Ken Wyatt indigenous affairs minister scott morrison
Ken Wyatt (Image: AAP/Joel Carrett)


The Coalition party room is split over the plan to introduce an Indigenous voice to parliament announced by Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt, The Age/SMH report.

Announced at the National Press Club yesterday, the plan faces the threat of a backbench veto, with MPs noting the idea had already been rejected by Malcolm Turnbull’s cabinet two years ago. Victorian senator James Paterson told Nine papers that “any change that threatens our successful parliamentary system or one which treats Australians differently based on their race would be a backward step”. Liberal MP Craig Kelly told The Guardian that he and like-minded colleagues would “actively campaign for the no side” if Wyatt pursues too ambitious a proposal. Wyatt addressed such concerns in his speech, acknowledging he would need to “find common ground” with his more “reticent colleagues.”


The CFMMEU national leadership has backed a legal bid to block the expulsion of John Setka from the Labor Party, calling it a “sham process” ($), The Australian reports. Setka’s application for an injunction against the move to expel him will be heard in the Victorian Supreme Court today, with Setka claiming the ALP nationa­l constitution does not permit his expulsion. The construction division’s national secretary Dave Noonan accused Anthony Albanese of pushing a “contrived outcome” before the outcome of his trial was known.

In other union news, ACTU president Michele O’Neil is lobbying crossbenchers to oppose the Coalition’s union-busting bill, arguing the laws will make it possible for government ministers to shut down unions, The Guardian reports.


NSW deputy premier John Barilaro wants to remove protection for the Murray Valley national park to allow logging, by either degazetting the entire park or reducing its size, The Guardian reports.

The bill is not currently on the cabinet agenda, but Barilaro told the National Party’s state conference that he would introduce a bill after the winter recess, either as a government or private member’s bill depending on Coalition support. The 42,000 hectare conservation area is known for its river red gum forests and is home to several threatened species. Barilaro told The Guardian the protections were hurting the timber industry, saying “the river red gums industry was wiped out by the stroke of a pen by [former Labor leader] Nathan Rees in his dying days as premier”.


He also said his door is open to me any time I want to talk about anything. I’ve had more of a conversation with him than I’ve had with the prime minister since the election.

Pauline Hanson

The One Nation leader tells The Australian she has a better working relationship ($) with Anthony Albanese than with either Bill Shorten or Scott Morrison.


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Dirty money and blurred lines

“In October 2004, then-Australian listed company Anvil Mining told its shareholders back home that it had been forced to temporarily close a mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It insisted the closure had been carried out ‘efficiently and without incident’. A brief description for what was – in reality  – a horrifying ordeal for many. After a small band of rebels congregated outside the mine, the company had taken the precaution of evacuating its workers from the site. But it also supplied trucks, planes and provisions to the Congolese military, who proceeded to indiscriminately shell civilians, carry out summary executions and torture of civilians, according to the Human Rights Law Centre, leaving more than 70 dead.”

The Little Mermaid casting is designed to make certain people see red

“Marketing films is an expensive business. Giving the Twittersphere — even if it’s just a small number of predictable racist posts that, alas, get disproportionate attention in the pop culture press — a reason to talk about a film is part of the studio’s pre-publicity efforts. It’s a way to build anticipation and get a film spoken about in a landscape that’s not only cluttered with films, but cluttered with remakes. In having the world busy debating whether we’ll swallow a black Ariel, we’re doing Disney’s marketing for them, and helping to sell a film before it’s even gone into production.”

Suicide cannot be made a front in the culture war

“Heard the latest conspiracy theory from the right? Apparently there’s a vast cabal, starting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, engaged in ‘whitewashing’ the real cause of suicide — an unfair family court system. Our current anti-suicide efforts are just another front in a wide-ranging war on men by feminists in powerful institutions. At least that’s the theory argued by sexologist and men’s rights activist Bettina Arndt and published by the Australian Financial Review today.”


