Good morning, early birds. The Nationals draw media attention for the wrong reasons again. Adam Bandt calls the government review of climate change policies a ‘travesty’. Plus, good news for an Australian man on drug charges in Bali. It’s the news you need to know, with Max Chalmers.

NATS GO BATS

We regret to inform you that the Nats are at it again.

There is anger inside the federal Coalition after Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet reshuffle demoted Nationals MPs Darren Chester and Keith Pitt in a move seen by some ($) as retribution against those who failed to back Barnaby Joyce’s preferred candidate for Nationals deputy-leader, Matt Canavan.

According to the Australian Financial Review, Pitt is now contemplating sitting as a crossbencher, putting Turnbull’s majority in the house of representatives at risk once more. Given the bluffing of other Nationals MPs like George Christensen to cross the floor throughout the year, you could forgive Turnbull for not being too worried just yet.

The shuffle brings the number of women in cabinet to five, with the promotion of newbie Nationals MP David Littleproud also raising some eyebrows ($).

Both major parties are ending the year with festive factional blues. In Queensland, former LNP big wigs including one-time premier Campbell Newman are facing censure and pressure to resign from the party ($) over public criticisms in the wake of the disastrous state poll.

Down in Victoria, a peace accord between Labor’s left and right factions appears to have fallen apart.

CLIMATE DATA NOT SO SUNNY

Australia does not appear to be on track to meet its 2030 carbon emission reduction target, despite boasts from a government review of climate change policies that “emissions per person and the emissions intensity of the economy are at their lowest levels in 28 years” and an assurance Australia would meet the target without compromising economic growth.

Despite the sunny outlook in the report, a separate data release by the Department of Environment and Energy noted by the Sydney Morning Herald shows Australia needs to further cut emissions to make the 2030 target of a 26-28% reduction.

Labor and the Greens are furious, with Greens MP Adam Bandt calling the review “a travesty”.

On top of its climate comments, the review also finds that consumers could save $500 a year if the government introduced a new fuel efficiency standard.

DEATH SENTENCE UNLIKELY

Local police in Bali have said an Australian man arrested for allegedly importing a small quantity of drugs onto the island will not face the death penalty.

Isaac Emmanuel, who is 35-years-old, was arrested with just under 20 grams of clear crystals and 14 tablets. Local drug squad officer Johnny Lay was quoted by ABC news as saying the maximum sentence in such a case would be 20 years in prison.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Low proof on child sex compensation ‘to avoid Irish fees model’ ($)

Trump strategy ‘proves US not in Asia decline’, says envoy ($)

Saudi Arabia shoots down Houthi missile aimed at Riyadh palace

WHAT’S ON TODAY 

Canberra: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s new cabinet to be sworn-in.

Perth: State Treasurer Ben Wyatt delivers Western Australia’s mid-year budget review.

Sydney: A man charged with attempting to raise funds for North Korea in breach of UN sanctions appears in court for the second time.

Brisbane: Mention for 48-year-old man charged with assaulting Kevin Rudd’s godson over a same-sex marriage argument.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Barnaby Joyce’s shoulder charge spoils Turnbull’s pre-Christmas parade — Katharine Murphy: “The prospect of Joyce restoring order anywhere was always a vain hope, given who he is, and given the saturnine, push it to the brink mood he’s been in recently, and given where politics currently is – marooned in the knockdown clown territory that gives voters the creeps.”

Shifty Shorten and Pushy Kristina’s monumental fail — Miranda Devine (The Daily Telegraph $): “Labor’s best asset, the delcon insurgency, has fizzled out. “Delcons” are the “delusional conservatives” who believe Tony Abbott will be reinstalled on his throne, regardless of the damage wrought by more regimen change. The last delcon standing by year’s end was the indomitable John Stone who is still writing columns titled: “Liberals must dump Turnbull — and the only leader who fits is Abbott.””

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY 

Australia’s animal welfare process is broken and corrupted — Bernard Keane: “After the Abbott government was elected and Barnaby Joyce became Agriculture Minister, the Commonwealth immediately walked away from leading the process — one of the reasons that the latest set of standards and guidelines (for the poultry industry) have taken so long to put together for public consultation.”

MYEFO shell game liberates $5.4 million from arts funding — Ben Eltham: “Yesterday’s cut leaves the Australia Council’s 2017-18 appropriation at $207.6 million. That’s 5% below the $218.8 million bequeathed by Labor back in 2013. Funding has declined by approximately 12% in real terms, and discretionary funding by even more.”

Three things you can kind of feel good about from 2017 — Helen Razer: “1. UK election: Yes, the Tories cling to power, but much in the way Mark Latham clings to a conviction that he’ll ever clock more views on YouTube than my 12-year-old niece’s unboxing of the PlayStation 4 Pro.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

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