Scott Morrison
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)

MORRISON SILENCES VOICE

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has shut down the idea of enshrining an Indigenous voice to parliament in the constitution in any upcoming referendum, The Age reports.

The Coalition party room is split over how far recognition should go, with a vocal set of conservatives promising to campaign fiercely against what they have contentiously claimed would be a “third chamber” of parliament. Morrison urged Liberal and National MPs to pursue recognition without supporting all recommendations in the Uluru Statement from the Heart.

Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt told Nine papers that he wanted “all options” to remain on the table. Moderate Coalition MPs say they will “walk with Ken”, The Guardian reports, urging their colleagues to allow the process to move forward before rushing in with concerns.

THE LOWE ROAD

Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe has played down warnings for the economy after meeting with treasurer Josh Frydenberg, saying Australia’s “fundamentals are strong”, The Guardian reports.

Lowe, who has been calling for the government to do more to stimulate the economy rather than just relying on interest rate cuts, said he agreed with Frydenberg’s assessment “100%”. He reframed his calls as an attempt to ensure “Australia remains a great place for businesses to expand, innovate, invest and employ people”.

One of Australia’s leading demographers, Peter McDonald, has told the ABC that the government’s budget forecasts are relying on overestimated population growth and underestimated international student departures out to 2022.

PAUSE IN SETKA STOUSH

The Labor Party has agreed to delay its plans to push John Setka from the party as the Victorian Supreme Court considers an injunction request to prevent his expulsion, the ABC reports.

Anthony Albanese has vowed to expel Setka at an upcoming national executive meeting, but Geoffrey Kennett SC argued in court that the national executive did not have the power to expel him because it was a matter for the state branch. Counsel for Labor gave an undertaking not to act until the court made its decision, with Justice Peter Riordan saying the complexity of the case meant he could not make a ruling before Monday’s meeting. The legal challenge may drag on for months, and may even end up in the High Court.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Be better than North Korea.

Amal Clooney 

The UK’s first Special Envoy on Media Freedom warns Australia about press freedom at the inaugural Defend Media Freedom conference in London.

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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Can Australian companies escape doing deals with dictators?

“Slavery, rape, murder, torture. These are some of the words used by the United Nations in 2016 to describe life inside one of the world’s most repressive states, Eritrea, in the Horn of Africa. Often referred to as the ‘North Korea of Africa’, the country has never held an election since its independence in 1993, and has no free media or independent judiciary. More chillingly, the report by the UN accused its government of committing crimes against its people, which include forcing them to work indefinitely as part of a brutal military conscription program the UN says has enslaved up to 400,000 people. But there’s one Australian company that instead sees Eritrea as the land of opportunity, describing a proposed mine in its Danakil valley — one of the hottest, driest and lowest places on the planet — as one of the most ‘exciting projects in the world’.”


Anti-recognition forces marshall within the government

“Concerns about a ‘third chamber’, identity politics or any other line peddled by opponents are a cover for the real agenda of defeating Indigenous recognition altogether, or confining it to a meaningless, and insulting, constitutional footnote that Indigenous Australians will rightly reject. But as the climate and energy debates have illustrated, even a small number of denialists within the Coalition can stymie action by threatening mayhem. Another lost decade on another crucial issue looms unless Wyatt, backed by his prime minister, can find a route around the denialists.”


Visitors to Australia’s onshore detention centres speak out

“As of May 31, 2019 — the most recent data available — there were 1270 people in onshore immigration detention. The average period of time people are held in detention is 503 days. One sad story highlighted recently is that of Tamil refugee Sivaguru Navanitharasa, who has spent close to 10 years in immigration detention after fleeing Sri Lanka. In our interviews, we heard stories about people detained in the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation facility being made to wear handcuffs to be escorted for medical treatment outside the centre. The humiliation associated with this meant that some people declined to seek treatment.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

Treaty when? Dodson warns of betrayal and airbrushing of Indigenous ambition Pat Dodson (The Age/SMH): The time has come to say enough is enough. We must stand up, put our faith in the Australian people and work diligently to achieve the real objectives. We have the alternative of sitting on our hands as an option adding nothing and preserving the status quo. That’s not acceptable. We either deliver the Uluru Statement from the Heart in full or continue down the failed path of soft reconciliation measures – making white folks feel like they are doing something good for blackfellas and yet doing nothing to heal the nation’s wounds and achieving unity and respect.”

Morrison must think hard about our Pacific plays ($) – Michael Fullilove and Herve Lemahieu  (The Australian): Conventional wisdom holds that third countries will become collateral damage in a Thucydidean struggle between superpowers. Yet middle powers are proving to be agile actors in managing the ups and downs of US-China competition. The case of Huawei shows that smaller powers already have significant leverage between two gridlocked superpowers over which side will dominate the next generation of technology and globalisation. The biggest overachievers in the index are middle players with the chutzpah to co-ordinate their shared interests. Japan, in particular, has become a real leader in Asia by finishing second for diplomatic influence, ahead of Washington and behind only Beijing. Maintaining an inclusive multilateral architecture — including via the Trans-Pacific Partnership minus the US — has become the organising principle of Shinzo Abe’s foreign policy.”

I hate drugs, but teenagers are dying while we maintain a supposed moral veneer Van Badham (The Guardian): I hate drugs, with the passion that comes from the lived experience of seeing the damage they can wreak. The dead friends, the broken bodies, smashed lives, wasted potential. I understand the fear and anxiety provoked by the very existence of the substances, the chaos of their effects, and their risk. I also understand that listening to a stoned person offer political insights for an entire 10 minutes can motivate a desire to destroy all the weed in the universe. But maybe – just maybe – emotive, individual instincts aren’t a sound basis for public policy.”

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

National

  • 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

Brisbane

  • The LNP will hold its annual convention, with reports from local, state and federal leaders. State leader Deb Frecklington will give her report on Friday, with the PM and deputy PM to give their reports on Saturday.

Melbourne

  • Thirty seven vegan activists who took part in a protest that blocked part of Flinders and Swanston streets during peak hour in April will appear in the Magistrates Court.

  • Robert Claffey, a paedophile priest who this week admitted to abusing two more boys in the 1980s at Ballarat, will be further sentenced in the Victorian County Court. He has already been sentenced to 18 years and 4 months for offending either side of these incidents.

Sydney

  • ABC journalist Leigh Sales will interview NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian at the annual Corporate Club Australia Business Lunch.