SCOTT MORRISON

POLL POSITIONS

The latest Newspoll has the Coalition government trailing Labor 46-54 on a two-party-preferred basis, a two-point increase since September 9 but a marked change compared to the 49-51 pre-Libspill results.

The Australian’s national survey ($) also has Prime Minister Scott Morrison increasing his lead as preferred prime minister over Labor leader Bill Shorten 45-32, and the Coalition enjoying a five-point turnaround in the primary vote (36-39). The report comes with a wave of new ReachTel surveys, including a 50-50 NSW election poll, a two-in-three push from Sydneysiders against migration in the city, and a report that 70% of Queenslanders want the state government to cancel Adani’s 60-year unlimited water extraction licence.

Finally, the Grattan Institute last night released a study finding that public policy in Australia has become heavily skewed towards special-interest influence.

SAS THREAT

A Perth soldier with the Special Air Service Regiment has received a second anonymous threat for assisting a Defence Inspector-General inquiry into alleged misconduct and war crimes in Afghanistan.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the letter was sent days after the original recipient, a soldier who served in Afghanistan alongside Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith, alerted staff of the initial threat in June this year. The inquiry began in 2016 following a report by Special Operations Commander Major-General Jeff Sengelman about “governance and behavioural lapses” in Afghanistan. The second threat is currently being investigated by police.

RICKETSON’S RETURN

Australian documentary filmmaker James Ricketson has arrived in Sydney after receiving an abrupt royal pardon and deportation order after spending more than a year in a Cambodian jail.

According to the ABC, the head of Cambodia’s immigration investigations was told to deport Ricketson for “national security” reasons, weeks after the filmmaker was sentenced to six years in prison for “espionage”. On landing last night, Ricketson declared an intention to eventually return to the kingdom and, without going into details on his pardon, expressed gratitude that Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen successfully recommended a royal pardon for a “crime I did not commit”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I’ve had many calls from my counterpart foreign ministers who are politely asking why I am no longer the foreign minister and what happened to the prime minister. There have been some rather unkind comments about Australia being the ‘Italy of the South Pacific’ and the ‘coup capital of the world.’

Julie Bishop

On 60 Minutes, the former foreign affairs minister discusses our similarities to what’s quickly becoming the Australia of the Mediterranean.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF FRIDAY

“Despite Scott Morrison’s recent attempts to paint himself as a man of action, evidence shows that the government is fast running out of genuine ideas and legislation. There is no better illustration of the Coalition’s lack of control than this week’s Senate sittings, where the government was forced to filibuster its own bills and debate the Governor-General’s address-in-reply from 2016 in order to stop parliament running out of legislation.”

“The only reason the Church was bleating was because it had got a special deal from the Commonwealth for so long, the transition to an equitable funding deal across all sectors was going to slow its future funding growth a little. This was portrayed as a funding ‘cut’ when it was nothing of the sort. Labor cynically seized on it to promise to throw more money at the Catholic system. Ever since, Labor has gone into byelections armed with letters from local Catholic education bodies, doubtless enjoying the schadenfreude of besting the party that once accused Labor of having a ‘private school hit-list’.”

“You can tell when the West has forgotten which way is up: it cuts its pants too low. Consider the early 2000s US rise of the very low-rise pant. It is precisely when our clothes no longer bother to conceal a human crack we should no longer hope that the state will cover our arses. Those arseless jeans unfit for human contours produced a new and persistent neuralgia. They are the perfect fit for GW Bush-era doctrine. The 2000s were a terrible prelude to terrible times, and also I got quite tubby.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Chaplains told to promote christian theology in schools

‘Broke’ Liberals set to splurge up to $1 million on Wentworth byelection

HIV on the rise in straight Australian men, Kirby Institute report

ABC chair Milne, MD Guthrie split over its future, ties ‘frosty’ ($)

Morrison government giving Catholic schools 10 times what they need: analysis

Restaurant lobby concedes widespread underpayment problems

Fourth shark killed following two attacks in North Queensland’s Whitsunday islands

Special investigator hands report on diesel generator deal to State Government, which will have them on standby for this summer ($)

Press club probes nomination mystery ($)

THE COMMENTARIAT

Guthrie at half-time: a solid start but sloppy ABC news needs attention ($) — Mark Day (The Australian): “In a few weeks Michelle Guthrie will reach the halfway mark in her five-year term as managing director of the ABC. Time for a midterm check: how is she doing? What has she achieved? What is still to be done? I have been polling contacts inside and outside the ABC and the messages are mixed. She has made some commendable structural changes internally, but has yet to address many issues irritating audiences and competitors.”

Wealth giants bear brunt of royal commission fallout — Clancy Yeates and Sarah Danckert (Sydney Morning Herald): “More than $12 billion has been wiped from the value of major listed financial companies this year as the Hayne royal commission has worsened an already weak trading environment. Amid predictions of tougher laws being imposed on the sector, and as the commission prepares to deliver its interim report to the government by Sunday, investors have pre-empted some of the fallout for banks, wealth managers and insurers, hitting the share prices of some of Australia’s biggest companies.”

Dane Swan gives a behind the scenes look at what it’s like being a favourite on Brownlow night ($) — Dane Swan (The Herald Sun): “In 2010 I was a $1.80 Brownlow favourite and Collingwood asked whether I had a speech prepared for ‘when you win it’ — not ‘if you win it’. I said, ‘No, I’ll just make something up,’ so they came back with all these little cards with names on them of people I needed to thank. I carried them in my pocket all night and I think they jinxed me.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Adelaide

  • Defence Minister Christopher Pyne will hold a joint press conference with French Minister of the Armed Forces Madame Florence Parly at the inaugural Australia-France Defence Industry Symposium.

  • Day two of South Australia’s budget estimates will feature Attorney-General Vickie Chapman and Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Tim Whetstone.

  • Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Senator Penny Wong will discuss “Australia in the Indo-Pacific Century” at the University of Adelaide.

  • Harvard Medical School Professor Chris Sweeney will present “Advances in Prostate Cancer Management” for the University of Adelaide’s 2018 Florey Public Lecture.

  • Emeritus Director of Cambridge’s Faraday Institute for Science and Religion Denis Alexander will speak on “Genetics, God and the Future of Humanity” for a Christians in Science & Technology public lecture.

Melbourne

  • The 2018 AFL Brownlow Medal will be presented at Crown Palladium.

  • Chief Commissioner of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau Greg Hood will release the final report into the fatal February 2017 Essendon Airport aircraft accident.

  • Social justice advocate Father Rod Bower will speak on “Faith as Social Activism” at an RMIT public lecture.

  • First weekday of the Royal Melbourne Show, to run until October 2nd.

  • The Victorian Greens will hold a “100% Renewable Victoria” community forum with Ellen Sandell MP, Lidia Thorpe MP and Sam Hibbins MP.

  • Day one of the Australian Society for Parasitology’s four-day national conference.

  • Author Paul Verhoeven will speak in-conversation with comedian Tegan Higginbotham at Readings Carlton about his new book, Loose Units.

Canberra

  • Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities Dr Stephen Kennedy will speak at the National Press Club on “Meeting the Challenges of Growth: Population, Infrastructure and the Role of the Public Service”.

  • Author of Refuge Lost: Asylum Law in an Interdependent World Dr Daniel Ghezelbash will present “Lessons for Europe on the interdependence of asylum law” at an ANU public lecture.

  • The ANU Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs will host a panel discussion on “The Tokyo Tribunal: 70th Anniversary of the Judgment on Japan’s War Leaders”.

  • Linguist Dr John Giacon will speak on language revival, particularly two Indigenous NSW languages of Yuwaalaraay and Gamilaraay, for an International Mother Language Movement public lecture.

Sydney

  • Today is the final day to enrol for the Wentworth by-election.

  • Journalist Anna Krien, Greenpeace Australia Pacific CEO David Ritter, and MinterEllison Special Counsel Sarah Barker will speak at Sydney Ideas panel event “Professional obligations in an age of climate change”.

  • The Sydney Morning Herald will hold an “SMH Live: Beyond the Back Page” editorial discussion on 2018 in sport.

  • NSW Minister for Finance, Services and Property Victor Dominello and Ryde Mayor Jerome Laxale will speak at a “Right to Home” Ryde community forum.

  • Philosopher and cognitive scientist Daniel Dennett will present the UNSW’s Wallace Wurth Lecture on the last 50 years of research and debates on human consciousness.

  • The Australia Council for the Arts will hold a “Creative Ageing” forum event.

  • Women in Theatre and Screen Australia will hold a “What’s Next? forum on gender parity in theatre.

  • Entrepreneur and founder of diverse leadership platform DAWN Dai Le will speak as part of a Haymarket HQ Inspiration Series forum.

  • Author Stephanie Bishop will speak at a Berkelouw Books in-conversation event.

Brisbane

  • Disability Discrimination Commissioner Alastair McEwan and former Greens senator Andrew Bartlett will speak at a “Violence against people with disabilities in their homes” forum.

  • Crikey political editor Bernard Keane will launch his new book The Mess We’re In: How our politics went to Hell and dragged us with it at Avid Reader Bookshop.

  • The Australian Association for Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy will present a Queensland Pub Discussion event on “CBT for psychosis: Interventions supporting recovery” at the Norman Hotel.

  • Cymmetria founder Gadi Evron will speak on “Deception & Defence against Hackers” at the UQ Idea Hub.

Hobart

  • Nominations close for Tasmanian local government elections today.

  • Authors Donald Knowler and Tim Squires will speak at a Book Uncovered event at Kingston Library.

Perth

  • First weekday of the Perth Royal Show, to run until September 29th.

  • Taiwanese artist, curator and academic Professor Mali Wu will speak and screen the documentary film “The Stitching Sisterhood” as part of Spotlight Taiwan in Perth.

Darwin

  • The Northern Territory Government will hold a Community Benefit Fund info session at the Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory.

Toowoomba, Queensland

  • The Queensland government will govern from Toowoomba for the week.

Hurstville, NSW

  • Club Central Hurstville will celebrate Moon Festival by attempting to break the Australian record for the biggest moon cake ever baked in Australia.

Western Australia

  • Today is WA’s Queens’ Birthday public holiday.

Australia

  • Today is the 2018 Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival, aka the “Moon Festival”.

New York, USA

  • New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden will be in America to meet with UN secretary general Antonio Guterres today (all dates AEST), attend US Donald President Trump’s reception to delegates tomorrow, speak at the United Nations General Debate with UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Anne Hathaway on Wednesday, speak at the Global Planet Summit on Thursday, and deliver a national statement to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. She will also make a series of media appearances throughout the week, including on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the Today Show, and CNN for a a lengthy interview with Christiane Amanpour.

Pennsylvania, USA

  • US comedian Bill Cosby will begin sentencing hearings for sexual assault.