Health Minister Greg Hunt (Image: AAP/Tracey Nearmy)


Health Minister Greg Hunt has conceded ground on the controversial My Health Records program, issuing a statement last night saying that legislation will be amended so that records cannot be released to police or agencies without court orders.

The Age reports that the announcement follows outcry from GPs, social services groups and members of the public over the original program, which track medical conditions, medication and test results and still requires Australians to opt-out from. Hunt said that the changes followed “constructive discussions” with the Australian Medical Association, and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners. He said “the Digital Health Agency’s policy is clear and categorical – no documents have been released in more than six years and no documents will be released without a court order. This will be enshrined in legislation.”


Defence Minister Marise Payne has confirmed that China will for the first time participate in Australia’s multilateral naval war games “Exercise ­Kakadu”, in a potential breakthrough for the relationship between the two countries.

The Australian ($) reports that the Chinese navy, following an invitation issued last September, will participate in drills, testing, inter-ship communications, ­rep­len­ishment activities and sea-training manoeuvres to be held off Darwin next month. The news follows tensions over Australia’s foreign interference laws, China’s militarisation in the South China Sea, and a number of incidents between the two countries’ navies throughout the year.


Politicians from across the spectrum have ramped up criticisms against the National Energy Guarantee (NEG) ahead of two crucial COAG deadlines, underscoring the government’s challenge ahead of the Friday August 10 and Tuesday August 14 meetings.

According to RenewEconomy, Labor climate and energy spokesman Mark Butler, Greens leader Richard Di Natale and Victoria’s energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio all largely savaged the policy at yesterday’s Clean Energy Summit, with criticisms ranging from “pathetic” emissions targets to a “silly” pursuit of new coal generators to the Coalition’s alleged request for a “blank cheque” at the Friday meeting days before the policy will be debated by the government’s party-room.

Meanwhile, The Australian ($) reports that former-Nationals leader Barnaby Joyce has threatened to oppose the NEG if it puts emissions requirements on agriculture. Joyce was responding to, and ironically echoing, researchers concerned that weak energy goals will shift Australia’s Paris commitments onto other, less flexible sectors.


I’ll draw heat from many corners for this tweet but: I support the recommendation “that a statutory process be put in place for an independent judicial inquiry into the deaths of all asylum seekers”. PNG & Nauru don’t have the judicial capacity & factual inquiries are critical.

Roman Quaedvlieg

The former head of the Australian Border Force tweets, and later explains to The Guardian, his support for investigating deaths in offshore detention following the Queensland coroner’s report into the “preventable” death of 24-year-old Hamid Kehazaei.


Labor MP Emma Husar took taxpayer-funded trip with Penrith Police chief to see Bruno Mars ($)

Administrators appointed to 125-year-old WA Club

First woman puts hand up for Labor Canberra preselection

Mission Australia report reveals shock youth homelessness figures ($)

Councillor threatens to chain himself to a tree to stop clearing ($)

School funding war erupts in challenge to Turnbull

Integrity crackdown to target sport cheats ($)

Victorian councillors condemn federal cuts to asylum seeker payments

Warren Mundine releases Michelle Guthrie’s response to ‘Uncle Tom’ complaint ($)

UN wants good news on migrants ($)

Highest score ever: Sashi Cheliah crowned 2018 MasterChef winner

Trump says collusion is not a crime as first Russia probe trial begins


“Foreign minister Julie Bishop has chosen a particularly delicate time to make her overdue visit to Timor-Leste, the first by any minister from the Coalition governments of Tony Abbott or Malcolm Turnbull. Her 36 hour stop over, en route to Malaysia and Singapore, comes less than a week after Xanana Gusmão, Timor-Leste’s revolutionary hero and former president and prime minister, sensationally walked away from two key cabinet posts.”

“The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions now faces a major test, after the Australian Federal Police referred on the actions of Michaelia Cash’s office in relation to the Australian Workers Union raids.”

“MasterChef is the most tolerable reality TV show in Australia! But that doesn’t mean that you have the strength of will to stay up-to-date with each of the 700 episodes which air annually. If you like the feeling of being familiar with the zeitgeist without the hassle of having to actually engage with it, you’ll need a shortcut.”



  • Nationals Deputy Leader and Minister for Rural Health, Sport, and Regional Communications Senator Bridget McKenzie will speak on ‘Shooting for Success’ at the National Press Club.

  • Astrophysicist Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith will discuss her new book When Galaxies Collide at an event with The Australian National University.

  • Day one of the Canberra Innovation Network’s three-day Business Innovation and Incubation National Forum 2018.


  • A federal parliamentary committee will hold an inquiry into impediments to business investment, to feature representatives from the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority, the Minerals Council of Australia, and the Institute of Public Affairs amongst others.

  • New Catholic Archbishop of Melbourne Peter Comensoli will be installed at a mass to replace the retiring Denis Hart.

