Jacinda Ardern christchurch shooting new zealand terrorism
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (Image: AAP/Boris Jancic)


The BBC is reporting that UK Parliament has narrowly voted to approve amendments rejecting a “no deal” Brexit under any circumstances, by a thin margin of 312 to 308. A no deal Brexit would have seen Britain legislate to leave the EU with no withdrawal agreement or framework in place.

However, in a spirited day in parliament, MPs subsequently voted to reject amendments allowing an extension to the Brexit negotiation process past March 29, this time by the more emphatic margin of 374 votes to 164.

The Guardian reports that, while PM Theresa May outlined fairly terrifying tariff scenarios of the no deal outcome — and while May herself reportedly voted against no deal — the defeat is seen as a loss for the government.

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Home Affairs has called on internal auditors Ernst & Young to investigate how controversial security group Paladin was awarded $423 million of closed-tender service contracts for the Manus Island detention centre.

The Australian Financial Review ($) reports that, while Home Affairs allegedly maintains “good corporate governance practices”, a review of the closed procurement process has been added to the internal audit program. The news comes after Labor called on the auditor-general to conduct an urgent review, and amounts to the first official acknowledgement of potential problems after defending the contract at Senate estimates last month.


Western Australian Energy Minister Bill Johnston has rebuffed calls from the Environmental Protection Authority for a state-based emissions trading scheme, while publicly backing the Adani-Carmichael coal mine in a speech at Australia’s largest oil and gas conference.

The Australian Financial Review ($) reports that the Labor energy minister endorsed Adani, coal-fired power stations and the local gas industry at the Australasian Oil and Gas conference in Perth, which also saw about 30 protesters storm the stage prior to keynotes by Woodside Petroleum and Chevron executives. The comments come as the WA government prepares to meet with the state’s gas producers today, and follows a separate decision to terminate a $16 million wave farm contract over issues with the company Carnegie.


The best opportunities anyone can have is to be at school and learn and it really concerns me that the alternate premier to the state would think missing school is acceptable.

Gladys Berejiklian

The NSW Premier is “appalled” at the Opposition Leader supporting children’s right to strike for a liveable planet.



New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed her office was one of more than 30 to receive a so-called “manifesto” from the accused Christchurch terrorist just minutes before Friday’s mosque attacks.

The ABC reports that Ardern will today meet with New Zealand cabinet to discuss stricter gun laws, while Australian counterparts will hold their own cabinet security briefing ($) amid concerns neither country is effectively monitoring white supremacist hate groups. Leaders across the Tasman have also hit out at the role of social media in fostering hate speech, or as The Age reports “shit posting” neo-Nazism, while Facebook has since announced 1.5 million videos of the attack have been removed.

The news follows vigilsmosque open days and rallies against Islamophobia across the weekend as information continues to emerge about the victims of the attacks.

Anyone seeking help can reach Lifeline on 13 11 14, and Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.


Greens leader Richard Di Natale has called for “extraordinary action” to be taken against controversial MP Fraser Anning for blaming Friday’s attacks on Muslim immigration, including expulsion through potential changes to the Privileges Act.

The Australian ($) reports that Di Natale’s push, which comes after more than one million people signed a Change.com petition calling for Anning’s removal, has already been dismissed by the Coalition and Labor. Scott Morrison, who along with Bill Shorten will move a symbolic censure motion against Anning, has suggested the independent senator should face the “full force of the law” for twice punching a 17-year-old boy who egged him at an event in Melbourne.


NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has given an “ironclad” guarantee not to weaken gun restrictions if elected, after the Liberal Party released advertisements with John Howard campaigning against Labor’s preference deal with Shooters, Fishers and Farmers.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, after delaying their release for days after the Christchurch attacks, the NSW Liberals have aired anti-gun ads in which Howard warns that the Labor-Shooters preference swap means a Daley-government could wind back Australia’s 1996 gun laws. The campaign comes as new YouGov Galaxy polling ($) suggests swings to Labor in the knife-edge seats of Goulburn and Penrith.


Here comes the bacon for the egg.

Will Connolly

New national hero “Egg Boy” doesn’t skip a beat after being arrested for egging senator Fraser Anning.


Not kids anymore: climate students march with worldly passion

“There are already groups of protesters gathering in Melbourne for the schoolkids strike as I write this on our morning deadline. On the steps of Parliament House, at Fed Square, outside the State Library, all the places of stone, glass and concrete, they’re flocking, in bright colours, with rainbow signs. They’re striking at unis, in secondary schools, in primary schools, in kindergartens.”

