The government is under pressure to include super, the pension, and aged care changes in its retirement income review, The Age reports. Scott Morrison announced on Thursday that he was “not going to limit” the terms of the review, recommended by the Productivity Commission in January.
Liberal MPs Tim Wilson and Jason Falinski have called for a halt to planned increases in the super guarantee levy, while new Liberal senator Andrew Bragg used his maiden speech to call for superannuation to be voluntary for low-income workers (and maybe for all). Craig Kelly has called for including the family home in the pensions asset test, while others are calling for an increase in the pension minimum age. Morrison said the party’s super policy had not changed, noting that the government did not have to accept ($) all the recommendations of a review, The Australian reports.
BORIS TAKES THE STAGE
Boris Johnson has completed his first day as UK prime minister, using his first parliamentary address to call on the EU to “rethink” its refusal to negotiate the Brexit deal, threatening to leave the bloc without one should they decline.
Johnson told the House of Commons that his government would throw itself into Brexit negotiations, but revealed he had tasked former foe Michael Gove with no-deal planning, the BBC reports. European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker told Johnson the EU will not give in to his demands, saying the existing deal is “the best and only agreement possible”, The Guardian reports.
DOOR SMASHER ON LEAVE
Victorian state Labor MP Will Fowles has apologised and will go on leave with full pay as he undergoes treatment for drug and alcohol issues, following his destruction of a Canberra hotel door.
Fowles went “into a rage” at Abode hotel Thursday morning after he wasn’t able to retrieve his luggage from staff, with police called and patrons evacuated. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews told the media that Fowles, “has my full support”, with the MP reportedly being warned no more serious incidents would be tolerated.
Senior Labor sources told The Age that Fowles was previously ordered to “tone down” his behaviour following a post-election party in November, with concerns surrounding his struggle with alcohol abuse.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
The heat is now on the Clinton errand boy, and wannabe spy, Alexander Downer. The world will love to see the secret recordings of my “meeting” with him … Glorious.
The former member of Trump’s foreign policy advisory panel, who in 2017 pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI, renews his attacks on Downer, who told U.S. authorities about his email brags.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“To understand the failure of the government when it comes to suicide you first have to understand the DIY communities that exist as a response to their ineptitude. I used to run a small Facebook group called “Lavender Town Blues” where a little cadre of vulnerable people could post if they felt in need of help or, more simply, basic empathy. Group chats, meme pages, heck even D&D parties: the community has created a cornucopia of little worlds to help us navigate the minefield laid out by our minds, experiences, and (worse yet) our society and government.”
“Maybe, finally, Labor will learn its lesson on national security: no matter what it does, no matter how closely it hews to the government on national security, it will be accused by the government and by News Corp of being soft on terrorism. It has played by the rules and tried to use the PJCIS as an effective forum for addressing concerns about national security overreach, and copped plenty of grief for refusing to play the actual role of an opposition, leaving that to the Greens and the crossbenchers. Now that the PJCIS has been abandoned as a credible forum by the Coalition, Labor will have to think hard about whether to bother with it.”
“After the British Imperial Parliament passed the Australian Colonies Governing Act 1850, the newly separate New South Wales encouraged free trade, and only charged tariffs on tobacco, alcohol, sugar, tea and coffee. However, the discovery of gold in Victoria in 1851 led to an influx of wealth and population that dissipated just as quickly a decade later. To keep former miners employed locally, Victoria imposed additional import duties on clothing, millinery and leathergoods; woodenware, furniture and toys; woollen blankets and rugs; and glassware, earthenware and porcelain. Thus protected, Melbourne’s manufacturing base grew stronger than Sydney’s and the familiar contours of today’s rivalry began to take shape: free-wheeling Sydney as the finance and media capital, and protectionist Melbourne as the fashion and culture capital.”
Urgency around foreign fighters bill was dubious – David Crowe (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “The bigger questions about the foreign fighters bill are about the government’s rush, not the Labor response. The move to create new “temporary exclusion orders” was announced in November but only put to Parliament in February and then lapsed at the election. It raced through Parliament in seven sitting days, in a form at odds with the recommendations of a bipartisan committee and including sections the Law Council of Australia believes could flout the constitution. There should be no surprise at the way the government risks a breach of the constitution. Just as he has done with other bills, Peter Dutton wants the power as minister to decide the punishment for a foreign fighter, rather than leaving it to a court to rule on guilt or innocence.”
One family’s horrific story shows why the medevac regime should stay – Katharine Murphy (The Guardian): “Now, I’m sorry to have to share this story, it rattled my composure when I heard it, so I’m very aware of its power. But this story, and others like it, is the background sitting behind the effort by the crossbench in the last federal parliament to overhaul the previous medical evacuation procedures for the asylum seekers and failed asylum seekers languishing offshore; stories of illness, despair and desperation. This is a horror of Australia’s creation, part of a deliberate effort to deter would-be asylum seekers from coming here by boat. We can’t see it, because it is playing out daily in remote places far from Australia, but we are responsible – all of us – for the consequences of the harsh deterrence regime that has been established in our name.”
Boris Johnson is a huge win for Australia ($) – Julie Bishop (The Daily Telegraph): “My first meeting with Boris as counterpart Foreign Ministers began with his declaration that we needed to conclude a UK-Australia free trade agreement as soon as possible. This sent his officials into minor panic as the United Kingdom was still bound by its obligations to the EU and could not negotiate such agreements. I took this as an expression of his focus on the big picture and his desire to bring about significant change as soon as possible. His ambition and optimism will need to be founded on gritty reality in the coming months to 31 October, by which time Boris has promised to take Britain out of the EU, regardless of whether a deal has been finalised.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
- ACT Magistrates Court will hold a hearing in the East Timor bugging case, with Witness K appearing in court.
- The Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System will hold its final day of public hearings.
- Victoria Legal Aid will challenge Centrelink’s “robodebt” program in the Federal Court, with two clients, nurse Madeleine Masterton and council worker Deanna Amato.
- High school students from 19 high schools across Western Sydney will join the Australian Youth Climate Coalition to learn about climate change and share their vision for a safe and fair climate future in their communities.
- Former prime minister John Howard will celebrate his 80th birthday with a reportedly “A-list party”.
- Tamworth singer-songwriters Paddy McHugh and Andy Golledge will play at the Darwin Railway Club with Kris from The Basics.
- Campbelltown Public Library will hold a White Ribbon movie screening fundraiser, with wine and cheese and a lighthearted Australian film about a group of women in the 1950s.
- Hells Angels bikie Joshua Grant, found guilty of murder after he ambushed and bashed Mark Boyce outside his home in 2017, will appear in court for sentencing.