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Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews


Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has strongly indicated he will not sign up to the federal government’s Gonski 2.0 school funding proposal, telling Prime Minister Scott Morrison that the deal is “fundamentally flawed” and needs to increase funding for public schools.

Ahead of this Wednesday’s Council of Australian Governments and Education Council meetings in Adelaide, The Age reports that Independent Schools Victoria has criticised Andrews’ potential rejection of the deal as jeopardising the 2019 funding round, while the Victorian government has rejected the federal government’s threat that billions in funds depend on complete state and territory agreements to the deal. Victoria and Queensland are now the only states that have not yet signed up to the proposal, after Northern Territory and Western Australia announced deals last week.


The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is expected to call for a new regulatory body to investigate “discriminatory conduct” by social media giants such as Facebook and Google.

According to The Australian ($), the ACCC will today release a preliminary report warning that Facebook and Google enjoy 80% of digital marketing growth but demonstrate a “lack of transparency” around algorithms and ad fraud. In response, the competition watchdog is considering recommending a regulatory auth­ority with the power to demand information and investigate whether “vertically integrated digital platforms” are favouring their own businesses.


The US and Russian governments have allied with Saudi Arabia and Kuwait to water down approval of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s landmark 1.5C report.

The Guardian reports that the four “oil allies” rejected a motion to “welcome” the otherwise-lauded study when it was submitted to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on Saturday, instead just saying it should be “noted”. The move, which would reportedly make it easier for governments to ignore the study and has stalled efforts to pass the motion, has ramped up fears US president Donald Trump is escalating climate denialism at the global level.


We’ve offered Mr Turnbull to name any dates or locations that suit him.

Kristina Keneally

The Labor senator would really, really like that final witness to front up for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation inquiry.


Australia’s violence against women isn’t just about gender inequality

“The National Community Attitudes Towards Violence Against Women Survey (NCAS) delivered a number of concerning findings last week. After surveying more than 17,500 people aged 16 and over, the study reported:

  • a continuing decline in the number of Australians who understand that men are more likely to perpetrate violence than women;
  • two in five Australians believe gender inequality is exaggerated or no longer a problem;
  • and two in five Australians believe that women make up false reports of sexual assault in order to punish men.”

‘Made In Australia’ now a warning to avoid our tech products

“The combined stupidity and cowardice of the Coalition and Labor now means that any IT product — hardware or software — made in Australia will be automatically too risky to use for anyone concerned about cybersecurity. The government’s encryption backdoor bill, which Labor found a new way to roll over on last night in the Senate, now guarantees Australian-made products will be regarded as potentially having been corrupted by the Australian government and its unsupervised security agencies. One industry figure correctly compared Australia’s industry to Huawei, which is now indelibly associated, despite its furious protests, with the idea of government-inserted backdoors.”

The givings and misgivings of Christmas in Parliament House 

“Parliament House has been less jingle bells, more division bells in the final sitting week of the year. Those green and red flashing lights, while festive in colour, have not been music to my ears, especially when a nap is needed. On Wednesday evening, the House divided nine times in just under an hour and on Thursday there were 29 divisions in the Senate. Some said that it felt like the bells were still ringing even after leaving the building.”


Shorten closes gap as preferred PM in final Newspoll for 2018

Tony Burke shuts down push for radical changes to Labor’s asylum-seeker policy

Australia demands release of refugee soccer player detained in Thailand

Historic SA buildings at risk of demolition because of confusing heritage laws ($)

NSW government gives ambassador, not ombudsman, to scandal-ridden sector

Premier’s call on migrants ‘could cost state $130 billion’

Financial aid for victims of crime to be easier to get under new system, according to discussion paper ($)

Adani promises land ‘the size of Moreton Island’ to protect rare finch

$5.3m to fix defective toilets and corridors on new trains ($)

PwC slashes R&D staff after being targeted by ATO ($)


Reform would close the gap ($) — Jackie Trad (The Australian): “Thriving Communities will build on past successes and acknowledge failures. There is a clear place for the policy agenda advanced by Noel Pearson’s welfare reform trial and the Families Responsibilities Commission. For 10 years the FRC has been fac­ilitating behavioural change through conditional access to welfare payments in five communities in Cape York. Like Closing the Gap, the program has had mixed success.”

Labor’s threats turn out to be a load of hot air — Amanda Vanstone (Sydney Morning Herald): “You may be surprised to know that at the end of the parliamentary year, Labor suffered complete humiliation. Labor MPs suffered it because they got ahead of themselves. They started to believe their own bulldust. Being a legend in your own lunchtime is dangerous. Morrison gave Shorten a much needed reality check. The government walked away from Parliament in control … it got what it wanted. Labor left looking like windbags.”

Irony: Record number of asylum seekers arrive on Dutton’s watchMichael Pascoe (New Daily): “Over the weekend, the federal government continued its campaign of trying to paint Labor as ‘soft’ on border protection, feeding compliant media outlets with allegations that admitting a relatively small number of asylum seekers from Nauru and Manus Island on medical grounds would mean people convicted of murder and rape could enter Australia.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Trade Minister Simon Birmingham and Foreign Affairs Minister Marise Payne will launch the 2019 G’Day USA campaign, to start in LA January 2019 and promote trade, tourism, investment, space, innovation, the creative industries, foreign policy and defence.

  • World’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai will speak as part of the Women World Changes series, first in Sydney today and Melbourne tomorrow.

  • ICAC will resume investigation “Operation Dasha”, which involves allegations concerning whether former Canterbury City Council councillors and other public officials acted dishonestly.

  • The national workplace sexual harassment inquiry will hold consultations with people working in media, entertainment and the arts.


  • CEDA will launch new report “Connecting people with progress: securing future economic development,” which identifies critical services, including health and human services, as one of five priority areas for future economic development for Australia.

  • Governor of Victoria Linda Dessau will host public lecture event “The current major challenges in global health: Innovative solutions from Victorian scientists” at Government House.

  • A trial will commence in the Supreme Court for a case against VicForests by the Fauna and Flora Research Collective, which is seeking orders to protect old-growth forests in East Gippsland.


  • British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta will visit the Whyalla steelworks for update on upgrades and plans for production increase.


  • The ACT Human Rights Commission will hold a Human Rights Day forum on the possibility of an Australian charter of human rights, with former High Court Judge Michael Kirby, Catholic Social Services Australia CEO Frank Brennan, and UNHCR and Amnesty International representatives.

  • Day one of the Australian Society for Quantitative Political Science’s two-day annual conference.


  • Assistant Minister for Home Affairs Senator Linda Reynolds will present at the 2018 Innovate Australia’s Innovation Awards ceremony.


  • Former union boss David Hanna will stand trial for a single count of destroying, concealing or mutilating documents that could have been required as evidence in the Trade Union Royal Commission.

Newcastle, NSW

  • Defence Minister Christopher Pyne will attend the arrival of Australia’s first two F-35A Joint Strike Fighter aircrafts.


  • A number of World Human Rights Day forum events will be held to mark 70 years since the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.