unions wage stagnation
(Image: AAP)


The Coalition will this week revive a stalled workplace bill to lower the threshold required to deregister unions, disrupt union mergers, and disqualify officials that have committed two civil law breaches.

The Australian ($) reports that the Morrison government will revive the Ensuring Integrity Bill through the Senate, likely bringing on the debate this Wednesday, after failing to secure Senate support in March. The government’s push comes as the Liberal Party-affiliated think tank the Menzies Research Centre critiques unions’ tax-free status and pushes to tax groups like companies, while both plans were condemned by ACTU secretary Sally McManus last week.

In other federal news, the Coalition yesterday announced plans for a royal commission into aged care, and last night’s Fairfax-Ipsos poll has Prime Minister Scott Morrison leading Opposition Bill Shorten on trustworthiness (49%-39%) and economic skills (66%-47%), but the Coalition trailing Labor 47%-53% on two-party preferred.


Renewables supplied a record 25.6% of the National Electricity Market last month thanks to particularly windy weather and what progressive think-tank The Australia Institute calls a “tsunami of new wind and solar projects” coming online.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the institute’s audit found that South Australia led the mainland states with a wind, solar and hydro projects supplying 58% of the state’s electricity demand. Additionally, the two mainland states with the largest renewable share, SA and Victoria, had the lowest wholesale prices at $72/MWh and $79/MWh respectively.


A crowdfunding campaign to train a border collie puppy to track down the Tasmanian masked owl hit its $60,000 goal yesterday afternoon, with just hours remaining.

The Mercury ($) reports that scientists from the Australian National University’s Difficult Bird Research Group ran the Pozible campaign because the endangered, nocturnal masked owl lives in inaccessible territory and is therefore not relatively well understood. The puppy (Zorro!) will this week begin training to detect owl pellets, or regurgitated and indigestible bits of prey, along the forest floor.


No that’s what the Labor Party says, no I don’t accept that … They’re allowed to put questions, not lies.

Scott Morrison

After announcing a Royal Commission into Aged Care, the current Prime Minister rejects a question from The Australian’s Rick Morton on Morrison’s time as treasurer freezing aged care funding to the tune of almost $2 billion. Morton’s figures can be found via the Parliamentary Library.


“You almost can’t fault them for trying. Ever ready, willing, and able to ‘lampoon’ the ‘bad behaviour’ of people of colour — and especially black people — cartoonist Mark Knight and the rest of the gang at News Corp must have thought a golden egg had dropped into their lap when the Serena Williams moment exploded last weekend. And why wouldn’t they? It’s always worked out for them before, whether targeting Indigenous youth, Muslim women, or African teenagers. Draw racist cartoon invoking derogatory stereotypes. Feign innocence. Gloat at the ‘outraged left.’ Bank the cheque.”

“It’s been a tenet of political commentary over the last couple of years that while our politics has been chaotic by historical standards, it hasn’t reached the depths of idiocy and malignancy we’ve seen in Trump, Brexit and the rise of far right in Europe. Well, Australia’s circus parade of ego, stupidity and malice is now in world-class chaos, strongly placed to ‘podium’ and with a real chance of going for gold. Aussie Aussie Aussie, oi oi oi.”

“Pressure is mounting on the NSW government to consider further changes to the double jeopardy rule, after the NSW Court of Criminal Appeal yesterday rejected an application to retry a man suspected of murdering three Indigenous children in Bowraville in the early 1990s. Colleen Walker, Evelyn Greenup and Clinton Speedy-Duroux all disappeared between late 1990 and early 1991. Only Evelyn and Clinton’s bodies were found. In 1994 and 2006, a man who cannot be named for legal reasons was acquitted of their murders.”


Lib women divided over bullying ($)

WA strawberry producer embroiled in needle scandal, SA police reports

Tax Office reputation takes a hit among online users

Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese won’t contest upcoming council elections ($)

Defqon.1: NSW Premier vows to shut down festival after suspected overdose deaths

Plans for new prison in Victoria as system groans ($)

Bill Shorten digs heels in to block Adani coal mine ($)

As cyclone season nears, NT locals want more details on proposed plan to underground power ($)

‘I just want answers’: Mr Yeeda’s death in custody and the health warnings that failed to save him

Government to act on jail release system ($)

Students as young as eight banned from classroom by teachers

‘Wiped out’: Philippine region in direct path of Typhoon Mangkhut counts cost


Aged-care royal commission: cynical maybe, curious certainly ($) — Rick Morton (The Australian): “We can only take the Prime Minister at his word, although the record of recent history does little to discourage scepticism. When Morrison was treasurer, direct-care subsidies on which aged-care providers rely were frozen to the tune of $2 billion. It was only in this year’s budget that panic set in and the Coalition tried to get some reforms under way.

The simple question MPs opposed to pill testing should ask themselvesDr Alex Wodak (Sydney Morning Herald): “In the current debate, ministers argue that the ‘best’ we should aim for is that young people attending music dance events would lose their desire to take drugs at these events and that law enforcement would make these drugs virtually unavailable. A more realistic appraisal is that young people will continue to want to take drugs, police will continue to be unable to substantially reduce the availability of drugs and that pill testing will substantially reduce, but not eliminate, the risks of drug taking.”

