Anthony Albanese Labor
Labor Leader Anthony Albanese (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)


Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s shadow ministry will meet today for the first time after being revealed Sunday. While the front bench now has a 50-50 gender split “reflecting the balance in Australian society”, The Sydney Morning Herald notes that it’s largely the same makeup as Labor’s previous ministry, with only two members of the former shadow cabinet gone.

Jim Chalmers has been made shadow treasurer, while former shadow treasurer Chris Bowen has been moved to health; Bill Shorten, who allegedly wanted health, has been given oversight of the NDIS and government services. Penny Wong continues in foreign affairs, while new deputy Richard Marles, who allegedly wanted foreign affairs, remains in defence. Tanya Plibersek continues in education and training but loses women, Linda Burney takes up Indigenous affairs, and senate deputy Kristina Keneally receives the newly created shadow home affairs portfolio, including immigration and citizenship.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said Kenneally was the least qualified person in her party for the job, while Keneally tweeted that the department was “systemically flawed under Mr Dutton“.


Prime Minister Scott Morrison will today pledge $250 million in Solomon Islands infrastructure, in a bid to “stave off China’s Pacific growth”, The Age reports. Morrison will make the announcement in Honiara, as he tries to convince the Pacific nation not to open diplomatic channels with China, which is pressuring the Solomon Islands to cut ties with Taiwan.

The money will come from the existing aid budget, redirected from programs that focus on education, health and governance, and will finance a range of projects over 10 years. Morrison will also announce loans to temporary workers from Solomon Islands who want to come to Australia under labour mobility schemes, worth almost $3 million.

Jonathan Pryke from the Lowy Institute told the ABC that Australia needed to move carefully, adding “there are risks attached to just being reactive to demands of geopolitics and Pacific leaders.”


Former Liberal senator Jim Molan may face internal disciplinary action over his “rogue” re-election campaign following a “secret investigation”, The Age and SMH report.

Action could also be taken against party elders Walter Villatora, John Crawford and Sean Burke who encouraged voters to vote below the line for Molan rather than following Liberal how-to-vote cards. While it’s “unlikely” Molan will ultimately be punished, it’s also looking less likely he will win the support of preselectors to fill Arthur Sinodinos’ senate spot, with senior NSW figures demanding consequences.

Molan, meanwhile, is considering taking legal action against Liberal MP Trent Zimmerman, who last week labeled his behavior “dishonourable“.



When it comes to nicknames, @BreakfastNews will proudly continue to be an “Albo” and “Scomo”-free zone. Someone has to maintain standards.

Michael Rowland

The ABC News Breakfast host is fighting a losing battle against the degradation of Australian political language.


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Glitches fail to deter commuters as 546,000 people board metro trains

Unions opt out of backing NSW ALP leadership candidate

Nationals MPs demanding another look at making Australia go nuclear

Police shut down nearly 200 fake day care centres across NSW after uncovering terror and bikie links ($)

Cost, tech pose dangerous subplot for Defence chiefs ($)

Families first in Burney’s bid to tackle suicide crisis ($)


Morrison turns a blind eye to religious persecution in India

“Ironically, the Morrison government has vowed to put a religious freedom bill before the parliament. It is worth questioning just why this is needed when freedom of religion is enshrined in the constitution. Federal anti-discrimination laws and various human rights acts exist across all Australia’s states and territories. But apparently Australia is not interested in speaking up for the hundreds of millions of people in our neighbouring countries under very real threat of physical religious persecution — far too often ending in death or serious injury.”

Once again, the AFR Rich List misses the point

“Most Australians couldn’t give a toss about the rich list, it is merely a way for the AFR — and The Australian, which hired journalist John Stenholt away from compiling the AFR list do one for the Murdoch-owned broadsheet earlier this year — to ingratiate itself with wealthy individuals and families and attract lucrative ad contracts.”

