LABOR TO BECOME OPPOSITION PARTY
A number of Labor MPs are pushing for the party to return to more ambitious policy proposals, arguing that “the nation will have to do something” about franking credits, The Age/SMH report. Several opposition members, including Macquarie MP Susan Templeman and Moreton MP Graham Perrett, are publicly warning Anthony Albanese not to abandon Labor’s crackdown on the “unsustainable” cash handouts, arguing the policy should be modified instead of dumped.
It follows a Guardian report that members are urging the party to “show some guts” on Newstart, with Macarthur MP Mike Freelander proposing the payments be lifted from $275 to $400 a week, joining a chorus of voices calling for an increase to Newstart. The New Daily reports that the largest single group of Australians on Newstart are over-55s, defying stereoptypes of “dole bludgers” and “job snobs”.
LEAVE A LIGHT OFF
The Australian Energy Market Commission will today unveil a draft decision to introduce a demand response mechanism in the east coast electricity market, allowing the country’s biggest electricity users to get paid for reducing power demand during peak times.
The scheme, first proposed almost two decades ago, is predicted to cut electricity costs for everyone and ease the load on the grid, with AEMC chairman John Piece, saying “taking demand pressure off the power system is a substitute for generation and helps tackle rising wholesale prices at peak times”. The plan, scheduled to start in July 2022, will be subject to further rounds of public feedback, but has already been welcomed by consumer advocates, as well as state and federal governments.
A super battle is set to begin, with industry super lobbying hard against a key banking royal commission recommendation that workers be attached to a super fund for life.
The Age/SMH report that industry super is lobbying instead for an auto-rollover model, where savings are automatically transferred to a new fund each time a worker starts a new job, unless they opt to stay with their existing one. Industry super plans to release a report from KPMG finding that workers could be up to $189,000 better off by the time they retire under the auto-rollover proposal. Retail funds are reportedly backing the fund-for-life model, while Assistant Minister for Superannuation and Financial Services Jane Hume says all the recommendations have been accepted.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I’m aiming to go no longer than another 12 years
The independent MP tells Nine’s Today that he won’t complete more than another four terms.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The news is out: I sued One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts under the Common Informers (Parliamentary Disqualifications) Act and I had a bit of a win. I won $6000 and court costs. Though it will be nice for me and my wife to get an electric bike each, the money was not really the point. The most important thing was successfully using the act and winning.”
“Where there’s a law, there’s a loophole — at least, that’s the way it seems when it comes to skirting around political donation bans. In a massive middle-finger to Queensland’s recent ban on donations from property developers, the LNP has created a ‘diamond membership package’. Property developers can pay to sip on cocktails and schmooze with politicians, without it counting as a donation. And it’s not uncommon. Parties are switching to subscription and membership models where donors pay an annual fee for a number of events, which don’t need to be disclosed as donations under federal law. As states and territories create laws left, right and centre to try to crush donor influence, parties and donors keep developing ways to get around them and keep the money pouring in.”
“For all that the government may want us to focus on the failings of APRA today, there’s an elephant in the room: the Liberal Party’s long-term determination to act as agents of the major financial institutions. Having received several million dollars in donations from the financial services industry over the last decade, the Liberals did everything they could to protect it — opposing FOFA, trying to repeal FOFA, severely cutting ASIC’s budget, resisting a royal commission.”
Is the RBA selling out its independence? – John Hewson (The Age/SMH): “It makes you wonder, doesn’t it, as to what was happening here in Australia when, as an early post-election stunt, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg ‘visited’ the Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe, just as he was about to lower the cash rate. This was then followed by a two-hour meeting between Frydenberg and Lowe, which resulted in the governor suddenly softening his recent positions that had called for more infrastructure spending to support our growth, to now claiming that he agreed ‘100 per cent with the Treasurer that the Australian economy is growing’ and that our economic fundamentals are ‘strong’. Really?”
The idea of producing nuclear energy in Australia before 2040 is absurd – John Quiggin (The Guardian): “It would be a heroic endeavour to get construction started on a nuclear plant even by 2030. Getting it finished and generating electricity by 2040 is virtually impossible. Fortunately, there are alternatives, though the Industry Super report dismisses them. The combination of solar photovoltaics and battery storage is already cheaper than new coal-fired power. As a backup, Australia has huge potential for storage using pumped hydroelectricity. We don’t need to call on the phantom of nuclear power to secure a reliable, carbon-free electricity supply for the future.”
NAPLAN already passes our tests ($) – Julian Leeser (The Australian): “NAPLAN is not something that students relish. But testing people against standards is not just a part of the education system, it is a part of life. And regular standardised testing is important practice for the critical Year 12 exams ahead. If we lose NAPLAN we lose a rich source of information that parents, policymakers and many teachers are grateful for. I have seen principals in my electorate talk through the NAPLAN data with parents and carers to help explain how new programs or initiatives can help address shortcomings that the data reveals. No one is suggesting that NAPLAN should not be reviewed but a genuine review rather than a political review of NAPLAN — one guided by a desire to improve rather than replace it — should be undertaken.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Former military lawyer David McBride is listed appear at the ACT Supreme Court over leaking sensitive documents, known as the Afghan Files, to the ABC.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will deliver a speech on how her government is dealing with an environment of growing uncertainty and declining trust in government, as well as meeting with Governor Linda Dessau AC and Premier Daniel Andrews in separate meetings during the day.
Sky News host Peter Stefanovic will host a Lawyer X documentary and book launch at the Old Melbourne Gaol, featuring some of the scandal’s central figures.
Swinburne University of Technology will host a lunch to unveil new project the Australian Leadership Index, measuring public perceptions and expectations of leadership across the private, public, government and not-for-profit sectors.
Christian Brother John Laidlaw will be sentenced in the County Court, charged with sex offences against boys at Catholic schools in Melbourne and Warrnambool dating back more than 50 years.
The International Positive Psychology Association will hold its World Congress on Positive Psychology, with more than 1500 delegates from 50 countries helping communities work together to “enhance people’s lives”.
Broadway musical Come From Away, based on real-life events in the wake of the September 11 tragedy, will begin previews.
State and federal building ministers will meet to discuss dangerous cladding and insurance premiums.
Salim Mehajer will appear in the Parramatta District Court over his conviction in February for breaching an AVO taken out on his ex-wife’s behalf.
Tennis legend Evonne Goolagong Cawley will launch Tennis Australia’s national indigenous tennis carnival, to be held August 29 to September 1.
CEDA Queensland will host a panel on health, ageing and social services.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will attend a Bush Summit in Dubbo to discuss the drought.