Australia’s Most Mentioned Issues in the News (June 18 – 24, 2016)

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Editor’s Note:  Welcome to this weekly recap of Australia’s news, powered by iSentia

Australia's News Headlines June 24

Blues captain Paul Gallen has confirmed the 2016 State of Origin series will be his last, and team coach Laurie Daley says he will not use the third match to experiment with a new-look team, following the team’s 26-16 loss to Queensland  on Wednesday. Maroons player Sam Thaiday will sit out Brisbane’s next two NRL matches after taking an early guilty plea on a dangerous throw charge in Wednesday night’s game.

On Sunday, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten described the upcoming federal election as a referendum on Medicare, leading to criticism after the Labor Party claimed the Government is looking to privatise Medicare, by highlighting the extended freeze on rebates for GP visits. Head of the Australian Medical Association Michael Gannon said Shorten had “overreached” on his claims and voiced his support towards selling off the current Medicare payments system. PM Malcolm Turnbull labelled the Oppositon’s claims as “the biggest lie in the whole campaign”.

Both the PM and Opposition Leader have again publicly denounced violence against women, following Collingwood President Eddie McGuire’s comments that AFL journalist Caroline Wilson should be held underwater permanently. As of Thursday, Mcguire and Wilson had met and reportedly “made peace”. Triple M says all employees involved in the controversial on-air discussion have been counselled, while Richmond Football Club joined Opposition Leader Bill Shorten in boycotting the station this weekend. 

Polling booths have opened across Britain for voters to decide whether to remain in the European Union, with research from the London School of Economics showing Britain would most likely fall into recession over several years if it leaves. Recent online polls have put the Leave campaign ahead, but phone polls suggest Remain will win.

 The Government has promised to hold a plebiscite on same sex marriage if re-elected, with Shorten promising to instead adjust the Marriage Act in Parliament if Labor is the winner. Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison has been criticized for saying straight Christian people face similar bigotry and hatred to LGBTI Australians.

Quote of the week: “They just told me it was the biggest mistake I was making in my career. And that right there was my motivation.” LeBron James on what the Miami Heat management told him after he announced he was leaving to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, who hadn’t won the NBA title for 52 years.

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