Australia will officially ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership in a move that could narrowly create double tariff cuts and, separately, highlights fears over a separate trade with Indonesia caused by the proposed Israeli embassy shift.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australia will join Japan, Canada, Mexico, Singapore and New Zealand with a crucial sixth signature and trigger the TPP much sooner than expected. The deal has been rejected by both US President Donald Trump and people who don’t want companies suing governments, but, with modelling showing the 11 interested countries could achieve a $222 billion increase in total real incomes, welcomed by exporters.

The Australian Financial Review ($) notes that the government will have to ratify the trade deal by tomorrow in order to coincide with a separate TPP-11 deal and secure double tariff cuts by January 1 2019. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham reportedly signed the brief yesterday to put the TPP into effect today, with a final document still to be lodged with the New Zealand government, and will confirm the decision on Friday.


Federal Education Minister Dan Tehan has announced a national-interest test for Australian Research Council research grants and a general overhaul of the $3 billion funding system, following revelations last week former education minister Simon Birming­ham secretly vetoed 11 ARC-approved grants for humanities research.

According to The Australian ($), Tehan plans to make applicants demonstrate how research “advances the national interest” and will work with ARC chief executive Sue Thomas in how to incorporate such a test into the current decision-making process. Tehan also bowed to Labor criticism over Birmingham’s vetoes and will implement a transparency rule when grants recommended by the ARC are blocked by ministers.


Trials for a coeliac disease vaccine will enter phase II and test gluten-intolerant patients across Victoria, Queensland, New Zealand and the US.

The Herald Sun ($) reports that, eight years after the Nexvax2 vaccine was shown to be safe in initial patients, the drug will be trialled counter with placebos across 150 patients for four months. The vaccine is based on research from Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research and is designed to desensitise gluten-specific immune cells.

In other good vaccine news the World Health Organisation has declared that rubella, an infection once feared during pregnancy, has effectively been eliminated in Australia thanks to almost three decades of childhood vaccinations.


We’re the only country in the world where a person comes in and has a baby, and the baby is essentially a citizen of the United States.

Donald Trump

The US President announces plans to change the 14th Amendment and terminate birthright citizenship for children born to non-citizens. While countries such as Canada also have birthright citizenship, Trump is correct in saying that America is the only country to provide it specifically to babies born in the United States.


Scott Morrison’s prime ministership began with great speed and vigour. Problems were anticipated and dealt with, rather than left to fester. Barnacles were removed, or at least chipped away at. Key slogans were articulated and a carefully confected image presented. Then, in the week before the Wentworth byelection, it fell off a cliff. Specifically, the kind of cliff in a Warner Bros’ cartoon that a character runs over and briefly sprints in mid-air before gravity, and a painful awareness of their fate, takes hold.”

“The insides of The Australian Financial Review are often filled with truth. They are often filled with delusion, too. But even delusion, like that slowly vanishing one in which suck-up neoliberal techniques become noble deeds done by the rich for the undeserving poor, can be understood as truth. Even AFR spin is kind of true, or as true as any tale told of financialised fiction.”

“We are yet to see the social change that Me Too demands; powerful men continue to sexually abuse women, and the institutions from which they derive their power continue to reflexively protect them from the consequences. What we are seeing is a sharpened focus on a badly broken piece of our socio-legal structure: the law of defamation. Once alleged perpetrators started being called out, it was inevitable that some would sue. And so they are, or at least threatening to.”


Asylum seeker families are being quietly moved from Nauru to Adelaide by the Federal Government ($)

Catholic Church set to be sued by dozens of victims of clerical abuse

Electoral Commission launches computer overhaul amid growing cyber risk

Soldiers sacked for sex texts, Facebook posts ($)

Sydney man charged over threatening phone call to National Party employee ($)

Two billion people hit by natural disasters in the past decade: Red Cross

Seven employee says she was ‘overlooked’ for promotion due to pregnancy

Don’t revive Mediscare campaign, former AMA president Michael Gannon warns

Rohingyas to be repatriated despite UN genocide warning

Anti-discrimination law changes risk undermining values, say Anglicans ($)


Offshore detention: Horrors being deliberately hidden from us — Daniel Webb and Natasha Blucher ( “Over the past five years we have seen children on Nauru go from being playful and curious little kids to listless, voiceless, hopeless bodies on a mattress, unable to eat or speak. We’ve seen their spirits slowly dissolve and the brightness slowly fade from their eyes.”

