closing the gap
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)


Former High Court chief justice Murray Gleeson says there is nothing to fear from an “indigenous voice” to parliament ($), The Australian reports, rejecting suggestions by opponents that the voice would constitute a “third chamber” of parliament.

Speaking at a high-powered legal symposium in Sydney, Gleeson, who was appointed chief justice by John Howard, said constitutional status was an “appropriate form of indigenous recognition”, arguing the proposal could succeed if it maintained “parliamentary ­supremacy”. Cape York Indigenous leader Noel Pearson welcomed the speech, telling the Sydney Morning Herald, “I think it was the most amazing speech I have heard on this topic, and I have heard hundreds”. Barnaby Joyce now admits he was wrong to call the voice a “third chamber”.


The Daily Telegraph’s Bush Summit yesterday settled on a 13-point action plan to protect farmers and bush towns, including improving water infrastructure, communication and health and education services for the bush.

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The Dubbo summit was attended by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Labor leader Anthony Albanese and NSW deputy premier John Barilaro, along with 350 bush delegates. The plan, which has been put to the government, is expected to launch a funding battle, with Labor confirming it would not back the $3.9 billion Future Drought Fund while it siphoned money from the national infrastructure pool. Morrison insists the fund won’t affect the rollout of roads and rail lines, The New Daily reports, saying no project within the government’s infrastructure plan will be affected.


New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has criticised Australian deportation laws, arguing the deportation of New Zealanders is having a “corrosive effect on our relationship”, The Age/SMH report.

Australia currently deports New Zealand citizens when they commit crimes attracting more than 12 months jail time, and has deported more than 1500 New Zealand citizens since the laws came into effect in 2014. Foreign minister Marise Payne told reporters in New Zealand that Australia had no intention of reviewing its policy. Arden will today raise the issue in a meeting with Scott Morrison, who was immigration minister at the time the policy was introduced, The Guardian reports. They are also expected to discuss terrorism, trade and the Pacific step-up.


That’s good news, that’s great news, more jobs. How good are jobs.

Guess who

Scott Morrison rejects calls to raise Newstart, despite urging from John Howard, Barnaby Joyce, Labor MPs, business and welfare groups.


‘It’s a joke. We can’t go on like this’: fourth block of units abandoned in Sydney

Death toll rises to 33 in arson attack on Kyoto animation studio

‘Stuck in war on drugs’, says NSW Health music festivals consultant

AFL greats wish they did more for taunted Swan Adam Goodes

Albanese bans MPs calling opponents ‘liars’

Criminal networks import ‘staggering’ amounts of ice into Australia: UN

Fed-up Lib MPs ready to call out GetUp ($)

Calls for MasterChef to axe George Calombaris over wages scandal

Sydney cladding crisis would take $1 billion to fix, strata body warns

Yang Hengjun: Australian writer detained in China expected to be charged, lawyer says

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard seizes foreign oil tanker, state TV reports

Iran makes ‘substantial’ nuclear offer in return for US lifting sanctions

Documents in Trump hush money case reveal flurry of phone calls to engineer payments

Billions of investment ready to be brought forward to boost jobs


Are lazy workers to blame for their stagnant wages?

“The gap-filling explanation of lack of worker “fluidity” is ingenious isn’t it? It gets the government completely off the hook. None of this “deliberate feature of the industrial relations system” stuff — wage stagnation is because Aussie workers won’t get off their backsides and get jobs at more productive companies. If only they were a bit more entrepreneurial, they’d have higher wages! Better yet, they’d be more productive as well — thus explaining why Australia’s labour productivity growth in recent years has slowed to halt.”

Is sex therapy covered by the NDIS?

“Given all the other forms of therapy, why was getting sex therapy approved such an ordeal? Well, according to clinical psychiatrist Matthew Yua, it’s thanks to stigma and prejudice. “People have a kind of a different attitude when it comes to sex. It’s OK to hang out with horses, study insects — but when it comes to something sexual that improves quality of life, making you physically and mentally healthier, there’s a different connotation that puts people off,” he said. Importantly, a sex therapist is not a sex worker. Sex therapists offer counselling on relationships, libido and body confidence issues — they don’t touch clients.”

Bemoaning Cursed Child’s awards snub misses the point

“The success of Counting and Cracking and Barbara and the Camp Dogs is a welcome reminder that modern Australia is a diverse place and our audiences are seeking out multi-dimensional Australian stories. We are not just waiting for the next piece of cultural cargo to wash up on our shores. These two plays in particular have been wrought from our own lived experience and their creation cannot be undervalued. Any serious industry needs an awards system like the Helpmanns. They may not be perfect, but they do provide a moment in time to shine a light on great achievements and even greater aspirations.”


Generational tax divide is real, but will take years to fixDavid Crowe (The Age/SMH): “The hard truth is that the inequities in the system cannot be fixed in this way overnight. The generational divide is real, because younger Australians can be lumbered with student debt at the same time they confront high housing prices and incur income tax, while older Australians lucky enough to own their own homes and a healthy investment portfolio can live on tax-free income. But this divide has been decades in the making and will take years to rectify. In the search for fairness, the process has to be fair as well. That should mean no lightning cash grabs that demonise the targets.”

It’s been millennials vs boomers for too long: it’s time to start blaming Generation XNick Evershed (The Guardian): “If we look at the composition of governments and who is leading countries, it’s clear that Gen X should start shouldering some of the blame. They’ve been in positions of power for a while now, and terrible thinkpieces that fan the flames of generational warfare should start to reflect this. Should Gen X be doing more to address the climate crisis even though it is largely the fault of boomers? I say yes, yes they should.”

Referendum? OK, let’s tack this on ($) – Peter Faris (The Australian): “A referendum will cost many millions of dollars, so all existing issues should be dealt with together. Quite clearly and obviously, press freedom is such an issue. There can be no doubt the Australian public would strongly support an amendment along the lines of the US first amendment. Surely Labor would agree, and bipartisan support also would guarantee its success.Such an amendment can be simple and clear. Its application can be defined and refined by the High Court. In other words, establish a general constitutional right to freedom of the press and leave it to the courts to interpret and apply it to particular cases.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The Federal Court will hold a case management hearing for former Labor MP Emma Husar who is suing BuzzFeed over an article and two social media posts.

  • Afford (the Australian Foundation for Disability) and Heroes With Abilities will launch a new, modified competition of touch football, where people with any disability.

Byron Bay

  • Splendour in the Grass will begin, with a high-visibility police operation in place targeting illegal drug use and supply, alcohol-fuelled violence and anti-social behaviour.


  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet with NZ counterpart Jacinda Ardern.

  • Over 100 Aboriginal young people and allies from across the country will rally outside Origin Energy against fracking in the Northern Territory with orange inflatable costumes and 50 bright orange #DirtyEnergy umbrellas.

  • The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will hold a public hearing  exploring community resilience.

  • Bob Hawke’s granddaughter Sophie Taylor-Price and Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie will launch Landcare’s anniversary, 30 years after being launched by then-prime minister Hawke.


  • A cafe owner will appear in the Perth Magistrates Court over selling marijuana brownies, charged with two counts of selling food that was unsuitable.


  • The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre will host the 2019 Plumbing and Gas Industry Awards, recognising the achievements of outstanding apprentices and honouring plumbers, gas fitters, and hydraulic consultants.


  • New PNG Prime Minister James Marape will visit Australia at the invitation of the Morrison government, after former PM Peter O’Neill was forced to quit in May.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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