ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
US President Donald Trump has sacked Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and replaced him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the swap, induced when Trump asked Tillerson to step aside last Friday, was orchestrated as part of a major shakeup of Trump’s national security team ahead of May talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and global trade negotiations. The White House has also fired top Tillerson aide Steve Goldstein for contradicting their account of the dismissal, namely for claiming that Tillerson had not spoken directly about the move with Trump.
SHORTEN’S PLAN BACKFIRES?
New Treasury figures show that over 610,000 Australians on the lowest annual incomes would lose roughly $1200 a year in tax refunds under Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s plan to abolish refunds for excess imputation credits.
According to The Australian ($), Treasury analysis of official tax data figures has found that the largest group of people to be hit by Labor’s plan receive annual incomes of less than $18,200, a group that is predominantly also on the age pension.
ROMAN HOLIDAY’S SAD ENDING
Attorney-General Christian Porter has reportedly recommend the dismissal of Border Force commissioner Roman Quaedvlieg, following alleged misconduct in getting his partner a job at Sydney Airport. Quaedvlieg has been on paid leave since May 24, 2017.
The Australian ($) understands that Porter has now advised Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s secretary Martin Parkinson that Quaedvlieg’s alleged misuse of power breached the public service code of conduct and the Border Force chief can therefore be dismissed by the Governor-General.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
“White envelopes, usually over the counter. Money is deposited at CBA — so NAB can’t detect the deposits.”
A NAB staff member discusses allegations against a branch manager in an October 2015 email, heard during yesterday’s start to the banking royal commission. Envelopes stuffed with money were reportedly ($) used to bribe bankers into giving out fraudulent home loans as part of a scam involving six NAB branches in Western Sydney.
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Adelaide: South Australian Premier Jay Weatherill, Opposition Leader Steven Marshall and SA-Best leader Nick Xenophon will take part in the final election debate, the Sky News people’s forum.
Melbourne: ExxonMobil executives will attend the Senate Inquiry into Corporate Tax Avoidance as witnesses, and reportedly attract protesters set to rally outside the venue.
Canberra: High Court will hear the citizenship case for Labor Senator Katy Gallagher, referred by the Senate over her British dual citizenship.
Melbourne/Australia: The ABS will release homelessness data compiled after the 2016 Census, the first time since 2011 that figures relating to Australian homelessness — including demographics such as state, gender and age — have been released.
Perth: The Counterterrorism Inquiry will hold two hearings with the private security industry, including President of the Security Agents Institute of WA Michael Dyer and NPB Security Managing Director Scott Parry.
Melbourne: Banks royal commission hearing continues its focus on fraudulent home loan applications connected to NAB’s “introducer program”, featuring NAB senior executives Anthony Waldron and Angus Gilfillan as witnesses, before moving to CBA mortgage brokers.
Perth: One Nation leader Pauline Hanson will hold a members-only forum.
Sydney: A seminar on the employment and educational needs of Syrian and Iraqi refugees will feature researchers from Australia, the UK, Sweden, Finland, Germany and Canada.
Auckland: New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw will outline his vision for a low emissions energy sector in a speech at the Energy Sector Conference.
Melbourne: Panel discussing “African youth crime” media phenomenon is set to feature Melbourne Anglican Archbishop Philip Freier, young lawyer and social activist Nyadol Nyuon and community leader Chaplain Soma, along with moderator and former ABC host John Cleary.
Sydney: Delivery riders for Deliveroo, Foodora and UberEats will hold a protest march to highlight systematic industry exploitation. Transport Workers Union secretary Tony Sheldon and Unions NSW secretary Mark Morey will deliver speeches along with riders.
Cairns: The Tax Institute’s 33rd National Convention begins, a three-day event featuring expert presenters from across the tax industry.
Brisbane: United States Consul General Valerie Fowler and Commander of the U.S. Seventh Fleet Vice Admiral Phillip G. Sawyer will attend a series of events celebrating the 75th anniversary of the US Seventh fleet’s formation in Brisbane.
Perth: Synergy Schools Solar Challenge will see more than 1000 students from Years 6 and 8 race solar cars they built as part of STEM subjects.
ASEAN summit reflects our standing in the region — Malcolm Turnbull (Sydney Morning Herald): “This week, for the first time, the leaders of the 10-member Associations of South-East Asian Nations, or ASEAN, will meet in Australia. This is a historic moment for our place in the world; a rare opportunity in a time of momentous change – unprecedented in its scale and pace.”
FactCheck: does South Australia have the ‘highest energy prices’ in the nation and ‘the least reliable grid’? — Dylan McConnell and David Blowers (The Conversation): “During a public leaders’ debate, SA Liberal Party leader Steven Marshall claimed that under the Weatherill Labor government, South Australians had been left with ‘the highest energy prices in Australia – some say in the world – and the least reliable grid’. Marshall said this was ‘all because this [Labor] government decided we had to go headlong into intermittent renewable energy without the baseload to support that transition’. Let’s look at the evidence.”
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
Batman garbage fire is the perfect representation of Australian politics — Amy Gray: “As an illustration of Australian politics, the Batman by-election is so perfectly dire it could almost have been engineered by a group of marketing interns wanting to tick every box. Its origin story is crafted for the zeitgeist, with the sitting member for Batman — pratfalling comedic relief David Feeney — resigning over his dual national citizenship. So far, so hot right now.”
Razing the Barr: self-serving mainstream media unite against ACT leader — Helen Razer: “‘I hate journalists and I’m over the mainstream media’. Declare this to anyone but your best mates only in the case you seek a walloping from mainstream media. Otherwise, those in public life would do far better to sing from the Oprah book of common praise, ‘I value the press more than ever before as we try to navigate these complicated times’. Big outlets love this stuff. So, provide them with that and perhaps some blandishment about the courage/integrity of high-profile journalists in the face of power/deceit. This will be swallowed very gratefully by the beak of corporate press, then disgorged over all us hatchlings.”
Immigration debate shows how we’ve infantilised government — Bernard Keane: “Like a form of cosmic background radiation to our public life, there’s one issue that is always lurking in contemporary political debates: the seeming inability of governments to get things done. Building a national broadband network. Addressing the disadvantage of Indigenous Australians. Delivering effective climate action. Providing sufficient housing supply. Protecting major river systems. Tasks that have proved beyond governments despite, often, huge amounts of money being thrown at the task.”
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