Julia Banks women's caucus parliament
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)


Former Liberal MP Julia Banks has confirmed that she will challenge Health Minister Greg Hunt for the Victorian seat of Flinders, becoming the third conservative independent in four days to highlight inaction on climate change as part of their campaign against the Coalition.

The Age reports that Banks, the current member for inner-Melbourne seat Chisholm, has also emphasised the Coalition’s “anti-women culture” and the electorate’s feeling of being “taken for granted” after Hunt supported Peter Dutton’s tilt at the leadership last year. Banks has further criticised her former party for failing to implement the national energy guarantee, just as Josh Frydenberg is forced to defend the Coalition’s climate record in the face of new Kooyong challenger Oliver Yates.


Accounting firm giant Ernst & Young and a number of retirees have mobilised against Labor’s plan to end cash refunds for franking credits, as the House of Representatives Economics Committee continues hearings this week into what the government has charitably described as a “retiree tax”.

According to The Australian Financial Review ($), retirees have vented about the scheme at the Sunshine Coast hearings, with one consultant even moved to create the “SMSF Party” ($). Both the ABC and The Australian ($) have published socio-economic/electoral analysis on who will actually be affected by Labor’s scheme, as the Coalition seizes on comments from shadow treasurer Chris Bowen that critics are “of course perfectly entitled to vote against us”.


Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto will today become the first major companies to publicly support the Uluru Statement from the Heart, with BHP chief executive Andrew Mackenzie to announce roughly $1 million into a referendum campaign.

The Australian ($) reports that Mackenzie will pledge financial support for the Cape York Partnership’s Uluru Education Project, which aims to educate ­Australians on the proposed constitutionally enshrined Indigenous voice to parliament, at a CEDA event in Perth. Labor currently supports a referendum on the issue, while the Coalition has maintained the fairly dubious line that the advisory body would be “seen as a third chamber”.


In September, they threatened to fire me because I had called transphobic Scott Morrison a ‘fucking disgrace’ on Twitter and they said that new policy was we ‘didn’t disrespect the office of the PM’.

Clementine Ford

The feminist commentator explains her decision to leave Fairfax Nine in one hell of a Twitter thread.


Morrison’s ‘major’ speech showed an empty man with nothing to offer but noise

“The emptiness of Morrison’s speech was reflected in what he failed to mention. What are the three big issues that the government is either hopelessly divided on or ideologically incapable of grasping (or both)? Climate change, energy policy and wage stagnation. What three big issues were completely absent from a ‘major speech’ on the economy by the nation’s leader? You guessed them.”

Why it’s simply impassable! Brexit deal enters an absurd Wonderland.

“With the latest moves on Brexit in the House of Commons, absurdity and governance have fused completely. Humpty has the upper hand now. The house has just risen after many hours considering a series of largely meaningless amendments to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act. All of them sought in some way to make a ‘no-deal’ crash-out on March 29 impossible. None of them had the real power to do so. But it didn’t matter because parliament rejected them all, save for the final one, the Brady amendment, which in its fusion of arrogance, blitheness and futility, would appear to be the distilled essence, the “drink me” shrinking potion of this whole amazing story.”

The media pick sides in the Kerri-Anne Kennerley racism debate

“Most traditional and conservative media are supporting Kennerley. Sydney’s Daily Telegraph today has come out in full support of KAK — she’s on the front page, with Indigenous leader Warren Mundine saying it’s ‘stupid’ to call her racist. Inside the paper, an opinion piece from Jacinta Price that supports Kennerley is given prominence over a counter-opinion from retired Indigenous figure skater and archaeologist Lowanna Gibson.”


LNP takes ‘serious’ move to suspend MP Jason Costigan over harassment complaint

Revealed: Catholic schools reap $4.1 billion windfall in Scott Morrison’s funding ‘fix’

Facebook paid 13-year-olds for access to all their internet data

Ambitious 18-month timetable unveiled for defamation law reform

Taxpayers foot bill for $200m government ad spree

Agriculture Department refuses release of live sheep video as FOI shows heat stress suffering

Australia’s paltry electric car uptake will cost health, jobs and environment – report

Tasmania fires: more homes lost amid calls to combat world heritage ‘tragedy’

Suicide attempts ‘a daily occurrence’ on Manus, PNG religious leader claims

‘Corrupt betting’ probed after electric ‘jiggers’ seized in raid on Melbourne Cup-winning trainer


The other (deadlier) road toll: car pollution — Behyad Jafari (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Zero-exhaust electric vehicles are not the future; they are the present for most OECD countries. But thus far, you wouldn’t know it living in Australia. Our nation ranks at the bottom of the deck in terms of electric vehicle take-up, primarily because our governments have not offered anything close to the level of start-up support provided in Europe and the US.”

Venezuela an abject lesson in the evils of socialism ($) — Warren Mundine (The Daily Telegraph): “In 1998 Hugo Chavez was elected President. In time he took control of the courts and legislature, rewrote the Constitution and began his socialist revolution. Government seized private property including media, oil and power companies, mines, farms, banks, factories and even small businesses like grocery stores.”

How long will Tasmanian fire crisis last? ($)David Bowman (The Mercury): “No one could have predicted the current fire crisis. The vast areas burnt and under threat of being burnt by numerous bushfires are the result of a complex mix of climate factors, each on their own quite ordinary, but combined, they have resulted in a historically significant fire crisis. All of the factors stem from weather and climate, and form a pattern that is consistent with climate change.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Optus CEO Allen Lew will announce the telco’s 5G plans.


  • An inquest will resume into the death of Indigenous man Wayne Fella Morrison, who died after he was put face down in a prison van at Yatala Labour Prison.


  • Senior defence operations officials are expected to provide an update on Middle East operations.

  • Former PM Tony Abbott is scheduled to launch the “CHINA: Moments in Time” photographic exhibition at 541 Art Space.

  • Former High Court justice Michael Kirby will launch poet and tax lawyer Geoffrey Lehmann’s book Leeward: A Memoir at The Centre for Independent Studies.


  • Healthy Australia CEO Ruby O’Rourke will enter her 31st day of a hunger strike intended to call out the federal government on early childhood nutrition.

  • The 2019 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards will be presented at MPavilion.


  • BHP chief Andrew Mackenzie will speak at a CEDA event reflecting on the company’s Reconciliation Action Plan, first launched in 2007.

Narrabri, NSW

  • NSW Roads Minister Melinda Pavey will make a road safety announcement before travelling to Dubbo to launch a jobs plan with Nationals candidate Dugald Saunders.


  • Today is the final day to opt out of MyHealth online records.