APEC ENDS WITH A BANG, WHIMPER
US-China tensions have forced APEC leaders to end the summit without either trade consensus or the traditional joint-communique, with US Vice-President Mike Pence criticising China’s trading practices as “constricting” and “opaque”.
According to the ABC, director general of China’s Department of International Economic Affairs Wang Xiaolong announced that trade issues brought up at the summit should instead be addressed by World Trade Centre members and that, in lieu of a joint-communique, regional leaders have authorised Papua New Guinea to issue a “chairman’s statement”. The Guardian also reports that Prime Minister Scott Morrison has tried to downplay the heated US-China tit-for-tat, which saw President Xi Jinping criticise US protectionism and knock back Pence’s characterisation of the Belt and Road infrastructure program. Perhaps unrelated, but new member Tonga got a five years’ grace on loans last night.
Other APEC highlights include Chinese officials reportedly barging into Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Rimbink Pato’s office on Saturday after being denied a meeting, and, in a move seen as another pushback against China, an announcement the US will partner with Australia and PNG for the Manus Island naval base.
LABOR’S CROSSBENCH FUTURE
Analysis by the Australia Institute has found that, even with polling pointing to a Labor 2019 win, a future Bill Shorten government would at best take 29 of the 76-member Senate and therefore be unable to form a majority bloc with the Greens.
According to The Australian ($), research into Senate polling has found that Labor would once again have to rely on key crossbenchers, with Centre Alliance tipped to gain a senator and hold the balance of power. One Nation could also increase its presence, while the Greens are looking at either maintaining their nine seats or losing a spot.
Elsewhere, the latest Fairfax-Ipsos poll has the Coalition jumping three points to trail Labor 48-52 on TPP (with the margin of error being 2.9%). The poll also found an almost even split on Australia’s intake of migrants from Muslim countries (14% for increasing; 35% for remain; 46% for reducing “a lot or a little”), and gauged whether Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s top priority should be energy prices (47) or greenhouse gas emissions (39).
LAST MINUTE BID TO BLOCK NINE-FAIFAX DEAL
Former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano has launched a last-minute bid to derail the planned Fairfax-Nine meger ahead of a crucial shareholder vote today.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Catalano declared in a letter to Fairfax chairman Nick Falloon last night that he no longer supported the merger and would instead be interested in acquiring up to 19.9% of the company at above market prices. Catalano, who resigned from his role earlier in the year and holds roughly 1% stake in both Fairfax and Domain, criticised the $4 billion deal for not putting a premium on the digital real estate group and further proposed a “mutli-pronged strategy” to generate new revenue.
The Australian ($) has confirmed that one other shareholder, billionaire investor Alex Waislitz, will use his (roughly 2%) stake to vote against the deal today, however this would need to be massively replicated in order to block the merger.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
You trivialised and laughed about the suffering of an Australian and his family. You followed it with smutty, unnecessary comments about a woman voicing her political opinion.
The former Baywatch star slams Scott Morrison for both rejecting her calls to help Wikileaks founder Julian Assange and not-at-all-grossly joking that he’s “had plenty of mates who have asked me if they can be [Anderson’s] special envoy”.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“A vaguely competent PM would have rushed an expedited ‘review’ to finality and announced the embassy would be staying put, but Morrison locked himself into a Christmas timetable, voluntarily drawing out the pain. The fascist frolickers on night-time Sky frothed and fulminated about furreners daring to dictate to Australia; Eric Abetz helpfully suggested we cancel all assistance to Indonesia. Josh Frydenberg, perhaps seeking to emulate Paul Keating, today decided to pick a direct fight with Mahathir. Who knows where the actual Foreign Minister is in all this.”
“Allegations of sexual misconduct made against New South Wales MP Jeremy Buckingham have recently thrown the Greens into turmoil. On Tuesday, Buckingham, who allegedly inappropriately touched a former staffer in 2011, lost the confidence of party leader Richard Di Natale and other senior figures. But despite these calls to step aside, Buckingham has vowed to contest the next election.”
“To offer an evolutionary account of people as we find them is not only to offer it post hoc, but to turn the theory of evolution inwards and on its head in an effort to explain mass society only as the consequence of a past. Which strikes me as a bit non-evolutionary, as it excludes the fact of society, a mass organism that mutates.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Fairfax-Ipsos poll: Labor to roll the dice on climate change, maybe this time it will work ($) — Phillip Coorey (Australian Financial Review): “With Labor to release it energy policy this week, the Morrison government is champing at the bit. Having already mounted a full-blown scare campaign over Labor’s plans to curb negative gearing in a depressed housing market, the Coalition has been preparing for the release of the energy policy so it can go after Labor for supposedly wanting to driving up power prices.”
Terror alert to have little impact at Victorian election — Graham Richardson (The Australian): “Scott Morrison did not hold back in demanding that Australia’s Muslims should take a harder line on preventing radicalisation. On this occasion at least, you couldn’t blame the community, which retorted that the security forces, the police and the legal establishment in general had failed to do their job. Andrews has said little about the incident but he knows that voters do not see him as responsible for yet another senseless death.”
Why military suicides are so common: the answer isn’t combat — Megan Mackenzie (The Sydney Morning Herald): “But growing research about the nature of counterinsurgency warfare tells us that there has not been a ‘frontline’ in war for decades and that everyone serving in war zones – from medics to infantry officers – is vulnerable to violence and witnessing traumatic events. Blaming military suicide on combat exposure not only reaffirms the myth that combat is more dangerous, or a place where only the toughest soldiers serve, it takes attention away from other factors that might contribute to military suicide.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The financial services royal commission will begin hearings into policy, with Commonwealth Bank CEO Matt Comyn and chair Catherine Livingstone expected as first witnesses.
Day one of the two-day 2018 Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency Conference, to include speeches from NSW Innovation and Better Regulation Minister Matt Kean and, via video, Federal Minister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women Kelly O’Dwyer.
ACCC chair Rod Sims will present a keynote address at the 2018 Corporate Conduct & Class Actions Symposium.
QRC Chief Executive Ian Macfarlane and Federal Resources Minister Matt Canavan will release data about the economic contribution of the resources industry to Queensland.
Emergency Management Victoria Commissioner Andrew Crisp will deliver an address at the Jewish Community Council of Victoria’s AGM.
Protestors will rally at St Kilda Football Club calling on the club to re-draft Nathan Freeman.
Day one of UnitingCare Australia’s two-day 2018 Leaders Forum, to include an event at the National Press Club.
SA Treasurer Rob Lucas will meet with senior Nyrstar officials over the fate of the smelter at Port Pirie.
South Australia’s Environment Protection Authority will present the 2018 State of the Environment Report.
Premier Mark McGowan and WA Cabinet representatives will speak at a Chamber of Commerce And Community event.
More than 900 emergency doctors from Australia and New Zealand will meet for the Australasian College for Emergency Medicine’s annual meeting, to run until November 22.
Taree, New South Wales
The NSW upper house committee will hold its third public hearing for the inquiry into the sustainability of the state’s dairy industry.
Mental health staff are expected to walk off the job in protest of public sector wages. Health and Community Services Union Tasmanian secretary Tim Jacobson will deliver an address.
Riverland, South Australia
The SA Labor shadow cabinet will hold its second and final day of party meetings.
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will be in Port Moresby following the weekend’s APEC leaders summit.