US ambassador and former Treasurer Joe Hockey reportedly asked US embassy staff to meet with controversial travel company Helloworld, with which he has close ties, prior to it lobbying the department for government work. Hockey holds both a close personal relationship with company manager and Liberal Party treasurer Andrew Burnes as well as more than $1.3 million in shares in the company.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Hockey told staff to organise a meeting between the Washington embassy’s head of operations and an executive from Helloworld subsidiary Qantas Business Travel in April 2017 ahead of a government tender pitch. The news comes after Finance Minister Mathias Cormann admitted to calling Burnes directly three times to book flights, one set of which he was not charged for.


Labor has issued official challenges to the Morrison government over the controversial Paladin contracts, the banking royal commission, and plans to privatise visa processing.

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The Australian Financial Review ($) reports that shadow immigration minister Shayne Neumann has written to the Auditor-General seeking an urgent review into the how Paladin received $423 million in a closed tender. The Guardian reports Labor has also released three bills to tackle banks and insurers post-royal commission, and threatened to withdraw $1 billion of visa processing contracts if the Coalition proceeds with privatisation plans before the election.

The sudden spike in opposition work comes just after Bill Shorten rolled over on government plans to bring sick detainees from offshore detention to Christmas Island.


Iconic Chanel and Fendi designer Karl Lagerfeld has died at the age of 85 after being hospitalised in Paris on Monday.

While the cause of death is currently unreleased, the ABC reports that the German fashion designer died after an illness which lasted weeks and forced him to miss two two haute couture shows in Paris last month. Lagerfield had been with Chanel since 1983, when he reportedly re-energised it.


I went too far in my criticism. I accused Mr Turnbull of being a traitor to the nation. I acknowledge that I had no justification for making that false statement. And I unreservedly apologise to Mr Turnbull for doing so.

Alan Jones

The Jones + Co host delivers a short, extremely natural apology to Julia Banks supporter Malcolm Turnbull.


Home Affairs thrashes about in the quicksand of Paladin

“Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo and the bureaucrats responsible for administering Australia’s offshore detention regime would have been hoping yesterday’s defence of the Paladin contract at Senate estimates would have been enough to ward off the stench of scandal. Instead, more questions have arisen about a department that seems unwilling to accept that there are any problems around its at-best slipshod approach to huge contracts.”

Corbyn’s Labour facing trouble on all fronts after seven MPs defect

“Well they’ve only gone and bloody done it, haven’t they? In the UK, seven Labour MPs have quit the party, and announced that they will sit on the crossbenches. They’ve named themselves ‘Independent Group’, announced that they won’t be forming a new party, yet, and that they have no leader. Their most prominent members are north London MP Luciana Berger and Chuka Umunna, the slick half-Nigerian MP for Streathem in South London, who had once been spoken of as a possible leadership contender.”

Dog days for Australian kids’ television

“The most watched series in the history of ABC iView is Bluey — a new Aussie kids’ show focusing on a family of blue heelers. Since its debut in October 2018, Bluey has generated 21.3 million views (and counting). The show was also 2018’s number one Australian children’s series on broadcast television, with an average audience of 341,000 (metropolitan and regional).”


Cash on delivery: Minister refutes AFP evidence of supplying witness statements

Home Affairs demanded Paladin CEO quit, then paid it another $109m ($)

Sick refugees on Manus and Nauru to be sent to Christmas Island not mainland

‘Our little brown rat’: first climate change-caused mammal extinction

Labor promises $300m extra to support school students with a disability

Adani’s ‘legal intimidation’ tactics against community groups a ‘threat to democracy’

Cyclone Oma could approach southern Queensland coast from Thursday, BOM says

Bill Shorten ally Bill Ludwig flays ‘lefties’ over Adani ($)

Defence pays amateur swimmer Lachlan Carter for Instagram post promoting navy program ($)

Bernie Sanders announces he will run for president in 2020 to oppose Donald Trump


Identity the key to Nats’ future ($) — Scott Emerson (The Australian): “Saddle up for the wombat trail, a traditional odyssey in which the Nationals’ leader crisscrosses country Australia, accompanied by a few, often pressed-ganged, journalists in the lead-up to polling­ day. Drought, bushfires and floods have devastated swaths of the Nationals’ electoral heartland. But a political natural disaster had already cruelled the landscape to be traversed by Deputy Prime Minister and Nationals leader Michael McCormack.”

