Kerryn Phelps Wentworth Dave Sharma

WENTWORTH POSTAL BATTLE CONTINUES

Independent candidate for Wentworth Kerryn Phelps has extended her lead over Liberal Dave Sharma, after a commanding swing at Saturday’s Wentworth byelection was upended by a tense day of postal votes and recounts yesterday.

The ABC reports that, while early postal votes yesterday has Sharma fewer than 900 voters behind, recounts at Bondi Beach, Bellevue Hill and Vaucluse put Phelps ahead by more than 1,600, which according to election analyst Antony Green is likely strong enough to “survive the trend of the further postal votes”. While Fairfax’s David Crowe also has Phelps ahead under current forecasts, there are 5602 postal votes the AEC could still receive by November 2, of which 3300 are expected. You are welcome to go mad tracking the AEC count for yourself.

Regardless of the final outcome, the election day swing of 19% in a historically safe Liberal seat has lead to tensions over the government’s climate change policy, news that writer Jane Caro could run against Tony Abbott in Warringah, and a commitment from Phelps to prioritise evacuating children from Nauru if elected.

GILLARD SPEAKS AHEAD OF SORRY DAY

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has called on Australian governments not to dilute their response to the child abuse royal commission, which will today include the federal national apology, but stay “as close as possible” to recommendations for a National Redress Scheme.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Prime Minister Scott Morrison will issue the national apology to survivors today, with Opposition Leader Bill Shorten also expected to make an address, however survivor and support groups such as knowmore have warned that the scheme has strayed from royal commission recommendations. Gillard, who has also written a reflection on the commission, will sit with survivor advocates during the parliament events.

Telethons of the apology will be held across most capital cities today, including a Sydney Opera House event with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, while South Australian Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson is expected to deliver a state apology.

ULURU CLIMB SPIKE

The number of people climbing Uluru has spiked since the Uluru-Kata Tjuta park board voted late last year to ban the practice, considered disrespectful by local Anangu people.

The NT News ($) reports that the number of daily climbs has jumped from around 50 to 140 last November, to 300 to 500 today. While the act won’t be prohibited until October 26th 2019, set to coincide with the 34th anniversary of Uluru’s return to traditional owners, Anangu groups have been asking visitors to not climb the sacred site for decades.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I come with indomitable spirit of Liberals all across the country. Tonight I had the great privilege of joining those, and I don’t want to make a political point of this, at the Invictus Games, but Invictus is all about the indomitable spirit. But you know we’ve got an indomitable spirit in this party

Scott Morrison

The Prime Minister reacts to the historic Wentworth swing by comparing himself to wounded armed services personnel and veterans.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“What do the country folk of Wagga and the eastern suburbs sophisticates of Wentworth have in common? Not, you might think, that much, except that both signal a new era of independent threat to conservatives. The good burghers of Wagga showed that just over a month ago when they elected local independent Joe McGirr to replace the disgraced state Liberal MP Daryl Maguire, off a 28% swing against Gladys Berejiklian’s government. That was in the aftermath of the knifing of Malcolm Turnbull.”

“New parliamentary media guidelines for Tasmanian journalists will restrict media from ‘lingering’, talking to MPs in Parliament House without invitation, and photographing ‘unparliamentary behaviour’ in the chamber.”

“As soon as she was removed by the ABC board on September 24, halfway through her five-year term, ousted ABC head Michelle Guthrie hinted she was considering legal action … On Thursday afternoon, news broke that Guthrie was indeed proceeding with a claim against the ABC. Just what are her options?”

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THE COMMENTARIAT

The person with the most to fear from the Liberal Party’s Wentworth debacle is Tony AbbottBevan Shields (Sydney Morning Herald): “The Wentworth smashing should send a shiver up Tony Abbott’s spine in the neighbouring electorate of Warringah. Saturday’s result proves blue-ribbon Liberal electorates will have no hesitation backing independents next year if they conclude the Coalition is still riven by leadership division and unwilling to take climate change seriously.”

Former Retail Food executives called to Canberra for grilling ($) — Adele Ferguson (Australian Financial Review): “A joint parliamentary inquiry into the powerful franchise sector is bracing for a fight after taking the rare step of slapping a summons on three former executives of Retail Food Group who have repeatedly refused to appear before the inquiry. “

Australians have no interest in joining U.S. cold war against China ($) — Bob Carr (The Australian):Alexander Downer chewed ruminatively on his steak: ‘If you want a cold war with China, you will get a cold war with China.’ I had just been appointed foreign minister and was consulting my predecessors. Downer implied cold war was not smart diplomacy and not in Australia’s interest. But in its biggest policy shift on China since 1971, that is precisely what the US has embarked upon.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison will deliver a national apology to the victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, after the royal commission ended last year, to be followed by a speech from Opposition Leader Bill Shorten. Telethons of the apology will be held by most state and territory governments, including a Sydney Opera House event with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian.

  • Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard will launch artwork commemorating National Apology Day in the Great Hall at Parliament House, following Morrison and Shorten’s speeches.

Adelaide

  • SA Minister for Child Protection Rachel Sanderson will issue a state government apology to victims of institutional child sex abuse.

Sydney

  • NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes will speak in-conversation with Centre for Independent Studies Executive Director Tom Switzer on freedom of speech in higher education.

Melbourne

  • Victoria’s Industry and Employment Minister Ben Carroll will announce a partnership with La Trobe University for Melbourne’s north.

  • Victorian Greens will launch their 2018 election platform with major schools and ambulance policies. Victorian Greens leader Samantha Ratnam, Deputy leader Nina Springle, MPs Ellen Sandell, Huong Truong, Lidia Thorpe and more to attend.

  • Former President of Kiribati Anote Tong will speak on “Views from the Climate Frontline” at University of Melbourne.

  • Day one of the four-day Greenhouse Gas Control Technologies conference, to focus on mitigation technologies especially carbon capture and storage and hear from speakers including Australia’s chief scientist Alan Finkel.

  • Energy Security Board Chair Dr Kerry Schott will deliver a keynote CEDA address on changes underway in Australia’s energy market.

  • Former footballer Kevin Sheedy will visit Foodbank’s Yarraville food distribution centre in a final push to get EnergyAustralia to increase the number of meals donated to 50,000.

Perth

  • Cancer surgeon Professor Christobel Saunders and gynaecological health activist Kathleen Mazzella will present keynotes at BreastScreen WA’s Pink Ribbon Breakfast 2018.

Albury, NSW

  • First business day of the Local Government NSW annual conference, launched last night and set to run until tomorrow.

Australia

  • This is both National Children’s Week and National Bird Week.