ICAC BELIEVE IT
Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s proposed federal anti-corruption body has fallen flat amongst both crossbenchers and former anti-corruption commissioners, many of whom have knocked the “Commonwealth Integrity Commission” for its limited investigative powers and bans on both public complaints and hearings.
The Australian ($) reports that independent MP Bob Katter was the only lower-house crossbencher to offer initial support to the body, while crossbenchers such as Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick and independent MP Kerryn Phelps have criticised proposed secrecy provisions. The body, which Crikey excoriated yesterday, has been further slammed by former NSW anti-corruption commissioner Ian Temby and former Victorian appeals court judge Stephen Charles for private hearings and limited definitions of corruption.
The Coalition will today face two reports calling for major reform in Australia’s employment and, separately, veterans’ support systems.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that an inquiry into the government’s Jobactive platform found the system was too punitive, wasted time for both employers and prospective employees, and was failing to keep up with technology and current employment conditions. It coincides with a Productivity Commission report recommending the government abolish the Department of Veterans’ Affairs and absorb greater responsibility for monetary, rehabilitation and transition support schemes under Defence.
Dozens of North and South Korean soldiers have met to chat, shake hands and exchange cigarettes at the armed border, in a move South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in called a “new milestone” for inter-Korean relations that was “unimaginable in the past”.
The ABC reports that soldiers inspected the dismantlement or disarmament of 22 guard posts on Wednesday, 11 from each country, in a move largely seen as symbolic but a definite improvement from that time last year Pyongyang threatened both Seoul and Washington with war.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
[Cricket Australia] want to see this place fly. That’s like an early Christmas present to me. To get that fear in the eyes of the opposition turning up and seeing it fly… beautiful.
The curator of Perth’s Optus Stadium is super excited for the Australia/India Test and maybe, accidentally, kind of implies Cricket Australia ordered pitch-doctoring.
THIS WEEK FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Australia has a major problem with transparency and accountability. The electorate increasingly believes power in Australia is used to serve special interests rather than the national interest, to benefit those with money and influence rather than the community, and that power is wielded to this end behind closed doors, out of sight, beyond scrutiny.”
“UK Prime Minister Theresa May has survived a no-confidence motion within the Conservative Party, quite possibly leaving the country in an even more confused situation than before. May won the vote 200-117, also quite possibly the worst possible result, with the PM gaining just enough of a margin to make her position tenable, yet insufficient to give her intra-party legitimacy.”
“When New South Wales Greens MP Jenny Leong, under the protective veil of parliamentary privilege, accused her colleague Jeremy Buckingham of committing ‘an act of sexual violence’ against former staffer Ella Buckland, she unloaded a bombshell that continues to send shockwaves through the party.”
We can’t fix violence against women until we see this as an epidemic — Jenna Price (Sydney Morning Herald): “In June this year Attorney-General Christian Porter announced the Family Court would be folded into the Federal Circuit Court. That announcement surprised anyone who knew the Australian Law Reform Commission had been asked to review family law system late last year.”
Morrison correct to test Shorten over equality ($) — Paul Kelly (The Australian): “Scott Morrison yesterday asked Bill Shorten a simple question: do you believe in equality for religion in Australia? It is a highly relevant question for an alternative prime minister. This question goes to the essence of the government’s belated proposal for a religious discrimination act. As Attorney-General Christian Porter said, discrimination on the grounds of sex, race and disability is illegal in Australia but not discrimination based on religious grounds.”
Coalition frames underwriting tender to choose what it wants, including coal — Giles Parkinson (RenewEconomy): “The Coalition government has unveiled the details of its rushed proposal to underwrite ‘new generation investments’, and it looks for all the world like a document that can be tailored to deliver whatever the government wants. And in this case it looks increasingly like an opportunity to use taxpayers money to support the extension of an existing coal generator, most likely Vales Point in NSW.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
The Australian Human Rights Commission will announce the 2018 Human Rights Medal winners.
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller and deputy opposition leader Tanya Plibersek will speak at a police community event.
The Sydney University of Technology will announce a major Australian-first initiative in Indigenous higher education.
Preselection closes for former NSW Labor leader Luke Foley’s seat of Auburn.
Environmentalists will gather outside a Murray-Darling Basin Ministerial Council meeting to call on state and federal water ministers to protect public water and repair the damage to rivers.
Australia’s education ministers will attend an Education Council meeting.
Federal Greens Senator for Tasmania Nick McKim and state leader Rosalie Woodruff will join environment groups to launch a campaign to save the state’s east coast reefs.