Bill Shorten 2019 budget medicare Labor
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

LABOR’S CANCER ACTION

Bill Shorten has pledged a $2.3 billion cancer package in what he has labelled the greatest investment in Medicare since Bob Hawke. Shorten’s budget reply speech also promised bigger tax cuts for low-income workers, a rejection of higher-income tax breaks, and action on climate change, TAFE and wages.

As The New Daily reports, Labor’s cancer screening package would cover up to 6 million free scans, 3 million free specialist appointments and more affordable medicines over the Shorten government’s first four years. Shorten also announced increased cuts for those earning below $48,000, and rejected up to $148 billion worth of the Coalition’s stage two and three tax cuts.

ISIS ORPHANS STRANDED

The pregnant daughter of deceased Australian terrorist Khaled Sharrouf, 17-year-old Australian citizen Zaynab, is suffering from severe malnutrition, dehydration and shrapnel wounds in a Syrian refugee camp, four years after being dragged to the conflict zone with four siblings.

According to the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald and Daily Telegraph ($), Zaynab’s Sydney-based grandmother Karen Nettleton has flown to Syria in an attempt to secure the release of Zaynab, siblings Hoda and Humzeh, and Zaynab’s two toddlers. The group is trapped in the al-Hawl refugee camp with a number of other orphans of Islamic State fighters.

While Scott Morrison says he will not “risk one Australian life” for extraction, Nettleton has reportedly been told by government officials she may be be able to secure emergency travel documents if the family can get to a nearby country’s embassy.

GREENS LOSE ANOTHER ONE

NSW upper house MLC Justin Field has quit the Greens and revealed he intends to spend the second-half of his term as an independent on the crossbench.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Field, who has another four-years left after filling a casual vacancy following the 2016 death of John Kaye, intends to work collectively with the Coalition on climate action. His resignation follows last week’s peace talks for the divided state party. In an op-ed today, Field says he wishes the Greens well but wants “to use the next four years to work on the issues, not internal reform”.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

South Eastern Centre for Sustainability is a very exciting community project and I was very happy to announce, with Environment Minister Melissa Price MP, that it would be receiving $20,000 from the Federal Liberal Government’s Communities Environment Program…

Chris Crewther

In one of three-since deleted videos, the Liberal MP for the marginal seat of Dunkley announces grants for a program that is months away from starting.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Amendments to Australia’s encryption laws stranded before election

How have Indigenous Australians fared in the Coalition’s 2019-20 Federal Budget?

Claims of faked injuries, playing to lose as Melbourne 2009 tanking scandal laid bare ($)

Christmas Island: more than 150 staff are guarding zero detainees, senators told

Wild koala numbers dwindle to 48,000 as crossbenchers back Labor’s environment law overhaul

Coalition divided over Adani mine approval ($)

‘Kicking us while we’re down’: Atlassian chief savages new terror laws ($)

Facebook to block foreign ads, start fact-checking ahead of election

Dengue fever: Entire world’s population to be at risk, climate change to blame

New clues emerge of accused New Zealand gunman Tarrant’s ties to far right groups

THE COMMENTARIAT

You can’t be what you can’t see: The invisible women in our media — Jenna Price (The Sydney Morning Herald): “I’ve had some grumpy calls from colleagues saying we picked a bad time for their publications – but we made it the same time frame for everyone. In our report, 2019 Women for Media: ‘You can’t be what you can’t see’, it’s clear that female journalists make more of an effort to get women’s voices into stories.”

The shocking regulatory and cultural fail in Australia’s energy transition — Giles Parkinson (RenewEconomy): “Well, you can say one thing about the Australian Energy Market Commission’s release of its annual market performance review: They got the headlines they were looking for. ‘Renewables put grid under stress’, cried The Australian.”

Ridding ourselves of the evil on Facebook ($) — Christian Porter and Mitch Fifield (The Australian): “This barbaric act was made even worse by the terrorist’s decision to broadcast the attack live on Facebook. Despite the live stream running for 17 minutes and a user reporting it to Facebook 29 minutes after the attack, Facebook did nothing to remove the video until after the 60-minute mark — and that too only when the New Zealand police asked the company to take it down.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

PRACTICE, BY GUY RUNDLE

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.

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney

  • Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen and Social Services Minister Paul Fletcher will speak at a post-federal budget event at the Western Sydney Business Chamber.

  • The Eternity Playhouse will host town hall-style event “Her Vote” with speakers including Tanya Plibersek, independent candidate for Warringah Zali Steggall, Labor candidate for Deakin Shireen Morris and Liberal senate candidate Hollie Hughes.

  • The Walkley Foundation will hold its second annual Walkley Fund for Journalism Dinner to raise money for media grants, with speakers to include Newcastle Herald’s Joanne McCarthy, ABC’s Caro Meldrum-Hanna, Ten’s political editor Peter Van Onselen and more.

Melbourne

  • Health Minister Greg Hunt and Shadow Health Minister Catherine King will open the National Mesh Implant Forum, to include a response to the senate inquiry from Chair and Greens senator Rachel Siewert.

  • Victorian governor Linda Dessau will present over 100 Australia Day honours at an investiture ceremony at Government House, to people including comedian Magda Szubanski and founder of Breast Cancer Network Australia Lyn Swinburne.

  • Labor will hold a Melbourne Climate Forum with former Premier of South Australia Jay Weatherill, federal candidate for Melbourne Luke Creasey, and Yarra mayor Danae Bosler.

  • The Wheeler Centre will host in-conversation event “Never the Less: Disability, Displacement and Human Rights” with author and disability rights advocate Nujeen Mustafa and Human Rights Watch’s Shantha Rau Barriga.

Brisbane

  • The Queensland coroner will hand down its finding into the 2003 disappearance and murder of schoolboy Daniel Morecombe.

takayna/Tarkine, Tasmania

  • The Bob Brown Foundation will host a 70km ultra-marathon fundraiser to help save the World Heritage takayna/Tarkine rainforest from logging, mining and off-road vehicle damage.