Scott Morrison Minerals Council
(Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)


Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to announce a $1.25 billion injection into cancer, drug and alcohol, chronic disease and other health programs ahead of today’s COAG meeting in Adelaide, which he will also declare as the home of Australia’s new space agency.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Morrison will today unveil the health offer in an attempt to end a stand-off with Labor governments in Victoria and Queensland over hospital funding. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has also rejected Morrison’s anti-growth rhetoric ahead of a discussion on immigration changes, while NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian is set to present plans to incentivise international students to study in state regions, and SA Premier Steven Marshall is presumably just stoked to have won the space race.


The Transport Workers Union has pitted Labor against Qantas in a bid to extend industry-wide bargaining from low-paying sectors, such as cleaning and childcare, to aviation ahead of next week’s ALP national conference.

Adding to Labor’s already substantial number of live issues, The Australian ($) reports that Labor senate candidate and former TWU national secretary Tony Sheldon has accused aviation companies of gaming the system and called to strengthen legal bargaining powers amongst middle-class workforces. The push follows news that Labor will vote on a post-royal commission amendment aimed at increasing corporate social responsibility, and reports Labor Left aims to increase Australia’s refugee intake in lieu of ending boat turnbacks.


A second inmate has been incorrectly released from a Western Australian jail within as many weeks, following reported miscommunication between prison staff and lawyers.

WAToday reports that a man was returned to Hakea Prison, after breaching bail on drug and firearm possession charges, only to find staff telling him he was free to go. The man, who was eventually returned to prison after finding three police cars and several officers at his house, is the second person to accidentally be released by Hakea after a man jailed for breaching a restraining order against his ex-partner walked out of sentencing earlier this month.


I really thought if he wasn’t wanted by the Liberal Party, then we were only too happy to have him.

Barnaby Joyce

The former Nationals leader admits to trying to steal quantum-Liberal Craig Kelly.


The disturbing new national security law that no one is talking about

“Over the past week, of course, it’s been all about encryption. Both major parties covered themselves in glory on the last day of Parliament by passing an extremely complex law neither of them have read, understand or give a crap about. But, ignored in the rush to Christmas has been another potentially even worse bit of bipartisan law-making.”

Seven moves to terminate employee agreement amid cost cuts, falling share price

“A month after 82% of staff voted against the enterprise agreement offered by Seven, human resources boss Katie McGrath sent an email to staff on Friday, seen by Crikey, telling them the company was preparing to apply for the current agreement to be terminated entirely, should conciliation with the Fair Work Commission fail. The agreement covers about 800 permanent staff and 500 casual staff.”

Crisis watch: the various hot messes threatening Labor and Shorten

“Last week we looked at all the ticking time-bombs the Liberal Party had neatly surrounded themselves with in the last week of parliament. Through contemptible tactics and opposition cowardice, the Coalition were able to pass their anti-encryption bill and avoid defeat on votes concerning the welfare of refugees. The shambolic, skin-of-the-teeth finale will feel like a victory.”


Cabinet set to formally ratify Jerusalem as Israel’s capital

Lawyer X suspected of wearing a wire to secretly record conversations with top QCs ($)

Refugee footballer Hakeem al-Araibi to remain in Thai jail while extradition planned

Coal set to fill Queensland stockings this Christmas, as retailers cash in on mining recovery

Labor faces stiff Senate opposition to key tax hikes ($)

Australian National University unveils world-first simulation of our welfare system ($)

Stop the boats: Email exposes Border Force plans to save money by halting ocean patrols

Trump’s climate adviser sparked protests, but he found a receptive audience in Australia

May flies to Europe to save Brexit deal, as EU head says ‘no room whatsoever’ for negotiation


Prime Minister Scott Morrison spells out what Australia needs to do to manage population growth ($) — Scott Morrison (Daily Telegraph): “We need to carefully manage and control population growth to protect the quality of life enjoyed by all Australians. This means working to avoid congestion in our major cities while supporting the growth of regional areas, where it is important to maintain and expand service delivery and create more jobs. We’re a big country and the population management issues are different across the country.”

Increasing Newstart is a moral issue for an incoming Labor government —  Darcy Byrne (The Guardian): “In 1974 Gough Whitlam said: ‘For too long Australia has demeaned herself and millions of our fellow-citizens by the idea that those unable to work … deserved charity, but lost their right to self-respect.’ At this week’s national conference the Australian Labor party must confront the fact this same undignified status is still being imposed on unemployed Australians.”

Australia’s energy crisis vs America’s energy surplus ($) — Simon Jackman (Australian Financial Review): “Research lead and economist Alex Robson makes clear that at the same time Australia faces an energy crisis – stressing households and threatening the very existence of some of the country’s large industrial users of energy – the United States is reaping the benefits of an energy boom, delivering inexpensive gas and electricity, driving a renaissance in American manufacturing and economic growth.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison and premiers will meet for a COAG discussion on population.

  • Former SA Transport Department officer Michael William King will return to court on charges of failing to act honestly after he was investigated by the ICAC.


  • Labor’s Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor will present “Wages, fairness and inclusive prosperity” at the National Press Club.

  • Federal Greens candidate Tim Hollo will launch a project called “People In”, the first of a series of public meetings to help shape ideas and policies the party should focus on ahead of the federal election.

  • The National Gallery of Australia will hold a media preview for their major summer exhibition “Love and Desire: Pre-Raphaelite Masterpieces from the Tate”.


  • Resources Minister Senator Matthew Canavan will deliver a speech at the Melbourne Mining Club.

  • Australian Energy Market Operator CEO Audrey Zibelman will deliver keynote speech “Navigating the transition to the fourth revolution” at the Melbourne Energy Institute Symposium.

  • Victorian Governor Linda Dessau will present the 2018 Royal Society of Victoria Medals for Excellence in Scientific Research to Anthony Burkitt and Jamie Rossjohn for, respectively, developments in medical bionics and laboratory work on “visualising immunity”.

  • Housing Choices Australia will host the 2018 Oswald Barnett Oration with a panel discussion moderated by Sydney Morning Herald and The Age’s chief editorial writer Michael Short and featuring Lord Mayor Sally Capp, Breathe Architecture founding director Jeremy McLeod and REA Group chief economist Nerida Conisbee.


  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics will release the National Health Survey: First Results, 2017-18, containing a cross-section of statistics including long-term health conditions; mental well-being; and health risk factors including alcohol consumption, smoking, exercise, body mass and dietary practices.

  • The United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney will launch its latest report comparing the economics of energy in Australia and the United States.


  • Three solicitors from Lawler Magill law firm will appear for a court mention as part of Crime and Corruption Commission’s investigation Operation Stockade.


  • WA Disability Services Minister Stephen Dawson will open the Independent Living Centre’s 40th anniversary event.

  • Day one of the two-day Critical Suicide Research Network Conference “CritSui3”.


  • Public sector workers will hold stop work action against low wage growth outside Parliament House.


  • Protesters will hold sit-ins outside Bill Shorten’s Melbourne office and Tanya Plibersek’s Sydney office to demand Labor commit to stopping the Adani coal mine ahead of next week’s national conference.