Scott Morrison immigration
(Image: AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

THE FIGHT RESUMES

Bill Shorten and Scott Morrison will today ramp up campaigning after a week of public holidays “truces” by announcing a host of family violence, social service and sporting packages — and look set to embark on a fight over the tradie vote with Morrison promising a $60 million top-up to the current regional apprenticeship scheme ($).

According to The New DailyShorten will double the current family violence funding to $600 million over four years for frontline services, emergency accommodation, early intervention and legal support. Meanwhile, in a string of Melbourne-centric announcements, he will announce $40 million for Victoria’s community health centres, $8 million across the three eastern states for Father Chris Riley’s “Youth Off the Streets” program, and $15 million towards a new $70m Olympic Park upgrade to include a women’s sports and medicine facility ($).

BIDEN HIS TIME

Former US vice-president Joe Biden has declared his candidacy for the 2020 election, announcing his third presidential run in a YouTube video slamming Donald Trump and the Charlottesville white nationalists rally.

The ABC reports that Biden, a moderate Democrat running on working class issues, most recently became mired in at least 8 complaints of touching and kissing women at political events. He is also set to draw a strong contrast to more progressive candidates such as Senators Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.

POLITICAL MINEFIELDS

Environment Minister Melissa Price signed off on Western Australia’s massive Yeelirrie uranium mine just one day before Scott Morrison called the federal election, news that, according to The Australian ($)coincided with her Adani approvals and followed earlier assurances to await pending court rulings on state approvals.

In a packed day of mining news, The Daily Telegraph ($) also reports that Labor’s NSW Northern Rivers candidate Patrick Deegan has declared coal seam gas as not “safe anywhere in the country”, just one day after Bill Shorten pledged $1.5 billion for transmission infrastructure across north Australia. The LNP has also, rather misleadingly, plastered an image of Shorten holding a “Stop Adani” flag into a Queensland billboard without the full image of a protester pushing towards him.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

If no one in the Senate brings a malicious case and steals my dog in front of my children, I probably won’t choke anybody there.

Shane Van Duren

A man who assaulted a police officer and choked an RSPCA inspector explains why he’s the best fit for Fraser Anning’s new party.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

This election could be the end of leaders like Bill Shorten

“Should Labor prevail in this election — which, thanks to a week of public holidays, currently hangs somewhere between phoney war and shooting match — then Bill Shorten will continue his run as one of the luckiest men alive. That is not because he is not capable or intelligent, but because he is squeezing in at the very end of a historical period when a figure like Bill Shorten is acceptable as the ‘natural’ candidate of a progressive political party.”


Record youth enrolment is great, but what does it mean?

“It’s confirmed: a record number of young Australians are enrolled to vote in the upcoming May federal election. Does this reflect young people’s greater interest in policy issues or is it just a matter of the ease of contemporary online enrolment.”


The doctor is in: Labor’s Bennelong gamble

“It’s a Thursday night in Eastwood, a leafy suburb in Sydney’s north. Labor’s star candidate Dr Brian Owler is addressing the party faithful in an unfitted office space. The walls are unironically exposed concrete, and eskies filled with beer and soft drinks are resting against them. The only furniture is a snack table and some stray dining chairs.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Chinatown murder accused was released from inpatient facility a week ago

Death toll in Sri Lanka bombings revised down to 253

‘Democracy at stake’: Parties warned Australia at risk of US-style cyber manipulation

Undercover cops on anti-Adani convoy as tensions rise ($)

Shipping out: Unions, industry, defence analysts concerned by shrinking merchant fleet

Prime Minister Scott Morrison slams approval of development at site of the Bali bombings

Eastern Australia Irrigation registered at Cayman Islands law firm linked with Iran weapons program ($)

‘In poor taste’: Sydney Swans fans question Dave Sharma’s funding vow appearance

Clive Palmer’s plan to increase age pension would leave $1 trillion budget hole ($)

Belt and Road summit puts spotlight on Chinese coal funding

THE COMMENTARIAT

All is forgiven in the Liberal embrace of Palmer — Michelle Grattan (The Conversation): “Only last June Morrison said of Palmer’s renewed political push that he thought Australians would say ‘the circus doesn’t need another sideshow.’ Well, the sideshow’s here and the Liberals are grabbing a prize from its spinning wheel, with an in-principle preference deal with Palmer’s United Australia Party (still to be formally announced by the UAP on Monday).”

Bill needs to say what he means for voters to trust him ($) — Anna Caldwell (The Daily Telegraph):Shorten is in particular pickle over Adani because he knows if he opposes it, the CFMEU will castigate him. Just ask Mark Latham what that was like back in 2004 in the Tasmanian forestry showdown. On the other hand, if Shorten throws his support behind the mine, he bleeds from the left. And that’s why we see him use slippery terminology where he talks about his ‘intention’.”

It’s time political parties started taking data protection seriously — David Wroe (The Sydney Morning Herald): “When the major political parties were spared the tedium of complying with the Privacy Act in 2000, the then-Howard government argued their exemption would enhance political communication and free up the democratic process. It was a controversial enough view at the time, but it has become almost ludicrously counterproductive in the years since.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney

  • The Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Anthony Fisher will host a Mass of Remembrance at St Mary’s Cathedral for victims of Sri Lanka’s Easter Sunday bombings.

  • The Chinese Australian Forum will host an election debate between Liberal MP for Berowra Julian Leeser and Labor MP for Barton and Shadow Minister for Families and Social Services Linda Burney.

  • The State Library of NSW will host Australian comics award event The Ledger Awards.

Brisbane

  • State ministers, policymakers and sector leaders will speak at the annual Queensland Economic Development Forum.

  • Clive Palmer’s QNI Metals will face liquidators Stephen James Parbery and Michael Andrew Owen in Brisbane’s Supreme Court.

Melbourne

  • Day one of the three-day Victorian Rural Health Conference.

  • A case management hearing will be held for nurse Madeleine Masterton’s challenge against a $4000 robo-debt notice.

Canberra

  • Day one of two-day French-Australian defence relations conference, Beyond Villers-Bretonneux.

Christchurch, New Zealand

  • Prince William will meet survivors and families of the mosque shooting massacres.