Scott Morrison emissions reduction fund climate change carbon
(Image: AAP/Sarah Rhodes)

EMISSIONS REDUCTION FUMBLE

Scott Morrison will today announce a $2 billion, 10 year extension to the Abbott government’s Emissions Reduction Fund, to be renamed the Climate Solutions Fund, as well as a further $1.5 billion in new environmental measures.

The Australian Financial Review ($) reports Morrison is set to argue that a revived “direct action” policy, which purchases greenhouse gases directly, offers a superior alternative to Labor’s $15 billion energy plan. Tony Abbott’s controversial policy has so far failed to stop total emissions increases since replacing the carbon price in 2014, and shadow climate change minister Mark Butler has responded ($) by quoting Malcolm Turnbull’s description of the fund as “a fig leaf to cover a determination to do nothing”.

LABOR V BANKS, AGAIN

Labor will today announce a $640 million financial institutions levy to help fund support for financial misconduct victims, as well as plans to strengthen the consumer watchdog’s power over market abuse following company mergers.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Bill Shorten will announce that a “Financial Rights Fund” would be sourced from ASX100 banks over the next four years and spend $320 million on 500 full-time financial counsellors. Labor, which today saw its third-straight 53-47 Newspoll lead ($), will also unveil plans to require the ACCC to review any newly-reviewed merger twice in the ensuing decade.

OUR ITA(BC)

Communications Minister Mitch Fifield will this week buck independent advice and nominate journalist and businesswoman Ita Buttrose for ABC chair.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, while her appointment is not guaranteed and global recruitment firm Korn Ferry suggested a shortlist of four other (all-male) candidates, Fifield will this week push for the famed broadcaster as a permanent replacement following Justin Milne’s politically-charged departure.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

It’s a novelty cheque, there was absolutely no one in the room who thought it was legal tender.

Georgina Downer

The Liberal candidate for Mayo justifies announcing a government grant in the form of a giant cheque emblazoned with her face and candidacy.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

High hopes for a Coalition comeback bogged down in scandals

“It’s fair to say the week did not pan out as well as the government might have hoped. The reasons why will have some bearing on whether Liberal and media hopes of a Tampa-style recovery prove plausible. There is real concern within Labor that a Liberal scare campaign around boats will lead to victory an otherwise bitterly divided government. It may not be 2001, but Labor faces not merely News Corp in full pro-Liberal mode, but Fairfax outlets, now overseen by a former Joe Hockey staffer and controlled by a company chaired by a senior Liberal, while the ABC is hopelessly cowed and terrified of upsetting the government.”


Morrison’s Christmas Island plan will be a costly disaster

“The well documented lack of medical facilities on Christmas Island means that the Commonwealth, if it chooses to go through with transfers, will be breaching its legal duty of care to provide proper medical care to detainees. Australia has already, since the Howard government’s ramping-up of mandatory detention in 2001, paid out an estimated $250 million or more to compensate for past breaches of duty of care. This includes the $100 million in damages and costs in a major class action brought by Manus detainees.”


Having a yarn: a short history of Aussie journos’ favourite word

“In my vocabulary, yarn has always been a verb — it’s the act of having a conversation. My aunty is, in my dad’s words, ‘always on for a yarn’. The last time I was home in regional Victoria, I ended up talking with the old bloke who owns the town’s carwash and, as I left, he called out ‘thanks for the yarn! Get home safe!’”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Refugee medical flights from Christmas Island to the mainland could cost up to $100,000 each

Michael Daley did not disclose developer donations to political campaigns ($)

Chequered evidence for Treasurer’s ‘housing tax’ claims

Worksafe to investigate the Coroners Court of Victoria

Inquest to probe why it took more than a day to get Nauru refugee to burns unit

A woman who has accused a Tasmanian Liberal MP of historic sexual abuse says she intends to make a statement to police ($)

Sixty per cent of voters support medevac bill, GetUp poll finds

Facebook targeting of extremists, fringe movements in Australia stokes civil unrest fears

Afghanistan: UN says record number of civilians killed in 2018

Theresa May delays meaningful vote on final Brexit deal

THE COMMENTARIAT

Bracing for bad news, Labor leader dodges a bullet ($) — Simon Benson (The Australian): “This is the result that neither leader expected. Scott Morrison would have been hoping for a significant lift on the back of his successful dismemberment of the opposition over border protection. Bill Shorten would have been hoping that the lift for the Coalition wasn’t significant.”

Democrats’ lurch to the left is a step in the right direction — Nicole Hemmer (The Sydney Morning Herald): “But as diverse as the slate of candidates is, it is relatively united in its vision for the future: one in which the federal government plays a much larger role in the economy. From Medicare for All to the Green New Deal to universal childcare, Democrats are embracing an agenda that sits significantly to the left of the party in the 1990s and 2000s.”

Australia hostage to China’s confusing coal diplomacy ($) — Michael Smith (The Australian Financial Review): “Diplomats were scrambling around the clock over the weekend to get some answers from China about the restrictions that have been imposed on Australia’s coal. To say there has been frustration at senior levels of the Australian government about the controls, which sparked panic on markets last week and sent the Australian dollar down 1 per cent, is an understatement.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Melbourne

  • Victorian Minister for Consumer Affairs, Gaming & Liquor Regulation Marlene Kairouz will launch the Consumer Policy Research Centre’s first Policy Connect Series Forum, “The Renter’s Journey”, to include speeches from Commissioner for Residential Tenancies Dr Heather Holst, Victorian Council of Social Services CEO Emma King and others.

  • Senior media and communications lawyer Veronica Scott will present “Data, encryption and the law” for the Melbourne Press Club’s early journalism series The Edit.

Sydney

  • The new Keep Sydney Open party will announce lead candidates and key policies ahead of the March 23 NSW election.

  • New York Times national security correspondent David E. Sanger will discuss his latest book The Perfect Weapon in a forum event with the Centre for International Security Studies.

Brisbane

  • An inquest will begin into the death of Iranian refugee Omid Masoumali, who died after setting himself on fire at the Nauru detention centre. A vigil will also be held outside from 8.30am.

  • Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp will launch the Circular Economy Lab at Lightspace.

  • Day one of the two-day investment conference Emergence Brisbane 2019.

Adelaide

  • Trade Minister Simon Birmingham will launch the University of Adelaide’s Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence in International Trade and Global Affairs.

Hobart

  • Tasmania Treasurer Peter Gutwein will deliver a keynote speech at a CEDA event.

Canberra

  • Lead RPA Architect at UiPath Stephen Murphy will present a Data Management Association keynote on robotic process automation at the National Press Club.

Townsville, QLD

  • The Insurance Council of Australia will hold two insurance forums to provide claims guidance to household and commercial policyholders.

Geneva, Switzerland

  • Foreign Minister Marise Payne will deliver Australia’s national statement at the 40th session of the UNHRC.

Los Angeles, USA

  • The 91st Oscar awards ceremony will begin at roughly 1pm AEDT.