Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has backed education “blueprints” such as creative thinking, social skills and personal progress outlined in the (latest) review of schooling under businessman David Gonksi, to be released today in full.
The Australian ($) reports that Gonski 2.0 advocates a “radical overhaul” of the Australian curriculum to counter declining student outcomes over the past 15 years to ensure that “general capabilities” bring students to their full learning potential. This would include adopting more individualistic teaching methods, a shift from traditional “A to E” scoring to tracking rates and quality of progress, and, in news that has already riled some academics ($), a greater emphasis on critical thinking over knowledge-based teaching.
HEY, BIG SPENDER
The Victorian government is set to splash a record $13.7 billion over 12 months on infrastructure this (election) year, in a budget also expected to show a $1.4 billion surplus in the coming financial year.
The Age reports that, ahead of Treasurer Tim Pallas unveiling the official budget tomorrow, the state government will leverage a “beautiful set of numbers” over the next few years against a growing population and congestion with a spending focus on roads, public transport and other infrastructure projects.
Further north, the Northern Territory will also release its annual budget tomorrow, but much smaller economic growth and the fact Chief Minister Michael Gunner will not have to face an election this November means we are unlikely to see two records in a day.
FROM THIN AIR
Trials for a fantastical, solar-powered device that creates clean drinking water from the air are set to commence around Australia.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Zero Mass Water’s “Source Hydropanels” suck moisture from the air before dehumidifying and purifying the resulting water — as well as adding minerals. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) will provide around $420,000 is funding for the device, which can create up to five litres of potable water a day powered solely by solar arrays, and displace more than 20,000 plastic bottles over its 15-year lifespan, and trials for the magic machine are set to begin across Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, and other regional and remote areas.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I would drag him here myself, but it turns out that the president of the United States is the one pussy you’re not allowed to grab. He said it first. Yeah, he did. You remember? Good.
The Daily Show comedian sticks it to an absent President Donald Trump, as well as his minders and the media, at the White House correspondents’ dinner. Republicans then proceeded to hold her choice of language to a higher moral standard than the guy who literally bragged about sexual assault.
“Tuesday’s inquiry hearing had elicited a peculiar moment when the Greens’ Lee Rhiannon asked the BCA ‘Can you give us an example of another country where tax cuts have resulted in wage rises?’ to which Westacott replied ‘Ah, we will take that on notice.’ For nearly two years, both the BCA and the government have claimed that company tax cuts lead to stronger wage growth. Given a number of countries around the world have reduced company tax rates in recent years, finding an example where wage growth has strengthened following tax cuts should be fairly straightforward.”
“I refer to the Crikey article yesterday by Fergus Ryan (“Kevin Rudd thinks he’s still relevant to China-Australia relations”). I presume this is the same Fergus Ryan who used to be a journalist for the Murdoch media. Remarkably, that fact seems not to have been disclosed under his byline in the article posted.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will deliver a pre-budget address.
Day one of Sydney Writers Festival 2018, set to run until Friday. Festival artists Katy Tur, Masha Gessen, Wesley Morris and Alexis Okeowo will also appear on Q&A tonight.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, New South Wales Mental Health Minister Tanya Davies and others will launch the InsideOut Institute, Australia’s first research institute for eating disorders.
The Heart Foundation will launch Australian Heart Week with a Sydney Harbour Bridge climb.
IBAC court proceedings will commence against a Victoria Police senior constable charged with assault offences at Moe Police Station in 2017.
The Victoria Racing appeals board will hear charges against former trainer Robert Smerdon as part of the Aquanita/Lovani horse doping inquiry.
VicRoads will introduce new, tougher drink-driving penalties, meaning anyone, even first offenders, caught over 0.05 will automatically lose their licence and have to have an interlock for six months thereafter.
An ongoing hearing into protecting freedom of religion in Australia will be held at state parliament.
A protest will be held against construction of a mosque at Melton City Council.
The final report from the inquiry into corruption in public sector procurement, by the joint standing committee on the Corruption and Crime Commission, will be tabled in parliament.
WA euthanasia inquiry public hearing will hear from individuals such as anaesthetist Dr Brien Hennessy.
The UWA Centre for Sleep Science will hold a world-first study into medicinal cannabis as a treatment for chronic insomnia. A patient will demonstrate preparing for a night’s sleep, with the medication administered as an oil formulation one hour before going to bed and their quality of sleep measured with a wrist-based activity monitor.
Submissions to the South Australian royal commission into the current Murray-Darling Basin plan close.
Senator Cory Bernardi will receive an award from Vaping Australia
The PNG-Australia Business Forum will see 56 speakers and over 200 delegates discuss growth opportunities across the Papua New Guinea economy.
Deloitte Access Economics economist Chris Richardson will release “Budget Monitor”, which gauges deficits and surpluses that Australians can expect when Treasurer Scott Morrison hands down the federal budget on Tuesday, May 8.
Science of accurately predicting minor party preference flows — David Briggs (The Australian $): “One of the most challenging aspects of Australian polling is to accurately predict these preference flows from minor parties. We have always believed preference flows at previous elections provides the best guide to how they will flow at the next. This is much more accurate than asking people about their second or third preferences, as some polling companies do.”
Condemning a generation of renters to years of hardship — Kasy Chambers (The Age): “Australia’s housing market is a catastrophe so dire that it has become an international joke, even in New York. And when it comes to renters on low incomes, a group that has been ignored by governments for years, the picture is even bleaker. Canberra is worse than Sydney on that measure. Even Hobart’s overheating rental market is starting to catch up to Sydney.”
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