He is expected to appear before Rockhampton Magistrates Court on October 8.

It comes as boys who allegedly lit a fire on the Gold Coast at the weekend have been caught.

A member of the public found a fire, which did not spread to bushland, in a storm water drain in the suburb of Pimpama on Saturday afternoon.

Three boys, aged nine, 10 and 11, were arrested on Monday, and the two eldest will be dealt with under the Youth Justice Act.

Police are also appealing for information about three suspicious fires west of the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

They received reports at midnight of a fire at the top of the D’Aguilar Highway near Benarkin, about 120km inland from the coast.

Fire crews found two fires further east towards the town of Linville when they responded to the report.

The fires burnt several hectares of bushland, police say.

5. British Prime Minister says he prefers an agreed Brexit.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, facing staunch opposition at home, has told Ireland’s leader that a new Brexit deal can be reached so Britain leaves the European Union by the October 31 deadline.

Speaking alongside Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar in Dublin on Monday, Johnson said a deal on the Irish border question can be secured in time to enable a smooth British departure from the EU by the scheduled Brexit date.

He said a no-deal departure from the European Union would represent a “failure of statecraft” and that all sides would bear a responsibility for that.

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Johnson has said he will take Britain out of the EU on October 31 even without a deal, but Parliament has passed a bill that would force him to seek a delay from the EU if no deal has been agreed.

The embattled prime minister did not explain how the longstanding stalemate can be broken in a way that satisfies the other 27 EU leaders and would win backing in Britain’s Parliament, where his party no longer has a working majority.

Johnson has been criticised in Britain for not producing new plans to break the Brexit impasse, and Varadkar also said that Britain has not produced any realistic alternatives to the controversial “backstop” agreement reached by Johnson’s predecessor, Theresa May.

Opposition to the backstop was a key reason why Britain’s Parliament rejected May’s Brexit deal with the EU on three occasions earlier this year.

The backstop, which has emerged as the main stumbling block to an agreement, is intended to make sure that no hard border is put up between EU member Ireland and Northern Ireland, which is part of the United Kingdom.

Varadkar said a no-deal departure would cause severe economic problems for Ireland now that border checks have been eliminated for an extended period of time.

He said the EU does not want another extension of the October 31 deadline but is willing to consider one if it is requested.

The Irish leader says more negotiations are needed and that the Good Friday peace agreement, which states that no hard border is re-imposed on the island of Ireland, must be respected.

The Dublin meeting marks the first time the two leaders have met since Johnson took power in July.

Varadkar has said he does not expect an immediate breakthrough in the border impasse.

Johnson’s political position in Britain has been greatly weakened over the past week, with the loss of his Conservative Party’s working majority in Parliament and the departure of some key party figures who sided with the opposition in key votes.

He plans to press a rebellious Parliament later on Monday to back his plan for an early election, with the hope of winning a majority that would back his Brexit strategy, but opposition parties have said they will vote the measure down.

They want to make sure a “no-deal” departure is blocked before agreeing to an election.

Johnson has said he will not seek a delay despite the new bill that seeks to force him to do so. His government is studying the bill for possible loopholes that might allow a legal challenge.

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