refugee medical review panel

IT BEGINS

Coalition ministers have hit the ground running with a number of pre-election campaigns, ranging from warnings of global economic “storm clouds”, to otherwise-standard negative gearing and people smuggling attacks.

As both major parties ramp up campaign infrastructure and personnelThe Australian Financial Review ($) reports that Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg have warned of an uncertain international economic outlook, specifically the China-US trade war, in a change of rhetoric reminiscent of Peter Costello’s pre-2007 election global financial “tsunami”.

Meanwhile, The Australian reports that Attorney-General Christian Porter is preparing a “Mediscare”-style online campaign around negative gearing ($) while Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has used a people smuggling sting in Malaysia ($) to attack Bill Shorten’s asylum policies.

SOMETHING SMELLS FISHY

NSW opposition leader Michael Daley has seized on a confidential 2012 document warning the Barry O’Farrell government that its proposed 10-year Darling River water management plan put threatened fish such as the Murray cod at risk. 

Following the death of up to one million fish last week, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Fisheries NSW advice, obtained by Labor under FOI, flags concerns that the 2012 draft plan was based on decade-old flow classes and issues which were already negatively impacting native fish populations. News of the advice drops as Agriculture Minister David Littleproud warns of more fish deaths this week and calls an emergency meeting with state and federal water managers.

BIT OF A WARM ONE

Every Australian state and territory will experience a heatwave this week as the country faces a “big burst of heat” expected to break temperature and/or duration records.

The New Daily reports that western Sydney and Broken Hill could hit five straight days of over 40 degree temperatures, which could break Sydney’s eight-year old record, while parts of northern South Australia could run that long in temperatures over 45. Most capital cities will hit or exceed 30 degrees today, although a cool change in Melbourne later this week will hopefully mitigate the “giant kiln” effect expected at today’s Australian Open launch.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Are these issues supposed to be taboo, are they? Are we not supposed to talk about them? I think Bill Shorten is having a cop-out on this.

Scott Morrison

The Prime Minister rejects accusations he is politicising Australia ($) by mandating January 26 citizenship ceremonies and dress codes out of fear local councils might “skirt the rules or play politics”.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Immigration Minister defends refugee processing after ‘slow-walked’ claim

More than 13 million animals used for scientific purposes in Queensland

Donald Trump reopens door to TPP participation, Asia reset ($)

Shorten plays down Emma Husar’s potential switch

Tasmanian small tourism businesses on brink of record turnover ($)

Big banks lobby APRA over $75b ‘too big to fail’ capital requirements ($)

South Australian court efficiency measures making our system run slower than ever before ($)

War brewing behind scenes of Australian Open over pay and power

EU preparing to delay Brexit until at least July

THE COMMENTARIAT

A sex offender registry could make things worse ($) — Denise Cullen (The Courier-Mail):Peter Dutton reckons an Australian-first national child sex offender register will deter predators, placate parents, and keep kids safe. Except the research says it won’t. However, there is an intervention which has been shown to significantly reduce sexual recidivism — by as much as 88 per cent, according to one recent study.”

What can the FBI do if the security threat is the President himself? — Asha Rangappa (Sydney Morning Herald/Washington Post): “As a former FBI agent who conducted investigations against foreign intelligence services, I know that the bureau would have had to possess strong evidence that Trump posed a national security threat to meet the threshold for opening such an investigation. But the more important question now is not how or why the case was opened, but whether it was ever closed.”

Racists in Australia had credibility long before the St Kilda rally — Matt Heffernan (IndigenousX): “On and offline tempers have been flaring this week over the St Kilda neo-Nazi rally and the counterprotest. There are some claiming that while there were some Nazi elements at the protest, there were those there in ‘good faith’, speaking out against what they perceive as threats to their safety and wellbeing from ‘African gang violence’ and migration more broadly.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Melbourne

  • Day one of the Australian Open, to run until January 27.

Sydney

  • Clive Palmer will launch what he calls a “world-first political game app”.

Canberra

  • Day one of the Australian Council for Health, Physical Education and Recreation’s three-day international conference.

Adelaide

  • Cycling commentator Phil Liggett will present at the SA Press Club, his first speech since the death of his longtime commentating partner Paul Sherwen in December.