Australia politics live: Victoria set to end Covid lockdown; Turnbull says it's 'incredible' PM's office wasn't told about rape allegation

By Amy Remeikis

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Nine refuses to confirm SMH report of $30m Google deal

Nine Entertainment has not confirmed a report in one of its papers, the Sydney Morning Herald, that the publisher has come to an agreement with Google, reportedly worth $30m a year.

“We continue to have constructive discussions with the digital platforms and when we have anything to announce we will do so to the ASX as is appropriate,” a spokesman for Nine told Guardian Australia.

The SMH reported the five-year deal is for using articles Google News Showcase and Subscribe with Google.

“The agreement is significant because it covers content from Nine’s major newspapers, television, radio and digital assets, and will provide enough funding to support the newsrooms for the company,” the paper reported.Nine is the biggest Australian-owned media company reported to have signed a deal with Google after Seven West Media signed a letter of understanding on Monday.

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The Australian is reporting that Labor and Liberal senators knew about the substance of Brittany Higginscomplaint because it was disclosed to a Senate inquiry into the Department of Parliamentary Services.

The inquiry’s terms of reference include “workplace culture” and there have been a number of confidential submissions accepted by the committee.

Asked about the issue, Labor leader Anthony Albanese said:

I’m not aware of ... those reports are that there was a submission by a whistleblower on a confidential basis to a Senate committee. Of course, it’s a breach of the law for any member of a parliamentary committee to make others aware of [a confidential submission]. So I’m not aware of those details. I’m sure the Senate will be dealing with that later today.”

Albanese repeated Labor’s call for an arms-length investigation, a call now backed by the crossbench.

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