A WIN’S A WIN

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has described South Australian Liberal leader Steve Marshall’s Saturday election victory as an endorsement of the federal government’s controversial energy policy, the National Energy Guarantee (NEG).

According to The Australian, Turnbull believes his chances of passing the NEG, which protects coal generators from competition but requires state approval, have “improved considerably” now that a South Australian government supports the policy. Marshall has been highly critical of former-Premier Jay Weatherill‘s push for renewables, and, during last week’s leaders’ debate, was found by FactChat to be incorrect in attributing Labor’s energy policies to the state’s high energy costs and reliability issues. 

We wonder whether Bill Shorten might use Labor’s victory in the Batman byelection, also at the weekend, to claim a mandate for his party’s policy on Adani. Although, what was that policy again …?

FIRE AND FURY

Bushfires have claimed at least 10 homes in Victoria’s south-west and possibly dozens more along New South Wales’s far south coast, while residents in the Northern Territory have begun cleaning up after the weekend’s Cyclone Marcus.

The Age is reporting that dozens of properties have burnt out and hundreds of sheep and cattle lost to fires across the towns of Terang, Camperdown, Cobden and Gnotuk yesterday, while The Sydney Morning Herald reports that a separate blaze may have taken more than 30 homes and buildings, including a caravan park, in the seaside town of Tathra. Meanwhile, the NT News ($) is detailing clean-up efforts following Saturday’s category two storm across the Top End, with reports of broken power lines, fallen trees, and some residents going without power for over 36 hours.

FACEBOOK HACK FOR TRUMP

In one of Facebook’s biggest ever data breaches, analytics firm Cambridge Analytic reportedly harvested and utilised millions of US voters’ profiles while working with Donald Trump’s election team prior to the 2016 election, 

In The Guardian “Cambridge Analytica Files”, whistleblower Christopher Wylie reveals how the company, owned by hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer and headed at the time by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon, took user information without authorisation in early 2014 to create a software program capable of predicting and influencing voter concerns.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

“When the full extent of your venality, moral turpitude, and political corruption becomes known, you will take your rightful place as a disgraced demagogue in the dustbin of history. You may scapegoat Andy McCabe, but you will not destroy America … America will triumph over you.”

— Former CIA director John O. Brennan goes all in on Donald Trump on Twitter, after the President described ex-FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe’s dismissal as “A great day for Democracy”. 

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Bill Shorten emboldened as scope emerges to soften Labor $59 billion revenue grab

George Christensen attacks own government over abortion services funding

South Australia election: Nick Xenophon pledges comeback ($)

Labor victory fuelled by Catholic education backing ($)

China sees maritime periphery as ‘deeply hostile’, Rudd tells US cadets

Aung San Suu Kyi asks Australia and Asean for help with Rohingya crisis

Nine, Ten discuss joint bid as battle for cricket rights hots up ($)

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra: Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi will speak with Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten following the weekend’s ASEAN-Australia special summit in Sydney.

Adelaide: Liberal leader Steven Marshall will be sworn in as SA Premier, Vickie Chapman as Deputy and Rob Lucas as Treasurer, with the rest of cabinet to be sworn in later this week.

Canberra: Senate sitting is expected to consider government legislation, including university funding reform, and swear-in new independent/ex-NXT senator Tim Storer and an expectant replacement for George Brandis. No House of Reps.

Sydney: ASIC will host its two-day annual forum in Sydney, with Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer set to open.

Melbourne: Court hearing to determine who owns the $70 million Cormack Foundation funding the Victorian Liberal Party.

Melbourne: Start of the two-day NEXUS Australia Youth Summit 2018.

Melbourne: Banks royal commission hearing will hear from an ANZ executive, responding to Friday’s evidence from a loan customer who experienced financial hardship, and a consumer who bought unsuitable add-on credit card insurance.

THE COMMENTARIAT

‘Before most of us had made our morning coffee, they were gone.‘ — Chandra Roulston (SMH): “Nades was getting ready to go to work at the meatworks while his wife Priya was heating a bottle for their nine-month-old Australian-born daughter. Juggling the morning as mothers do, having a two-year-old as well. Before most of us had made our morning coffee, they were gone. On a plane to a detention centre in Melbourne. Ready to be deported.”

This is how Labor wins electionsMark Butler (SMH): “Ged Kearney‘s resounding win in Batman — and Jay Weatherill’s gutsy election campaign in South Australia – were powerful demonstrations of Labor’s willingness to take on all parties in a contest over values. And while the third party vote remains strong – and continues to demand our attention – the weekend’s results reveal there’s a limit to the strength of protest politics.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF FRIDAY

Hawking wasn’t bound to his wheelchair, he was empowered by it — Shakira Hussein:[Stephen Hawking] was mourned by disabled people around the world for whom his life served as an illustration that, when provided with the necessary support and aides, their achievements could be unlimited. Hawking himself was a vocal supporter of the NHS and the entitlement of those with similar impairments to his own to receive the same support that had enabled his own dazzling career. Many of Hawking’s fellow wheelchair-users (note: never describe them as ‘wheelchair-bound’) were angered, then, by eulogies that described his death as a merciful release.”

The terror of Toy Town — Bernard Keane: “The biggest thing to happen in Canberra for a while happened this week. Andrew Barr, mayor chief minister of Canberra, declared that he hated journalists and was over the mainstream media. Journalists, displaying a remarkable thinness of skin, then declared they hated Andrew Barr back, getting stuck into him on Twitter.”

Controversial Sunrise segment misused file footage provided by non-profit — Emily Watkins: “It’s perhaps no surprise that among the many, well-documented issues with Sunrise‘s disastrous panel on Tuesday dealing with whether Indigenous children should be adopted by ‘white’ families, their lazy journalism extending to misusing file footage they had no permission to use.”

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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