Qantas

READY FOR TAKEOFF

Activists are targeting Qantas and Virgin as part of a campaign to stop the airlines from forcibly transferring refugees and people seeking asylum for the Australian government.

The Age reports that the Australasian Centre for Corporate Responsibility and the Refugee Advice and Casework Service will tomorrow ask Qantas to follow the lead of UK-partner Virgin Atlantic and several US companies and pledge not to involuntarily deport passengers, either through refoulement or to points of indefinite detention. ACCR will also call on Qantas shareholders to co-sign a resolution pressuring the company to disclose risks involved in transfers.

Protests are reportedly planned at Qantas and Virgin offices in Sydney and Melbourne today, while a company representative has since responded to the campaign saying, “the government and courts are best placed to make decisions on the legal immigration status of individuals seeking to remain in Australia, not airlines”.

BREAKING THE BANK

The inaugural chief of the ­Australian Competition & Consumer Commission has backed a call from the Greens to break up the big four banks and AMP, following a turbulent day at the financial services royal commission.

The Australian ($) reports that Allan Fels, who headed the competition regulator from its inception in 1995 to 2003, believes that structural “inherent conflicts” preclude the banks from internal reforms and has backed yesterday’s call from the Greens to break up banking arms into individual businesses.

Fels’ comments come after financial services royal commissioner Kenneth Hayne raised the possibility that National Australia Bank, by accepting fees-for-no-service and charging more than $3 million to dead people, could now face criminal charges.

CONGRESSMAN INDICTED DOWN UNDER

A Republican congressman and his son have been indicted for insider trading over shares in Australian biotechnology firm Innate Immunotherapeutics. According to The Age, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York held a press conference last night to announce insider trading charges against Congressman Christopher Collins, his son Cameron Collins, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron’s fiance.

One of Donald Trump‘s earliest supporters, Christopher was criticised in early last year for investing in the Sydney-based firm while also overseeing healthcare policy as part of a House committee. The indictment alleges that the congressman — a member of Innate’s board of directors — had access to non-public information relating to its core business developing a treatment for a form of multiple sclerosis.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Charlie, the book is not a memoir about me, it’s a memoir about trying to look after people who in regional areas are doing it tough. People who basically are at the corner of society, they’re poor, in many instances they’re white, their opportunities are not like yours…

Barnaby Joyce

The former Deputy PM gets heckled over a little bit of race-baiting while spruiking his memoir on The Weekly. This emphasis on white regional Australians was repeated throughout the day’s launch events ($).

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“It’s always amusing when politicians accuse other politicians of ‘playing politics’, as if that isn’t the job description, but its emergence in the last few days from the Liberals in relation to opposition to the National Energy Guarantee has an extra rich, extra creamy layer of irony.”

“Well, the Australian population has passed 25 million. Twenty five million! When I opened a primary school geography book in the 1970s, it was less than 14 million. Older readers — most of my readers — might remember when it was less than 10 million, before the end of the 1950s. You’d have to be 80 or over to remember when it was in the 7 millions on the census (which excluded Indigenous Australians, remember) — a genuinely small Anglo-Celtic outpost at the bottom of Asia, settled in part so as to make it easier to colonise Asia, and thus scaring itself to death from the 1870s onwards that Asia might reverse the process.”

“From August 1, 2018, Victorian institutions, including universities or museums, are legally required to return Aboriginal ancestral remains to the care of the Victorian Aboriginal Heritage Council (VAHC). This new Victorian law is an attempt to legislate an ongoing process where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across the country are fighting to get cultural materials and ancestral remains repatriated to the place they originated from — and, in many cases, were stolen from.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Oscars to add ‘Popular Film’ category, creating questions

‘My enemies are more powerful’: Emma Husar won’t recontest seat

Top bankers forfeit $100m in bonuses over blunders ($)

Shorten announces $20 million scheme for drought-stricken communities

‘Full on’: Terrified residents watch as gang of youths throw rocks, damage police car in Melbourne’s north-west

Proposed merger between Adelaide Uni and UniSA would make us a city of innovation, vice-chancellors say ($)

At least $850,000 in incorrectly issued parking fines overturned

WA underground mine workers flee fire

Australians who travelled to Syria to join ISIS stripped of Aussie citizenship in top-secret process ($)

Hobart’s 10 Murray Street office block bites the dust after almost a year

China makes inroads on Pacific aid but Australia remains the stalwart, study finds

Malaysia under fire over plan to control what women wear to work

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Melbourne

  • The former chair of NAB’s super trustee will complete evidence at the banking royal commission before Ian Silk, CEO AustralianSuper, appears. IOOF witnesses also list managing director Christopher Kelaher.

  • A senate inquiry will examine stillbirth research and education.

  • A craft beer brewery co-founded by rugby league star Billy Slater, Melbourne Storm chairman Bart Campbell and chef Shane Delia will launch its Dandenong headquarters. Guests are set to include All Black Dan Carter, Wallaby Tim Horan, Collingwood’s Craig Kelly, the Melbourne Rebels’ Tom English and Victorian Tourism Minister John Eren.

  • Vumero Sports, nextmedia, and the Telstra-Cisco alliance will present the inaugural Australia & New Zealand Sports Technology Awards (ANZSTA).

  • Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Fairfax Media and the University of Melbourne will host the “Future of Work Forum 2018” to feature a range of workplace experts.

Canberra

  • Chief Minister Andrew Barr will help launch Screen Canberra’s new CBR Screen Fund.

  • Dr Brendan Taylor will launch his new book, The Four Flashpoints: How Asia Goes to War with an ANU panel discussion with Saturday Paper Chief Political Correspondent Karen Middleton, National President at Australian Institute of International Affairs​ Allan Gyngell, Director of the The Lowy Institute​’s International Security Program Sam Roggeveen, and Director of Studies at ANU Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy​ Lauren Richardson.

  • Journalist Angela Pippos will host a Women in Sport Forum, set to feature speeches from inaugural AFLW premiership coach Rebecca Goddard, basketball legend Lauren Jackson, Matildas legend Julie Murray, AFLW star Moana Hope and Olympic swimmer, journalist and sports administrator Nicole Livingstone among others.

Perth

  • Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be in Perth ahead of the WA Liberals state conference on Saturday.

  • WA Science Minister Dave Kelly will open Scitech’s launch event for National Science Week 2018, set to feature a keynote from CEO and founder of American organisation STEM From Dance, Yamilee Toussaint.

  • Intermedium will host a WA briefing event on “Taking the Digital Pulse for 2018-19”.

Sydney

  • The Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations will host a public march for Aboriginal rights as part of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

  • Day one of the Power Institute’s two-day public conference “Mining Value: Art and the Extraction of Resources”.

  • Sutherland Shire Libraries will hold a Google privacy seminar, “Taming Technology: Google Security & Privacy”.

Brisbane

  • The Royal Society of Queensland will hold panel and workshop event “The Disadvantage of Youth: Can teenagers be held responsible for their actions?” and launch a special edition of the peer-reviewed Proceedings of the Royal Society of Queensland on the theme of preventative health in 2019.

  • Day one of the three-day religious event “Eucharistia — Secret Women’s Business Conference 2018”.

Darwin

  • A house standing inquiry will examine the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander style art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia.

  • Day one of the Darwin Festival, set to run until August 26.

  • An UNTOLD series event will feature celebrated Indigenous artists, performers and community leaders leading a discussion on “Performance and cultural revival, examining its relationship to painting, identity, language and community cohesion”.

  • NT Shelter will hold a public forum on “Developing a Territory Housing Strategy” as part of National Homelessness Week 2018.

Hobart

  • The Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies will hold a public forum, “Antarctic Architecture, Interiority and the Ice”, engaging with psychological, spatial and physical processes that characterise Antarctica.

  • RACGP eHealth will hold a My Health Record workshop.

  • Professor Marilyn Lake will draw on her recent research for “Progressive New World: How Settler Colonialism and Transpacific Exchange Shaped American Reform” as part of a University of Tasmania presentation on the Australian living wage.

Adelaide

  • Independent Senator and Chair of the Senate Select Committee inquiry into electric vehicles Tim Storer will kick off the inquiry with a site visit inspecting electric and low-emission diesel buses at a north Adelaide manufacturing plant.

  • SA Health Minister Stephen Wade will take part in health discussions at a CEDA event.

  • UniSA Business School will host dual-event “ART AFTER DARK West End”: a celebration of creative industries, arts and cultural organisations in Adelaide’s west; and the latest “View from the Top” masterclass, a presentation from Foodbank SA CEO Greg Pattinson on “Fighting Hunger Through Innovation and Creativity”.

  • The Ledlenser Trails in Motion Film Festival will feature a collection of trail and ultra running films.

Mt Isa, Queensland

  • Day one of Mt Isa’s four-day rodeo, which will celebrate its 60th anniversary and feature live music from Shannon Noll and Jimmy Barnes amongst others.

Australia

  • Refugee supporters will protest at Qantas and Virgin offices in Melbourne and Sydney today to urge the companies to become “no-deportations airlines” and stop the practice of flying forced deportees to danger.

  • Crown Resorts, Mirvac, Suncorp and AGL will post their annual results.

  • Today is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

Samoa

  • Foreign Affairs Minister Julia Bishop and International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells will be Samoa ahead of the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers meeting tomorrow.

Wellington, New Zealand

  • The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will announce its latest cash rate decision.

Singapore

  • Today is Singapore’s National Day.

THE COMMENTARIAT

The bigger questions about reef foundation’s $444 million windfall — Kate Mackenzie (The Age): “What we also need to ask is: what does the foundation do? What are its outputs, its activities? And why would the federal government be so keen to direct such a huge chunk of funding to those activities? At best, the government’s massive funding dump is a long-shot attempt to save a few bits of the reef from inevitable degradation. At worst, it’s a distraction from that fate – and a diversion from addressing its causes.”

Trapped in a low-rate labyrinth ($) — David Uren (The Australian): “It is a week of anniversaries for the Reserve Bank: two years since it cut rates to 1.5% and five years since it cut them to 2.5%. The earlier cut set the housing boom rolling in Sydney and Melbourne, with prices rising by 45% to 55% to their peaks, and encouraged households to increase their debt from 60% greater than their annual income to a level that is now double their earnings.”

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