Mathias Cormann senate one nation


Confidential analysis by the Parliamentary Budget Office has shown that two thirds of the contested third stage of the Coalition’s tax cut package would go to workers earning under $180,000, in what The Age/SMH refers to as a “challenge” to Labor’s “top end of town” claims. 

The analysis, commissioned by the Greens after the Coalition refused to hand over costings, shows that only 31% of the $95 billion benefit would go to those in the top tax bracket, estimated to make up 10% of taxpayers within the decade. The Greens plan to use the data to lobby undecided crossbenchers Jacqui Lambie and One Nation to reject the plan, pointing out that only 1.3% of northern Tasmanians and 1.8% of regional and rural Queenslanders earn above $180,000.


US President Donald Trump has praised Scott Morrison’s election win and immigration policies as the two met for a working dinner in Osaka ahead of the 2019 G20 summit, which begins today. Trump said he wasn’t surprised by the upset, claiming he had told Morrison he would win prior to the election. In a tweet, Trump shared four Australian anti-immigration posters that were created when Morrison was immigration minister, claiming Much can be learned!” from Australia’s laws.

Both leaders used the dinner to laud the US-Australia alliance, after US Secretary of State Mike ­Pompeo encouraged Australia to adopt a tougher stand against Iran ($). The two nations are together urging France to use its Pacific influence to counterbalance China’s ($), following an agreement Morrison struck with President Emmanuel Macron last month in the UK, The Australian reports.


A long-delayed review into conservation laws and agriculture recommends the government consider farming interests before listing threatened species, The Guardian reports. The review, completed in September but only made public yesterday, recommends the environment minister get advice on the impact that listing a species would have on the agriculture industry, and take steps to lessen it. 

The Australian Conservation Foundation says the report, which found only 2.7% of cases relate to agricultural activity, is proof the inquiry was a political exercise. The report also recommends the government set up a $1 billion fund to incentivise farmers to protect the environment, noting that Australia’s biodiversity was in a “poor” and worsening state.



The proposition advanced by Mr Porter that it is none of the GG’s business whether the would-be PM is constitutionally eligible is nonsense. The GG is not a constitutional cypher.

Malcolm Turnbull

The former PM hits back at Attorney-General Christian Porter (over claims he should not have raised Peter Dutton’s eligibility with the governor-general) in the most Turnbullian way possible.


Dutton says he renounced financial interest that could have disqualified him

Law Council president-elect to resign after allegation of inappropriate conduct

Abortion clinic ads in Australia blocked in error, Google says

‘Human beings are being destroyed’: Former Manus Island detainee says UN must hold Australia to account

Israel Folau claims Rugby Australia offered him money to take down anti-gay post

Taxman turns up heat on super funds ($)

Iran ups threats against US as EU leaders race to save nuclear deal

Australian student detained in North Korea was preparing to return home

Deputy premier issues blistering attack on his Liberal colleagues

NSW EPA’s role as ‘strong cop’ to be boosted by end of ‘two-hat’ chief

Man acquitted over vampire gigolo murder confessed to Gobbo but evidence was ignored, commission told

‘No vaccine is 100 per cent effective’: Flu outbreak kills 37 Victorians

ABC seeks seat at table in alleged Afghan Files whistleblower’s trial

Rosie Batty understands why Emma Walters is standing by John Setka


Protection from ‘on high’

“Collins met with Pope Francis last August. What, she asked the pontiff, was happening about accountability? Collins says the pope insisted his methods were working and that he was holding bishops accountable. After Collins challenged this assertion, she says the pope was adamant that he was removing bishops. And she said to the pope: “No you’re not. You’re allowing them to resign and walk away. It’s the old thing of the church saving face. That’s not proper sanction. If someone has protected a perpetrator it must be known they have, it must be seen that they’re being sanctioned, it must be seen that they’re being removed. They shouldn’t be allowed to just walk away into the sunset with their reputation intact.”

Collins’ entire meeting with the Pope was in Spanish, using a translator. But, she said, after stating her frank views about clerical accountability, “he looked straight at me and he said in English ‘You know, you are right.’ And I thought, ‘great, I’ve got through to him.’” But she learned otherwise. “On his plane back to Rome that August, just after my meeting, I don’t know how my name came up, but he told the press on the plane, ‘Marie Collins, she’s fixated on accountability’.”

