MEDIVAC ATTACK

Senator Jacqui Lambie appears to have the deciding vote in the Coalition’s push to repeal medivac laws, The Guardian reports. One Nation and (for now) independent Cory Bernardi are looking to repeal, while Labor, the Greens and Centre Alliance remain in support. 

Independents who helped pass the legislation are urging Lambie to keep the laws in place. Former Wentworth MP Kerryn Phelps told The Guardian she had reached out to Lambie on Thursday, while telling The Age that attempts by Peter Dutton to create a scare campaign out of this week’s favourable court ruling were “unforgivable”. Labor Home Affairs spokesperson Kristina Keneally says there is “no evidence” the laws are not working.

TAX SUPPORT

A number of Labor MPs are pressuring leader Anthony Albanese to pass the Coalition’s $158 billion tax package in full, in what The Age calls “growing unrest” within the party.

Peter Khalil told The Herald Sun that Labor should support the package ($) if the government won’t split it, while Graham Perrett told The Australian that the Coalition had a mandate ($) on the issue. Joel Fitzgibbon is privately urging the ALP to consider backing the full plan, while five other Labor MPs told The New Daily they support having a debate on the issue. 

A formal shadow cabinet meeting has been called for Monday morning.

LIBERAL MP ‘MISCONDUCT’

Labor is demanding answers following a Guardian report into potential misconduct of Energy Minister Angus Taylor and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

The Guardian reported yesterday that in 2017,Taylor, then minister for cities, held talks with environment officials over an investigation being conducting into a company part-owned by him and his brother. Frydenberg, then environment minister, allegedly canvassed whether he could water down protections for an endangered grassland at the centre of the action, and asked if it could be done secretly. Taylor’s sister-in-law, NSW Nationals MP Bronwyn Taylor has also been asked if she tried to influence the endangered species listing.

Labor’s environment spokesperson Terri Butler has called on Scott Morrison to investigate the “shocking allegations of misconduct”, while Greens leader Richard Di Natale said the party will move a motion demanding the government explain the actions of both ministers.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I’m sure there are plenty of empty shopfronts in Sale and Traralgon or elsewhere where the ABC could quite easily relocate to a regional centre and save themselves a lot of money and then invest that money that they’ve saved by not being in the middle of Sydney where they don’t need to be.

Michael McCormack

The Nationals leader and acting prime minister suggests the ABC relocate its Sydney HQ.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Porter flags plan to protect sources behind public service leaks ($)

Retirees hit out at Coalition’s ‘milking’ of pensions

Greens urged to refuse ‘tainted’ CFMMEU donations from John Setka

Setka’s leadership suffers its most serious blow as deputy quits

Australian interest rates head for 1% as emergency measures loom for economy

Manus Island to become corporate tax-free zone, says PNG prime minister

Aboriginal flag: Ken Wyatt rules out government buying copyright from designer

Mathias Cormann reveals lobbyists he met in lead-up to election

Tory leadership race: Jeremy Hunt to face Boris Johnson after Michael Gove eliminated

‘Disappointed by our performance’: Cory Bernardi to deregister his Conservatives party

MH17 families on the verge of a final deal with Malaysia Airlines

A lot of pain’: Labor’s contentious fire services reforms pass into law

Trump warns Iran it made ‘a very big mistake’ shooting down US drone

Putin claims no proof Russians downed MH17

High-level group of university chancellors tweaking French’s free speech code

Peter Dutton says women using abortion and rape claims as ploy to get to Australia

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Senate preferences leave the left in tatters

“Under the old system, the Coalition would certainly have fallen short of a third seat in Victoria and likely also in South Australia, and it would have been touch and go for them in New South Wales. That would have meant a bigger crossbench, and probably an expanded presence for One Nation. In theory Labor should also have an easier time winning three seats under the new system, but such was their miserable share of the vote — 33.4% nationally in the House, and just 28.8% in the Senate — that they didn’t come within a lion’s roar of doing so.”


The nuclear family is a historical artefact. Is the law behind the times?