Turnbull’s efforts offer Jakarta a veto of our foreign policy ($) —  Greg Sheridan (The Australian):Scott Morrison made a bad mistake in sending former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull to Indonesia to lead an Australian delegation. Turnbull made an astonishing decision as a prime ministerial envoy to oppose the policy direction of his own Prime Minister on the question of Australia potentially moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

I kicked a winning goal only to have the minister disallow it — Roger Benjamin (Sydney Morning Herald): “I was the author of the Australian Research Council Discovery grant that was ridiculed by Simon Birmingham on Twitter last Friday. Misquoted by him and in Senate Estimates, the full title of my 2017 project, was ‘Double Crossings: post-Orientalist arts at the Strait of Gibraltar’.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Chief executive of the Business Council of Australia Jennifer Westacott will present “Australia at Work: Managing Adjustment and Change” at the National Press Club.

  • Sky political anchor David Speers will discuss his new book On Mutiny in-conversation with SMH editor Mark Kenny at an ANU event.

  • Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh will present “Competition policy and inequality: Building on Lionel Murphy’s legacy” for ANU’s Annual Lionel Murphy Lecture.


  • Former PM and beyondblue chair Julia Gillard will deliver a keynote speech at the two day annual NDIS and Mental Health conference.

  • A federal senate inquiry will examine Treasury Laws Amendment (Design and Distribution Obligations and Product Intervention Powers) Bill 2018.

  • Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula, justice Lex Lasry and other state law and order personalities will speak at Melbourne Press Club event “Politics of Crime”.

  • The Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria will host “A conversation with Behrouz Boochani” to discuss the journalist’s book No Friend But the Mountains: Writing from Manus Prison.

  • A zombie Halloween protest will be held outside the International Mining and Resources Conference to challenge the “green-washing” of the industry.


  • Amnesty International will try to present a 30,000 signature petition to Defence Minister Christopher Pyne calling for an end to Australian support for the training of the Myanmar military, due of its treatment of the Rohingya population.

  • Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young will address Adelaide’s Women in Leadership summit.

  • Former PM Tony Abbott is expected to meet with SA’s Indigenous communities as part of his envoy role.


  • Rural Woman of the Year Catherine Marriott, whose confidential complaint of sexual harassment by former deputy prime minister Barnaby Joyce was leaked to the media, will speak at a Rural, Regional, Remote Women’s Network of WA #UsToo event.

  • Chairman GRA Partners and former WA Deputy Premier and Treasurer Eric Ripper will present “Politicians and IT – Hazards and Opportunities” at the SecureIT Conference 2018.

  • UWA McCusker Centre for Citizenship panel event “What does it mean to be a good citizen?” will include Archbishop of Perth Kay Goldsworthy, 2018 Western Australian of the Year and health professor Mike Daube, 2018 NAIDOC Community Person of the Year Perth and Moorditj Koort CEO Jonathan Ford and Valuing Children Initiative convener and lawyer Linda Savage.


  • Principal advisor at The Australia Institute Mark Ogge will present new research at an Environment Centre NT event on expected greenhouse gas emissions from a Northern Territory onshore shale gas industry. Beyond Zero Emissions Eytan Lenko will also outline local economic opportunities from renewable energy.

  • The national workplace sexual harassment inquiry will hear from female engineers and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island people and organisations.


  • Filmmaker Bruce Beresford will speak at a University of Sydney “Sydney Ideas” event.


  • The Grattan Institute will host panel event “South-East Queensland in a time of change” with Grattan policy analyst Marion Terrill and civil engineer and head of Queensland Government’s Cities Transformation Taskforce Matt Collins.


  • Professor of philosophy at Macquarie University Neil Levy will present “Not so Hypocritical After All: How we change our minds without noticing” for the University of Tasmania’s 2018 James Martineau Memorial Lecture.


  • ANZ will release their full-year results.

Wellington, New Zealand

  • A government inquest into New Zealand’s mental health services is due to report back to government.

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • Court will resume for the trial of Mario Santoro, who is accused of killing Cecilia Haddad in Sydney.

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