Adani’s rules: the media misses out on secret flying visit

“So why the secrecy in Townsville yesterday? At the very least, having got the mine go-ahead, Adani’s advisers are hoping that the contention will dissipate if he starves it of oxygen. But some questions linger in the air. For example, where now are the guarantees of thousands of jobs for locals promised by Adani? Will he stop the mine if it is found to be killing the Doongmabulla Springs oases as independent scientists predict? Or if the endangered black-throated finch is found to be pushed to extinction? Or if the Wangan and Jagalingou Family Council wins it’s current court action? The politicians’ commitments that Adani will get no public money begs another question: why the secrecy of negotiations over royalties? Will Adani pay for all the agreed and compulsory land acquisitions needed for his 200 kilometre rail link, now being undertaken by the Palaszczuk government? And what of that $3 billion that Adani proposes to transfer from Queensland profits into a family trust in the Cayman Islands?”

Pyne to help E&Y catch up in the race for military cash

“Defence in Australia — as in the US, where the problem is even more egregious — is particularly prone to the revolving door phenomenon of former politicians and officials leaving a public sector job one day and putting their feet under the desk in a private sector job the next. Beyond that, many big four staff work in a twilight world where they are private sector employees who spend long periods working with public servants and, in Defence, uniformed staff. The almost seamless links between the public and private sectors here isn’t merely a kind of flaw in governance around public sector officials, elected and otherwise — it’s a design feature of contemporary capitalism.”


With Israel Folau the church demands a kind of free speech that keeps gays in the firing lineDavid Marr (The Guardian): “These Christians – by no means all Christians – are willing to burn up huge amounts of political capital to keep and, if possible extend, their power to punish homosexuals. It’s a weird pivot of their faith. This is not all they want the Morrison government to shore up with legislation, but it’s at the core of their demands. They are shy of saying it in so many words, of course, hence all the malarkey we’ve been hearing from them for the last couple of years about freedom. Here’s a simple principle: being decent and kind requires no legislation. You only need a religious freedom act to shelter behind when you plan to be nasty – say to age-old targets of your wrath like gays.”

International trade: China must be push to play by the rules ($) – Henry Ergas (The Australian): “Australia’s interests are clear: they lie in securing a future for a multilateral, rules-based trading system. That means facing the blunt reality: a liberal world order cannot survive if it is constantly undermined by a deeply illiberal global power, as China now is. If the US is willing to bear the costs required to get China on to a course consistent with its international responsibilities, Australia should be its staunchest ally.”

How the Church is marginalising itself and blames everybody elseThe Very Reverend Dr Peter Catt (The Age/SMH): “As the Israel Folau case illustrates, there is a narrative developing that interprets resistance to the furthering of the destructive practices as religious persecution. Religious persecution is a very serious matter, a matter of life and death for many Christians and people of other faiths throughout the world. To align oneself with them, because one’s teaching about women being subservient to men or the proclamation of approaches to human sexuality that lead to increased rates of youth suicide, is being called out as self-indulgent and trivialises the plight of those who are genuinely threatened for holding to their faith.


The Latest Headlines



  • Minister for Road Safety and the TAC Jaala Pulford will announce the Road to Zero program for regional Victorian schools. She will also do a doorstop on pedestrian safety upgrades at Marian College.

  • Submissions close for the inquiry into the Commercial Passenger Vehicle Industry.

  • Extinction Rebellion Victoria will stage a “Die In” to protest the continued logging in our native forests, rejecting the memorandum of understanding between state and Commonwealth, which agreed exemptions from environmental laws will continue.

  • Maria Alimic, accused of defrauding Sudanese Australians out of deposits for home and land packages, will enter a plea in the Victorian County Court.


  • The Fair Work Commission will hear an application to deal with Israel Folau’s wrongful dismissal cases against Rugby Australia and the Waratahs.

  • Amin Elmir, who has pleaded guilty to trying to travel to join and fight with ISIS, will undergo a sentence hearing in the Supreme Court.


  • The SA Mental Health Commission will hold a “Mental Well-being in Sport” seminar.


  • The Western Australian Brewers Association will host its first ever WA Brewers Conference, with technical brewing workshops, sales and marketing seminars and panel discussions.

Osaka, Japan

  • Scott Morrison will attend the two-day G20 Summit in Osaka.

Peter Fray

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