Senior bureaucrats send a message to the Government and the Opposition Laura Tingle (ABC): “Public servants often end up as the meat in the political sandwich in election campaigns. That has never been more true than it is in 2019, even though we’re not even yet into a formal campaign. What makes this year’s public servant sandwich a particularly gourmet feast, however, is that the public servants involved are not just senior officials from Treasury or the Department of Finance as they have been in the past, but our most senior national security officials.”

The ‘recycling crisis’ may be here to stay — Trevor Thornton (The Conversation): “Over the weekend, Victoria’s Environment Protection Authority issued notices for a major recycling company to stop receiving waste at two of its sites. While the full consequences of these notices are yet to be realised, in the short term this means at least one council will have to dump kerbside recycling in landfill.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Senate estimates will hear from Defence, Health, Treasury and Small Business.

  • Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek will announce an extra $300 million in funds for school students with disabilities in a National Press Club address.

  • The Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute will launch a new report “No Second Chances”, which calls for new measures over the burden of heart disease on individuals and the economy, at Parliament House with Health Minister Greg Hunt and shadow minister Catherine King.

  • Future Women’s Jamila Rizvi will speak about women’s issues in lawmaking with three former parliamentary chiefs of staff: Dr Jim Chalmers (Wayne Swan); Clive Mathieson, (Malcolm Turnbull); and Amanda Lampe (Julia Gillard).


  • The Victorian Auditor-General is expected to release two reports: “Professional learning for school teachers” and “Access to mental health services”.

  • Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice will open four-day emerging leaders conference, the Australia India Youth Dialogue 2019.

  • Actor and director Richard Roxburgh, comedian Nazeem Hussain, Paralympic gold medalist Curtis McGrath and NRL great Billy Slater will speak at the 2019 Van Heusen Mentors Session Event.

  • Head of the Energy Security Board and major architect of the National Energy Guarantee Dr Kerry Schott will present “Guaranteeing energy supply in a changing market” at the National Sustainable Living Festival 2019.


  • A community legal challenge against the demolition of Sydney’s Allianz Stadium will begin in the Land and Environment Court. Greens MPs David Shoebridge and Jenny Leong, community group Local Democracy Matters, and Waverley Mayor John Wakefield will also hold a press conference outside the court.

  • Sydney Ideas will host forum event “The Xinjiang crackdown” with Uyghur NASA scientist Erkin Sidick, Chinese Islam historian David Atwill, and Tibet expert Ruth Gamble.


  • Day one of the three-day Akolade Social Media WA Summit, to include a case study from Nine Network Australia exploring how they are changing the way news is delivered.

  • WA DEFENCE REVIEW will host “2019 Federal Election: Implications for WA’s Defence Sector” with keynote speech from former Chief of Army Lieutenant General Peter Leahy and CEO of Regional Development Australia Perth Colleen Yates.


  • The Committee for Brisbane will host a number of Australian council CEOs and representatives to present a “City Deals Masterclass”.


  • Mayors from around South Australia will meet Premier Steven Marshall and Infrastructure Minister Stephan Knoll to demand funding for 180 “shovel ready” projects, released yesterday as part of The Advertiser’s “Fair Go for the Regions” campaign.

  • SA Productivity Commissioner Dr Matthew Butlin will present an industry briefing to the Civil Contractors Federation.

Batemans Bay, NSW

  • NSW Labor leader Michael Daley, shadow environment minister Penny Sharpe and shadow primary industries minister Mick Veitch will make an announcement about recreational fishing.

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Peter Fray
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