class room
Image credit: Feliphe Schiarolli/Unsplash


The Sydney Morning Herald reports the writing results for New South Wales students who took the online version of the NAPLAN test were nine points higher compared to those who took the test by pen and paper. However, the online test also seems to have disadvantaged students in “reading, numeracy, grammar and punctuation”. The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority released its national snapshot today, admitting there were some differences in student performance “between the two types of tests”.

The SMH also reports that Australian students have achieved their lowest results in writing since the NAPLAN tests began; more than one-fifth of year nine students didn’t reach the national minimum standard. The academic results come after two international experts from the United States found this year’s NAPLAN tests to be flawed and of “very limited use”.


The Sydney Morning Herald reports on last night’s ABC 7.30 program, where radio shock-jock Alan Jones told the program he had played a part in last week’s Liberal leadership spill. Jones said he had “contacted certain MPs”, like Liberal MP John Alexander, telling them “there had to be a change”. Jones also told the program he didn’t turn against Malcolm Turnbull, though he did turn against his energy policy.


The ABC reports on the nation’s latest Annual Overdose Report released today, which found accidental drug deaths involving prescription medication continues to increase across Tasmania. The report revealed a dramatic increase in the number of deaths related to sleep or anxiety medication — benzodiazepines or “benzos”, describing the medication as a “hidden epidemic” and a “silent killer”. In addition, it found the drugs causing the most deaths in Tasmania in 2016 were opioids, codeine, heroin, oxycodone and fentanyl.


The era of the political assassin is over, and thank god for that.

Tony Abbott

Speaking with Ray Hadley on 2GB yesterday, former prime minister Tony Abbott seemed confident that all the government needed was one last leadership change before welcoming in the new era.

Praise be.


“As the dust settles, however temporarily, in the Liberal Party, Scott Morrison’s new ministry will be sworn in and get down to work. And while there are new faces as well as old hands in the same roles — continuity with change! — it’s clear that some powerful figures have suffered a blow.”

“The immediate cost has been measured in polls conducted over the weekend, notwithstanding that public opinion at the present moment of agitation is an obviously imperfect guide to what will happen at an election now sure to be some time away. The one national poll so far has been the Newspoll published overnight in The Australian, which has the Coalition primary vote at 33% — a depth it has only plumbed on two previous occasions out of the 724 polls published under the Newspoll name since 1985, both of which were in Kevin Rudd’s honeymoon period in early 2008.”

“The rollcall of patriot, champion, maverick, compassionate conservative, etc now coming out of all media, is more than a little awry… Though he had the most literal-minded notion of American virtues and loved bombing people as part of it, I find the seething hatred of him from parts of the left as tiresome – as if we’ve never backed killers — as the automatic hallowing of him from the mainstream.”


‘Slut shaming is used as a method of torture.’ Emma Husar explains why she quit politics  

Q&A recap: Pauline Hanson says she had no idea what ‘final solution’ meant

Newspoll: Malcolm Turnbull axed as Coalition closed the gap on Labor ($)

Scott Morrison faces test on Paris Climate Deal ($)

Small business returns to cabinet with appointment of Michaelia Cash

O’Dwyer urged to focus on wages growth, IR reform

Dispute over Lauren Southern’s hefty police bill ($)

James Ricketson: Australian filmmaker says he was held by Cambodian police for six days without charge

Myanmar military must face genocide charges: UN

Trump won’t attend McCain funeral

Florida shooting suspect was ‘angry after losing video game contest’




  • The Melbourne Arts Centre will host “An evening with Jane Fonda”. The star will hold a Q & A session and speak about her career and activism.

  • The Fair Work Commission’s five-day hearing over Victoria’s controversial firefighters’ pay deal continues. The deal has been agreed to by the brigade and its firefighters, however Victoria’s Human Rights Commissioner and the Federal Government have voiced concern the agreement is discriminatory.

  • The Melbourne Bicycle Network will hold a memorial for the 27-year-old Dutch female cyclist who was killed when a stolen car hit her at South Yarra in early August. The memorial will be held on Alexandra Avenue at 7:00 am before riding down Chapel Street to the site of the crash. Up to 3000 people are expected to attend.

  • The trial for three men accused of planning an Islamic State-inspired terror attack in Melbourne on Christmas Day in 2016 will be held in Victorian Supreme Court. Hamza Abbas, Ahmed Mohamed and Abdullah Chaarni each face one count of preparing or planning a terrorist act.

  • Angelo Gargasoulas, the brother of Bourke Street accused, listed for a breach at Melbourne Magistrates Court.

  • A 21-year-old Malaysian woman will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court after being charged with drug importation by the Australian Border Force. The woman had boarded a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne and attempted to import four kilograms of methamphetamine by hiding it in two electric cooktop stoves in her luggage.

