intelligence oversight Rex Patrick
Senator Rex Patrick (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)


Centre Alliance is demanding the government come up with a plan to limit energy prices in exchange for supporting its $158 billion tax package, The SMH reports. Centre Alliance Senator Rex Patrick told The New Daily that he is concerned the benefits of the tax cuts for low- and middle-income earners will be wiped out by rising energy prices.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann yesterday called on Labor to support the package in full, refusing to split the bill’s stages despite Labor’s willingness to compromise on parts. Labor is standing firm in its demands, The Guardian reports.

Pauline Hanson has also refused to support the third stage of the 10-year plan, saying money should instead be spent on coal-fired power stations and water projects. 


ACTU secretary Sally McManus has called on controversial CFMMEU secretary John Setka to apologise over his “appalling and totally unacceptable” comments about Rosie Batty, while The Age has revealed that the union boss is still on full pay, at members’ expense while on leave to face harassment charges. Setka’s comments at a union meeting — that Batty’s work has led to men having fewer rights — have been widely condemned, with increasing pressure on Setka to resign over both the comments and his recent harassment scandal.

Batty, meanwhile, was honored in the Queen’s birthday honours list. She told the ABC that Setka’s remarks were “ludicrous … an example of somebody whose leadership role really needs to be challenged”.


Centre Alliance’s Rex Patrick has accused Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo of “intimidation” in a post-raids phone call, suggesting that Pezzullo sought to silence criticism of the department. In a statement, Patrick said that Pezzullo and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton “clearly hate media scrutiny”. Pezzullo has strongly denied Patrick’s intimidation claim.

The Coalition is planning to take action on press freedom concerns ($), The Australian reports, with Mathias Cormann opening the door to a parliamentary inquiry, while whistleblower David McBride points to “double standards” when it comes to leaks.


I see she’s become unbearable already, just nine hours on the Queen’s Birthday honours list.

Annabel Crabb

The broadcaster jokes that Leigh Sales’ new Order of Australia may have gone to her co-host’s head.


Manus Refugee Sets Himself On Fire As Self-Harm Crisis Escalates

Fresh documents in Morrison’s sacking ($)

Australians could lose $1.3b as banks rush to cut term deposit interest rates: report

Victorian police commander Stuart Bateson suspended and charged over leaks

Beijing broadens censorship of Australian media, adding The Age and to its blacklist

South-East Asia resisting US over Huawei ($)

Green activists killing tourism on the Great Barrier Reef ($)

Jacinda Ardern pulls New Zealand troops out of Iraq

Dozens of people massacred in village attack in central Mali

PM promises $2.8m to expand mental health services to schools

Berejiklian government gives up $850m in revenue for first-home owners

The CIA’s investment fund is stalking Australian tech startups and has opened a local office

Treasurer to unveil operating surplus five times higher than expected in State Budget ($)


Sorry, journalists, but this isn’t just about you

“The list of people needing protection from AFP goons is far longer than journalists. Whistleblowers first and foremost, as whistleblowing expert professor A J Brown noted today. There are greater protections for journalists around the publication of sensitive material now, put in place last year, but none of them protect intelligence officials or national security information.”

Is the media getting the messaging right on climate change?

“Climate messaging is critical at this time, and there have been moves to ‘rebrand’ it. The Guardian recently announced a shift to using the terms ‘climate emergency, crisis or breakdown’. Editor-in-chief Katharine Viner explained that ‘climate change’ sounded too passive when scientists are talking about a ‘catastrophe for humanity’. Climate scientists and journalists face a dilemma of how to share information without promoting a sense of inevitability, fatalism and nihilism.”

Facing the wasteland of Australian arts

“’Brain drain’ is a term that gets bandied about a lot in Australia, but perhaps nowhere more than my home state of Western Australia. During the mining boom, Perth became all but unaffordable for working artists. Every second writer, musician, painter, actor and mime moved to Melbourne at some point in their fledgling careers. Brunswick became a bevy of Perth expats trying to save enough money selling zines to move to Berlin.”


Ditch the jobs v environment slogan and get on with doing bothJeff Angel (The Age/SMH): “In a little publicised study released this year, the NSW Innovation and Productivity Council assessed the environmental goods and services sector. The activities involved include delivering waste, water and energy management; and biodiversity, landscape and climate services. It found the number of jobs generated as 152,000 larger than the total number of jobs in agriculture and mining combined. Importantly a significant number were in regional areas and the vast majority of businesses, small to medium size. With a 6 per cent growth rate, the environmental goods and services sector was already contributing $43.9 billion a year across the economy.”

Cassidy’s final Insiders couch still leaning Left ($) – Chris Kenny (The Australian): “You couldn’t have constructed a better example of media hypocrisy and complacency than to have four Leftist commentators on the ABC Insiders program today pretending to be warriors for free speech. Outgoing host Barrie Cassidy had promoted the show with an online video saying there was a “real and present danger” that freedom of the press was facing its “most serious challenge in decades” and giving credence to The New York Times hyperbole that suggested Australia was the world’s “most secretive” democracy.”

It’s not 2007 any more. We need new tools to fight election liesLenore Taylor  (The Guardian): “Political parties have been blatantly misrepresenting the views of their opponents for a very long time. But as Katharine Murphy and Christopher Knaus show in today’s investigation of the “fake news” spread about Labor’s “death tax” during the 2019 election campaign, the way lies are disseminated is changing in deeply worrying ways. The change becomes starkly obvious when comparing the “death tax” lie with a lie from the distant past – an incident in 2007 when then Liberal MP Jackie Kelly’s husband and others were caught distributing leaflets falsely claiming a link between Labor and radical Islam. For one thing, in 2007, it was possible to catch them.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Crikey launches its inquiry journalism initiative.

  • The High Court will hand down a judgment in ASIC v Kobelt, determining whether a credit scheme operated for locals on South Australia’s Aboriginal lands was “unconscionable”.

  • Deloitte will launch a major new report on the future of work in Australia.


  • Cody Herrmann will appear in the Supreme Court, after last week pleading guilty to the charges of rape and murder of international student Aiia Maasarwe.

  • Reserve Bank Assistant Governor Christopher Kent will speak at the Australian Renminbi Forum 2019.

  • The Public Accounts and Estimates Committee will continue to hold Victorian budget estimates, today hearing from ministers including Jacinta Allan (Transport Infrastructure), Jaala Pulford (Roads, Road Safety, Fishing and Boating), Melissa Horne (Public Transport, Ports and Freight) and Jaclyn Symes (Agriculture, Regional Development, Resources).


  • A state memorial service will be held for Les Murray, considered one of Australia’s greatest poets.

  • Former NSW Labor ministers Ian Macdonald and Eddie Obeid will to go on trial accused of conspiring for Macdonald to grant a coal mining exploration licence on Obeid family land.


  • The Queensland state budget will be tabled in parliament.


  • The University of Adelaide’s Institute for International Trade will host “New Developments in Trade and Regionalism: Case of Australia, China, and East Asia”.


  • The UWA Institute of Advanced Studies will host “Charting courses through the Ice – Envisioning Antarctic Futures,” a public lecture by Dr Daniela Liggett of the Centre for Antarctic Studies and Research.