Ahead of early polling this morning, The Courier-Mail ($) reports that Bill Shorten has followed up $6 billion-worth of announcements for subsidised childcare and senior dental care with plans to extend a $75 million mapping program for Queensland commodities. And with the first leaders’ debate in Perth tonight, Shorten has coincidentally topped up $2 million in funding for the annual Channel Seven Perth Telethon.
For the Prime Minister’s part, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Scott Morrison will announce $156 million for cyber security recruitment. This is in addition to yesterday’s announcements of a three-year cap on Australia’s refugee intake and a promise of $260 million to remove a rail crossing in Josh Frydenberg’s Melbourne seat of Kooyong.
United Australia Party preferences have pushed the Coalition’s TPP vote a point to trail Labor just 49-51 in the latest Newspoll ($), with Clive Palmer’s mass advertisements apparently grabbing 5% of the primary vote at the expense of both the ALP (37, from 39) and Coalition (38, from 39). However, as the Poll Bludger William Bowe argues, the new two-party-preferred result could could come down to how UAP preferences have been distributed assuming a 60-40 split.
EXHAUSTION KILLS 270+ ELECTION WORKERS IN INDONESIA
In Indonesia more than 270 election staff have reportedly died due to fatigue-related illnesses 10 days after counting millions of ballot papers by hand during for the world’s largest single-day election.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that, while the elections that returned President Joko Widodo to power were mostly peaceful, the April 17 elections were the first time the country of 260 million people combined the presidential vote with national and regional parliamentary ones as a cost-saving policy.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
He’s no monster.
The childcare centre owner and wife of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton insists he’s a great dad ($).
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“What a fickle master politics can be. Until recently, One Nation was the star attraction of politics’ idiot fringe, the group set to disrupt the plans of the major parties in Queensland. Now, based on one poll, Clive Palmer’s ad spending and his relentless self-promotion, it’s his United Australia Party, or whatever it is called this week, that has been deemed the new disruptor set to dictate terms to the major parties and even secure the balance of power.”
“When Australians talk about having the oldest surviving culture on Earth, Susan Moylan-Coombs wants you to really think about what that means. Indigenous Australians prospered on this continent for what we now estimate to be roughly 80,000 years before the colonial project arrived and, in her words, ‘took just over 230 years to fuck it up’.”
“War is human history’s hardest labour and to every worker ever drawn or forced to do it, my sincere and sober respects. I offer these because, goodness me, Anzac Day just keeps on ballsing up its one job of the year. The day is set aside not to honour brutal human sacrifice, even if it says so on the box. It is, I suggest, both the tool and the effect of control. Of course, that’s not news — even if reported that way anew each year.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Treasury signs off on budget fantasy forecasts — Ross Gittins (The Sydney Morning Herald): “While we were preparing for the Easter-Anzac super long weekend, the secretary to the Treasury and the secretary of the Finance Department released the PEFO – pre-election economic and fiscal outlook – their official, once-every-three-years licence to tell us anything the government hasn’t told us but should have. And what was that? Not a sausage.”
Preference deal with UAP looks likely to pay off for Coalition ($) — David Briggs (The Australian): “With one in four voters now selecting a minor party or independent, the task of allocating preferences becomes increasingly difficult when we calculate the two-party-preferred vote from our estimates of the primary support for the parties.”
Medivac missteps rack sick refugees — Behrouz Boochani (The Saturday Paper): “According to this law, all sick refugees on Manus and Nauru now have the opportunity to be transferred to Australia for medical assistance. Although there was opposition, in the end it was a success for those refugees. In fact, this was the first time in six years that the Australian parliament passed a law that could be considered somewhat humane.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will speak at the first leaders’ debate, set for 1900 AEST.
Iranian-Kurdish journalist and Manus Island detainee Behrouz Boochani will deliver the 2019 Curtin Annual Human Rights Lecture.
The NSW Premier’s Literary Awards will be presented at the State Library of NSW.
Chief Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of New Zealand Juliet Gerrard will present the 2019 Ruth Gall Memorial Lecture at the University of Sydney.
Climate Action Moreland and 94.7 The Pulse will host election forums for the Victorian seats of Wills and Corio, respectively.
The Department Of Social Services will hold a Brisbane consultation session for a National Disability Strategy for beyond 2020.
SA Energy and Mining Minister Dan van Holst Pellekaan will open the SACOSS Energy, Water and Telco Conference.
LNP MP George Christensen will speak at an election forum for the seat of Dawson.
The National Farmers’ Federation and AgForce will launch the ‘Agriculture: Growing Australia’ 2019 federal election campaign.
Early voting opens today for the May 18 federal election.