One giant leap for Indigenous Australia, but let’s be clear about the Voice Teela Reid (The Age/SMH): “While Wyatt said he would work towards a referendum to recognise Indigenous Australians in the constitution, he was not explicit about what form that might take – and whether or not it might include the Voice that is demanded overwhelmingly by Indigenous people. Surely that is the only acceptable path. Perhaps Wyatt does need to be more explicit.”

Pill testing will never cure the recklessness of drug taking ($) – Louise Roberts (The Daily Telegraph): “There is no safe drug use. Instead, our kids are falling victim to a middle class malaise that won’t tell young people not to do something dumb and dangerous, but which instead calls on the state to mitigate the risk and make the illegal thing OK. We have allowed this soft approach to flourish and those who do dispute this are accused of being out of touch with reality.”

Labor shouldn’t be tempted by a small target strategy – it needs to sell hopeSam Crosby (The Guardian): “Federal Labor has never won from opposition by simply offering relief from unpopular government. The only way Labor wins is by connecting a suite of progressive policy proposals to a unifying vision that makes politically disengaged voters feel two things: hope and ambition. That’s what Whitlam, Hawke and Rudd all did. It’s is a tough path, but it’s the only one that leads to victory.”


The Latest Headlines



  • NAIDOC Week runs from July 7 to July 14, celebrating the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. A full list of events can be found here

  • Workers at stevedoring company DP World will walk off the job in Fremantle and Sydney over a dispute about pay and conditions. Wharfies in Melbourne are striking from Wednesday until Saturday, while those in Brisbane protested on Monday and Tuesday.


  • Afghan Files whistleblower David McBride will appear again in the ACT Supreme Court, two weeks after the ABC asked to vary orders in the case.


  • Common Dream, a conference for progressive religious thought and action, will take place, with electives including religious naturalism, post colonialism and Aboriginal reconciliation. Keynote speakers include  spiritual theologian, Episcopal priest and activist Matthew Fox; social justice advocate Rod Bower; and Aboriginal leader Anne Pattel-Gray.

  • Jewish House CEO Rabbi Mendel Kastel OAM and entrepreneur Alexandra Tselios will have a Parliament House launch for an app to help the homeless, alongside MP Alex Greenwich, with Jane Caro as MC.


  • Melbourne Lord Mayor Sally Capp will speak about what makes a city liveable, as part of a live video conference involving speakers from both Melbourne and London.

  • The Supreme Court will hear an urgent injunction application by John Setka over a bid to expel him from the Labor Party.

  • A decision is expected in the Mark “Bomber” Thompson drugs case, with the AFL great accused of drug possession and trafficking.

  • The Department of Health and Human Services will launch Question to the Mob, a cultural resource that asks a panel of both internal and external members of the Aboriginal Community.


  • Crime Stoppers Australia will launch its Dob In A Dealer campaign, a nation-wide program aimed to stop the supply of illicit drugs in Australia.


  • A coronial inquest will be held into the deaths of two people at the Serves You Right cafe in far north Queensland.


  • The Museum and Art Gallery will hold a screening of GURRUMUL, a portrait of blind Indigenous musician Geoffrey Gurrumul Yunupingu, as part of NAIDOC Week.


  • The Centre for Workplace Excellence will host a public lecture “Can We Talk? Communicating About Pay” with Rutgers University HR professor Ingrid Fulmer.

  • The University of South Australia will  launch “The Department of Welcome”, an exhibition depicting the 44 Aboriginal language groups of South Australia and their words of welcome.

  • The North Adelaide Community Centre will host a NAIDOC panel and poster exhibition, curated by the City of Adelaide’s Reconciliation Officer Nicole Gollan, with panellists Uncle Lewis O’Brien, Aunty Sharon Gollan, Uncle David Rathman and Aunty Jo Willmot.


  • The Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre will host NAIDOC at Murdoch University, with Uncle Jack Charles, Derek Nannup as MC and performances by Jacob Wehr-Murphy and Vanessa Hopes (featuring Benny Woodley Jr).

  • The UWA Institute of Advanced Studies will host “Current Global Crises: towards a more humane global governance”, a public lecture by Princeton international law professor Richard Falk.