LABOR MINTS LEADERSHIP
Labor yesterday held its first caucus since the election, confirming Anthony Albanese, Richard Marles, Penny Wong, and Kristina Keneally as its new leadership team — a 50/50 gender split many were not sure would occur. Former senate deputy leader Don Farrell stepped aside for Keneally at the last moment in order to ensure gender balance in the leadership team, just as former frontbencher Ed Husic did on Wednesday — circumventing what The Guardian was predicting would be a “factional brawl”.
Bill Shorten gave a speech before handing the leadership over to Albanese, blaming “corporate leviathans” and the media for Labor’s loss. The Age and SMH are reporting on their front pages that the former leader has not abandoned his leadership ambitions, at least according to allies (claims a Shorten spokesman called “bullshit”).
MORE MONEY MORE PROBLEMS?
Business owners have reacted to the the Fair Work Commission’s minimum wage increase, with some saying that the move will cost jobs. The commission yesterday announced the minimum wage would rise to $19.49 an hour — an increase of $21.60 per week for full-time workers.
The West Australian reports that business leaders have reacted “angrily” to the news and feel the 3% raise — already far lower than the 6% percent ACTU president Michele O’Neil had called for — would hurt employers and job seekers. James Pearson, chief executive of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said the increases “will make it that much harder” for unemployed and underemployed workers to find hours.
Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter has backed the rise ($), suggesting that the pay increase, when combined with the government’s proposed tax cuts, would “lift the living standards of all low-paid workers in Australia.”
NOT HAPPY, DARRELL
The Yellow Pages has sent a “Not Happy Jan” letter to Darrell Lea over its “No Worries Jan” campaign, Mumbrella reported yesterday. The new campaign directly riffs on the phone directory’s iconic ad, with comedian Deborah Kennedy reprising her role as the tense boss who discovers her company isn’t listed in the Yellow Pages (in this case, she eats some chocolate to calm down as a guilty Jan flees).
Yellow Pages’ parent company Sensis called for the new ad to be taken off air, saying the original had been “cheapened to sell chocolate” without its approval. Darrell Lea has agreed to cancel its campaign ($), The Herald Sun reports, and has until 5pm Friday to take it off the air. As of Friday morning, you can still view it on online.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I had nothing to do with Russia helping me to get elected.
The embattled US president had a little Freudian slip as he hit back at special counsel Robert Mueller’s first public statement.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The United States and Australia are deliberately restricting the place of Chinese telco Huawei in their telecommunications landscapes. We’re told these changes will be worth it from a security point of view. But Huawei infrastructure is already ubiquitous in telecommunications networks, and we have other avenues available to us if we’re concerned about cybersecurity. In the end, halting involvement of Huawei in Australia will be felt directly by customers. We will have to be satisfied with below-par 5G internet speeds and delayed service rollouts.”
“The bulk of Australia’s fine particle pollution is from coal-fired power stations, but big engineering projects like airports and new highways are worrying doctors all the same, Ewald explains. Environmental Justice Australia says that more than 3000 Australians die prematurely from exposure to air pollution each year. Industry and big engineering projects make up at least 39% of fine particle air pollution in Sydney not counting diesel vehicle pollution.”
“It’s the biggest national security story in a generation — the ongoing cover-up of a crime committed by the Howard government to help a major Australian company, exposed by two patriots with decades of service to Australia. But it’s one the ABC has gone strangely silent on.
The ABC has failed to provide any substantial coverage of the prosecution of Witness K and Bernard Collaery for six months, having last reported on the government’s campaign of harassment against the men when Geraldine Doogue discussed the case with Jonathan Pearlman in November.”
Matt Canavan should stop wagging his finger at those who want climate action – Katharine Murphy (The Guardian): “Just in case this isn’t obvious, this isn’t wild, activist talk fomenting in the organic groceries of Brunswick, a revolution cooked up between the kale and the quinoa. This is hard-headed analysis by regulators with serious governance responsibilities. This is an inconvenience, I suspect, for Australia’s resources minister but basic facts don’t change courtesy of an election result. Governments don’t mandate reality, even when they win elections they didn’t expect to win.”
Labor’s loss is not just the fault of its economic team – Eryk Bagshaw (The Age): “There is a temptation within Labor to blame the party’s crushing election defeat on its economic team. Led by Bill Shorten, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen and his deputies Jim Chalmers and Andrew Leigh, the team spent years telling voters a Labor government would end franking credit tax refunds, limit negative gearing and go after “the top end of town”. In truth, much of the fault for the May 18 disaster also rests with those shadow ministers who pushed for an extra $32 billion to fund an array of spending programs and failed to sell them properly.”
Sticking by ‘Teflon’ Keneally not right for some ($) – Troy Bramston (Australian): “Keneally led NSW Labor to its worst-ever election defeat in 2011. She was made premier in 2009 with the backing of sub-faction bosses Eddie Obeid and Joe Tripodi. Even though Keneally claimed she was “nobody’s girl”, she would not have been made premier without their support. Labor MPs have been critical of her role in the recent election campaign as Shorten’s “bus captain” and regularly being by his side at media conferences. Shorten planned to put her in cabinet if Labor won. But other MPs point to her failure to win the Bennelong by-election in 2017, despite a huge investment by the party and unions.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Hundreds are expected to attend a vigil for Courtney Herron at 5.30pm in Royal Park, near where her body was found.
The Good Food and Wine Show starts in Melbourne, before visiting Sydney, Perth and Brisbane.
The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee will hold the Victorian budget estimates, with public hearings including all ministers and the parliament’s presiding officers.
Justice John Dixon will hand down his judgement in a class action against the Commonwealth of Australia for losses to businesses resulting from the cancellation of the pink batts home insulation program of 2009.
The Extinction Rebellion will host a “Roar for Climate” rally in response to Prime Minister Scott Minister‘s reelection. Protesters will take part in a 60-second primal roar for the climate to symbolise a collective pledge of action.
The National Film and Sound Archive of Australia will host a screening of the documentary “Etched in Bone,” exploring the theft of Aboriginal human remains, followed by a Q&A with filmmakers Martin Thomas and Beatrice Bijon.
The Sex Industry Network will gather at Parliament House in support of proposals in parliament to decriminalise sex work.
The Aboriginal Interpreter Services NTG will host “Let’sTalk Aboriginal Languages,” a symposium in celebration of 2019 being the International Year of Indigenous Languages.
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.