Notre Dame
Notre Dame Cathedral 1890-1900 (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

REBUILDING NOTRE DAME

More than 600 million euros, or AUD$945 million, has been pledged by billionaires, companies, and global citizens to restore Notre Dame cathedral. Prosecutors investigating the blaze are at present treating it as accidental and likely linked to recent building renovations.

According to The Guardian’s live updates, repairs are likely to take decades, even with millions of euros still flooding in. Saved artworks are being moved to the Louvre and investigators continue to assess the area for structural damage. Here in Australia, Scott Morrison has rebuffed calls for a local fund, while a number of Indigenous commentators have compared France’s cultural loss to the impending destruction of Victoria’s sacred Djap Wurrung trees.

ELECTION WOES GROW

Government-appointed experts have uncovered “integrity issues” with emissions-reduction claims in the Coalition’s Climate Solutions Fund. According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the Emissions Reduction Assurance Committee report highlights issues with revegetation methods — such as appointing credits for revegetation projects that have not, and possibly cannot, grow vegetation.

On Labor’s end, and in the wake of Bill Shorten’s $34b super gaffe yesterday, the Grattan Institute ($) claims that lifting the superannuation guarantee from 9.5% to 12% would result in a 2% dip in wages.

INDONESIA TO VOTE

Indonesia will today undertake the largest single-day democratic election in history, with incumbent President Joko Widodo set for a rematch with his 2014 rival, billionaire former lieutenant general Prabowo Subianto.

The New Daily reports that it will take nearly six million staff to count votes from Indonesia’s 193 million eligible voters, and that, while most of the attention will be on Widodo’s infrastructure-heavy-campaign, there are still 20,000 seats set to be contested by a whopping 245,000 candidates from 16 parties. The election supervisory body has also recommended a rerun of pre-poll postal votes in Kuala Lumpur after the discovery thousands of ballot papers pre-marked for Widodo in a Malaysian warehouse.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Whilst this letter confirms the commitment to your project, funding of $1.5 million is contingent upon the execution of a Deed of Agreement. I recommend that you do not enter into financial commitments or begin work on the project until such time a Deed of Agreement has been signed with the Australian government.

Michael McCormack

Following what was only the third, maybe fourth most dishonest grant announcement this year, the Deputy Prime Minister issues some addendums to Liberal MP Jason Wood’s “$1.5 million” “cheque” for a Melbourne sports club.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Which major party politicians are avoiding Q&A?

“If Prime Minister Scott Morrison breaks his seven-year Q&A drought to follow a recent election campaign leaders’ tradition and appear as the single guest ahead of polling day, he’ll be coming in with a lot less practice than his opponent.”


Climate change debate and the empty chair

“‘Tonight, we have an empty chair on stage, I don’t think I need to tell you who it’s for,’ says 14-year-old school climate strike leader Vivienne Paduch to knowing murmurs and encouraging hisses during her opening address. It’s not the last time an allusion to the sitting member for Warringah gets such response.”


How Morrison squandered his high ground on disability rights

“Having come close to being treated as a football in the most literal sense of the word, I am more than on board with Scott Morrison’s plea for ‘disabilities not to be used as a political football’ during the election campaign. Or at least I would be on board with it, if the Morrison government had not been playing a particularly cynical game of football of its own.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

‘A beautiful soul’: The innocent victims of Prahran nightclub shooting

Peter Dutton says he doesn’t regret his role in Malcolm Turnbull’s downfall

Australian taxpayers subsidised Nationals MP George Christensen’s private trips to the Philippines ($)

Greens propose supporting Labor climate policy in environment deal

Federal election 2019: Labor pledges $50m down payment for new Women’s and Children’s Hospital in Adelaide ($)

CFMEU pressures Andrews government over police dispute

Questions over companies chosen for $200m of Murray-Darling water buybacks

More than 110 activists arrested in London climate change protests

Bernie Sanders draws enthusiastic cheers in surprising Fox News town hall

THE COMMENTARIAT

Concerns on Islam’s influence in Indonesian politics ($) — Dewi Fortuna Anwar (The Australian): “Although Islam is indisputably shaping Indonesia, it is personalities that matter in elections — not policy, or structural issues like religious political influence. No change from this dynamic has so far emerged.”

Homelessness crisis: ‘young people are not faceless statistics’ — Zoe Robinson (The Sydney Morning Herald): “The 2016 census recorded more than 37,000 people without a home in NSW. This figure is even more sobering when you realise 9000 of those were children. While the problem is not unique to NSW, there is no escaping the fact that the state is Australia’s worst offender. The next closest is Victoria, with 6373.”

Know your NEM: Do Queensland unions hate solar more than hard right? — David Leitch (RenewEconomy): “The local head of the CFMEU wants all ALP candidates to sign a ‘we love coal’ pledge and the ETU has strong-armed the Queensland government into requiring licensed electricians on solar plants where they aren’t needed.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Treasury will release the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook as part of the election process.

Melbourne

  • ACTU secretary Sally McManus will speak at a union rally about how workers stand to lose millions during the Easter public holiday because of penalty rate cuts.

  • Dromana Community Hall will host a Flinders candidates forum to include Health Minister Greg Hunt, former Liberal and (current Independent MP for Chisholm) Julia Banks and Labor’s Joshua Sinclair. The electorates of Gellibrand and Maribyrnong will also host climate change forums to include Labor MP Tim Watts.

  • Rural Councils Victoria will hold their annual Mayors, Councillors and CEOs Forum with speakers to include Federal Shadow Minister for Regional Services, Territories and Local Government Stephen Jones, Leader of the Victorian Liberal Party Michael O’Brien, and IBAC CEO Alistair Maclean.

  • The Grattan Institute will host forum event “Federal Election 2019: Big ideas for Australia’s next government” at the State Library with tax, energy, health, housing, retirement incomes, and transport & cities experts.

Sydney

  • StopAdani will host a Mackellar climate election forum, with all candidates except Liberal MP Jason Falinski confirmed to attend.

  • Energy lawyers Dr Madeline Taylor and Professor Tina Soliman-Hunter will launch their book Agricultural Land Use and Natural Gas Extraction Conflicts: A Global Socio-Legal Perspective at the University of Sydney.

Brisbane

  • Australian Parents for Climate Action will host a Brisbane climate election forum.

Hobart

  • Greens co-founder Bob Brown will launch an anti-Adani convoy from Hobart to travel up and hold rallies along the east coast.

Perth

  • Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen will speak at a Swan Chamber of Commerce small business event with Labor candidate for Hasluck James Martin.

  • Environmental scientist Peter Newman will deliver ‘Should Perth be a City of Refuge?’ as part of the John Curtin Gallery ‘Refuge’ exhibition.

Australia

  • Events will be held across the country to mark Youth Homelessness Matters Day 2019.