What I learned about poverty and mental health chairing the robo-debt inquiry

“Robo-debt is an attack on people on low incomes. And we can’t look at things like robo-debt in isolation; it has to be viewed in conjunction with the insidious attacks on people on income support: the jobactive program; Work for the Dole; the Cashless Debit Card; the Community Development Program; ParentsNext; not increasing Newstart for 25 years; chucking single parents off parenting payments; making it harder to access the disability support pension; and the Targeted Compliance Framework (demerit point system). These “savings” measures chip away at the fabric of our society and they create an underclass of disadvantage and poverty.”


It’s time we started talking about nuclear power as an option in AustraliaJohn Barilaro (The Daily Telegraph): “This year, both elections were named by many analysts as “polls on energy and emissions policy”. Perhaps as no surprise to many, the real solution that seems to tick every box was hardly raised at all. That solution is, of course, nuclear power. It’s guaranteed baseload energy with zero emissions, no fossil fuels and probably the cheapest cost to the average Australian household. So why wasn’t nuclear a “referendum” issue at either of these elections?”

Cult of GetUp seeks meaning in a wasteland ($) – Nick Cater (The Australian): “Social conservatives should be wary of claiming victory, tempting as it might be. The Coalition may have won an election but it hasn’t won the culture war. Winning a majority on the floor of the house has not changed the balance of power in our universities, media institutions and boardrooms. The progressives are regrouping as we speak and will return for a fresh symbolic crusade both more absurd and more ­potent than the last. The Coalition didn’t win the culture war because it didn’t fight one. It has no mandate to abolish the ABC, abandon climate mitigation or scrap section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.”

Good luck, Albo, the stats are stacked against youRichard Whitington (The Age): “Nobody in living memory – repeat, nobody – who became opposition leader in the aftermath of their party losing an election has won the next election. Whether they took over as leader after their party lost government, or when their party failed to win government from opposition, the historical statistics  are the same.”


The Latest Headlines



  • ACT Treasurer and Chief Minister Andrew Barr will deliver the territory budget for 2019-20.


  • Anthony Albanese will meet with his new shadow cabinet for the first time, choosing Queensland for its importance in Labor’s defeat.


  • The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre will host an Iftar to celebrate Ramadan, hosted by CEO and founder Kon Karapanagiotidis and community organiser Ahmad Hakim.

  • The British Council Australia will host “Big ideas, Big impact”. Panellists will include Jenny Waldman, Director of 14-18 NOW; Wayne Crothers, Senior Curator at the NGV; Kath Mainland, CEO of Melbourne Festival; and Helen Salmon, Director of the British Council.

  • Monash University will screen a selection of the best short films by its Film and Screen Studies students in recent years. The hour long screenings will take place at Federation Square on Monday, Tuesday, Saturday and Sunday.

  • A federal trial will begin over logging in Victoria’s Central Highlands, with the Friends of Leadbeater’s Possum alleging that state-owned timber company VicForests is in breach of the federal environment laws.

  • The Moth will host a StorySLAM on the theme of chemistry, with 10 participants delivering a five-minute story about the power of combinations.


  • Vivid Sydney continues, with Emma Alberici, Lisa Bora, Chrissie Vincent, Melissa “Moo” Webber and Vanessa Zuppicich appearing on the panel “X WOMEN: How Generation X Women Shape Creativity”.

  • Junkee Media will present “A Gender For Change” an entertaining research dive into what really matters to under 35s.

  • The Evatt Foundation will host the NSW Labor Leader Candidates Forum, as candidates Chris Minns and Jodi McKay share their vision for the party.


  • The Dubbo Federal Circuit Court will hold an inquiry into the use of the drug ice in Western NSW and the Central West.


  • Monday will be a public holiday in Perth for Western Australia Day.


  • The NT Department of Education will hold the 2019 NQF Review, aiming to ensure that the National Quality Framework is implemented through best practice regulation, with the public invited to share its experiences.

  • The Australian Defence Force will host a National Reconciliation Week event at Aboriginal Bush Traders, inviting ADF members and their families to meet and explore the gallery.


  • US President Donald Trump will pay a three-day state visit to the UK at the invitation of the Queen, attending a state dinner and a D-Day commemorative service.

  • Julian Assange will appear in a London court for a further hearing regarding a US extradition request related to computer hacking charges.