WHAT’S IN A NAME? BETTER GST POLICY.

The Productivity Commission is considering changes to the definition of Aboriginality according to a submission intended to deliver better GST distribution to especially disadvantaged remote communities.

The Australian ($) reports that a proposal to better calculate “indigeneity”, an identification that has reportedly seen a steady rise in Australia’s south, is contained in a GST review submission by the Yothu Yindi Foundation.

A leadership institution representing five Northeast Arnhem Land clan groups, the foundation argues that “illiterate, welfare-­dependent families in Papunya clearly should rate higher than a double-income, university-­educated family living in their own home in Parramatta”.

The submission, set to form part of a report presented to government in May, suggests that the the rise of people in Australia’s south identifying as Aboriginal has left the Northern Territory at a demographic disadvantage (“indigeneity” remains a factor that can attract more funding in GST redistribution equations by the Commonwealth Grants Commission).

Supporters of the submission include indigenous academic Marcia Langton, who argues that “the category of indigenous in terms of distributing the money has become meaningless” and suggests more practical indicators for GST distribution for Indigenous communities could include high household occupancy rates and chronic disease rates.

BOMBER RAID

AFL star Mark “Bomber” Thompson has been arrested and subsequently released without charge following a broader investigation into drug trafficking.

Following raids on his Port Melbourne converted warehouse, The Age reports that police have confirmed the 54-year-old AFL legend was arrested and released yesterday “pending further enquiries”.

Thompson reportedly handed himself in ($) after raids on his warehouse and a separate Geelong residence last Friday. The raids resulted in two men — Thomas Windsor, who was staying at Thompson’s warehouse apartment at the time of the raids, and Karl “Bang Bang” Holt — being charged with trafficking a drug of dependence. It is unclear what Thompson’s alleged relationship with Windsor is.

Both Holt and Windsor reportedly have links to bikies in the Geelong region, and their arrests coincide with an unnamed 22-year-old woman from Mill Park being charged with the same.

A Victoria Police spokeswoman confirmed the three have been remanded in custody to face Geelong Magistrates’ Court at later dates.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney: Federal inquiry led by Philip Ruddock meets to assess legal protections for religious freedom in Australia.

Sydney: Former Labor leader and national headache Mark Latham is set to launch a “Save Australia Day” campaign.

Melbourne: Bureau of Meteorology will release its annual climate statement for 2017, AKA one of Australia’s top five warmest years on record.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Australia’s gay outlaws are still waiting for compensationSeb Starcevic (Daily Telegraph $): “But he was convicted. As was the custom, his full name and charge was published in a local newspaper. Gossip spread through his traditional Catholic school, and he was forced to deny everything to salvage his reputation. Making matters worse, his father was a police officer, and the shame was unbearable.”

Snowy 2.0 is well-placed to fill gaps in the energy market Paul Broad (The Australian $): “Snowy 2.0 is an expansion of what we already do. It is not new or unique. The concept of expanding our pumped storage capability has been around since the 1960s. The growth of baseload power negated its viability, but the economics are changing rapidly.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Is Martin Hamilton-Smith Australian politics’ greatest ever turncoat?Charlie Lewis: “Hamilton-Smith has changed parties more times than an indecisive New Year’s Eve reveler, and the number of challenges he’s made to the various leaders he’s served make our federal parties look positively loyal.”

Razer: Dutton’s ‘African gangs’ rubbish breaks with old-school Howard bigotryHelen Razer: “If there were a Nobel Prize for dog-whistling, Howard would be a shoo-in. If they ever give one for barking like a Bichon Frise that wishes it were bigger, Dutton is my bet.”

How accused men are responding to sexual harassment allegationsEmily Watkins:The Age has reported fresh allegations against Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, who’s currently embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal being investigated by the Melbourne City Council. It’s become a familiar story, a well-established pattern, following the revelations last year about Fox News’ Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly, producer Harvey Weinstein and others. But one thing that doesn’t always follow the same pattern is how the accused men react.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

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