“Now, there are no safe assumptions, although some do linger on — including the notion that each child can only have two parents. The Family Law Act (FLA) still insists “that children have the benefit of both of their parents having a meaningful involvement in their lives”, definitely suggesting that the upper parental limit remains set at two. That rather old-fashioned notion is causing a lot of trouble because even the biological reality, let alone the social context, doesn’t comfortably support it. Take the case of a donated sperm, used to fertilise a donated egg, then implanted in a third person’s uterus. It’d be hard to say that any of those three people has more or less of a claim to parenthood at a physical level, but the law insists on trying to decide for them.”


Dutton’s record of defying doctors grows longer

“Peter Dutton has never been particularly popular in the medical community. In 2015, a survey of readers by Australian Doctor magazine rated him the worst health minister of the last 35 years. But it was in his handling of immigration and Home Affairs where this dislike crystallised into utter hostility. By 2015, it was already apparent to many in the medical profession that health services for asylum seekers on Nauru on Manus Island were desperately inadequate. Dutton’s response was to pass draconian changes to the Border Force Act which meant doctors could face up to two years in jail for speaking out about conditions in offshore detention camps.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

True free speech means learning to disagree well ($) – Michael Spence (The Daily Telegraph): Mr French’s report is 300 pages long and it’s forensic. It looks at what’s happening here in Australia and around the world. The overarching conclusion of the report is that there isn’t a crisis of freedom of expression in Australian higher education and that coming up with new laws would be a disproportionate response to the perceived risks.

But he does recommend a voluntary model code with a common statement of principles as a way to further strengthen the values that we all so treasure. Despite the misinformation, we’ve welcomed his report and the model code and believe it responds to and adopts much of the feedback we provided. Many of our policies, codes of conduct and guidelines are referenced in his report.”

Decriminalise drugs before overdose destroys more lives ($) – Marianne Jauncey (The Australian): “There is now a growing movement for a radical rethink on the way we approach drugs, not only here in Australia but around the world. It’s a heated and emotive debate, and pill testing is only one small part. We do have to fundamentally rethink how we talk about drugs, the people who use them, and what role our laws should, or shouldn’t, play. And I say this not only as the medical director of NSW’s only supervised injecting centre, I also say this as a mum.”

Here’s a dirty little secret about Australian sporting crowdsWaleed Aly (The Age): Here’s a dirty little secret about sporting crowds. The things that create the most incredible atmospheres – that din that smothers your senses, those epic roars that vibrate in your soul – are things you don’t want to look at too closely. It lives in the aggression, the intensity that can’t help but spill over into vulgarity. Often it lives in the consumption of too much alcohol. Truly buzzing crowds exist on the edge of chaos, barely contained and on the verge of bursting their banks. There is something wild in them.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • The National Gallery of Australia will launch the Plaque Gallery, a mini gallery where you view artwork on the creator’s teeth via a dental mirror.

  • The Auditor-General will table a report into Commonwealth national parks.

Brisbane

  • Anti-Adani protesters say they will create CBD traffic chaos in the evening, as they stage a march against the new coal mine.

  • A woman will appear in the Brisbane Supreme Court, seeking legal approval to use her late husband’s sperm in a bid to conceive their second child.

  • Alaa Adam Atwani, accused of helping Islamic State by providing video-editing software to a relative who worked for the terrorist group’s media department, will appear in the Magistrates Court.

Sydney

  • NSW Governor Margaret Beazley will announce the winners of the 2019 “Say No To Bullying” poster competition at NSW Government House.

  • Microsoft and CEDA will hold an event examining the ethical development of artificial intelligence.

Melbourne

  • Extinction Rebellion Activists will occupy Melbourne CBD for a “speakout” rally in response to approval of the Adani coal mine, pressuring the government to declare a “climate emergency”.

  • Former education department boss Nino Napoli, his cousin Carlo Squillacioti, brother Robert Napoli and sister-in-law Domenica Napoli will appear in the Victorian County Court charged with conspiring to steal millions of dollars from the public school system.

  • A 29-year-old Roxburgh Park man arrested by counter-terror police  on Thursday morning will appear in the Magistrates’ Court charged with planning to travel overseas to “engage in hostile activities”.

  • Over 1,500 of Australia’s community leaders will converge at the Melbourne Town Hall for Progress 2019.

Adelaide

  • SA Coroner Mark Johns will hand down his findings into the death of Janet Ann Cook who was receiving palliative care but was given a wrong drug, hastening her death.