Barnaby Joyce (Image: AAP)


Barnaby Joyce and senior Nationals have openly threatened the Coalition agreement after Scott Morrison rejected their push for a new government-funded coal-fired power plant in Queensland.

The Australian ($) reports that Joyce has warned there is “no law saying the Nationals and Liberals must be together” in defiance of deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, who has promised there is no “coal war” between the two parties.

The case for a new coal plant, which coincides with a new study demonstrating coal plants’ health and rainfall impacts, has been pushed by a handful of Nationals and slapped down by Liberal counterparts as the result of “a very small and lonely minority whistling Dixie”.

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In a busy day for election policies, federal Labor will today announce plans to help small hotels compete online against major booking companies; a $200 million pledge for the second stage of Canberra’s light rail project; and a commitment to all but one of Kenneth Hayne’s 76 banking recommendations.

According to The Age, Labor plans to reform “price parity clauses” that require hotels to not advertise prices on their own website lower than those produced on third party booking sites. Bill Shorten, who has also promised not to phase out coal stations ($), will pledge light rail funding alongside Chief Minister Andrew Barr and Canberra candidate Alicia Payne. Meanwhile, Opposition financial services spokeswoman Clare O’Neil will outline a potential special financial prosecutions unit if ASIC cannot step up to Hayne’s recommended enforcement powers ($).


China and Indonesia have ordered their airlines to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes indefinitely, following Sunday’s crash in Ethiopia as well as a similar event four months ago in Indonesia.

While investigations are ongoing, Reuters reports that the flight’s damaged black box has been found, and that witnesses saw the plane try and fail to climb before swerving sharply and crashing. According to The New Daily, Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority has confirmed it would consider intervening to stop the aircraft operating in Australia in the future.


I understand when you have a marriage that it’s a two-way relationship. You don’t always get what you want but you have to work together to build better outcomes for your family.

Michael McCormack

The Deputy Prime Minister knocks back a claim from self-declared “Elected Deputy Prime Minister” Barnaby Joyce that the Liberal and National parties aren’t, in fact, married.


Will we ever get deeper debate about women in politics?

“On paper it had all the makings of an explosive session. Four of the biggest female names in Australian politics on stage at the biggest women-centred festival in the country to tell all, woman to woman, about the inner workings of the corridors of the highest power. On the day, however, it felt like more of the same. What were the odds that we were going to get much more than self-promotion and promotion of party politics from working politicians?”

Shopping for ScoMo? Morrison kills consumer sentiment in NSW

“At the NSW Liberals’ election launch yesterday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison — who hails from Cronulla (well, Bronte, but anyway) and who used to be the party’s state director — sat silent while Gladys Berejiklian tried to revive her campaign. Polling in the Sunday papers showed her government trailing 51-49. That’s not enough for NSW Labor to win, but it’s utterly shocking given this should be an unloseable campaign for the Liberals.”

Alan Jones supporters speak up as he negotiates contract

“As speculation about Alan Jones’ future at 2GB ramps up, his mates in the industry have lined up to recommend his contract be renewed. Jones’ contract is up in a few months, and the question of whether it would be renewed has been debated since last year. He’s reportedly negotiating with other outlets including News Corp-owned Sky News.”


‘Take responsibility’ for your Islamic State fighters, America urges Morrison government

‘Discussions without fear’: Coalition MPs defend men-only club memberships

How the AFP bungled the Michael Cranston investigation ($)

Chief Minister Michael Gunner hands responsibility for Indigenous housing leases back to Federal Government ($)

PM rejects push for ACT integrity commission to cover Canberra police

Modelling suggests Snowy 2.0 will lift prices, defend coal, kill batteries

Man shot dead in Springvale believed to have been killed by childhood friend

Wilkie Wonka‘s $60 million golden ticket for Tassie treats ($)

UN envoy fears ‘new crisis’ for Rohingya Muslims if moved to remote Bangladesh island

Israel president rejects Netanyahu comments about Arab citizens


Western Sydney’s growth isn’t slowing so now is the time for a comprehensive population plan ($) — Jennifer Westacott (The Daily Telegraph): “With so many people choosing to call this patch of Australia home, it’s imperative that political leaders help safeguard the community’s quality of life. The Business Council, which proudly represents the nation’s largest employers, believes one starting point is to properly manage Australia’s population growth and address this mismatch ­between the cities and regions.”

The caliphate is dead. For nowPeter Hartcher (The Sydney Morning Herald): “It began on the weekend. It’s expected to be the final assault. Even if it proves to be one of several final assaults, the very last vestiges of the so-called ‘caliphate’ are about to be wiped out. A few years ago the caliphate covered an area the size of Britain, measured in tens of thousands of square kilometres. Today it’s last fighters defend an area the size of a suburban shopping mall, down to its final hundreds of metres.”

Hydrogen fuels rockets, but what about power for daily life? We’re getting closer — Zhenguo Huang (The Conversation): “This month the federal coalition government opened public consultation on a national hydrogen strategy. Labor has also pledged to set aside funding to develop clean hydrogen. The COAG Energy Ministers meeting in December 2018 indicated strong support for a hydrogen economy. But is Australia ready to explore this competitive, low-carbon energy alternative for residential, commercial, industrial and transport sectors?”


The Latest Headlines



  • Former LNP boss Gary Spence will appear at the High Court challenge Queensland’s ban on property developer election donations.

  • Outgoing NAB chair and former Treasury head Ken Henry will deliver the annual ANU Manning Clark Lecture.


  • Sport Minister Bridget McKenzie, Education Minister Dan Tehan and Health Minister Greg Hunt will appear with Richmond’s Bachar Houli and the AFL’s Andrew Dillon to announce more than $1.2 million in continued support for the AFL Bachar Houli Program, which is targeted at Islamic schools and footballer players.

  • The Kooyong Climate Change Alliance will launch its federal election campaign with Labor candidate Jana Stewart, the Greens’ Julian Burnside, and independents Oliver Yates, Angelina Zubac and Bill Chandler. 

  • Deputy Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino and global entrepreneur Ido Leffler will present at Deakin University’s Asia Society Public Program event “Next Gen Goes Global: Are They Prepared?”


  • The Glebe Society will host a “meet the candidates” event at Glebe Town Hall, with the major candidates  for the seat of Balmain expected to be present.

  • Daily Telegraph columnist Miranda Devine will moderate Centre for Independent Studies forum “Elections 2019: Do third parties really matter?” with One Nation candidate Mark Latham, outgoing federal Liberal Democratic Party senator and state candidate David Leyonhjelm, and Australian Conservatives candidate Greg Walsh.

  • The NSW Policy Community of Practice will hold an inaugural forum event with policy presentations from NSW Treasury’s Jori Zenelli and Vinita Deodhar and Director of Strategy Service NSW Jane Want.


  • Former WA premier Colin Barnett will moderate a University of Western Australia policy forum, “The Future of Schooling Policy”.

  • WA’s Chief Scientist Peter Klinken, WA Scientist of the Year Peter Newman and others will present at a Conservation Council of Western Australia “Climate Change and You” forum.

Sunshine Coast, Queensland

  • Queensland Cabinet will be on the Sunshine Coast until Thursday as part of the Palaszczuk government’s “Governing from the Regions” program.


  • Chemist Warehouse workers at three sites across Victoria and one in Queensland will launch indefinite strike action over pay, conditions and job security. ACTU secretary Sally McManus will address strikers in suburban Melbourne.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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