Treasurer Scott Morrison will today accuse the big four banks of exploiting customer loyalty, and consider a new “integrity officer” for the regulator, as the Productivity Commission releases its final report into competition within the financial system.
According to The Australian Financial Review ($), today’s report finds that banks have sustained prices above competitive levels by up to $87 a month, offered customers low-quality products, taken over much of the broker industry and, in turn, halted competition in some markets. Declaring that “power needs to be put back in the hands of the consumer”, Morrison will talk with business officials today about the government’s response to key findings, including the “interesting idea” for a new integrity role to monitor mortgage brokers.
HUSAR’S LAST HURRAH?
Federal Labor MP Emma Husar is at risk of having her preselection status overturned late next week, as New South Wales Labor members prepare for a new report on allegations of bullying and misused entitlements.
According to The Australian ($), party sources have confirmed that NSW Labor’s candidate review committee could hold a special meeting and disendorse Husar after receiving the investigative report next week. The news follows BuzzFeed’s report yesterday morning that staff have made fresh allegations of entitlement abuse and sexual harassment, which Husar and alleged target of the latter Jason Clare MP have since strongly denied.
GOD SAYS NO TO CAPITAL PUNISHMENT
The Vatican has formally changed its position to denounce capital punishment in all circumstances, replacing former teachings, which had allowed the death penalty in extreme cases for centuries.
The ABC reports that the Roman Catholic Church has released a new teachings policy that was formally approved in May and declares that, “the death penalty is inadmissible because it is an attack on the inviolability and dignity of the person”. Groups such as Amnesty International have welcomed the church’s determination to fight for the global abolishment of capital punishment, which is still in use in the US and several countries across Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
As Federal Leader of the UAP, I will not be available to participate in the court process during this election period and as a self-represented litigant, I crave the Courts consideration for procedural fairness to allow my participation in both these legal proceedings and the political process.
The beleaguered owner of Queensland Nickel argues that, despite no election date being set, his renewed political ambitions mean he should get some time off before facing, y’know, justice ($).
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“For the man who once demanded Kevin Rudd and Wayne Swan resign because of fabricated claims about grants given to mates, Malcolm Turnbull’s role in the emerging scandal of the Great Barrier Reef Foundation is ironic indeed. The Great Barrier Reef Foundation, a small charity run by senior business figures and Business Council members from the fossil-fuel and banking sectors, was handed over $440 million by the government after a meeting between chairman John Schubert — former Commonwealth Bank chair — and Malcolm Turnbull and Josh Frydenberg.”
“If you believe the Energy Security Board (ESB) and Acil Allen’s new modelling released yesterday on the National Energy Guarantee (NEG), you are believing in a fairytale. This modelling suggests that in a time of unprecedented disruption and technological change in global energy markets, Australia’s electricity system will basically stand still for eight years from 2021/2022-2030.”
“The blue bits of the planet contain 5 trillion plastic pieces and some very pissed off fish. The brown bits host more of this microplastic mess. The global food supply chain is chockers with inorganic waste and so, in the view of several eminent sea turtles, is the marketing department for Coles. Earlier this week, the supermarket chain unveiled its cleverly revised plan for plastic: offer customers more of it at no charge. Now, it has revised this revision.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
WHAT’S ON TODAY
A Senate estimates hearing will examine the Australian Federal Police and Department of Home Affairs.
Software company LiveTiles will hold a presentation on “Ethics, AI & Bots for Government Organisations”.
The Federal Court will examine the Don Dale class action, specifically the latest bid by the NT government to strike out parts or all of the suit.
Electoral Commissioner Mick Sherry, SA Ombudsman Wayne Lines, Charles Sturt Mayor Angela Evans, and Clare and Gilbert Valleys Council Mayor Allan Aughey will speak at a KelledyJones Lawyers local government elections breakfast.
The University of South Australia will host the 2018 International Symposium on Advanced Composites Technology.
Day one of the four-day Garma Festival, the largest annual celebration of Yolngu culture. Expected dignitaries include Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.
A memorial service for celebrity agent and promoter Harry M Miller will be held at the Capitol Theatre.
Giant Dwarf theatre will host a Queerstories/Archer Magazine event with speakers celebrating LGBTQIA writers in print.
Organised by former police sergeant Joe Shaw, protesters will march for a redress scheme for medically retired police officers and workers compensation.
Day one of the two-day short film festival, ‘Real to Reel: The Craft Film Festival’.
Founder & Executive Chair of the Bravehearts Foundation Hetty Johnston will deliver an opening speech calling for a Royal Commission into Australia’s family law system at a community driven national summit on child safety.
First full day of the Melbourne International Film Festival 2018, following an opening event last night.
Chair of social anthropology at the Oxford Professor Harvey Whitehouse and Iranian-American psychologist at Georgetown Professor Fathali M. Moghaddam will deliver two keynotes as part of the University of Queensland event, ‘Psychological and Anthropological Perspectives on Radicalisation and Extremism’.
Day one of three-day (or 54-hour) hackathon Disrupting Law 2018.
Director of the Australian War Memorial Dr Brendan Nelson will discuss QVMAG’s latest exhibition, ‘The Great War 1914-1918: Sacrifice and Shadows’.
Byron Bay, NSW
Day one of the three-day Byron Bay Writers Festival, set to include ABC veteran journalist Sarah Ferguson, musical teacher Eddie Ayres, musician Tim Rogers, and activist Manal Al-Sharif.
Tasmania’s Astronomy Festival ‘TastroFest’ will be held, along with a 25m inflatable space shuttle, in the Ulverstone Stadium.
Today is National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day. About 200 children from Melbourne schools will gather for the Long Walk celebrating the event.
Today is also International Beer Day.
We are right to be horrified by Victoria’s toll of dead women — Miki Perkins (The Age): “Another day, another slew of grim stories about women who have been killed. The grind of the police hunts in each case, the incremental criminal trials and the coronial inquests. Samantha Fraser, 38, Karen Ristevski, 47, Joy Rowley, 60, mothers all. Their traumatised young and adult children left to grieve. And Snezana Stojanovska, 26, who was three-months pregnant with a child who will never take its first breath.”
Labor’s broader narrative resonates at the ballot box ($) — Henry Ergas (The Australian): “That genius of modern politics, Edmund Blackadder, could have had Labor in mind when he said ‘we in the Adder Party are going to fight this campaign on issues, not personalities … because our candidate doesn’t have a personality’. Of course, judging by the opinion polls, Bill Shorten’s problem isn’t that he lacks a personality — it is that he has one the electorate doesn’t like. Yet that didn’t stop voters from backing Labor on the issues in the Super Saturday by-elections.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE