Steven Ciobo indonesia free trade deal Israeli embassy
Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo. (Image credit: AAP Image/Lukas Coch)


Defence Industry Minister Steven Ciobo has reportedly reassured Indonesia’s trade minister that there is a “less than 5%” chance the Coalition government will move its Israeli embassy, in a sign the controversial proposal will be removed as a hurdle to the  $16.5 billion free trade agreement between Australia and Indonesia.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Ciobo, who has not commented on the alleged interaction, downplayed the chances of a Jerusalem embassy to Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita at a recent defence event in Indonesia. Lukita yesterday confirmed that the free trade deal would not be signed while Australia still considered the move, and, while Prime Minister Scott Morrison maintained the two issues were not linked in his ASEAN meeting with President Joko Widodo, he plans to make a final decision by Christmas.

In brighter foreign affairs news, The Australian ($) reports that Chinese premier Li Keqiang has welcomed Australia’s conciliatory “positive attitude” towards Beijing following his meeting with Morrison, who has also rejected accusations Australia is creating a new “Cold War” over China’s growing influence in the South-West Pacific ($).

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Brisbane City Council, Queensland Transport and the Canterbury-Bankstown, Fairfield and Rockdale councils in Sydney have all appeared on a list of Australian agencies’ requesting consumers’ metadata from telecommunication companies.

The Brisbane Times reports that more than 100 Australian bodies appear on the list voluntarily provided to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on Intelligence and Security this week by peak body the Communications Alliance. Telcos are legally obliged to keep data for two years under 2015 national security laws, and agencies have reportedly requested information on numbers called by users, location and length of calls, and email address.

While Brisbane City Council has yet to answer questions over the requests, Fairfield City and Canterbury-Bankstown Council have listed illegal dumping as reasons for accessing metadata.


An Iraqi man who has refused food for twelve days has been evacuated from Manus Island.

RadioNZ reports that the catatonic refugee, who has also been refusing liquids, was evacuated Tuesday morning and likely moved to Pacific International Hospital in Port Moresby. Thirty five other refugees have been moved from the medical centre ahead of this week’s APEC summit, however four other suicidal refugees reportedly remain.

The news comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison denies ever setting a Christmas deadline for getting child refugees off Nauru, and announces that any kids evacuated for medical reasons will eventually be returned ($).

For anyone seeking help, Lifeline can be reach on 13 11 14, and Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.


I am going to declare my gender today, as I can, to be a woman, and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me.

Barry O’Sullivan

The Nationals senator throws some transphobia into an anti-abortion screed. He rounded out the speech by calling tofu “dried grass“.


How slip-up in Bunnings nailed men who plotted deadly Melbourne terror

‘I’m deeply wounded by this’: Cabinet minister attacks Liberal colleague for ‘L-plates’ jibe

Bali Nine’s Renae Lawrence to return home to arrest warrants ($)

Labor accuses Peter Dutton of lying to politicise national security

The patient had planned his suicide. But the crisis team was busy

Police investigating Attorney-General Vickie Chapman if she breached ICAC secrecy provisions ($)

‘Beggars belief’: Dan Tehan accuses city vice-chancellors of neglecting regional research

UFU registers anti-Jane Garrett how-to-vote card as Labor swaps red shirts for whites ($)

Brexit: UK and EU reach draft agreement but Theresa May needs to convince cabinet

Sri Lanka thrown into more turmoil as parliament rejects new Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa


I know the horrors of sexual harassment, but mob rule is not justice — Cate Faehrmann (Sydney Morning Herald): “Women’s complaints should always be taken seriously, believed prima facie and investigated professionally and independently. That’s why I urged my colleague Jenny Leong to make a complaint via formal party processes if she has new allegations following her speech in Parliament this week using parliamentary privilege. Should an investigation commence, I have asked Jeremy Buckingham to stand aside from formal duties while this takes place.”

Hey big spenders, voters aren’t buying it ($) — David Uren (The Australian): “Excluding long-term major infrast­ructure projects, the Labor government of Daniel Andrews has made promises of about $20bn, while Liberal leader Matthe­w Guy’s commitments reach about $11bn. No costing has yet been released for a number of big Coalition commitments, such as free school books and payroll tax cuts for regional employers. There has not been a breath about savings from either side.”

The Earth is in a death spiral. It will take radical action to save us — George Monbiot (The Guardian): “Softer aims might be politically realistic, but they are physically unrealistic. Only shifts commensurate with the scale of our existential crises have any prospect of averting them. Hopeless realism, tinkering at the edges of the problem, got us into this mess. It will not get us out.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Migrant and First Nations groups will rally against racism in politics.

  • State Opposition Leader Matthew Guy will speak at an Ai Group event.

  • Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau, and her husband Anthony Howard QC, will host a reception for Victoria’s centenarians.

  • Five early-career female researchers will be recognised as part of the 2018 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Australian and New Zealand Fellows.


  • Final sitting day of Queensland parliament for the year.

  • The National Retail Association will unveil spending projections for the Christmas trading period, including state breakdowns, at Westfield Carindale.


  • An Environmental Professionals Forum event will discuss how the koala populations in NSW, Queensland and the ACT have decreased and what can be done to create effective change.

  • Writer Melissa Lucashenko will present “When ‘freedom’ kills: an Aboriginal viewpoint on free speech and the social contract in the age of Trump” for the PEN Free Voices address for the Day of the Imprisoned Writer.

  • The UTS Social & Political Sciences Program will host roundtable discussion “Is the Confucius Institute a Trojan Horse?” with panelists including academic Feng Chongyi, former public servant John Fitzgerald, and journalists Sheng Xue and John Garnaut.


  • Historian Sir Christopher Clark will present the “Uncertain Times. Germany, Europe and the World Order” for the ANU Konrad Adenauer Lecture.

  • Greens Senator Mehreen Faruqi will speak in conversation at the Canberra Multicultural Women’s Forum.


  • Minister for Senior Australians and Aged Care Ken Wyatt will launch two projects from the Older Persons Advocacy Network: the ‘Talk To Us First’ Digital training for the aged care workforce and the OPAN National Elder Abuse Prevention and Advocacy Framework.


  • Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie will speak in conversation at a Mount Barker District Council Women in Business event.


  • A project briefing will be delivered on the Inpex Ichthys LNG onshore processing project ahead of a visit this week by Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and Scott Morrison.

Kinglake, Victoria

  • Opposition Leader Bill Shorten will meet with community representatives about issues ahead of the ten year anniversary of the Black Saturday bushfires.

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