Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today announce that Indigenous businessman Warren Mundine has been installed as Liberal candidate for the marginal NSW seat of Gilmore, after a backroom deal led to a majority of state executives voting down preselected candidate Grant Schultz last night.

The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian ($) report that local Liberal members are furious at the vote, which fell 16-1 in favour of the former Labor national president, and comes amidst internal fears of a post-Kelly O’Dwyer exodus. Speaking to his local paper The South Coast Register, Schultz announced he has resigned from the party and will run against Mundine as an independent.


Alinta Energy has become the second body to come forward with a coal project for the Coalition’s fast-tracked “firmed” generation underwriting mechanism, following coal baron Trevor St Baker to announce expressions of interests ahead of today’s submission deadline.

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However the Australian Financial Review ($) reports that Alinta only aims to use the mechanism to support investment in “marginal improvements” at its existing Loy Yang B plant, a far cry from St Baker’s $6 billion pitch for new coal plants in Victoria and NSW. With Victorian energy minister Lily D’Ambrosio already rebuffing St Baker’s state plan, shadow energy minister Mark Butler has both condemned plans to underwrite coal and questioned how contracts could be entered into in time for a planned phase of support in July.

In related news, South Australia could break its all time heat record tomorrow ($) and Greenland is melting faster than scientists ever expected.


Australian production designer Fiona Crombie and screenwriter Tony McNamara have received Oscar nominations for their work on royal satire The Favourite, which has tied with Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma for the most nominations at 10 each.

However, reports that this year was otherwise relatively disappointing for Australian stars, with Nicole Kidman (Destroyer, Boy Erased), Toni Collette (Hereditary), Margot Robbie (Mary Queen of Scots) and Troye Sivan (“Revelation” from Boy Erased) all missing out. Elsewhere, Lady Gaga got a nod for A Star Is Born, and Black Panther became the first ever superhero film to receive a best film nomination.


Those who want to engage in judgements of things that happened 250 years ago and ignore the context of the period do history and themselves a disservice … Sure [James Cook] made some mistakes, who doesn’t?

Scott Morrison

Spruiking a $48.7 million celebration of captain James Cook, the Prime Minister glosses over mistakes such as the “Terra Nulius” invasion, and Cook’s attempt to kidnap the king of Hawaii Kalaniʻōpuʻu.


All aboard for the great Davos rort, taxpayers

“Australian taxpayers are shelling out tens (if not hundreds) of thousands of dollars to send Mathias Cormann, Simon Birmingham and Steve Ciobo and assorted support staff to the gathering. Why this farce is taken at all seriously has never been explained — The Guardian even has a liveblog about it, although admittedly The Guardian would liveblog the opening of an envelope.”

A guide to Australian denialism

“If it’s not climate change and wind farms, it’s e-cigarettes and vaccinations. Science denialism is rarely far from our front pages, and this week Crikey is taking a look at how and why theories that reject the majority of scientists’ beliefs ever get traction.”

Could Susan Moylan-Coombs be the one to dethrone Abbott?

“Indigenous broadcaster Susan Moylan-Coombs has launched her campaign to unseat former prime minister and current special envoy for Indigenous affairs Tony Abbott from the blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Warringah. Abbott has held the seat for 25 years, and it’s been held by the Libs for all but three years since the end of the World War II.”


NSW State election 2019: Coalition promises big spend in western Sydney ($)

Tax office strike on Airbnb and Uber users ($)

Victoria spends less than half the national average on social housing, report shows

Chris Brown detained in Paris after woman files rape complaint against the US singer

HMS Endeavour replica: Bill Shorten blasts Scott Morrison’s ‘bizarre Captain Cook fetish’ ($)

Former Socceroos captain Craig Foster says refugee Hakeem AlAraibi is ‘losing hope’ in Bangkok prison

‘Utterly offensive’: Baillieu family blasts ‘impostor’ stockbroker

Interstate big guns fly in for Tasmanian fire battle ($)

Former head of tax watchdog takes high-profile private tax adviser role

In apparent backflip, Jokowi sets out tough conditions for Bashir’s release


A new date for Australia Day will help us all build trust ($) — Jeff Kennett (The Herald Sun): “The tragedy of four young Indigenous 15 years and younger girls taking their lives touched us all. It was in part the failure of the non-Indigenous community to both give our First Peoples the recognition they deserve and to address the serious social issues in so many of their communities.”

We’re not doing enough about a lethal cancer that’s easily treated — Margaret Fitzherbert (Sydney Morning Herald): “As recently as 2018, DHHS was not maintaining waiting lists for colonoscopies, as it does for other elective procedures. Colonoscopy waiting lists are instead managed by public hospitals, and not in a consistent form. At smaller or regional hospitals, colonoscopy waiting lists are often maintained externally by surgeons.”

Three Charts on who uses illicit drugs in Australia — Nicole Lee (The Conversation): “When asked by journalists on Monday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he’d never taken illicit drugs, while Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he couldn’t rule out using cannabis while at university. But what about the rest of Australia?”


The Latest Headlines



  • A committal mention will be held for Metro Trains, which is charged with failing to provide a safe work environment over the April 2016 electrocution of an apprentice electrician.

  • Refugee supporters will rally at the Immigration Department in support of detainees participating in the Australia-wide hunger strike protest.


  • A RAAF C-130J Hercules transport aircraft will conduct a handling display rehearsal over Sydney Harbour ahead of festivities for Australia Day.

  • Social researcher Hugh Mackay will deliver “A culture of compassion” for his 2019 Australia Day address at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music.

  • The Australian Museum will host Ngalu Warrawi Marr (“We stand strong”), a First Nations festival event including a Broriginals live podcast recording, presentations, and art tours.


  • Former West Australian Labor MP Barry Urban will appear at a committal mention for 12 charges of fraud, to which he has pleaded not guilty.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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