TURNBULL’S LAST STAND

The Coalition government has lost its 29th consecutive Newspoll and put Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull only one more failure away from reaching the threshold he cited/invented to depose Tony Abbott.

The Australian‘s ($) survey puts Labor ahead of the Coalition 53-47 on a two-party preferred basis, and while Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s dividend imputation credit policy proved unpopular, receiving only 33% support and 50% opposed, it was not enough to stop Labor’s primary vote from jumping a point to 39%.

The Age reports that Turnbull is now engaged in a last-minute bid to pass his company tax changes in the Senate, telling Fairfax yesterday that the average full-time worker will have “an extra $750 in their pockets each and every year” based on Treasury modelling that has since been ridiculed by Labor.

HOWZAT!?

The International Cricket Council has suspended Australian captain Steve Smith over his role in yesterday’s ball-tampering scandal, after Smith and vice-captain David Warner had agreed to stand down from their leadership positions for the remainder of the third Test against South Africa.

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According to The Age, the ICC has found Smith guilty of being “party to a decision to attempt to change the condition of the ball in order to gain an unfair advantage”. Smith was fined 100% of his match fee and banned from his next Test match, ensuring wicketkeeper Tim Paine will lead as team captain. Cameron Bancroft, whose application of yellow tape to try to alter the condition of a ball on day three triggered the scandal, will forfeit 75% of his earnings and receive three demerit points, one short of a suspension.

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER

Former South Australian Labor tourism minister Leon Bignell has won his SA lower house seat of Mawson, the last to be called in the state election, by just over 100 votes.

The ABC reports that Bignell was tipped to lose to Liberal candidate Andy Gilfillan following an electoral boundary redistribution, but, after eight days of counting, announced yesterday that has held on by “either 113 or 115 or perhaps 117 votes”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

“I am here today to represent Courtlin Arrington. I am here today to represent Hadiya Pendleton. I am here today to represent Taiyania Thompson, who at just 16 years old, was shot dead at her home here in Washington, DC. I am here today to acknowledge and represent the African-American girls whose stories don’t make the front page of every national newspaper, whose stories don’t lead on the evening news.”

— Eleven-year-old Naomi Wadler delivers a speech with more strength and maturity than any adult politician in recent memory. The #MarchForOurLives address in Washington, DC attracted upwards of 500,000 people, with tens of thousands of other students and adults also marching across the country for tighter gun laws.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Senator accuses Coalition of eroding press freedoms ($)

Tracey Spicer launches NOW Australia campaign as Tina Arena joins accusers

Palm Sunday rallies call for closure of Australia’s detention centres

‘Stark data’: How postcodes are shaping the destiny of young Australians

Royal Adelaide Hospital cost saga continues with potential rebuild of emergency rooms

Sting on dark web child-abuse site rescues 100 kids ($)

More banks will be compelled to sign up to new ABA code of conduct

Pledge to ditch renewables target could cost Guy in sandbelt: poll

Japan PM Shinzo Abe apologises amid cronyism scandal, vows to revise constitution

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra: House of Representatives and Senate begin the first of a three-day sitting week, their last before the May 9 budget.

Gold Coast: Queensland Police and the Australian Defence Force to hold a security demonstration and media event ahead of next week’s Commonwealth Games.

Canberra: Senate estimates hearing into the Environment and Energy Portfolio will discuss reducing Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Sydney: Law Enforcement Conduct Commission will hold a public hearing into conduct of officers accused of serious misconduct during the arrest of a young person in Byron Bay January 11th.

Canberra: Inquiry into the Pacific Agreement on Closer Economic Relations.

Melbourne: Acting Lord Mayor Arron Wood and Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley will open the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in a morning event with comedians Lano and Woodley, Spencer Jones and Cal Wilson.

Canberra: Speaker and Senate President Scott Ryan will launch two new exhibitions and the official program of events for the 30th anniversary of Parliament House.

Tathra: NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will visit the Sapphire Coast town of Tathra, where last week’s bushfire destroyed roughly 100 properties.

Canberra: Background briefing from the nation’s independent infrastructure adviser Infrastructure Australia ahead of tomorrow’s priority list 2018 launch.

Perth: Passengers for the first non-stop London-Perth flight will arrive. 

Canberra: Former world champion marathon runner Robert de Castella will be at the Royal Australian Mint as the 2018 Commonwealth Games medals go on public display.

Canberra: Book launch for Dr Maggie Brady’s Teaching ‘Proper’ Drinking?: Clubs and Pubs in Indigenous Australia, with both Brady and deputy chair of the Standing Committee on Indigenous Affairs, Labor Minister Warren Snowdon. 

Wellington: Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Reserve Bank governor-designate Adrian Orr will sign new policy targets agreement, as phase one of the review of the Reserve Bank Act is released online.

Christchurch: New Zealand Climate Change Minister James Shaw opens Christchurch’s week-long Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change with an address to 120 climate experts.

Wellington: The annual New Zealand Petroleum Conference will run from today until Wednesday 28th.

Perth: Pop star Kesha begins her Australia-New Zealand Rainbow tour.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Everyday heroes compelled to break the law when government fails to protect usJulian Burnside (SMH): “This month, nine people – many of them first-time offenders – were collectively fined more than $70,000 for their efforts in January to keep Adani’s coal in the ground. They were each fined $8000 for their peaceful action at the Abbot Point coal terminal. These are extraordinarily high fines for civil disobedience actions. While Adani fights a $12,000 fine for environmental pollution- small change for them – ordinary people have been hit with fines that could stop them putting food on the table, paying school fees and keeping up their rent or mortgage repayments.”

PM’s problems of his own makingRoss Fitzgerald (The Australia): “Turnbull’s problems are all self-generated. Indeed a fundamentally fatal flaw is that Turnbull has been utterly unable to unify the broader Liberal Party and stop defections to the right. Moreover, especially after his shabby treatment of Barnaby Joyce not long after calling the re-elected deputy PM a hero following the New England by-election victory, the PM is making a very poor fist of dealing with the Coalition.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF FRIDAY

Politicians apparently very keen to demonstrate why they can’t be trustedBernard Keane: “In a week that started with the governing class patting itself on the back and declaring ‘Mission Accomplished’ in turning back the tide of third parties, Labor and the Liberals served up further evidence of why they’ve lost the trust of voters and generated growing disillusionment with our political system.”

This government really needs a minister for youthRuby Bisson: “Young people are disillusioned with the Australian government. According to a survey conducted by triple j in 2016, four out of five respondents don’t think politicians are working in the best interests of youth. The proof is in the problems we’re facing: youth unemployment is at the highest it’s been in four decades, mental illness is on the rise, we’re met with an uncertain jobs market and shrinking tax breaks, and the likelihood of buying a house feels like an elusive dream. Unfortunately, in this country, young people are seen as a resource rather than an asset.”

A short history of Pauline Hanson selling out her baseCharlie Lewis: “If the tax cuts get through, Hanson will be rewarded with 1000 new government-funded apprenticeships. Labor Senator Murray Watt has described it as ‘Pauline Hanson’s biggest sellout yet’. We’re not so sure. In the year and a half Hanson has been back in parliament, she’s already established a long history of supporting policies that have an adverse affect on the very people who elected her.

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Sydney, NSW

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