Nigel Farage brexit party EU elections populist nationalist
Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage (Image: Gage Skidmore)


The European Parliament election results delivered strong gains for nationalist groups, although it was not the “earthquake” former Donald Trump adviser Steve Bannon had predicted.

Pro-EU parties retain control of the parliament following the four-day, 28-nation election, but Eurosceptics have enjoyed their best ever result and are expected to hold around 25% of the 751 seats in a “growing split over the union’s future,” the New York Times reports. A higher than usual turnout also returned a “green wave” led by Germany, Ireland and France, Reuters notes, while The Guardian suggests that the nationalists will struggle to form a coherent bloc.

It was a big win for Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party, which won 29 of the UK’s 70 seats, and “humiliatedTheresa May’s Conservative Party, which retained only four of 15 seats in its lowest ever share of a national vote, The Telegraph notes. 


Tensions are already beginning to emerge between new Labor leader Anthony Albanese and the Coalition. Despite Albanese’s early offer to cooperate with the government on climate change and the Uluru Statement from the Heart, the Coalition is refusing to budge on its emission reduction targets, arguing it now has a “clear mandate”. Labor colleagues, meanwhile, are urging Albanese to stand firm against the government’s tax cuts.

The Australian reports that Albanese is today expected to visit the Brisbane electorate of Longman, which Labor lost to the Coalition, to begin efforts to “win back blue-collar workers”.


Victoria Police have been praised over their shift in tone in their response to the murder of 25-year-old Melbourne woman Courtney Herron, as further details emerge about the case. 

Assistant police commissioner Luke Cornelius surprised some by placing the blame squarely on men, saying, “this is about men’s behaviour, it’s not about women’s behaviour”, in a shift that RMIT criminologist Michelle Noon called significant. 

Herron was reportedly on housing wait lists but could not get on a methadone program to treat her heroin addiction without a stable address. The night she died, she attended a social gathering with her alleged killer, Henry Richard Hammond, who was himself homeless and experiencing mental health issuesThe Age reports. A vigil for Herron will be held in Royal Park on Friday night.

If you or someone you know is impacted by violence or sexual assault call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit Lifeline is on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call 000.


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Can Ken Wyatt succeed where so many Indigenous affairs ministers have failed?

“The son of a Yamatji man and Wongi and Noongar woman, Wyatt worked as director of Aboriginal education at the WA Department of Education and first entered parliament after winning the marginal seat of Hasluck in 2010. He since made a name for himself as minister for Indigenous health. His nomination has been welcomed by Indigenous leaders from across the political spectrum — not least of all because he will be following former minister Nigel Scullion, who redistributed funding to fishing groups fighting Indigenous land use agreements. While he will no doubt be beholden to the party line, Wyatt supported the Uluru Statement since its delivery in 2017 and, since holding his seat in the election, has maintained that a version of the Voice to Parliament could survive the Coalition.”

Bungled books and matters of fact

“This shows the tension between readers, authors and publishers. Authors, particularly non-fiction, think they’re selling a grand theory. Facts are chosen and discarded based on whether they help sell the theory. Publishers are selling a book, so their focus and money goes into what they think sells the book — looking good and grabbing attention. But the clock and budget runs out at fact-checking. Readers think they’re buying a mix of all of the above, but really they’re getting little of either.”

What to watch for in Scott Morrison’s new ministry

“Senator Richard Colbeck — the senate’s great survivor after Eric Abetz tried to kill off his career some years ago — is the new Minister for Youth. He is 61 years old. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, it’s just… you know. And, just to make it even more you know, Colbeck is also the Minister for Senior Australians and the Minister for Sport. We look forward to his contributions on issues confronting both demographics — like protecting wealthy retirees’ franking credits and property investments that are subsidised by young taxpayers, who have to cope with impossibly out-of-reach housing.”


Why an Indigenous Voice would not be ‘third chamber’ of Parliament  – Anne Twomey (The Age): “If established, the body representing Indigenous voices would have its views tabled in the Parliament, so that Parliament could be better informed when it makes laws. It would not be the only body to inform Parliament. There are numerous other bodies that already fulfil this function, representing other points of view. They include the Productivity Commission, the Australian Law Reform Commission, the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Auditor-General. They all make reports directly to Parliament, which are tabled so that our lawmakers can be better informed when they enact laws.”

Time is right for indigenous voice to be heard in houses of parliament  – George Williams (The Australian): “The government of Scott Morrison has taken matters one step further. Its 2019 budget set aside $7.3 million to design an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Voice to Parliament. It also committed $160m to hold a referendum on the proposal in this term of parliament. Given this history, it makes no sense to lament the end of the recognition debate because of the re-election of the Morrison government. The evidence suggests the Coalition is likelier than Labor to bring about a successful change. Since Federation in 1901, Australians have been asked to vote on 44 proposals to amend the Constitution. Labor has put forward 25 of these proposals, with a solitary success in 1946 that granted the federal parliament power over social services such as maternity allowances, widows’ pensions and unemployment benefits. Overall, Labor has a referendum success rate of 4 per cent.”

Some wrongs can never be made right, but an Indigenous Voice is a startPeter FitzSimons (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Of course righting so many ancient wrongs of history is not possible. But giving recognition in the constitution to the First Peoples via a Voice to Parliament is a good start, and if Scott Morrison – with no doubt the full support of Anthony Albanese – can push that through in this term of Parliament, both will be on the right side of history, will be remembered for it and we, as a people, will be stronger.”


The Latest Headlines



  • National Reconciliation Week 2019 continues, with the theme of “Grounded in Truth: Walk Together with Courage”. A full list of events can be found on the NRW website.


  • Scott Morrison’s new ministry will be sworn in by Governor-General Peter Cosgrove, before meeting for the first time.


  • The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG will deliver this year’s Diversity Council Australia Anna McPhee Memorial Oration, asking “Has the time at last come for Australia to embrace a national Bill of Rights?”

  • Teira Bennett and Eldea Teuira will appear in court, charged with attacking drug kingpin Tony Mokbel in jail.


  • Traditional owners will appeal the validity of an indigenous land use agreement with Adani in federal court.

Margaret River

  • A Climate Action Summit will be held alongside the 2019 Margaret River Pro, with speakers including author Ben Elton, to develop a plan to limit climate damage to one of Australia’s most iconic surf coastlines