COALITION SCRAPS MEDICARE HIKE
The Coalition government has withdrawn plan to increase the Medicare levy from July 2019, a 2017 budget proposal that would have raised $8 billion to help fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Treasurer Scott Morrison will formally announce the plans today as part of a preview of further income tax cuts in the 2018 budget. Morrison will also argue that added revenue from recent tax receipts, up $4.8 billion higher in February than he had estimated in December last year, mean that the planned levy increase from 2% to 2.5% is no longer necessary.
The news has been cautiously welcomed by disability advocates, who are now seeking security around the Coalition’s alternative funding methods.
AUSTRALIAN NUN ORDERED TO LEAVE PHILIPPINES AFTER STICKING IT TO DUTERTE
A 71-year-old nun has been ordered to leave the Philippines after being personally criticised by President Rodrigo Duterte for alleged political activism.
The Guardian reports that Sister Patricia Fox, who has lived in the country for 27 years and has been singled out by Duterte for “illegal political activities”, has had her missionary visa cancelled over her attendance at rallies, press conferences and fact-finding missions with farmers and prisoners. While she has been given 30 days to leave the country, Fox has ten days to lodge an appeal and her lawyer has argued the activities were consistent with missionary work.
PERTH WITHDRAWS ANZAC DAY PARKING TICKETS
The City of Perth will withdraw $200 parking tickets issued to hundreds of people during yesterday’s Anzac Day celebrations, following sustained criticism of opportunism and insensitivity.
The ABC reports that while some of the tens of thousands who attended the Kings Park dawn service had parked in tow-away zones, the City of Perth has since announced that, given the circumstances, fines will be waived. Inspector activity during the event had attracted a barrage of criticism from from locals ($), the RSL and even the WA Deputy Premier.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Coming here, seeing this centre and tower, looking at the names of the 11,000 Australians who died for France and for freedom, I could not help thinking of the terrible loneliness which these thousands of young Australians must have felt as their young lives were cut short in a foreign country. A foreign country. A far away country. A cold country whose earth had neither the colour nor texture of their native bush.
The French Prime Minister delivers a gut-wrenching Anzac Day speech at the opening of the new Sir John Monash Centre at Villers-Bretonneux.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The Women Against Rape in War protests of the early ’80s took place in Victoria, New South Wales and the ACT to highlight the previously undiscussed issue of rape and sexual violence against women being used as a tool of war. Although there was a clause in the Geneva Convention that outlawed sexual assault of women in war, it was not widely known and had never been invoked in legal cases or judgments.”
“Most of the headlines from the banking royal commission so far have related to rip-offs like fees for services never provided, fees charged to dead clients and rotten advice costing people tens of thousands of dollars. But there’s a far bigger rip-off that is likely to go unexamined, one that costs billions compared to the hundreds of millions that the banks’ and AMP’s compensation bills are likely to amount to. And it affects millions of Australian consumers.”
“Barbara Bush is dead at 92 and to her family and obituarists, the former First Lady’s end was a reasonable concern. We could argue that concern expressed for this death by a major Western feminist movement was unreasonable. But to make this case, we must agree from the outset that major Western feminist organisations can produce true reason. This would be, to use the cant of major Western feminist organisations, ‘problematic’.”
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison will deliver a pre-budget address with Australian Business Economists.
The NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption will begin day one of ‘Operation Dasha’, a public inquiry into allegations that public officials, including former Canterbury City councillors Michael Hawatt and Pierre Azzi, acted dishonestly and or partially exercised official functions during environmental decisions.
Today begins the three-day Global Summit of Women, informally known as the ‘Davos for Women’ and set to feature appearances from Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore, Carnival Australia Executive Chairman Ann Sherry, Deloitte Australia CEO Cindy Hook, Prime Minister of Bangladesh Sheikh Hasina Wazed and the Vice President of Vietnam Đặng Thị Ngọc Thịnh.
ABC journalist Sabra Lane will host the National Press Club Sydney’s Global Summit of Women panel, set to examine different leadership models with Ann Sherry, Daimler AG’s Head of Global Diversity Management Ursula Schwarzenbart, and Global Palladium Group’s Chief Diversity Officer Dr Rosanna Duncan.
Cricket commentator and former ADF member Cate McGregor will launch visiting author Anne M Reed’s She Said She Said: Love, Loss and Living My New Normal, a book about the journey of someone whose partner is gender transitioning.
Greens Senator and spokesperson for Waste and Recycling Peter Whish-Wilson will launch a plan to save the recycling industry following China’s decision to restrict waste imports.
Public inquiry into the promise by big business to make the most of tax cuts, with witnesses representing the Business Council of Australia, BHP, EnergyAustralia, MYOB and Fortescue Metals Group Limited.
Ahead of the Victorian state budget, Planning Minister Richard Wynne will deliver a keynote speech on the latest developments and investments in the planning portfolio.
Leading Melbourne Lord Mayor candidates will appear at an open forum lunch hosted by ABC presenter Michael Rowland.
A health group will rally outside the Royal Melbourne Hospital, over the organisation’s default super fund reportedly financially supporting fossil fuel companies.
Banking Royal commission continues its examination of the disciplinary system for financial advice, with appearances from Financial Planning Association and ASIC representatives.
House of Representatives inquiry into the quality of aged care facilities across Queensland, with witnesses expected from the Queensland Department of Communities, Disability Services, Townsville Community Legal Service Inc, Office of the Public Advocate Queensland and Office of the Public Guardian Queensland.
Queensland’s Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick will speak at the Queensland Media Club.
Festival of Voices will launch its 2018 program, set to run for two weeks between June and July.
Auckland, New Zealand
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff and Transport Minister Phil Twyford will announce record investment in the city’s transport system with the release of the refreshed, ten-year Auckland Transport Alignment Project (ATAP).
Palmerston North, New Zealand
Disability Issues Minister Carmel Sepuloni and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter will announce details of a new disability support system trial for Manawatu.
National MP Barbara Kuriger’s husband and son – Louis Stephen Kuriger and Tony Michael Kuriger – and Lloyd Timothy Harris will be back in court to face animal cruelty charges for their company Oxbow Dairies.
Defence Minister Marise Payne will meet with international counterparts, such as France’s Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly, at the Ministerial Conference on the Fight Against Financing Daesh and Al-Qaeda.
Toronto van attack: Another man waging war on women — Clementine Ford (The Sydney Morning Herald/Daily Life): “The post might read as cryptic to some people, but if you’ve spent any time in the sewers of the online men’s rights movement and its various offshoots then you’ll be well familiar with the term ‘incel’. Short for ‘involuntary celibate’, it references a community of mostly straight, cis men who believe they’re being forced into celibacy against their will because women (or ‘Stacys’) ‘refuse’ to have sex with them. Your average incel community is obsessed with the belief that sex is a form of currency in which women control the purse strings.”
How the Coalition ran interference for the banks — Peter Martin (The Sydney Morning Herald): “The Coalition wasn’t merely asleep at the wheel when it came to the practices being exposed at the banking royal commission: it pulled out all stops to allow some of them to continue, including attempting to circumvent the will of parliament, in an extraordinary 12-month burst of activity that began within weeks of its election.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE