Wentworth byelection
Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma, and Scott Morrison


Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing a backlash from Indonesia and several other Muslim nations after announcing Australia could move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stood alongside Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki in asking Australia to not “take steps that may threaten the [Israeli-Palestinian] peace process and world stability”. A senior Indonesian government source has also reported the news could threaten an Australian-Indonesia trade deal, however this was rebuffed by the country’s trade minister

Marsudi’s comments follow similar condemnation from 13 Middle Eastern and North African embassies in Australia and a mixed-response from a Wentworth Jewish forum ahead of the crucial byelection. On Wentworth, a senior adviser to Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas accused Morrison overnight of jeopardising peace in the Middle East for a byelection win.


Elsewhere, Scott Morrison has raised the prospect of taking up New Zealand’s offer to accept people seeking asylum on Manus Island and Nauru in exchange for a stalled bill banning the detainees from ever coming to Australia.

According to The Australian ($), senior government sources say Morrison is “more likely” to accept the long-standing offer if the opposition and/or crossbench support the lifetime-ban bill stalled since 2016. Shadow Immigration Minister Shayne Newman has described banning refugees as tourists as “ridiculous overreach” and, citing the US deal, irrelevant to third-party arrangements.

The news comes as Labor pushes for revised medical transfer procedures for children on Nauru, while Greens MP Adam Bandt and independents Andrew Wilkie and Rebekha Sharkie announce a new bill that would evacuate all children and families for medical care.


Volkswagen’s luxury division Audi has been charged €800 million (A$1.3 billion) for cheating European emissions tests.

The ABC reports that German officials issued the fines for cases covering around 4.9 million Audi cars sold across Europe, the US and elsewhere form 2004 and 2018, and follows Volkswagen’s 2015 admission to rigging 11 million diesel vehicles with software able to cheat emissions tests.

Australia, for reference, is almost alone in the OECD world in not having emissions or fuel standards for cars.


[The government] should have just come out and said straightforward that the reason why they voted for it was because when you read what Senator Hanson said, in itself it’s fine, but when you put it into the context of what the Labor Party raised, saying it’s a white supremacist group in the US … it’s given it more airtime.

Luke Howarth

The LNP backbencher adds “we read it and it’s fine” to “I didn’t read it” and “we were told to read it” on the list of government excuses for voting for a white supremacist slogan.


“I’ve been watching politics since I was a kid in the Fraser years and like everyone else I’ve seen plenty of stuff-ups, misjudgments, indecencies and outrages in that time. But few left me feeling sick in the way that the Coalition supporting Pauline Hanson’s ‘it’s OK to be white’ motion in the Senate yesterday did.”

“Yesterday, 28 ruling class arseholes did their Ordinary People act. All the politicians do this absurd theatre. We’re used to it. I am not quite so used to seeing them in their ordinary people drag while screeching racist rot.”

“Off the back of three record-breaking years of greenhouse gas emissions and five years of nothing on energy policy, it’s difficult to remember that Australia once led the world on climate action. Even more difficult to remember is that keeping the planet alive was once a moderately bipartisan goal …”

This week from the New York Times

Abortion Debate in Australia Has a New Element: Women in Power

A Wild Country Party in Australia Proves a Balm for Rural Loneliness

Jamal Khashoggi’s Disappearance: What We Know and Don’t Know

How to Delete Facebook and Instagram From Your Life Forever

This is 18 around the world — through girls’ eyes

Sign up for the Australia Letter from The New York Times, a free weekly dispatch with global perspective from bureau chief, Damien Cave.


Victorian ombudsman releases scathing report on incarcerated woman with disability

Ruddock review sparks Islamic leader’s call for bill of rights ($)

ABC saga referred to parliamentary inquiry

NSW’s first strategy to stop leading cause of death for young people

Peter Dutton­ au-pair scandal: Labor senator caught up in AFP raid ($)

Queensland abortion vote set to split along party lines

SA to be guaranteed fair share of GST funding under new federal law ($)

Kerryn Phelps to trounce Liberals in Wentworth, party polling shows ($)

Police request interviews with Labor MPs over red shirts rorts, just weeks before state election ($)


Telstra shows time’s up on executive pay ($) — Jennifer Hewett (Australian Financial Review):John Mullen clearly didn’t think he’d end up as this year’s corporate symbol for out-of-touch boards paying their executives inexcusable levels of remuneration. Despite a dropped share price, lower dividends for shareholders and a paltry pay increase for remaining employees, the Telstra chairman says directors thought they had they had gotten ‘the balance about right’ in granting the executive team only 33 per cent on average of their potential pay at risk.”

