GOVERNMENT EXPLOITS UNION TROUBLE
The government is set to renew its push for a union-busting bill, capitalising on the controversy surrounding CFMMEU secretary John Setka, The Age reports. Energy Minister Angus Taylor told reporters that the government will bring its failed Ensuring Integrity Bill back to parliament, allowing it to disqualify law-breaking officials and making it easier to deregister unions, indicating this was about more than just Setka: “There are many more union thugs where he came from.”
Setka yesterday fronted a press conference in Melbourne with his wife, industrial lawyer Emma Walters, denouncing allegations as a political hit and doubling down on refusals to resign. ACTU secretary Sally McManus is expected to confront Setka today, pleading with him to step down, The New Daily reports. Anthony Albanese’s move to expel Setka from the Labor Party has reportedly sparked “union mutiny”.
Two brothers shot by police in a confrontation near the Victoria-New South Wales border last night may have terrorist links ($), The Herald Sun reports. The men, reportedly armed with a knife and tomahawk, were cornered and shot at a Murray River campground after they rammed a police car, lunged at officers with weapons, and refused to surrender. The men were both taken to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
Acting Assistant Commissioner Clive Rust said investigators from Counter Terrorism Command were in the area attempting to locate, identify and speak to the men, both believed to be Australian nationals, in what he called “routine inquiries”, The Age reports. According to The Herald Sun, the brothers converted to Islam while in prison and were considered to be of “low-level interest” ($) to counter-terrorism police.
ADANI LOSES CHALLENGE
The federal government has conceded a federal court challenge by the Australian Conservation Foundation over an Adani water pipeline assessment, The Guardian reports.
The government admits it failed to properly consider public responses to the north Galilee water scheme proposal and even lost some of the submissions. It will now have to reassess water infrastructure, reopening the project for public comment. The decision will not prevent Adani from commencing preliminary construction if it receives approval for its groundwater plans today.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Quick, grab her and bash her.
NT Infrastructure Minister Eva Lawler
The words used by the minister at the centre of a bullying claim, in reference to an opposition staffer in a Parliament House lift —words Lawler claims were intended as a “flippant joke” ($), according to NT News.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“It’s hard trying to follow Labor’s position on what role parliament’s Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security should play. Labor used to support reforming the committee to give it significantly greater oversight powers for intelligence agencies and the ability to initiate inquiries. It even introduced a bill to that effect in the Senate. Then it lost interest. When Rex Patrick tried to introduce a similar bill, Labor killed it by referring it to a committee. Maybe they thought empowering the committee was a bad move if they were about to get into government. As they say in the classics: LOL.”
“It’s no secret News Corp papers have pushed an unashamedly conservative agenda. But the mastheads appear to have lurched even further to the right in recent months. The last dregs of objectivity were tossed out during the recent federal election, alienating many current and former Oz journalists. Morton told a UTS journalism student podcast that “there [has been] a real kind of mood that something has gone wrong” at the paper, and that “some of the craziness has been dialled up”.”
“Our symbol of resistance, our symbol that we have used to differentiate ourselves from the homogenous collective of Australia has been exploited for individual gain in the name of capitalism — the antithesis of our culture. To rub salt in the wound, WAM Clothing has started shooting off cease and desist letters to Aboriginal businesses who create products that feature our flag. Of course, the exploitation and commoditisation of Indigenous culture is rife and has been ongoing. However, when a collective and community symbol is exploited in this manner so counter to cultural protocol, it highlights once again the unethical practices of using copyright law to claim ownership over collective Indigenous property.”
Inequality is growing in Australia. Labor’s mission is to create a fairer society – Wayne Swan (The Guardian): “The direction of the review and our response must not and will not be influenced by biased ideological arguments peddled by our opponents. For example, there were disturbing swings against us that we can’t and mustn’t ignore. Why did they occur? The standard Coalition argument is that Labor lost because it pursued “the politics of envy” and employed ‘class war rhetoric’ that drove away aspirational middle-ground voters – in other words, that we went too far to the left and surrendered the centre ground. It’s what our opponents would say, of course, but it’s contradicted by the facts. What the results actually show is different.”
In memory of Bob Hawke, it’s time for Medicare II – Leanne Wells (The Age/SMH): “If a latter-day Bob Hawke were to introduce a universal health insurance scheme now, it would look little like the Medicare of today. It is time for Medicare II. As we farewell Hawke, the father of Medicare, at his state funeral on Friday, we might do him justice by considering how we sustain his legacy.”
Post-electoral shortcomings on both sides of politics ($) – Niki Savva (The Australian): “If we want to get technical about it, the government not only knowingly kept making a promise it knew it was going to be unable to keep, along the way it also undermined its claims for a mandate. If you announce days after the vote you can’t actually implement a key promise as outlined, how can you then claim your opponents have a moral duty to vote for it holus-bolus? Good luck now with any measure not taken to the election, for which no mandate exists at all, but which might be needed to refloat an economy the government promised day in, day out would produce another 1.25 million new jobs.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
The BBC will host a “Global Questions” debate panel, with Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells, One Nation NSW leader Mark Latham, Greens MP Jenny Leong, and comedian and writer Sami Shah discussing the question “Is Multiculturalism Failing?”
The National Art School will present “Caught Stealing: The Art of Misappropriation”, an exhibition by contemporary Australian artists whose work mobilise theft as an artistic strategy.
National Roads and Motorists’ Association road safety expert Dimitra Vlahomitros will present “Look Up”, a new report with data into pedestrian safety.
PETA activists will protest outside the Greek Consulate General, calling for an end to Santorini’s “notoriously inhumane” donkey rides.
Films For Change Adelaide will host a screening of the documentary Another Country, in which legendary Aboriginal actor David Gulpilil tries to navigate two very different cultures: that of his Yolngu people and that of the colonising Australian culture.
The Australian Institute of Urban Studies will host a “New Mayors Forum” featuring some of the record number of women elected to Adelaide local councils, such as Lord Mayor of Adelaide Sandy Verschoor, Mayor of Whyalla Clare McLaughlin, Mayor of Walkerville Elizabeth Fricker, and Mayor of Mitcham Heather Holmes-Ross.
The NT Department of Local Government, Housing and Community Development will host a free two-day Remote Housing Industry Forum focussed on the 10 year, $1.1 billion Remote Housing Investment Package.
The Department of Primary Industry and Resources will present the recently published State of the Forests Report, presented by Dr Steve Read.
Actor Craig McLachlan will appear in the Magistrates Court for a contest mention, charged with seven counts of indecent assault. McLachlan previously won a bid to fight his case before a magistrate rather than face a jury trial.
Leading human rights advocate and CEO of Sisters Inside, Debbie Kilroy OAM will deliver the keynote address at this month’s Women in Leadership lunch, presented by the Law Institute of Victoria.
The National Guidelines for the inclusion of transgender and gender diverse people in sport will be launched, developed by the Australian Human Rights Commission in partnership with Sport Australia and the Coalition of Major Professional and Participation Sports.
The National Institute for Dementia Research will host the Australia Dementia Forum 2019, Australia’s fourth annual such forum.
David William McBride, the whistleblower behind the ABC’s Afghan Files, will appear in the ACT Supreme Court on charges of leaking information to journalists. He has pleaded not guilty.