Shorten Labor conference immigration refugees Adani
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)


Labor is today expected to announce its election immigration platform on day two of the party’s national conference in Adelaide, with reports indicating a potential increase of the annual refugee intake as a way of calming internal disputes.

However The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Labor factions are still debating the future of people indefinitely detained on Manus and Nauru, as well as 6000 failed applications for “fast-tracked” asylum seekers living in Australia. It follows a day in which Opposition Leader Bill Shorten braved a number of protesters to announce plans for unpaid superannuation, an environmental act, a $6.6 billion injection into new housing, and a review (but not increase) of Newstart. Meanwhile, the latest Ipsos poll has Labor up 54-46 on two-party preferred, with voters spilt almost evenly on changes to negative gearing. 


The Coalition government will today double its projected surplus over the next four years from $15.3 billion to $30 billion, under a mid-year economic and fiscal outlook Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will claim to be the best since the Howard-Costello years.

The Australian ($) reports that the 2019-20 surplus will increase from $2.2 billion to over $4 billion, following cuts to spending and higher company tax revenues, while The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the government will commit to more aged care support as part of the budget update. The announcement follows a similarly busy weekend for the Coalition, in which the government not only made controversial decisions on Israel’s capital and the new governor-general, but, according to The Age today, ended its threat to withhold short-term funding to Victorian schools over Gonski 2.0 negotiations.


Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been reinstated by the same president who deposed him roughly two months ago.

The ABC reports that the United National Party confirmed yesterday that the new, old Prime Minister retook an oath before President Maithripala Sirisena, whose attempt to sack Wickremesinghe in October and replace him with now suspended PM Mahinda Rajapaksa resulted in protests across the country and actual brawls in parliament.


We’re Australia’s oldest political party. We have a proud history of democracy, we all understand the right to protest. But that doesn’t include the right to drown out the leader of the opposition. So could you please leave the stage?

Wayne Swann

The ALP national president respects anti-Adani protesters up until the point they disrupt anything.


Morrison’s integrity-less commission sums up our rotten politics

“It’s not as if we’re short of emblems, summations and demonstrations of why voter trust in our system of government is collapsing, but Scott Morrison’s ‘Commonwealth Integrity Commission’ is better than most. It literally embodies exactly the rotten state of contemporary politics and voters’ belief the system works only for vested interests.”

Religious freedom report is a culture war disaster

“Launched in the wake of the plebiscite ‘yes’ vote, the Ruddock report is from that long distant era in which the Libs were still listening trustfully to their own right, to the Decline and Fall Catholic Eeyores at The Australian, to the hysteria of Bolt and the Parrot. They believed that they represented something out there, rather than the fossilised power of right-wing media capital, and a neoliberal order’s need to manufacture intact ‘traditional values’.”

Here’s to another 12 months of Theresa May

“On Wednesday, UK Prime Minister Theresa May clung on to the party leadership after a no-confidence motion within the Conservative Party, winning the vote 200-117. While this buys her a year before a spill can happen again (stability rules prevent another vote before 12 months) it hardly seems likely to settle the matter.”


University of Wollongong first to run Ramsay’s Western degree

Berejiklian challenges Labor to rule out deals with Shooters party

Asylum seekers medically treated in Australia cost taxpayers $1.4 billion in accommodation expenses ($)

UN’s COP24 climate talks reach global consensus on the rulebook to cap global warming

Lockout law change to delay scanning for an hour after big events a win for pubs ($)

Miss Universe’s first openly trans contestant fights for tolerance, respect, and eradicating stigma

Government staffer put on ‘indefinite leave’ after sending vile text message to female journalist

Remote NT bush families plead for school flight fare relief ($)

Amazon sacked assistant for ‘asking to collect kids from school’

NRL urges other codes to join lifetime ban on convicted stars ($)


Morrison goes a bridge too far to outsmart Shorten — Michelle Grattan (The Conversation): “The Morrison government is going over the top in trying to outsmart and smother Bill Shorten and the Labor national conference. Leaving aside the holding of the July Super Saturday byelections when the ALP meeting was originally due, the government is attempting to outdo the rescheduled conference at every turn.”

Renewable energy takes centre stage ($)Guy Barnett (The Mercury): “Tasmania has what the rest of the nation wants – low-cost, reliable and clean energy in abundance. We have a target to be 100 per cent self-sufficient in renewable energy generation by 2022. That’s why a second Bass Strait interconnector offers opportunity for Tasmania and the nation. For us, because it will facilitate billions of dollars in investment in wind and pumped hydro projects, and the thousands of jobs that will go with it.”

ACCC wins watchdog of the year, as others lick their wounds — Ross Gittins (Sydney Morning Herald): “It’s been an infamous year for Australia’s economic regulators. Most ended it with their lack of vigilance exposed, their reputations battered and their ears stinging from judicial rebuke.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The Morrison government will release the mid-year economic fiscal outlook (MYEFO).


  • Day two of Labor’s three-day national conference, to include an announcement on asylum seeker policy.

  • Labor Fringe will hold a number of associated events with federal MPs, senators and policy experts such as “Closing the gender pay gap”, “Community sponsorship of refugees”, and “Australia’s legacy as a good global citizen”, which will feature grandson of Nelson Mandela and Global Citizen ambassador Kweku Mandela.


  • Deputy PM Michael McCormack, and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and other Federal and state MPs will celebrate the launch of Royal Far West’s Centre for Country Kids, an integrated health, education and disability service for country children.

  • Sailor Lisa Blair will return to Sydney to break the world record of being the first woman to sail solo, non-stop and unassisted around Australia.


  • The Federal Court will hold a consent determination hearing for a native title determination found in favour of the Gooniyandi, Kija and mixed Gooniyandi/Kija identifying people covering land and waters in the Kimberley region.

  • KPMG and the Australia China Business Council will launch the 2018 “Doing Business in China Survey” report with keynote speaker and KPMG partner Helen Zhi Dent and a panel event.


  • The National Gallery of Victoria will announce its 2019 Autumn/Winter exhibit.

  • Day one of the three-day International Conference on Innovative and Smart Materials, and the associated International Conference on Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research.


  • Tasmania’s Museum of Old and New Art will hear public feedback on a proposed $400 million five star hotel at the gallery.