$2 BILLION SMALL BUSINESS SPLASH
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will today launch a $2 billion fund aimed at increasing competition and combating inflated interest rates in Australia’s small and medium-sized business sector.
Both The Australian ($) and The Sydney Morning Herald report that Frydenberg will announce the Australian Business Securitisation Fund in a scheme that will lower the cost of borrowing for small companies and adopt a similar model to Labor’s GFC-era $16 billion mortgage policy. The Coalition is also expected to overhaul financial regulations to encourage banks to invest in a “growth fund” for small employers.
In a big day for Coalition funding announcements, the federal government will invest hundreds of millions of dollars into energy and internet infrastructure in Papua New Guinea ($), although that regional push seems to have riled up China ahead of APEC, while the NSW government has launched plans for a $50 million virtual battery powered by households.
GREENS MP REJECTS CALLS TO STAND DOWN
Greens leader Richard Di Natale has joined calls for NSW MP Jeremy Buckingham to stand down over allegations of sexual harassment, following a blistering speech from state MP Jenny Leong issued yesterday under parliamentary privilege.
The ABC reports that Buckingham has rejected calls to step down at the next election and argued that independent investigations into claims by former staffer Ella Buckland, aired on 7.30 in August, found no evidence of wrongdoing. Federal Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi and previous seat-holder Lee Rhiannon have similarly called on Buckingham to resign, however state MP Cate Faehrmann has defended Buckingham.
Meanwhile, the party’s Victorian branch has stood by Footscray candidate Angus McAlpine, after the Herald Sun ($) revealed yesterday he had rapped about date rape in a 2010 hip hop album. McAlpine has since apologised for the lyrics, while state leader Samantha Ratnam has argued that “to change the culture of toxic masculinity we need more men to own up, take responsibility, apologise and commit to change”.
CNN SUES WHITE HOUSE
CNN has filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration over its revocation of press credentials for former White House correspondent Jim Acosta, and will seek a restraining order to return the pass and issue permanent relief.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that CNN has cited press freedom as a reason for seeking to overturn the ban, which follows a fiery exchange between Acosta and Donald Trump. The White House has stated Acosta’s credentials were revoked because he touched an aide attempting to take his microphone away, a claim the journalist has denied and one the White House has since tried to back-up with sped-up footage of the incident.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Look I’m a member of a religious community, and my pastor knows what’s going on in our church community. He would know, or his wife would know, if there was someone who was leading a local bible study group, or something like that, who is teaching things that is not in accordance with what our faith believes. And they’d be dealing with it, because that’s the responsibility of a religious leader.
The Prime Minister calls on Australian imams to develop omniscience.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer
“Months after poor Jacob Greber was forced to pay his way to DC by writing an endless series on how the same small number of economists constantly demanded interest rate hikes, today Sarah Turner and Vesna Poljak have been pressed into service to resume writing the same piece about why the Reserve Bank was betraying Australia by not massively hiking interest rates.”
“It took years of racist Cold War 2.0 propaganda to build this mega-ministry. Without our consent, counter-terrorism could not be so powerfully preached to intelligence and law enforcement agencies. Without our fear, our sacrifice of civil liberties and tax dollars would appear, as they are, too great.”
“If sued, the ABC would face the common Me Too dilemma: can it back up what’s been alleged? It has two choices: either prove the objective truth of the allegation, or have a crack at winning with qualified privilege. It’s widely accepted that media organisations in Australia can’t get up on qualified privilege. Maybe the ABC was thinking this could be the exception.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Good work damaged by minister on L plates, but here’s how to help our neighbours — Concetta Fierravanti-Wells (Sydney Morning Herald): “Now, whether one believes that CO2 is plant food, vital for the health of the planet where the climate has been changing since the beginning of time, or whether one falls into the ‘Al Gore camp’ living a state of nervousness because Armageddon is just over the horizon, it remains important that we deal with today’s realities and the impact of climate change.”
It’s time to take back control from the real Aboriginal industry elites — Jack Latimore (The Guardian): “The federal minister for Indigenous affairs should be sacked from cabinet and sent packing for his allocation of Indigenous funds to non-Indigenous interests, but his exploits are far from an isolated incident when it comes to the standard of administration of any money earmarked for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.”
As politicians resist a federal ICAC, Australia becomes more corrupt — David Harper (Sydney Morning Herald): “General propositions – for example, that public office is a public trust – can sometimes encapsulate profound truths. It is a measure of the malaise of Western democracies that for many in public life the notion that they hold positions of trust has never penetrated their conception of what their over-riding purpose should be.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
American economist and 2018 Sydney Peace Prize recipient Joseph E. Stiglitz will address the National Press Club.
A Nature Conservation Council report identifying how 17 of the top 20 deforestation hotspots in NSW contain almost 7 million hectares of koala habitat will be launched at NSW Parliament.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly, Australian Conservatives’ Senate candidate Sophie York, and former One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts will speak at Western Heritage Australia’s “Energy Poverty” forum at NSW Parliament House.
Protestors will rally against light planes and helicopters being able to fly without air traffic control, with Greens MP Adam Bandt, Victorian Greens MP Ellen Sandell and Melbourne City Councillor Jackie Watts expected to attend.
Comedian Mikey Robins will discuss his new book Seven Deadly Sins and One Very Naughty Fruit in conversation with Crikey writer Helen Razer at Readings bookshop.
A Queensland sex worker policy symposium will be held at Queensland Parliament.
Day one of Sisters Inside’s three-day international, anti-prison Imagining Abolition Conference.
Regional Development Australia will launch Western Australia’s first defence sector publication WA Defence Review.
Chief Entrepreneur for South Australia Jim Whalley will present “Building Connections: Chasing SME Opportunity in the Defence Sector” at an IET SA & NT Local Network defence event.
Energy Minister Angus Taylor will speak on day one of the two-day Snowy Region Construction and Development Conference.
Nine Entertainment Co, Medibank Private, Ramsay Health Care, Newcrest Mining, Fortescue Mining, and DuluxGroup will hold their AGMs.
Fiji will hold its general election.
Former Melbourne school principal Malka Leifer will appear in court to fight extradition to Australia to face allegations of abusing former students.