The Commonwealth Bank has admitted to losing personal financial histories of 12 million customers, and apologised for choosing not to inform customers of the privacy breach.

BuzzFeed News reports that CBA, currently reeling from a disastrous turn at the banking royal commission, lost customer bank records from 2004-2014 after subcontractor Fuji-Xerox lost several magnetic tapes in 2016. While theories from the firm CBA hired to investigate the breach genuinely include the tapes falling off the back of a truck, the bank has not been able to locate the information and is now in serious spin mode.


Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has announced support for any tax cuts for people on low and middle incomes, in a bid to ensure any cuts in revenue translate to added consumer spending.

The Age reports that Shorten would support tax cuts in next week’s budget that benefit those on the lowest incomes, and has signalled a halt to new major revenue increases following Labor’s $55.7 billion dividend imputation reform announced in March. However, the AFR ($) also reports that Labor would increase health and education spending while delivering higher surpluses, owing to the fact that, on top of dividend imputation reforms, the party could raise up to $220 billion extra in revenue over the next decade through taxing family trusts, changes to negative gearing and capital gains tax exemptions, and other new taxes.


Residents from a regional Queensland town have flown south to protest the forced removal and potential deportation of a local family of asylum seekers.

The Guardian reports that Biloela residents and other supporters picketed the Federal Court in Melbourne yesterday, where a federal judge delayed her appeal decision on a Tamil family taken during a dawn raid and currently facing forced deportation to Sri Lanka. The family of four — Priya, Nadesalingam and their two Australian-born daughters — endured a dawn raid from Border Force officials a day after a visa expired in March, and were saved from deportation days later after human rights lawyers pulled them from a plane just minutes before take off.


Here is a government that is still talking about opening new coal-fired power stations, taking credit for a renewable energy project they haven’t put a cent into. Only Labor has backed and invested in this project, which will support our Renewable Energy Target – something the federal government is actively trying to destroy.

Lily Ms D’Ambrosio

The Victorian Energy, Environment and Climate Change Minister takes “great exception” to getting snubbed by Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, who, along with visiting French President Emmanuel Macron, attended a ceremony for the joint French-Victorian NEON solar farm in Numurkah, a project created under the Victorian Renewable Energy Target.


Peter Dutton is not a fan of independent judicial scrutiny of his decisions. He notoriously overturned a decision of the High Court last year within hours of a judgment being handed down which found he had exceeded his powers in cancelling the visa of a New Zealand citizen. But it is the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) that Dutton wants to neuter because on a number of occasions in the past few years it has dared to revoke decisions by Dutton’s department to expel non-citizens who have criminal records. Now it seems Dutton is preparing the way for legislation to remove the right of individuals to appeal to the AAT when their visa is revoked by bureaucrats.”

Malcolm Turnbull is a former banker, although that’s just one of several careers he’s had. Kelly O’Dwyer, who has carriage of the financial services portfolio, is a former National Australia Bank executive; she has retained links to NAB via the bank’s sponsorship of Liberal fundraising events. Her ministerial predecessor Josh Frydenberg was working for Deutsche Bank when he won preselection for Kooyong. His portfolio predecessor was Arthur Sinodinos, who is another former NAB executive; Sinodinos commenced the Abbott government’s attempt to repeal the Future of Financial Advice reforms. Victorian senator Jane Hume is another NAB alumna, who also had stints at Rothschild and Deutsche Bank — although she also worked at industry super fund AustralianSuper. Gold Coast MP Bert van Manen and former Liberal senator Cory Bernardi had both been financial planners before entering parliament.”

“The performance of Cathy McGowan at a Victorian county court yesterday was so far the surreal peak of generally surreal trial. The independent MP for Indi was called to testify in Wangaratta by defence lawyers for regional paper The Benalla Ensign, who are being sued for defamation by former Indi MP Sophie Mirabella over an April 2016 story claiming Mirabella publicly pushed McGowan at the opening of a new wing of a retirement home. The paper’s concession that they’d gotten the facts of the story wrong put McGowan in a tricky spot. She has never publicly denied the original story.”


Lawyers warn Peter Dutton’s facial recognition regime could target jaywalkers, litterbugs

Royal Show ride death prosecution collapses: ICAC boss Bruce Lander launches investigation into Safework SA ($)

$700 million deal for two new Bass Strait ferries to replace the Spirits of Tasmania ($)

University of Melbourne staff to strike over academic freedom

NSW’s world-first, high-tech crackdown on mobile phones in cars

CCC alleges Ipswich mayor Andrew Antoniolli used funds for auction items ($)

Severe weather warning for SA as burn-off near Port Lincoln gets out of control ($)

Revealed: Darwin Festival music acts announced ($)

Researchers discover ‘switchblade’ lurking in faces of stonefish



  • South Australian Parliament will sit for the first time under Liberal Premier Steven Marshall, who won the March state election.

  • High Court chief justice Susan Kiefel will receive an honorary doctorate of laws from Adelaide University.


  • A hearing into the federal government’s facial recognition laws will hear from the Law Council, AHRC, DHA and DFAT.

  • Australian Construction Industry Forum head forecaster and expert panellists will deliver a May forecasts briefing.

  • Environmentalist Bill McKibben will launch a plan to make Australia’s energy system 100% renewable by 2030.

  • Multicultural Museums Victoria will launch an Australian-first exhibition celebrating Melbourne’s multicultural grandmothers.

  • Melbourne’s largest food truck festival runs until May 6 and features an assortment of gourmet food trucks along the Yarra River at Birrarung Marr.

  • La Trobe Ideas & Society event “How human rights can be defended and extended” will feature human rights lawyers Gillian Triggs and Julian Burnside and be live-streamed.


  • French President Emmanuel Macron will discuss the Indo-Pacific axis in his final day in Australia.


  • XXXX workers will strike for a fifth time in five weeks over the use of contract workers and rumours the company will shift production interstate, out the front of Suncorp Stadium during the Broncos NRL home game against the Bulldogs.


  • The winner of the 2018 Packing Room Prize will be announced, as will the preview of the finalists for the Archibald, Wynne and Sulman Prizes.


  • Cancer Council Tasmania will launch a 5km charity run.


The one thing wrong with Tim Hammond’s resignation — Clementine Ford (SMH): “It’s a choice that’s overwhelmingly more common for women (to the point where the inevitability of it can be used by employers to justify not employing them in the first place or hindering their promotion opportunities), but Hammond’s resignation is evidence of the fact that men also struggle to find a happy balance. Like Kate Ellis before him, Hammond shouldn’t have been forced to choose between representing his electorate’s interests and spending quality time with his partner and children. Frankly, these are the kinds of people we need as elected representatives – people with empathy, compassion and a deep appreciation for love and connection.”

Why don’t we have a sense a humour? Maybe it’s about the jokes — Alex McKinnon (The Guardian): “The Menzies Research Centre, a Liberal-affiliated thinktank dedicated to ‘liberty, free speech, competitive enterprise, smaller government and democracy’, is not known for its sense of humour. It’s not known for anything, really, but it’s especially not known for that. Director Nick Cater’s idea of levity is how unpronounceable some people find race discrimination commissioner Tim Soutphommasane’s name, and its board of directors – a collection of former Coalition MPs, industry barons and investment bankers – doesn’t exactly scream ‘funny’.”


Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey