Attorney-General Christian Porter AAT scandal
Attorney-General Christian Porter (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

AATACK OF THE COALITION, CONTINUED

Attorney-General Christian Porter has appointed one of his own ex-advisers, William Frost, to the Administrative Appeals Tribunals just two months after the staffer left Porter’s office.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Porter appointed Frost to the tribunal on a seven-year, full-time contract that pays up to $244,520 a year. While Porter has defended Frost’s legal credentials, the news coincides with calls from the Law Council for an overhaul of AAT’s selection process and follows revelations from The Western Australian that a company headed by another new appointee, former Liberal minister Joseph Francis, lent Porter a campaign bus.

HOW GOOD IS HYDRO

Scott Morrison will today commit up to $1.38 billion in equity investment for Malcolm Turnbull’s pet storage project Snowy Hydro 2.0. Excluding transmission and infrastructure upgrades, the project has been priced $3.8-4.5 billion and will be further financed by the government-owned Snowy Hydro Limited.

According to the ABC, Morrison has given approval for Snowy Hydro to enter early works stage after reviewing its business case and finding that, despite economic and environmental criticisms, the government is satisfied the expansion financially stacks up. Morrison has also announced $56 million to fast-track Tasmania’s Battery of the Nation project, which will reportedly only stack up when coal retires, while his revived Abbott-era Emissions Reduction Fund is already under fire over dubious gas and land-clearing projects.

ANTI-ADANI PLAYBOOK

The Stop Adani Alliance has provided Labor’s frontbench with legal advice demonstrating how the party could revoke environmental approvals for the Adani-Carmichael mine without triggering compensation risks, as well as polling in central Queensland demonstrating support for environmental reviews of water access.

Both The Australian ($) and The Guardian report that Stop Adani provided briefings to Labor MPs with advice that Adani’s approval under section 145 of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act could be legally revoked according to new information regarding water impacts and the habitat of the black-throated finch.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I was very keen to get people who would reflect community values in migration decisions because we have had a very large number of ministerial migration decisions overturned by the AAT.

Christian Porter

The Attorney-General responds to accusations of politicising the Administrative Appeals Tribunal with 14 new Liberal appointments by clarifying that yes, that is exactly what he is doing.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

If the answer’s Ita, what on earth is the question at the ABC?

“Who knows how serious speculation is about the appointment of Ita Buttrose as ABC chair. On one level — a political level — such an appointment would make sense. Everyone knows and loves Ita. She’s that overused word, an icon, one of the few Australians we all know by just one name.”


The virtue of shellfishness

“It may well be the last time Australians see him in the flesh. A sensation a couple of years ago, he can still pull a crowd, but a lot of the buzz is gone — not least in the diminished attention of protesters, for whom he was once practically the number two target, after Milo Yiannopoulos. With his paterfamilias injunctions — “stand up straight” — and his celebration of individualism drawn from animal studies (lobsters, mainly), he offered a section of the populace exactly what he said they shouldn’t be seeking: easy answers to a successful life. That buzz always wears off, and so it goes now.”


Nine’s papers make money giving baby boomers what they want

“The Nine owners of the formerly Fairfax metropolitan newspapers came close to declaring victory over media disruption when announcing their half yearly results last week. But a look at the details and the papers themselves tells us it’s a victory based on doubling down on its traditional audience — now overwhelmingly ageing retirees with money to spend.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Trump kissed campaign worker without her consent, lawsuit claims

Labor’s plan to tax the rich to pay for extra nurses and midwives

Dumping sludge in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park given go ahead

Fears Bribie Island may split in two as northern tip eroded ($)

Celia Hammond, the University of Notre Dame boss who wants to step into Julie Bishop’s shoes

NSW Labor leader Michael Daley’s links to Obeid family’s business associates ($)

Attorney-General Vickie Chapman refers South Australia’s abortion laws for review ($)

NSW Greens to battle in court over Upper House ticket order

Tasmanian Liberal Rene Hidding retires from politics, denies abuse allegations

Why people are upset Green Book won Best Picture at the Oscars

THE COMMENTARIAT

Wrecking ball not needed to tackle climate change — Scott Morrison (The Sydney Morning Herald): “We’re absolutely on track to meet our 2020 Kyoto emissions reduction target and that’s no small feat. In 2013, we inherited from Labor a 755 million tonne projected deficit on our Kyoto 2020 goal. We are now expecting to over-achieve on the target by 367 million tonnes – a 1.1 billion tonne turn around.”

Morrison puts lipstick on Tony Abbott’s pig of a climate policy Giles Parkinson (RenewEconomy): “Prime minister Scott Morrison has finally unveiled his climate policy and it is clearly designed to do two things: Placate the core rump of climate deniers and ideologues within his own party and the conservative media, and try to fool enough others that the Coalition is doing something to address a problem it barely admits exists, or is worth doing anything about.”

Is Shorten unbeatable – as nation’s most disliked leader? ($) — Peter van Onselen (The Australian): “It seems that we can now conclude that Shorten is the least popular opposition leader in Australian political history, more so even than the deeply unpopular Abbott. Yet for Shorten to fall short of becoming our next PM he would need to lose a seemingly ­unlosable election.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Cloncurry, QLD

  • Bill Shorten will meet with local leaders and graziers while inspecting flood damage.

Sydney

  • Australian Competition and Consumer Commission chair Rod Sims will make an annual address to CEDA members and guests.

  • Liberal candidate for Wentworth Dave Sharma will speak on how the party should be doing more for climate change at a Coalition for Conservation event.

  • A Land and Environment Court judge is expected to issue a decision over a temporary injunction restricting work on Allianz Stadium.

  • Hugh Jackman will make a “special announcement” at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

  • ABC political reporter Brigid Glanville will host a NSW state election preview with former premiers Nick Greiner and Bob Carr at the Centre for Independent Studies.

  • John Howard will deliver the Warren Hogan Memorial Lecture at the University of Sydney.

Melbourne

  • Victoria’s Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley will launch the Wheeler Centre’s two-day “Fair Play Symposium”, to explore ways of improving equity and inclusive practice in the Victorian creative industries.

  • Artist Kristen Visbal, Victorian Minister for Women Gabrielle Williams, Maurice Blackburn and other firms will unveil a limited edition reproduction of the iconic “Fearless Girl” statue in Federation Square.

  • Victoria’s Minister for Tourism, Sport and Major Events Martin Pakula will present an industry briefing at the 2019 Victoria Tourism Industry Council Visitor Economy Forum.

Canberra

  • Undersecretary of the Philippines’ Presidential Legislative Liaison Office Gerard Salapantan will present updates on President Rodrigo Duterte’s socio-economic agenda at the Australian National University.

Brisbane

  • General practitioners will “take over” Queensland Parliament to provide MPs with health checks to reinforce the need for affordable, regular and accessible GP visits.

  • National Mental Health Commission chair Lucy Brogden will present at an NDIS “melting pot” forum at the State Library of Queensland.

Hobart

  • Labor senator Lisa Singh will present “Pivot to India: Why Australia’s relationship with the subcontinent needs to step up” at the University Of Tasmania.

Adelaide

  • Greens senator Sarah Hanson-Young and writer Jane Caro will speak in-conversation for Melbourne University Publishing’s “Women and Power” event.

Perth

  • Arts Access Australia will host an arts and disability pre-election forum with federal MPs and candidates.