ABC news director lobbies for his managing director pick

“The ABC’s news director has publicly thrown his support behind a candidate for the public broadcaster’s managing director position, which is yet to be filled. In an interview on Thursday with Sydney community radio station 2SER with UTS Professor Peter Fray, Gaven Morris — a senior executive who reports to the managing director — said he hoped the current acting managing director, David Anderson, would be appointed permanently.”

US example makes a mockery of Australia’s wage denialists

“If the wage denialists in business, the government and at the Financial Review are going to make the case that there’s no need for action on wage stagnation, they’re going to have to do a little bit better than rehashing the claim that minimum wage rises — as proposed by Labor — cost jobs. It’s lazy and, more to the point, now debunked.”


Bill Shorten under pressure to unveil plan for universal dental care

NT needs more mental health investment, says top doctor ($)

Questions raised over how $1bn of emissions funding have been allocated

Sunday Mail YouGov Galaxy poll finds majority of South Australians oppose oil drilling in Great Australian Bight ($)

Man allegedly rams car into gates, shouts offensive words outside Queensland mosque

Labor pledges $1bn to upgrade neglected public hospital facilities

Dozens of Victorians with alt-right views monitored by police, Chief Commissioner Graham Ashton says ($)

Anti-bullying, anti-protest legislation to be introduced this week as parliament returns ($)

More than 1.5 million people took part in the #SchoolStrike4Climate

Brexit: McVey backing for May’s deal raises hopes for approval

‘The President is not a white supremacist’: White House defends Trump


Australians are asking how did we get here? Well, Islamophobia is practically enshrined as public policy Jason Wilson (The Guardian): “On the other hand, News Corp has been far more solicitous to touring grifters from the “alt-right” movement. They gave softball interviews and free publicity to Milo Yiannopoulos, Lauren Southern and Stefan Molyneux ahead of their national tours. They also gave Gavin McInnes the soft touch, but his plans were aborted when he was denied a visa on character grounds. More significantly still, News Corp has itself recently run campaigns based on white nationalist talking points.”

Be wary of blame and let’s not shut down debate ($) — Janet Albrechtsen (The Australian): “But we must stand up to those who seek to exploit terrorism as an excuse to censor views and shut down people they disagree with. The blame-gamers must not succeed in shutting down my views, or others in The Australian, or on Sky News. And don’t fall for claims that this censorship, under the ruse of clamping down on hate speech, will stamp out terrorism. Shutting down robust debates about immigration and how cultures live side by side will create more white supremacists, more unhinged, self-professed martyrs, and more people with loathsome views, like Anning.”

I was 10 the last time I remember feeling safe — Sandra Elhelw Wright (The Sydney Morning Herald): “This is not about political correctness. This is about lives. About torn families. About daily abuse and violence. About lost children. About confused teens. This is children being able to live a life that is neither on the defensive, nor on the offensive. We need to you to dismantle hate speech in pubs. You have a power over white men that we do not. We need you to not laugh at racist jokes. We need you, now more than ever, to use your votes to punish hatred and bigotry.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Postal vote applications close for the March 23 NSW state election.

  • Former South Australia Premier Jay Weatherill will speak at the inaugural “Getting Stuff Done in Government: A User’s Guide” event at Western Sydney University.

  • NSW Governor David Hurley will open the 40th Anniversary celebration and new premises of Interaction Disability Services.


  • Lord Mayor Sally Capp and Housing Minister Richard Wynne will open the two-day National Youth Homelessness Conference.

  • The Islamic Council of Victoria will host a vigil at the State Library for the Christchurch terror attack.


  • ASIO director general Duncan Lewis and AFP Commissioner Andrew Colvin will ­address a special meeting of the ­National Security Committee of Cabinet following the Christchurch terrorist attack.


  • The Aged Care Royal Commission will resume public hearings.

  • The Australian Digital Commerce Association will host the 2019 Global Blockchain Summit.


  • Small Business Minister Senator Michaelia Cash will open the Australian Government Small Business Fair Brisbane.

  • Senator Fraser Anning will hold a press conference over his inflammatory tweets following the Christchurch shooting and subsequent egging on the weekend.


  • The Australia Indonesia Youth Association will host forum event “Politics, Power & Predictions: The Road to Indonesia’s 2019 Presidential Election” with local academics and journalists at the State Library of Western Australia.

The unreality of Pell’s sentencing

“It’s not quite the madness you might have expected. At the directions hearing, back in July 2017, I had arrived to see a great snaking line of people who had started arriving at dawn — and his arrival was a state of frenzied bedlam. All that had been for a 10-minute hearing; you’d think the actual sentencing of the highest ranking Catholic to ever be convicted of child sex offences would be several magnitudes more crowded. But it’s not.”

