WATERGATE: LABOR WADES IN
Bill Shorten will today propose a major inquiry into the $80 million watergate scandal and, following revelations over Barnaby Joyce’s requests for updates during the 2017 deal, has accused Scott Morrison of a “cover up”.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Shorten will propose either a royal commission or parliamentary inquiry, both of which go beyond the Coalition’s audit request for all buybacks since 2008. Elsewhere, citizen journalists Ronni Salt and Jommy Tee have produced a 2015 letter from the Queensland environment minister and alleged that The Courier-Mail yesterday mischaracterised the state’s request for the federal government to purchase the EAA farm properties, as distinct from their ultimate purchase of overland flow water.
RETALIATION TO CHRISTCHURCH?
A Sri Lankan cabinet minister has announced that, following an opaque initial investigation, the Easter Sunday terror attacks were planned by two local extreme Islamist groups as a retaliation to the Christchurch mosque attacks.
However, as police announce that 40 people have since been arrested and that the death toll has risen to 321, the ABC reports that Junior Minister for Defence Ruwan Wijewardene has not provided proof to his claims of retaliation. Wijewardene also argued the attacks were coordinated by extremist group National Thawheed Jama’ut in conjunction with another, Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim, while Islamic State has claimed responsibility without any evidence.
Ahead of Anzac Day, Scott Morrison will today announce six new veteran “wellbeing centres” aimed at improved employment, healthcare and housing services. Bill Shorten, in turn, is expected to announce both a plan to give 2.6 million casual workers an easier pathway to permanent employment as well as funding for the Mount Isa to Townsville Rail Corridor.
Finally, according to The Australian ($), Morrison is on the verge of completing a preference deal that all but guarantees Clive Palmer a Senate spot, and has renewed two scare campaigns: a “death tax” that Bill Shorten has explicitly rejected as false, and yet another round of damning financial modelling of Labor carbon policies ($).
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
There are just over 200K employees at Disney. If you took half that 65 M bonus… I am quite certain you could move significant resources down the line to more evenly share in the great success.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Tony Abbott’s sudden quest to reduce congestion, to fix tunnels and toilets is, in one way, a miniature version of an extremely Abbottonian trait, one in its fullest display since he was ditched as prime minister.”
“Over the Easter long weekend, with the election campaign on brief hiatus, news emerged of a controversial water deal between the government and a Cayman Islands-based company with prior links to energy minister Angus Taylor. Crikey breaks down everything you need to know about the scandal which has been quickly dubbed ‘watergate’.”
“Hours after 290 people were killed in a series of Easter Sunday bombings across Sri Lanka, the government moved to enforce a nation-wide social media blackout to stop the dissemination of ‘false news’ that could potentially ignite tensions.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Anzacs witnessed the Armenian genocide – that shouldn’t be forgotten in our mythologising — James Robins (The Guardian): “Australians, New Zealanders, and Turks all date the birth of their nations to the First World War, ultimately to the cliffs of Gallipoli. The popular legend is one of miraculous emergence into the world by the efforts of great men. But this too is fraudulent, a distortion that obscures the real, much earlier origins of those countries: the extermination of their Indigenous peoples.”
Minor resurgence on the Right multiplies Morrison’s woes ($) — Paul Kelly (The Australian): “In case people have forgotten — the shock result in the 2013 election was the eruption of the Palmer United Party, which won 5.5 per cent of the national vote and 11 per cent of the Queensland vote, a surprise from which new prime minister Tony Abbott never recovered.”
Backlash against Notre-Dame donors could redefine philanthropy — Krystian Seibert (The Sydney Morning Herald): “When French billionaires Francois-Henri Pinault and Bernard Arnault tried to outbid each other with pledges in the hundreds of millions of euros to fund the rebuilding of Notre-Dame, they probably expected to receive a wave of gratitude. Instead they have largely copped a mountain of criticism.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Lord Mayor Sally Capp will speak at a Guide Dogs Australia survey event aimed at reducing discrimination against blind and vision-impaired handlers to mark International Guide Dog Day.
Gomeroi poet, legal scholar and Crikey contributor Alison Whittaker will present the Wheeler Centre’s annual F Word Address on the use of storytelling as a tool for justice for Blak women in both law and literature.
The Victorian Council of Social Service will host a Victorian budget briefing with economist David Hayward ahead of the state government launch next Tuesday.
The Conversation will host a Q&A event with political reporter Michelle Grattan and launch their latest book Advancing Australia: Ideas for a Better Country at Federation Square.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian will address the National Armenian Genocide Commemoration Evening marking the 104th anniversary of the genocide.
Labor MP Anthony Albanese will launch his election campaign with the arrival of the ‘Albo Ale’ in a can.
The University of Queensland will host a school leaders forum on the right to education as outlined in the 2019 state Human Rights Act.
SA Governor Hieu Van Le will host an afternoon event with members of Adelaide’s Sri Lankan community following the Easter Sunday terror attacks.
The Liberal party will host forum event “South Australia, A Bright Future” with SA Minister for Trade, Investment and Tourism David Ridgway, Sturt candidate James Stevens and Adelaide candidate Shaun Osborn.
Author Jo Hawkins will discuss her new book Consuming Anzac, which explores how the commercialisation of the Anzac legend shapes the way Australians remember war, at the City of Vincent Library.
A book launch will be held for Unconquered, a showcase of personal stories from Invictus Games participants.
The Australian Electoral Commission is expected to announce names and positions on the relevant ballot paper for every federal electorate.