TAKE IT TO THE BANKS
Labor has called for a government-led compensation scheme for victims of banking misconduct in the face of a damning fortnight at the financial services royal commission and an unrepentant Coalition ministry.
The Guardian reports that within hours of Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer refusing to acknowledge the government’s flip-flop on the inquiry Opposition Leader Bill Shorten wrote to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to demand an extension to the royal commission, an apology for the Coalition’s delay, and a compensation scheme “for the victims of proven wrongdoing”.
At a press conference in Germany this morning, Turnbull has since admitted that rejecting the commission for 18 months was “a political mistake”. However, having closed this morning’s Newspoll ($) gap to a mere 49-51 two-party preferred loss to Labor, he is yet to suffer any serious public backlash for it.
HEALTH SECTOR PLAGUED WITH DATA LEAKS
Breaches of Australian health data currently happen at a frequency of once every two days, with most companies and departments involved reportedly facing no financial penalties.
The Adelaide Advertiser ($) has found that data relating to everything from sexually transmitted diseases, mental illnesses, abortions, and even sex work is not sufficiently protected. A recent mandatory notification scheme requires businesses to report data breaches to the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner, and, since it came into effect 37 days ago, few responsible businesses have suffered financial penalties despite a rate of one breach every two days.
GURRUMUL’S FINAL TRIUMPH
Music icon Gurrumul has posthumously broken an Australian record, with his final album, Djarimirri (Child of the Rainbow), now the first album sung in an Indigenous language to debut at No. 1.
As Junkee and the NT News report, the album beat out Cardi B, Ed Sheeran and The Weeknd to debut at No. 1 on Saturday, following a week-long social media campaign from fans. The album comprises a mix of Indigenous songs and chants, in the dialect of Gurrumul’s Gumatj and Galpu clans, with classical orchestral arrangements, and comes after he passed from kidney disease in July last year.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I’m very happy to concede that we have taken the right action.
The Financial Services Minister quite humbly admits that the Coalition was right, actually, to ridicule, delay and, in order to set the terms of reference, only grudgingly execute the now-explosive banking royal commission.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The government’s line on the royal commission is that it deserves the credit, because Labor argued for a very narrow inquiry while the Liberals wanted a broad one. Apart from being a lie, that also contradicts the government’s argument before the 2016 election — that Labor’s royal commission proposal was so damaging it would harm the Australian financial system, placing the entire economy at risk. The Liberals should at least get their story straight — either Labor’s commission idea was so wide-ranging it could bring Australian capitalism tumbling down, or it was too narrow to get the job done.”
“Early this morning, Leigh Sales was moved to publicly thank viewers for their reaction to an interview conducted with best-selling US author James Comey. The 7.30 presenter did not describe the majority nature of responses to last night’s broadcast, but, instead, their volume — ‘huge amounts’. Still, it’s safe for us to suppose that this grateful Sales was not beset, as she so often is, with assessment of her wardrobe. We might suppose she was thankful for huge thanks.”
“Federal action on climate change has, in no uncertain terms, gone backwards over the past five years. Since coming into power, the Coalition has removed the carbon pricing scheme, played around with an extraordinarily pointless Direct Action Plan, and — despite a genuine effort from Energy and Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg — knocked back Chief Scientist Alan Finkel’s Clean Energy Target after lobbying from pro-coal factions.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Acting Prime Minister and Nationals Leader Michael McCormack will open an expansion to Brisbane international airport.
Labor Deputy Leader Tanya Plibersek and Queensland Minister for Training and Skills Development, Shannon Fentiman, will visit Mt Gravatt TAFE to discuss government cuts to TAFE and vocational education. They will also be joined by the Federal Member for Griffith, Terri Butler, and Labor’s candidate for Bonner, Jo Briskey.
Defence Industry Minister Christopher Pyne will deliver a speech titled ‘Australia’s Defence Industry: A Watershed Moment’.
Boolardy, Western Australia
Phase Two expansion of the Murchison Widefield Array radio telescope, with the addition of 2048 new antennas set to make the MWA 10 times more powerful.
WAFarmers and the National Farmers’ Federation will meet with Liberal MP and former health minister Sussan Ley on the future of the live sheep export trade and Ley’s intention to submit a private member’s bill banning the practice.
South Australia’s March Upper House election results to be finalised by the SA Electoral Commission.
VEC will begin posting Melbourne Lord Mayor voting packs.
Financial services royal commission will again examine improper advice involving ANZ and AMP before moving to inappropriate conduct, firstly involving NAB financial advisers.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Defence Minister Marise Payne will meet with German counterparts, Chancellor Angela Merkel and Defence Minister Ursula von der Leyen respectively, ahead of a tour of Belgium and Villers-Bretonneux, France for ANZAC Day.
New Delhi, India
Latest and expectedly final extradition hearing for Indian national Puneet Puneet, who fatally ran over a student in Melbourne before leaving the country ahead of sentencing.
When Water Is Death — Gadrian Hoosan (IndigenousX): “I am a Garrwa and Yanyuwa man born and raised in our Gulf country homelands in the Northern Territory. The day before yesterday I poured a glass of water from my tap in our town camp and gave it to my granddaughter – I did not know it then, but there was poison in that water. Today, I know our water is poisoned and I will not stop until it is clean again.”
Australians are more generous than their government — Jody Lightfoot (The Age): “The Minister for International Development Concetta Fierravanti-Wells has blamed Australians for cuts to aid funding, justifying them with the statement that ‘you have to take the public with you’. The reality is the public are well ahead of her – not behind.”
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