election odds
(Image: AAP/Darren England)

HEALTH ANNOUNCEMENTS ABOUND

Bill Shorten has launched Labor’s election campaign in Brisbane by promising small business tax cuts aimed at boosting youth and aged employment, $500 million to reduce emergency room waiting times, and a crackdown on foreign multinationals.

Labor, which has come out ahead in otherwise-tightening Ipsos (52-48) and Newspoll (51-49) surveys and enjoys a fairly-glowing Grattan Institute report naming their childcare reforms the election’s most significant economic announcement, will today release details on the emergency department funds. According to The Daily Telegraph ($), Labor will join Scott Morrison in pledging money for specific hospitals in marginal Sydney seats, while the prime minister will announce a $5 million boost to the “Australian Made” campaign after yesterday pledging to crack down on cyberbullying.

SECRET INQUIRY TRANSCRIPTS LEAKED

A secret inquiry into workplace bullying claims in Aged Care Minister Ken Wyatt’s office has found staff feared working with senior advisor Paula Gelo and, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, felt intimidated as a result of her “inappropriate influence” over the government frontbencher.

While Wyatt has refused to release findings from the inquiry — which was commissioned by Malcolm Turnbull’s then-chief-of-staff — whistleblowers have leaked transcripts showing several former employees accused the MP of “enabling” Gelo’s behaviour and allowing her to scream “abusive, insulting and offensive comments” at junior staffers.

WATER DISASTER

Water levels have dived across major Australian cities following record dry seasons, with The New Daily reporting that water levels across Sydney have dropped by 40% over two years. Similar drops are reported across Darwin, Melbourne and Brisbane. Sydney Water has since asked residents to implement water-saving conditions. The Daily Telegraph ($) reports that the average NSW farm will lose an average of $69,000 in crops this season.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I don’t have the time to completely lay out all the details … I don’t have time. I don’t want to keep you standing any longer.

Joe Biden

The former US Vice-President and 2020 hopeful absolutely, 100% does have healthcare and college debt policies.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

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Investors to renew franking credit fight

Let’s make a Brexit deal, UK PM May tells Labour opposition

Poll shows Mayo voters want a federal royal commission into the Murray-Darling Basin ($)

Microsoft joins group seeking to kill off historic climate change lawsuits

At least 1 killed, 4 injured as Superjet-100 crash-lands, catches fire at major Moscow airport

Israel and Gaza exchange rocket fire as death toll mounts after month-long fighting lull

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Julian Assange won’t surrender to the US for doing journalism

“On the eve of World Press Freedom Day, Julian Assange appeared in the Westminster Magistrates’ Court briefly by video link from Belmarsh prison. There, he stated ‘I do not wish to surrender myself for extradition for doing journalism that has won many, many awards and protected many people’.”


The growing importance of Chinese-Australian voters

“The federal campaign has thus far seen: a candidates’ debate, for the first time, conducted in Mandarin; a related flare-up over a Liberal candidate’s efforts to court social conservative sentiment within the community; a faux pas from a prime minister who had felt it worth his while to commit the Mandarin word for ‘hello’ to memory; and, earlier this week, Kevin Rudd’s first constructive service to the ALP in many a long year, when he put his language skills to use in a street walk through Hurstville in Sydney.”


EXCLUSIVE: Bill Shorten only just heard of the union movement last week, in fact

“Shorten HQ, the nerve centre of the Labor campaign, is an impressive place. Set up in a disused aircraft hangar, once you enter you see rows of desks stretching away into the distance, each one manned by an ALP volunteer working the phones. ‘Some of them are canvassing voters,’ Shorten’s campaign manager tells me. ‘Some of them are coordinating schedules with Labor candidates. And obviously some of them are selling merchandise: Bill t-shirts, tea towels, cravats, and so forth.’”

THE COMMENTARIAT

Shorten’s union mates know what ‘bold’ plan means ($) — Chris Mitchell (The Australian): “Labor will help pay childcare workers to look after your children. It will make independence in retirement harder and will attract people to industry superannuation funds run by boards full of former trade union leaders or to the Age Pension. It will give the elderly free dental care. This is government as dance partner for life.”

Indigenous candidates have Canberra on their radars — Karen Wyld (IndigenousX): “Across Australia, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people had their rights to vote given and taken and given again. In 1965, all Indigenous people finally won the right to vote in state elections, with Queensland being the last state to grant this right. A few years previously (1962) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people were allowed to enrol to vote at federal elections, but it was not made compulsory until 1984.”

Our carbon budget is all but spent, but who in Canberra is counting? — Penny Sackett and Will Steffen (The Sydney Morning Herald): “According to the ABC’s Vote Compass, a majority of voters has put the environment ahead of the economy as the top election issue. Yet the budget we haven’t heard about in this so-called ‘climate election’ is the carbon budget. That’s the budget set by the laws of physics and chemistry to hold global warming to the safer side of 2 degrees.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen will debate economic issues at the National Press Club.

Sydney

  • Bill Shorten will speak at an election special Q&A program.

  • The Royal Commission into Aged Care will begin public hearings focused on residential care, in particular the needs of people living with dementia.

  • Greens senator Mehreen Faruqi and former senator Scott Ludlam will speak in-conversation at The Vanguard event ‘Unf**ck the Future’.

Melbourne

  • The Department of Health and Human Services will hold a consultation forum with peak bodies on a 2019-2023 Victorian public health and wellbeing plan.

  • Labor MP for Wills Peter Khalil, Greens candidate Adam Pulford and Liberal Senator Scott Ryan will speak at a federal election community forum on multicultural policy at Brunswick Town Hall.

Brisbane

  • Southeast Queensland’s Council of Mayors will meet with president of the International Olympic Committee Thomas Bach and AOC president John Coates, followed by a media conference to discuss a possible bid for the 2032 games.

  • Tech advocacy group Designing Open Democracy will hold forum event ‘New Models of Democracy’ with a combination of non-partisan experts and minor party/independent candidates.

Queensland and Northern Territory

  • Rallies will be held across Queensland for Labour Day/NT for May Day, with QLD Council of Unions General Secretary Ros McLennan, ACTU Secretary Sally McManus and other union leaders to speak in a Brisbane event.

Australia

  • After starting yesterday evening in Australia, the month of Ramadan will run until June 4th.