According to multiple sources, Scott Morrison proposed a multibillion-dollar program to build new mass detention facilities for asylum seekers while he was Australian immigration minister attempting to “stop the boats” in early 2014.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, former and current ministers and officials say Morrison asked the Abbott government’s expenditure review committee for $9-10 billion to finance the proposal, which could have seen up to 30,000 people living in Australia on community bridging visas detained. It was rebuffed by then-treasurer Joe Hockey who “hit the roof” over humanitarian concerns. A spokesman for Morrison says he has no recollection of the proposal.


The Coalition and Greens will today campaign on separate post-Christchurch shootings media reforms, with Scott Morrison set to flag new anti-terror legislation at a meeting with social media giants, while Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has floated stronger regulator powers in a reform package.

Ahead of a Brisbane meeting today between Morrison, cabinet ministers and executives from Google, Facebook and Twitter, The Australian ($) and ABC report that the Coalition is considering new laws that would make it a criminal offence to fail to remove terror content as soon as possible.

Elsewhere, The New Daily reports that the Greens’ media reform package will include the ACCC’s anti-concentration “public interest test”, a crackdown on “fake news” on social media, and plans to extend tax deductibility status for media subscriptions.


The Coalition will today announce a $30 million carbon sequestration scheme to pay farmers to prevent trees and shrubs being cleared from their properties.

The Age reports that Agriculture Minister David Littleproud will announce the four year pilot scheme today, with an eye to make it part of the Carbon Solutions Fund. The announcement comes as The Australian Financial Review ($) reports that, as Australia negotiates a free trade agreement with the EU, a French official has insisted the Coalition’s emissions targets and policies are not ambitious enough to meet its Paris commitments.


The worst hate speech I’ve heard recently is Richard Di Natale … He’s incited violence against the likes of Andrew Bolt. And Milo Yiannopoulos — I class him as an entertainer, why everyone takes him seriously…

Teena McQueen

The NSW Liberals Federal Vice-President delivers what The Sydney Morning Herald today calls the “worst panellist” performance in Q&A’s history.


Extremist rage from the heart of NSW creates another ‘two nations’ moment

“When in trouble, this government looks to what its Coalition predecessors did when confronted with similar problems. On that basis, expect billions in taxpayer dollars to be fired at National Party electorates in coming weeks. Especially after Saturday’s NSW election.”

Changing of the guard at the ABC as high profile presenters retire

“Q&A is seen to be fading, and a new host (and maybe a new executive producer) could revitalise it. But Faine was one of the few presenters to keep their job without changes in the ABC’s local radio’s presenter shake up, and it’s hard to imagine Insiders without Cassidy. The replacements will mark a changing of the guard at the public broadcaster and getting them right is important, so it’s time to open a book on who will step into the roles.”

The many faces of the ‘Put It To The People’ Brexit march

“Couples, groups of kids, formations marching behind flags — Scottish saltires, the Welsh dragon, the Cornish black and white cross, the red flag — and a thousand handmade banners, from the elaborate panto blue’n yellow numbers — ‘Brexit makes as much sentence as this sense’, ‘Pulling out never works’ — to the texta-on-butcher’s paper special ‘I am Really Quite Cross About This’.”


Shorten to announce Labor’s ‘living wage’ plan but without an amount or timing

Environment set to be a key priority as Berejiklian secures majority government

Radio 2GB host Ray Hadley apologises on air for ‘bullying’ as more ex-staffers detail abuse ($)

Brisbane Metro considers electric buses, while WA opts for 900 diesel dinosaurs

Newspoll: Morrison heading north in the south ($)

‘He was not one of us’: Jacinda Ardern to Waleed Aly on Australian terror accused

‘He was in it right up to his neck’: How Scott Morrison deposed a prime minister

Star candidate and controversial doctor in race to replace Craig Laundy in Reid

Falling rates expose economic dangers while delivering Josh Frydenberg up to $2b

Thailand election results delayed as allegations of cheating grow


Support for Bill Shorten’s living wage plan depends on trust David Crowe (The Sydney Morning Herald):Bill Shorten is picking a fight with employers and risking a clash with the unions over his plan to lift wages. His change to the Fair Work Act will frustrate business because it makes bigger wage increases more likely, but it may disappoint unions because it does not mandate the rate.”

Remove the halo and Ardern is ordinary ($) — Judith Sloan (The Australian): “But for those who follow that country’s politics, the deification of Jacinda Ardern is underpinned by an extraordinary selectiveness when it comes to assessing the real political person. After all, she is prime minister only because she agreed to form a coalition with New Zealand’s version of One Nation, New Zealand First, headed by perennial politician Winston Peters.”

Truants against the coaliphate — Liz Conor (Meanjin): “This intergenerational pact, of each generation working to secure a better future for the next, has been torn up by a handful of fossil fuel oligarchs and the coal-fondling politicians who answer to them. As George Monbiot wrote in a message to the young climate strikers, ‘We have lived as if your lives had no importance’, worshipping at the altars of what he calls a cannibal economy.”


The Latest Headlines


Practice distils Guy Rundle’s best writing on politics, culture, class and more. In it, he roves the campaign trails of Obama and Trump, Rudd and Abbott; rides the Greyhound around a desolate America; bails up Bob Katter and Pauline Hanson; and excavates the deeper meanings of everything from Nirvana to Anzac Day.



  • The Coalition will hold a cabinet meeting to discuss plans to underwrite coal power in Queensland.

  • China Matters will launch the next-to-final draft of “A new China narrative for Australia”, at the National Press Club with Julie Bishop, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, and Vantage Asia Holdings chairman Jason Yat-sen Li.

  • The inquiry into Labor’s franking credit policy will take evidence from the Australia Institute, academics, self-managed super industry, Industry Super Australia and the general public.


  • Queensland Parliament will host Australasian Study of Parliament Group forum event “Brexit: Deal or No Deal – Facts, Fallout and Future”.

  • Meat & Livestock Australia will host beef industry forum event “Animal welfare — the cornerstone of sustainable industry” at the Brisbane Powerhouse.


  • Day one of the two-day AFR Banking and Wealth Summit, to include speeches from shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen, Liberal Senator Jane Hume, NAB’s Mike Baird, and more.

  • Sydney Town Hall will host Ethics Centre debate “Can the current rate of immigration be sustained?” with Labor MP Dr Anne Aly and urban planner Nicole Gurran, environmental scientist Dr Jonathan Sobels and Daily Telegraph writer Satyajeet Marar.


  • Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley and Lord Mayor Sally Capp will launch the 33rd Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

  • British biochemist Nick Lane will present the 2019 Derek Denton Oration in Science & the Arts, “The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is?’ at the University of Melbourne.


  • The University of Tasmania will hold panel discussion “China, the Indo-Pacific and International Broadcasting: Honing the sharp edge of Australia’s ‘soft’ power” with director of Defence and Strategy at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute Michael Shoebridge, director of the Asia Institute Tasmania James Chin, and researcher Geoff Heriot.


  • Qantas chief Alan Joyce will speaks at a Leadership Matters event coinciding with the first anniversary of the inaugural Perth-to-London flight.

  • Economist John Edwards will launch John Curtin’s War: Triumph and Decline, the second volume of his biography series at Curtin University Library.

Gladstone, Queensland

  • Day one of the four-day inquest into the trawler FV Dianne, which sank in October 2017 and left six men dead.

Beauty Point, Tasmania

  • Tasmanian Nationals Senator Steve Martin and West Tamar Mayor Christina Holmdahl will unveil a major funding announcement for the West Tamar Council.