TAX CUTTING OUT THE MIDDLE MAN
The government has again refused to split up its $158 billion tax cut package, ruling out a deal with the crossbench and putting the pressure back on Labor ($), The Australian reports. Finance Minister Mathias Cormann says he will not negotiate deals with Pauline Hanson or Centre Alliance, who have both put forward energy-related terms for their support. Anthony Albanese has not ruled out supporting the full package, and some Labor figures, including former NSW powerbroker Graham Richardson and campaign strategist Bruce Hawker, say that opposing it may mean being painted as a blocker.
Meanwhile, Jacquie Lambie and Centre Alliance are reportedly in “team-up” talks ($), The Australian reports, looking to increase their balance of power by forming a powerful voting bloc.
ADANI IS GO
The Queensland government yesterday approved Adani’s groundwater management plan, allowing initial construction of the controversial Carmichael coal mine to begin immediately. Queensland’s Department of Environment and Science sought advice from CSIRO and Geoscience Australia in approving the plan, the ABC reports, and defended the time the process has taken.
Adani Australia chief executive Lucas Dow said that the company will start “preparatory activities” in the coming days, and that construction activity would “steadily increase over the coming weeks”. Minister for Small Business Michaelia Cash celebrated on Sky News, saying that Queenslanders told her, “the way you spell jobs in Queensland is A-D-A-N-I”. Adani is only expected to employ “1500 through the construction phase and around about 100 ongoing” in the words of Senator Bridget McKenzie,
Activists say the fight is “far from over“, with the mine still facing court challenges and lacking consent from traditional owners.
EXTRADITION ORDER FOR ASSANGE
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is “a step closer to US extradition”, the ABC reports, after British home secretary Sajid Javid signed a US extradition order, indicating the UK government has no objection to the process.
Javid told the BBC that he had signed a “legitimate extradition request” but that the final decision was now with the courts, a process that is expected to take months, The Guardian reports. Assange, who is currently serving a 50-week jail sentence for skipping bail, is today due to face court in London for an extradition hearing. He was too ill to appear at his last extradition hearing, and today’s hearing may take place at the Belmarsh prison where he is being held, depending on his health.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
That’s like asking me do I want you to continue being the ABC Breakfast presenter.
The Labor leader says John Setka’s role in the union movement is none of his business, after ABC’s Fran Kelly asks if he should be expelled from the CFMEU, too.
READ ALL ABOUT IT
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“It’s Patrick’s own experience that colours his support for people like Witness K and Boyle, who he says are “heroes”. Most people who take the often thankless step to release information do so with utmost care and do so out of a genuine desire to improve the functioning of democracy, rather than compromise national security. “I’d argue that there are editors in this country, who are just as patriotic as people who serve in the defence force, or intelligence services,” Patrick said.”
“Several media outlets reported on Tuesday that Aboriginal businesses are fighting for the right to use the Indigenous flag on their products, after being served “cease and desist” letters from a Queensland clothing company that owns the copyright. But the Aboriginal flag isn’t the only thing that’s allegedly been stolen. Mainstream media journalists have been accused of taking the story of the case without crediting the initial investigation from Indigenous paper Koori Mail.”
“Australians don’t traditionally like change. Referenda don’t pass; republics get rejected; policy-heavy election platforms are scorned. But this change isn’t the pie in the sky, Adani convoy-attending virtue signalling so easily written off by the knee-jerk commentariat. Acting — really acting — on climate change comes with an enormous raft of benefits. Australia stands to gain amongst the most in the world. Within 20 years, we could switch from our reliance on coal exports to exporting renewables — green hydrogen to Japan, direct current to Java.”
As Angus Taylor ducks, weaves and dithers, China zooms past – Simon Holmes à Court (The Guardian): “History won’t be kind to this energy minister for approaching the climate challenge with all the care and subtlety that Captain Smith of the Titanic approached the fatal iceberg. History will be doubly harsh on Taylor for his failure to navigate a course that captures the economic opportunities of the global energy transition”
This was a statement of moral clarity by Sally McManus: John Setka must go – Ben Schneiders (The Age/SMH): “ Setka has failed to hear the message. He said after the meeting with McManus that he would stay. If he persists, the government will come crashing down on him. There is every chance his union will be deregistered – just as the CFMMEU’s predecessor the Builders’ Labourers Federation was in 1986 – and other unions will face tough new laws. John Setka will go, one way or the other. Staying on would be his final act of destruction and selfishness.”
Do the low paid a favour and pass the whole tax package ($) – Mathias Cormann (The Australian): “The political reality is that across the board income tax relief — as important and necessary as it is for our economy — can only be secured as part of an overall package. To split this tax relief package — dealing with the lower income end only — would effectively mean giving up on tax relief for all other hardworking Australians. If overall income tax relief cannot pass parliament as part of a package which prioritises lower income earners and was endorsed by Australians just a few weeks ago, when could it pass?”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
A state memorial service for former prime minister Bob Hawke will be held at the Opera House, with speakers including his former deputy and treasurer Paul Keating, longtime friend and former ACTU president Bill Kelty, Labor leader Anthony Albanese, Labor MP Linda Burney, former economic adviser Ross Garnaut, daughter Sue Pieters-Hawke, and second wife and biographer, Blanche D’Alpuget.
Queensland Labor will host “Last Call – Farewelling Hawkie” at the Breakfast Creek Hotel.
The Australian Red Cross Blood Service will hold the country’s first 24hr donate-a-thon, Bloody Great Friday, with celebrity chef Frank Camorra serving post-donation snacks.
Christoper Allen Bell will appear in the Melbourne Magistrates Court, accused of murdering his partner Natalina Angok, whose body was found in Chinatown in April.
Melbourne mosque fire bombers Abdullah Chaarani, Ahmed Mohamed and Hatim Moukhaiber, convicted of engaging in a terror act, will enter further pleas in the Supreme Court.
Nader Khanmohammadi Ahmad Abad, an asylum seeker who admitted to helping smuggle opium from Turkey, will be sentenced in the Victorian County Court.
Energy Australia will hold a briefing on the outcome of an investigation into a fatal incident at a Yallourn power station last year, lead by Energy Executive Liz Westcott and Head of Health, Safety, Security and Environment Chan Sinnadurai.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will addresses the Australia-UK Chamber of Commerce.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to face court in London for a US extradition hearing.
The alleged perpetrator of the Christchurch mosque attacks will appear in court, facing one count of engaging in a terrorist act as well as 51 counts of murder and 40 of attempted murder.