PM is trading Palestine for WentworthNa’ama Carlin (Eureka Street): “For many Jews, the move serves as recognition of Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel. It has great political ramifications for the peace process. During the 1967 War, Israel annexed East Jerusalem, resulting in looting, killing and displacement of Palestinians. East Jerusalem has long been recognised by the international community as the capital for a Palestinian state.”

Dictators revive the tradition of disappearing acts ($) — Nina Khrushcheva (The Australian): “From the military juntas that ruled Argentina and Chile in the 1970s and 80s to Joseph Stalin’s iron-fisted regime in the Soviet Union, dictatorships have a long history of making their detractors ‘disappear’. Today this sinister practice seems to be making a comeback.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The Australia Institute’s Revenue Summit 2018 will be held at Parliament House with speakers to include Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and former Governor of the Reserve Bank Bernie Fraser.

  • Day one of the two-day National Farmers Federation congress, with speakers to include Federal Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources David Littleproud and Shadow Minister Joel Fitzgibbon.

  • Four inquiries will examine the impact of federal government school funding, visa cancellations made on criminal grounds, intergenerational welfare dependence and expanded police airport powers.

  • HIV experts will meet politicians such as Health Minister Greg Hunt, Shadow Health Minister Catherine King and Indigenous Health Minister Ken Wyatt for a roundtable discussion of unmet HIV needs in Australia.

  • 6000 pink lady silhouettes will be planted on the lawns of Old Parliament House in recreation of the first “field of women” created 20 years ago, with speakers to include Breast Cancer Network Australia founder Lyn Swinburne and Olympian Raelene Boyle.

  • ACTU President Michele O’Neil will hold an anti-poverty week event with workers from the cleaning, hospitality, security, higher education and community sector.

  • President, of the International Committee of the Red Cross President Peter Maurer will present “Global trends of war and their humanitarian impacts” at the National Press Club.


  • The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman will launch their 2017/18 annual report.

  • NT Traditional Owners and the Protect Country Alliance will rally outside Origin’s AGM over the company’s 2019 fracking plans in the Northern Territory.

  • Qantas will present the AFR 100 Women of Influence Awards at Sydney Town Hall, where protestors will also rally over the airline’s role in forced deportations.

  • NASA Aerospace Technologist Robert Moses will present “Sustaining Human Presence on Mars Using ISRU and a Reusable Lander” at a UNSW Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research public lecture.


  • Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp will lead a National Ride2Work Day, encouraging women to participate and citing stats showing that less than a third of cycling commuters are women.

  • Day one of the three-day innovation conference C2, to feature Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, Emergent CEO Holly Ransom and INK founder Lakshmi Pratury.

  • Day one of Community Information & Support Victoria’s two-day Anti-Poverty Week Conference The Poverty Problem: whose fault is it anyway?.

  • The ABC will host podcast industry conference OzPod at ACMI.


  • Opening day of the Australasian Sleep Association’s week-long conference Sleep DownUnder 2018.


  • The Public Health Association of Australia (WA) will hold its annual meeting with a keynote from CEO Terry Slevin.


  • Senior Territorians and artists will speak in-conversation with ABC journalist Liz Trevaskis on the Portrait of a Senior Territorian exhibition at the Northern Territory Library at Parliament House.


  • Author Rosalie Ham will speak on her new book The Year of the Farmer at Walkerville Town Hall.

Maryborough and St Arnaud, Victoria

  • Victoria’s Health and Ambulance Services Minister Jill Hennessy is expected to announce new medical equipment at Maryborough Hospital and visit the new St Arnaud ambulance station for a final inspection ahead of its opening in 2019.


  • Universities and galleries around the country will host events for Academics for Refugees’ National Day of Action, to include new Manus Recording Project Collective audio exhibitions at Melbourne’s Ian Potter Museum of Art and Melbourne Law School.