robo-debt centrelink
(Image: AAP/Julian Smith)


The Morrison government wants to revive plans to drug test dole recipients, despite the idea being rejected twice by the Senate and condemned by more than 40 welfare groups, the Nine papers report.

The new bill aims to establish a two-year trial, drug-testing 5000 Newstart and Youth Allowance recipients in Logan, Canterbury Bankstown and Mandurah. The government has dumped previous plans to charge those who test positive, acknowledging concerns it would act as a punitive measure, but would quarantine payments onto a cashless debit card if recipients test positive for illicit substances. The policy will be reintroduced when parliament resumes next week, and will require the support of four of the six Senate crossbenchers.


Boris Johnson will make a second attempt to call an election next week, after the House of Lords agreed to push through the bill preventing a no-deal Brexit, The Guardian reports. The government, which yesterday failed to secure the two-thirds majority needed to trigger a snap election, believes it can resubmit the motion on Monday, after the no-deal bill has been made law, daring Labour to back it. There are divisions within Labour as to whether to support an election before an extension has been secured with the EU.

The PM’s brother Jo “JoJo” Johnson has resigned from the government, saying he could not reconcile the national interest with family loyalty, and joining a flood of Tory resignations. Johnson later gave a “rambling speech” in front of a group of police, saying he would rather “die in a ditch” than delay Brexit.


Attorney General and Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter may be prepared to give up some ministerial power in order to pass his union-busting bill, the Nine papers report.

Porter, who is currently negotiating with the crossbench over the law, said he was open to making “reasonable changes” to the Ensuring Integrity Bill, indicating he may give up the power to deregister unions and disqualify officials if it means passing the bill. Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick has demanded the provision be removed, with Dyson Heydon’s royal commission report recommending that only the Registered Organisation Commission hold such a power. 


We decided that [Water Minister] David Littleproud is full of you know what, and he is doing nothing about the Basin Plan.

Jan Beer

A Murray-Darling Basin Plan protest organiser slams the government over its failure to act, as angry farmers threw an effigy of the minister sitting on the toilet into the river.


Deportation costs to be waived for Tamil family if they agree to leave Australia

Julie Bishop defends her private sector positions since quitting politics

Neurosurgeon Charlie Teo rejects claims of inappropriate behaviour

Chinese billionaire denies link to $100,000 NSW Labor donation

A third of the prison population has Hepatitis C, ice inquiry hears

Cash rate tipped to drop to 0.25% amid claims RBA’s job is getting tougher

‘Conflicted’: warning on big four auditors ($)

Dutton to warn of evolving cyber threat to transport and power ($)

Melbourne airport chief says dedicated line only route for fast airport train

‘It’s time’: Solomon Islands’ diplomatic switch to China imminent

Loch Ness ‘monster’ could be large eel, say scientists


Yang and Assange show Australia’s glaring double standard

“Yang and Assange are Australian citizens imprisoned under troublesome conditions. Each is to be charged with espionage yet denied the means of preparing their defence. Both are denounced by powerful states, threatened with years of imprisonment and possible death. And yet there hasn’t been a peep from our government — or mainstream journalists, for that matter — on Assange.”

What Brexit options remain for a beleaguered Boris?

“That leaves Johnson with the tempting possibility of simply ignoring the withdrawal delay, and arguing that the parliament does not and never had jurisdiction over executive action with regard to a treaty. That would, in turn, prompt a no-confidence motion, or a very specific motion to prevent executive action, in the days before a crash-out, up to a direct petition to the Queen to sack Johnson immediately and install a PM whose executive actions would reflect the expressed will of a parliamentary majority.”

How do you get a whole country back to the shops?

“One part of the solution could be lifting Newstart, recipients of which are highly likely to spend the money they receive thereby supporting the economy. That’s another example of the kind of circuit breaker we need; one that will create good ripples, to flow through the consumer economy, from shoppers to business owners, and then back again.”


Let’s cool it on the anti-China hysteriaKevin Rudds (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “The most important thing about Australia having a national China strategy is to have one. At present, we do not. What we have instead is a government with a series of attitudes about China, rather than a coherent policy for dealing with China. We seem to have a government more interested in fanning public hysteria over ‘’reds under the beds’, almost a new yellow peril, all suddenly requiring the Australian people to stand up against the Chinese hordes. It has taken what is a three-out-of-10 challenge to Australian national interests and values and turned it into a nine-out-of-10 existential threat.”

Is Hong Kong’s proposal to withdraw Extradition Bill a ruse? ($) – Brian Marlow (The Daily Telegraph): “The people of Hong Kong know that any backward step by Carrie Lam must be part of a longer term goal to wait out the West. The CCP think in much longer terms than our Western counterparts who only ever have the next election cycle in mind. For the sake of Hong Kong and for the sake of democracy in South East Asia, let’s hope US politicians are able to see through Carrie Lam’s facade.”

First Nations inclusion in the music business should be more than tokenism Neil Morris (The Guardian): “Some play the quotas game. Splendour in the Grass, promoted by Triple J and other heavyweight media platforms as Australia’s foremost music festival, had two First Nation acts this year on primary stages. Neither was on the main stage. Did they perceive this as adequate representation? Triple J as a major music broadcaster with around 168 hours per week has not through all its activities been able to find a slot of one hour per week to dedicate to First Nations music.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Today makes the 23rd annual White Balloon Day, Australia’s largest and longest running campaign dedicated to preventing child sexual assault.


  • A Federal Court hearing will rule on the Tamil asylum seeker family facing deportation, with protesters gathering outside the court ahead of the hearing.

  • The Federal Court will hold a case management hearing for test cases against Centrelink’s automated robodebt program.

  • The first case management hearing will take place in the matter between Metro Trains and the Australian Rail, Tram and Bus union, with the union claiming Metro Trains has underpaid workers by $1 million in wages.

Shepparton, Victoria

  • The County Court will sentence Savas Avan, accused of sending suspicious packages to embassies and consulates across Melbourne, Canberra and Sydney.


  • Brisbane Festival will begin, running until September 28.

  • The Supreme Court will hear the defamation trial Wagner family v Nine Network, over coverage imputing the family caused the Grantham floods.

  • Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Minister Alan Tudge will deliver the keynote address at the Infrastructure Association of Queensland lunch.

The Gold Coast

  • Charity motoring event The Variety Bash will wrap up its wacky 10-day road trip.


  • ALP national president Wayne Swan will launch Adrian Pabst’s new book, “Story of Our Country: Labor’s vision for Australia”, outlining the threats faced by centre-left parties here and around the world.

  • A formation of C-130J Hercules transport aircraft will fly over Sydney and the western suburbs to celebrate 20 years of service with the Air Force.

  • The Sydney Crime Writers Festival will include speakers Val McDermid, former NSW detective Gary Jubelin, Michael Robotham and Kate McClymont, with the Ned Kelly Awards to be announced at The Tramsheds.

  • Member for Warringah Zali Steggall, Northern Beaches mayor Michael Regan, and Landcare ambassador Sophie Taylor-Price will celebrate Landcare Week by participating in a community tree-planting.