FILIBUST A MOVE
In what will likely go down as the weirdest day in recent parliamentary history, the Coalition has set a new question time record of 150 minutes as government MPs attempted to filibuster a motion for a royal commission into abuse in the disability sector.
According to The Guardian, yesterday’s parliament also saw (deep breath) the Coalition drop their own “big stick” energy bill for fear of successful Greens amendments banning taxpayer-underwritten coal plants; a senate inquiry call for that controversial $443.3m grant to the Great Barrier Reef Foundation to be returned; a former Michaelia Cash staffer admitting that the AWU raid was leaked to him by a union regulator source; and Senator Brian Burston admitting to smearing blood over Pauline Hanson’s door following his scuffle with One Nation adviser James Ashby, who has also been barred from parliament over the altercation.
To cap it off, the Coalition will reportedly not attempt to block the motion next week that it filibustered yesterday.
The Department of Home Affairs once sought to exclude controversial Manus Island security contractor Paladin from freedom of information laws. New service contract drafts also reveal that the now-embattled company was exempted from regular government procurement guidelines.
The Australian Financial Review ($) reports that a comparison of Paladin’s draft and final PNG services contracts, tabled by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton yesterday, shows that early attempts by department lawyers to cross out FOI requirements were reversed. The final version also left out requirements for “Commonwealth Procurement Rules” for the $423 million in Commonwealth contracts, a system Dutton defended yesterday while again passing the buck to his department and secretary. Home Affairs, for the record, would not respond to questions on either issue.
ADANI V SCIENCE
An ecological review into the Adani-Carmichael coal-mine has recommended a new monitoring regime for the endangered black-throated finch that would shut down mining if the bird’s population fell over the first five years.
The Australian ($) reports that the Indian coal giant has already criticised the report, commissioned by the Queensland government ahead of approving Adani’s protection scheme, and accused its author, University of Melbourne ecologist Brendan Wintle, of anti-coal bias. The news comes weeks after Adani, an Adani-contracted ecologist and The Courier-Mail ($) hilariously tried to spin the mine as “the only hope” for the bird’s survival.
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THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Whilst I do not recall the incident of blood on the door I now have come to the conclusion that it was myself and I sincerely apologise for that action.
The former One Nation, current UAP politician issues the Senate address of the century.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The mounting scandal over the Department of Home Affairs’ secret tender deal with the mysterious Paladin company is only the latest example that something is deeply wrong inside the vast Home Affairs portfolio. Its history in recent years is of an agency that has been proven serially incompetent and which has refused to accept well-founded criticisms of its performance.”
“Well I was wrong. Two days ago, there was a news story suggesting that the world’s system of insect populations was heading for collapse. I thought that it would disappear by next week. It has disappeared already. To a degree, that’s understandable. C Northcote Parkinson, inventor of Parkinson’s Law,* noted a corollary: an issue will be discussed in inverse proportion to its importance.
“Most recently, former Greens member for Northcote Lidia Thorpe called for a state compensation scheme, which then-minister for Aboriginal Affairs Natalie Hutchins side-stepped, instead pledging support for a national compensation scheme which is likely to never eventuate. So, what exactly is going on and how long will survivors need to wait? “
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Rudd’s tangle over broadband legacy ($) — Henry Ergas (The Australian): “Now that we are almost as abundantly endowed with ex-prime ministers as we are with coal, it is perhaps unsurprising that emissions from the former have grown to rival those from the latter. But even in a crowded field, Kevin Rudd’s claim that ‘it was never envisaged that the NBN generate a commercial rate of return’ merits a special place in the greatest moral challenge facing mankind.”
Better ways to help retirees than cash refunds ($) — Chris Bowen (The Daily Telegraph): “There’s no doubt that people who are in retirement and have enough shares to avoid being on the age pension have worked very hard, invested wisely and gone without. Under Labor’s policy, they will continue to receive their share dividends, and they will not be taxed on their dividends. They will also continue to receive tax free income in retirement.”
Medevac leaves Morrison government in a bizarre position — Waleed Aly (The Sydney Morning Herald): “In [The Greens’] version of the story, Labor supported the original bill, then buckled to conservative pressure and tried to amend it unacceptably before the Greens convinced Labor to change its amendments for the better. But this partisan retelling of the story, in which the Greens heroically stood firm and pushed Labor to enlightenment, obscures the fact the Greens compromised significantly, too.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Michaelia Cash is expected to appear in the Federal Court over the 2017 AWU raids case.
Openings and a direction hearing will be held for the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.
Lord Mayor Sally Capp will announce this year’s Moomba Monarchs and 2019 Moomba Festival program.
Victoria’s Major Events Minister Martin Pakula will announce legislatve changes to the status of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.
A rainbow flag raising ceremony will be held for the 2019 Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras with Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian will launch the Chinese New Year Lantern Festival at Darling Harbour, to feature a replica Great Wall of China lantern.
NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley will announce his support for regulation to protect workers in the on-demand/gig economy, as well as Labor’s music policy.
The ACCC will accept final submissions for its digital platforms inquiry, with a final report due June 3.
Minister for Multiculturalism Ray Williams and Parramatta Lord Mayor Andrew Wilson will launch the 2019 Parramasala program.
The Queensland government is due to receive the results of a review on Adani’s management plan for the black-throated finch.
Former Ipswich City Council chief executive Carl Wulff, his wife Sharon Oxenbridge, Brisbane business consultant Wayne Myers and businessman Claude Walker will be sentenced after all admitted to official corruption after a kickback scheme for council contracts was foiled during a graft probe.
Defence Minister Christopher Pyne will hold a doorstop at the Naval Shipbuilding College.
Assistant Minister for International Development and the City Anne Ruston will open the Australian Government Small Business Fair.
Premier Will Hodgman, Australia China Business Council National President John Brumby and ACBC National CEO Helen Swaczak will speak at an ACBC Tasmania event.
Two 21-year-old men charged over the jail stabbing of Tony Mokbel are due to appear for a filing hearing.