West Papua is this generation’s Timor-Leste

“Last week, Trade Minister Simon Birmingham was in Jakarta to sign Australia’s long-awaited free trade deal with Indonesia. Already our most important security ally in the region, Indonesia is now set to become a trade partner of comparable significance. But throughout the eight months of negotiations, violence has escalated in the Indonesian province of West Papua, with allegations surfacing that the Indonesian National Armed Forces (aka Tentara Nasional Indonesia or TNI) deployed a chemical weapon, white phosphorous, on civilians.”

What the Reserve Bank did — and didn’t — say about climate change

“Deputy Reserve Bank governor Guy Debelle’s speech on climate change last night generated some stark headlines. But it’s worth focusing on what exactly he said, which was less pointed, but perhaps more important in the long term, than some media reports suggested (especially those that portrayed it as some sort of call to arms).”


‘I was angry inside’: being at George Pell sentencing was hard, father of victim says

‘Troubling and regressive’: Indigenous peak bodies condemn changes to NSW Adoption Act

Call to freeze wages for low-paid as Labor pushes controversial agenda ($)

Labor pledges $200 million for hundreds of new social housing properties

GetUp! has Greg Hunt’s Victorian seat in its sights

WA slaps down EPA amid calls for ‘reckless’ carbon rule to be rescinded ($)

MFS equal opportunity report reveals bullying and harassment of female firefighters

High Court awards Timber Creek native title holders $2.5m, partly for ‘spiritual harm’

Actress Felicity Huffman awoke to FBI agents with guns drawn at her LA home

Nine dead, including 5 children, in Brazil school shooting


High Court’s Timber Creek ruling the biggest native title decision since Mabo ($) — Michael Pelly (The Australian Financial Review): “The Timber Creek decision is the most significant native title decision since Mabo. The Ngaliwurru and Nungali peoples may have lost $800,000 since the initial trial verdict in the Federal Court, but Indigenous people would realise they gained something of much greater lasting value – the imprimatur of the High Court on cultural loss.”

Why wait for the Brexit fog to clear? Australian, British and multinational businesses are moving on — Gabriele Suder (The Conversation): “Many corporations, as well as small and medium-sized enterprises and suppliers, have been preparing for Brexit (many for a ‘hard Brexit’) for some time. That’s because, as the global financial crisis showed all too clearly, uncertainty leads to consumers cutting back on spending, businesses streamlining, closing or at least partially relocating; and financial markets demanding greater risk premia to lend.”

We need a law against risky goods (that’s right, we don’t have one)Rod Sims (The Sydney Morning Herald): “It not against the law to sell unsafe products in Australia. Unlike Canada, the United Kingdom, the European Union, Singapore, and Malaysia, there isn’t legislation preventing the supply of dangerous products on our shelves. Most Australians are shocked to learn of this. They expect the products they buy not to cause them harm.


The Latest Headlines



  • Planning Minister Anthony Roberts and Aboriginal Affairs Minister Sarah Mitchell will announce $55 million over five years to upgrade infrastructure and improve living standards in Aboriginal communities.

  • More than 2100 people are expected at a Sydney Town Hall Assembly on living costs. NSW state election forums will also be held in Illawarra and Parramatta.

  • Day one of the four-day festival The Other Art Fair.

  • The program for the 2019 Sydney Writers’ Festival, to run from April 29 to May 5, will be announced.


  • New Minister for Priority Precincts Gavin Jennings will deliver keynote address “Unlocking innovation and jobs for Melbourne” at a CEDA conference.

  • Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher, Parliamentary Secretary for Treaty Natalie Hutchins MP, and Postdoctoral Fellow Dr Shireen Morris will speak at treaty panel event at the Victorian Local Governance Association.

  • Day one of the four-day Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix 2019, where the Australian Defence Force is expected to present aerial shows.


  • The Auditor-General will table a report in federal parliament into the efficiency of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau’s investigation of transport accidents and safety occurrences.


  • Anna Palmer will appear in the Federal Court to answer questions over the closing of her husband Clive Palmer’s Queensland Nickel refinery.

  • Queensland Futures Institute will hold an “Importance of Regional Queensland” policy forum with regional councillors and representatives at Customs House.


  • The WA government will host a roundtable discussion with all WA LNG companies, the Chamber of Minerals and Energy and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association on the EPA’s recommended (and rejected) state-based emissions trading scheme.

  • Day one of WAFarmers’ two-day annual conference “Trending Ag 2019”.

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Peter Fray
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