  • The Melbourne Convention Centre will host Australia’s biggest HR exhibition. Guest speaker will be Tony Walsh, Professor of Artificial Intelligence at University of New South Wales, who will deliver a session on the future of jobs, ethics and the pros and cons of AI.

  • Minister for Training and Skills Gayle Tierney will launch the Box Hill Institute’s Advanced Welder Training Centre.

Gold Coast

  • The second man charged with the kidnapping of a 12-year-old boy outside of his Gold Coast Home will get a mention in Southport Magistrates Court. Yu ‘Sunny’ Zhang was arrested and extradited from NSW after he and his father allegedly snatched the boy in May.

  • Bradley Knudson will receive a mention in the Southport Magistrates Court after he was accused of hitting and choking a woman until she blacked out and then tried to restrain her soon after they first met in the Gold Coast.


  • A 61-year-old Eight Mile Plains man will face an additional charge of official corruption in the Crime and Corruption Commissions probe into the Ipswich Council.

  • The Crime and Corruption Commission will hold hearings into corruption and risks in Queensland jails. Those in attendance include Dr John Wakefield, Deputy Director-General, Queensland Health and Professor Mark Halsey from Flinders University.

  • The stepfather of slain toddler Mason Lee will be sentenced for manslaughter over the toddler’s death in the Brisbane Supreme Court


  • The swearing-in of the new Morrison ministry is expected to take place at Government House.


  • The eighth annual Sydney Fringe Comedy Festival kicks off today and will run until the September 30. The one-month festival will present a diverse line-up of emerging and established comedians.


  • Usain Bolt will attend a training session with the Central Coast Mariners, where Bolt and Matt Simon are expected to speak.


  • Tasmania’s House of Assembly and Legislative Council sits.


  • The Grains Research and Development Corporation will deliver its farm business update. The GRDC Farm Business Update aim to drive innovation and adoption of improved farm business management practices across the grains industry.


  • The inquest into the death in custody of Wayne ‘Fella’ Morrison will continue in the Adelaide Magistrates Court. Morrison died after an altercation with prison guards while in remand in 2016. Mor Morrison’s mother will give evidence.

  • The Royal Commission into the Murray-Darling Basin Authority will be held today, to hear of possible influence by then-Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Barnaby Joyce.


  • The Darwin Convention Centre will host the 46th Biennial Conference for Australia’s Port sector. Deputy Prime Minister and Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack will give an address.


  • Fortescue Metals Group will appeal against a native title ruling in favour of Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corp that covers the Pilbara land were its Solomon iron ore mine sits, in the Federal Court of Australia.

  • The trial continues for Tiffany Yiting Wan, the daughter of Annabelle Chen, whose body was found inside a suitcase in the Swan River, in 2016. The daughter and her ex-husband Ah Ping Ban will plead not guilty for the murder and will face the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

  • A Parkerville bushfire class action trial continues in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, after a neglected power pole fell over in 2014 razing 57 homes, 7 outbuildings and over 390 hectares of bushland. EnergySafety found Western Power contractors failed to maintain the privately-owned jarrah pole.

  • Rodney Palmer Spencer, who killed his employer in a crash while speeding with a blood alcohol level of 0.172 will be sentenced in the District Court of Western Australia.


  • Caltex will release its 2018 interim earnings report.

United States

  • The second day of the US Tennis Open will kick off today. The tournament will run until the 9th of September.


  • International experts will meet at UN offices for a week-long gathering to discuss “ways to define and deal with killer robots”. The meeting will examine the lethal weapons systems and ways of regulating them.


If we want strong climate action, we need to get the moderate Liberals on board – Erwin Jackson (The Guardian): “To deliver an effective and enduring centre-right policy on climate change, we cannot simply bludgeon the more conservative parts of the Coalition into submission. We need to bring the moderate parts of the party closer to where most Australians and business have already arrived.”

The bombshell decision Canberra wanted to bury – Peter Hartcher (The Age): “The fifth generation mobile telecoms system, or 5G, is a big deal. It’s to be the key architecture of an increasingly wired nation, connecting power and water systems, medical and driverless technologies, systems in homes and hospitals, factories and farms, enabling the so-called “internet of things”. If you’re getting the impression that the government didn’t want to draw attention to the announcement, you’re right. After months of careful scrutiny, the cabinet’s national security committee had made the decision a week earlier. Then sat on it.”

We need to reclaim the art of conversation ($) – Karen Brooks (The Courier Mail): “Whether it’s young and older people with their eyes glued to screens in their hands while in restaurants, home, churches, funerals, crossing roads, driving or simply having a night out with friends, or Donald Trump and his so-called “Twitter diplomacy” the way we communicate with each other has irrevocably altered from being personal to increasingly impersonal.”


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