UK Prime Minister Theresa May.


British Prime Minister Theresa May has this morning suffered another emphatic defeat over her latest Brexit deal, which has been voted down 391 votes to 242.

The ABC and The Guardian’s live-tracker report that the vote followed May clinching important legal advice over the “Irish border backstop”, considered crucial to gaining support from pro-Brexit Conservative MPs and Northern Ireland’s Democratic Union Party. There will now be a vote on a no-deal “hard” Brexit which, if unsuccessful, will result in a vote to extend the Brexit negotiation process further. 

News of the defeat has been followed by now-familiar calls from UK Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn for a general election.

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Deputy governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia Guy Debelle has urged policymakers to consider the long-term financial risks of climate change, in a speech stressing the need to consider global warming as a trend rather than just cyclical events.

The Guardian reports that Debelle’s speech to the Centre for Policy Development, which used unanticipated insurance payouts from climate change-related extremes as an example, follows news that the federal government is still considering taxpayer-funded coal-fired power plants amidst (increasingly unpopular) pressure from Nationals members. 


The ACTU will today call for the minimum wage to be lifted this year by $43 a week, with an eye on a $72.80 increase by 2020, following a pledge from Bill Shorten to potentially amend the Fair Work Act to increase wages. 

According to The New Daily and The Australian Financial Review ($), ACTU secretary Sally McManus has argued that Australia’s minimum wage is below the OECD definition of relative poverty, which is 60% of median earnings. The push comes as Shorten pledges a less defined “living wage”, a comment which has already been slammed in The Australian ($) by three major industry lobbies.


Shut up.

John Barilaro

The NSW Nationals leader offers his federal counterparts a message from the heart.


Did George Brandis breach the Public Service Code of Conduct?

“Of all the Coalition’s jobs for the boys in recent times, the appointment of George Brandis, the Abbott and Turnbull government’s buffoonish attorney-general, to the position of High Commissioner to the UK was the most egregious. The position has gone from being a sinecure to which both sides could readily appoint former politicians — Mike Rann and Alexander Downer held it consecutively earlier this decade — to a more demanding position in light of Brexit and the United Kingdom’s quest for a new economic position in the world.”

How the campus free speech ‘crisis’ landed in Australia

“When conservative commentator Bettina Arndt gave a talk at the University of Sydney last year, claiming feminists were over-inflating rates of sexual assault on campus, she was met by protesters. Activists stood at the door to the student Liberal Club event, blocking the 40 or so attendees from entering. People charged, the riot squad arrived, and the event became fodder for conservatives alleging a growing free speech crisis on Australian campuses.”

Men-only clubs and football stadiums: why the little things are now dealbreakers

“There is something utterly delicious in watching the Gladys Berejiklian fan brigade trying to think their way through the disaster of Stadiumgate… or perhaps Stadiumturnstile would be the right word. Here’s a state government who say they’ve turned the economy around, who used the privatisation of state assets to create some new ones, who have managed to avoid the decadence of the last term of post-Carr NSW Labor — and yet here they are, on the edge of losing again. Or at least of losing their majority. And all this because of a stadium.”


Felicity Huffman, Lori Loughlin and others indicted in university admissions bribery case

Negotiations continue for new 2GB contract for Alan Jones ($)

Government flips on royal commission recommendation on mortgage brokers

McGowan Government pulls funds from Carnegie Clean Energy’s Albany wave power trial

‘Like an episode of Utopia’: Businesswoman slams government

Labor’s plan to boost wages for state workers

Resource extraction responsible for half world’s carbon emissions

United Australia Party candidate quits after leader Clive Palmer has campaign shirts made in China ($)

Boeing 737 MAX 8 operations suspended in Australia after Ethiopian Airlines crash


The banking reform proposal our politicians are too scared to touch — Killian Plastow (The New Daily): “Neither the Coalition nor the opposition will implement the banking royal commission’s proposed changes to the ways mortgage brokers are remunerated by banks. The news comes despite repeated calls from consumer advocacy groups as far back as 2015 to ban commissions in the industry.”

One Nation’s forced Aboriginal DNA testing is scientifically inaccurate and undeniably racistRae Johnston (Junkee): “There are simply not enough Indigenous samples in public and private DNA databases to reliably, scientifically test for broad Aboriginal ancestry. AncestryDNA has a database of 10 million samples — the biggest in the world — and it still isn’t enough.”

The law we need to keep politicians honest ($) — Dean Jaensch (The Adelaide Advertiser): “When the federal parliament rejected such a bill in 1985 it gave a pathetic reason: Because political advertising ‘contains vigorous controversies over policies’ it is not possible ‘to control it by legislation’. So the Parliament decided the only means was to leave the judgment of truth or falsity to the voters.”


The Latest Headlines



  • George Pell will be sentenced after having been found guilty of sexually assaulting one choirboy and molesting another in 1996.

  • Scott Morrison and Daniel Andrews will sign a formal heads of agreement between the Victorian and federal governments for Melbourne’s $13 billion airport rail link.

  • Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash and Senator James Patterson will launch the Australian Government Small Business Fair Melbourne.

  • Forum Theatre will host panel discussion “Suppression orders and open justice after the Pell trial” with retired Supreme Court Judge Frank Vincent, CMCL director Jason Bosland, and reporters Melissa Davey (The Guardian) and Lucie Morris-Marr (The New Daily).


  • Incoming US Ambassador to Australia Arthur B Culavhouse will hold his first press conference in the country after presenting his credentials to the Governor General earlier this morning.

  • Author Judith Brett will speak in conversation with Shadow Assistant Treasurer Andrew Leigh on her new book From Secret Ballot to Democracy Sausage at an ANU/Canberra Times event.


  • NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley will present “Putting people first” at the National Press Club.

  • Workers at Blacktown Hospital will hold a protest over the need for better security arrangements at the hospital.


  • Deputy Premier Jackie Trad, BIS-Oxford Economics associate directer Adrian Hart and host/economist Michael Pascoe will speak at the launch of QMCA and IAQ’s 2019 Queensland Major Projects Pipeline Report.


  • The Health and Community Services Union will announce industrial action in a long-running public sector wages dispute with the Tasmania government.


  • WA Governor Kim Beazley will help launch “Petroleum Resource Management: How Governments Manage Their Offshore Petroleum Resources” by co-director of UWA’s Centre for Mining, Energy and Natural Resources Law John A.P. Chandler.

Launceston, Tasmania

  • The Tasmanian Farmers and Graziers Association will host the Women in Farming forum.

Davenport, Tasmania

  • Minister for Families and Social Services Paul Fletcher, Liberal Senator for Tasmania Richard Colbeck and Liberal Candidate for Braddon Gavin Pearce will make a federal funding announcement for Devonport’s youth.

  • Tasmania’s Commissioner for Children and Young People Leanne Mclean will launch a short film about the role of young people in policy making.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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