Abbott’s envoy appointment derisory — Nayuka Gorrie (The Saturday Paper): “Beyond ideology, Abbott’s time in power was a perilous period for black organisations, and his actions as prime minister worked against the interests of black people. He oversaw the implementation of the Indigenous Advancement Strategy, which slashed $500 million from black expenditure. A senate inquiry found that in the initial round of funding for the IAS, more than half of the funding went to non-Indigenous organisations. His message at the time was clear – black people cannot handle their own affairs.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Two Senate committees will hold inquiries into gaming micro-transactions for chance-based items and the My Health Record system. The senate is also expected to debate union integrity legislation today.

  • The Australian Council of Social Service and Deloitte Access Economics will launch “The analysis of the impact of raising benefit rates: Newstart, Youth Allowance and related payments”, with ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie and Deloitte director Chris Richardson to speak.

  • Captain and author Richard de Crespigny will speak at an ANU/Canberra Times event with journalist Genevieve Jacobs on de Crespigny new book, Fly!.

  • Human rights lawyer David Matas and filmmaker Leon Lee will speak on “Organ trafficking in China and plastinated body exhibits” in a Q&A event following a screening of the documentary Human Harvest.


  • The results of a seven-year ASPREE study into the effectiveness of aspirin use, concerning 19,000 over-70s taking a daily dose of aspirin, are due to be released.

  • The financial services royal commission will finish hearing from REST and AMP witnesses on issues concerning insurance provided through superannuation, before shifting focus to general insurance beginning with Allianz executives.

  • Ahead of the Victorian state election, Victorian Greens energy spokesperson Ellen Sandell and leader Samantha Ratnam will announce plans to upgrade the state’s power network and build $9 billion worth of government-owned, large-scale renewable energy over the next 10 years.

  • Author Jill Stark will speak with 2017 Young Victorian of the Year and Pride Cup co-founder Jason Ball about her new book, Happy Never After.

  • JB Hi-Fi CEO Richard Murray will speak at an in-conversation event with the Young Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

  • Architect and former AFL player Sean Godsell will speak as part of The University of Melbourne’s AND. speaker series.

  • Founding instigator of the European Citizen Science Association Martin Brocklehurst will present “Global Citizen Science: Can citizens deliver and make a difference?” at the Royal Society of Victoria.


  • Together Queensland will hold a stop work and protest action over the state government’s 0% wage-rise offer for public servants.

  • BDA The Committee For Brisbane will host panel event “Turn it Up! – The future of Brisbane’s music economy and heritage” at the Tivoli, to be moderated by ABC Radio’s Craig Zonca and featuring Queensland’s Minister for the Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, and Minister for Science and the Arts Leeanne Enoch; Q Music CEO Joel Edmondson, Hutchinson Builders’ Chairman and co-owner of The Triffid Scott Hutchinson, and Brisbane Marketing’s General Manager Tourism & Major Events Anne-Maree Moon.

  • Author Ben Law will present “Being out in 2018, personally & professionally: What does it mean?” at a QUT alumni event.

  • Wandering Cooks will hold a seminar event “How do you Design For Australia?”, to launch The Grand Section’s local architecture exhibition “Girthy; with Slim Edges”.

  • QUT will hold a Real World Conversation seminar event “Leisure and Pleasure – how technology is changing fun” with representatives from local music, sport, film and shopping industries such as Screen Queensland’s CEO Tracey Vieira.


  • ACTU Secretary Sally McManus will address Qantas workers on a new deal signing bonus.

  • Day one of the five-day NDC Sydney 2018 Conference for Software Developers.

  • UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship will hold a “Women in Venture” panel event.


  • Accused Claremont killer Bradley Edwards is set to appear in court for a mention.

  • Assoc Professor Michael Woodward AM will present “Preventing dementia – what the latest research tells us” for Perth’s Dementia Awareness Month roadshow event, “Small actions Big difference”.

  • BlockBoxx will host seminar event “The Future of Blockchain, Digital Assets & Interoperability”.

  • University of Western Australia Economics Professor Ken Clements will speak on “The Laws of Economics” for the 2018 Shann Memorial Lecture.

  • Wallaroos head coach Dayne Nestor will speak at a Perth Rugby Business Network event.


  • First full day of Anglicare Australia National Conference, launched last night and set to run until Wednesday September 19th.

  • Day one of the University of Adelaide’s three-day annual Wombat Conference.

  • The Adelaide City Rotaract Club will hold a “Shine for ShelterBox” charity dinner.

  • The University of Adelaide’s Entrepreneurship Commercialisation and Innovation Centre will host an eChallenge Venture Showcase.


  • Former Chief Justice of the High Court Robert Shenton French AC will present “Free Speech and The Law on Campus: Do we need a charter of rights for universities?” for the eighth Austin Asche Oration in Law and Governance at Parliament House.

  • First day of the 33-day “North to South” bike ride from Darwin to Port Lincoln, a one-person charity event held in support of beyondblue.


  • Former Cricket Australia employee Angela Williamson will take the entity to court for unfair dismissal.

  • The Hobart Taxi Drivers Association will conduct peaceful and silent protests against violent attacks on taxi drivers in Hobart.

  • Adjunct Professor Mary Finsterer will present “The musical delineation of narrative in opera” in a public lecture for the University of Tasmania and The Musicological Society of Australia.

  • Ron and Lynne Fellowes will discuss their novel “No Room For Watermelons: a man, his 1910 motorcycle and an epic journey across the world” as part of Kingston Library’s Books Uncovered series.

Los Angeles, USA

  • The annual Emmy Awards for television will run the night September 17th (1000 September 18th AEST).

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