  • Bangladeshi exchange student Momena Shoma will face a committal for allegedly stabbing her homestay host in a purported terror attack.

  • The Melbourne Art Fair will hold a media preview and opening night Vernissage, before opening to the public tomorrow through to Sunday August 5th.

  • Entrepreneur Cyan Ta’eed, founder of Hey Tiger and Envato, will speak as part of the inaugural ‘In Conversation with Changemakers of The Hunger Project’ series event.

  • The Astor Theatre will hold the Top Dog Film Festival, featuring short films exploring the connection between humans and their dogs.


  • A federal senate committee will hold an inquiry into Australian content on broadcast, radio and streaming services, with representatives expected from ARIA, Screen Producers, Free TV, and MEAA.

  • Local Government President Clr Linda Scott and Public Libraries Association President Clr Dallas Tout will launch a campaign to push for increased funding for NSW public libraries.

  • Day one of the three-day International Conference on Aged Care and Ageing.

  • NRMA will launch a campaign lobbying for the NSW government to extend its Slow Down Move Over law, requiring drivers to slow to 40km/h when passing emergency services, to NRMA assistance officers.

  • USYD will hold its Innovation Week gala dinner, set to feature a range of scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs, industry researchers and students.

  • Official opening of Dimension Data’s Client Innovation Centre, set to showcase virtual reality firefighter training, and immersive holograms and real-time data visualisations from the Tour De France.

  • Stomp will perform a live under the Sydney Harbour Bridge at 1pm to promote their new show.


  • Day six of Queensland budget estimates will hear from Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development; and the Commonwealth Games Kate Jones, and Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef; Science; and the Arts Leeanne Enoch.

  • Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, former Federal Treasurer and Labor Party President-Elect Wayne Swan MP, and other Queensland MPs will join New York Times bestselling author, journalist and historian Thomas Frank at an event with Labor think-tank the Chifley Research Centre.

  • Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk, Lightweave CEO Sam Hussey, and Brisbane’s Chief Digital Officer Cat Matson will speak at the Lord Mayor’s Small Business Forum.

  • Human rights advocate and founder of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre Kon Karapanagiotidis will discuss his new memoir The Power of Hope at Brisbane Square Library. Actor and writer Peter Phelps will also discuss his book The Bulldog Track, detailing his grandfather’s life and the ‘other Kokoda track’, at Garden City Library.

  • The Queensland Writers Centre will hold the Indie Publishing Forum 2018.


  • Shadow Arts Minister Tony Burke and federal Labor MP for Port Adelaide Mark Butler will speak at a forum on issues facing the South Australian arts community.

  • The Australian Electoral Commission will officially declare the poll for the recent House of Representatives by-election in the federal electorate of Mayo.

  • Geriatrician from St Louis University, Missouri and author of The Science of Staying Young Professor John Morley will deliver a keynote speech at the Centre of Research Excellence in Frailty and Healthy Ageing’s research showcase.


  • National Chairman of KPMG Australia Alison Kitchen will speak on her journey with the professional services firm at a public event.

  • Innovate Australia will host a WA – State Of Innovation Summit event ‘Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Smart Contracts’.


  • Salon Indigenous Art Projects will launch three new exhibitions for the month of August: Barayuwa Mununggurr’s ‘The Bones Beneath (Ngaraka Ngoyngura)’ at Searcy Street Gallery, Mulkun Wirrpanda’s ‘Maypal: Shellfish Of The Arafura Coas’ at the Vickers Street Gallery, and Pepai Jangala Carroll’s untitled ceramics exhibition at the Outstation Gallery.


  • A ‘Literary Visions of Place’ panel event will feature University of Tasmania’s Associate Professor Lisa Fletcher, Adjunct Associate Professor Roslynn Haynes, senior lecturer and author Danielle Wood, and author Robbie Arnott.

Launceston, Tasmania

  • Poet, lawyer and feminist Sara Mansour will speak with the Institute for the Study of Social Change’s Dr Meredith Nash on the future of feminism and diversity at the University of Tasmania.


By-election throw up different problems for pollsters ($) — David Briggs (The Australian): “There has been a lot of chatter about the reliability of polling following the Super Saturday by-elections. It is worthwhile to review the available information. There were five by-elections at the weekend with several opinion polls during the two-month campaign. This included a Newspoll in Braddon and Longman in the last week of the campaign, YouGov Galaxy polls conducted across a range of the seats and polls by ReachTel. Polls were conducted in all five seats. The first thing to notice is the final polls predicted the winning party in all cases.”

Writing from Manus prison: a scathing critique of domination and oppression — Omid Tofighian (The Guardian): “What is more horrific: immigration detention centres constructed as anomalies of a liberal democracy, or systematic state torture imagined as something distinct from fascism? Behrouz Boochani finished his book, No Friend but the Mountains: Writing From Manus Prison, approximately a month after being forcibly removed from the original Manus Island immigration detention centre.”


The Latest Headlines