Boris Johnson Brexit house of commons Tories
(Image: UK Parliament/ Jessica Taylor)


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has confirmed he will suspend parliament at close of business today, saying he will take Britain out of the EU on October 31 with or without a deal, the ABC reports.

Parliament will be prorogued until October 14, limiting MPs’ ability to block Johnson’s Brexit plans or seize control of parliament again. Johnson is expected to call for a snap election late on Monday (again), with MPs expected to reject his demand (again). MPs have voted to force the government to publish no-deal plans and advisers’ messages, The Guardian reports. Longtime speaker John Bercow has announced he will step down by October 31, or even sooner should MPs vote for an early election.


Prime minister Scott Morrison has defended the expansion of the cashless welfare card, telling 7.30 that the limited trials had proven effective in reducing youth unemployment, while agreeing that “further improvements” might be needed. The PM added that he was “puzzled” by opposition to the Coalition’s plan to drug test welfare recipients, or to the government “trying to tackle a problem of drug addiction”.

The Daily Telegraph is reporting that those who tests positive will be eligible for as much as $65,000 worth of rehabilitation ($), an amount the government hopes will win back the support of senator Jacqui Lambie. Lambie yesterday withdrew her support for the bill less than 24 hours after declaring it.


The annual Climate of the Nation survey has found that Australians increasingly fear drought and extinctions, with growing support for net zero emissions by 2050 and a rapid phase-out of coal, The Guardian reports. The survey, which has been tracking our attitudes to climate change for more than a decade, found that most people don’t think the government is doing enough to combat climate change, with 51% saying they would support a moratorium on new coalmines.

Meanwhile, research published in the journal Climatic Change has found that extreme heat is a far greater threat for Australians than extreme cold, rebutting a 2015 study that claimed cold weather killed more people than hot in order to argue a warming world would be beneficial.


When you get your backside handed to you by Fozzie Bear and Kermit the Frog, it’s time for some serious reflection

Mark Butler

Labor’s shadow climate change minister and former president compares the Liberal Party to Muppets, as he endorses a “ruthless” review of the ALP platform.


Gender equality set to be achieved in the Senate for the first time

Students set to face new literacy and numeracy tests in VCE revamp

North East Link creates need for East West Link, warns expert

‘Spud did it all’: AFL titans pay tribute to legend Danny Frawley

North Korea willing to resume nuclear talks with US, official says

‘This is not about Setka’: Employers urge Lambie to support union bill

Big four firms in ASIC’s sights over audits ($)

Boot out non-refugees: poll ($)

Probe on water prices ($)

More homes lost as ‘nightmare’ bushfires continue in Queensland and NSW

More than climate change driving Queensland fires, explain climatologists

Aboriginal flag: Linda Burney demands government sort out ‘secret agreement’

Hong Kong journalists warn of rising police violence against them


It’s about ethics in polling journalism

“The likely explanation is Albanese did something that jarred with voters and here we can speculate with some surety. When the NSW politician became leader he avowed a change of heart on border protection and asylum seeker policy — saying he had made mistakes when supporting the push to water down Labor’s approach in the past. Last week he looked like he didn’t mean those words, instead hitching his support to the cause of the Sri Lankan Tamil family the Morrison government is trying to deport because they don’t qualify as asylum seekers. Regardless of the merits of the Sri Lankan Tamil family’s case — still to be tested in the courts — Albanese looked like was saying one thing and doing another. That’s a character matter and he ended up on the wrong side, as Newspoll demonstrated with next to no chance of error.”

How will Nine prove its independence?

“The survival of former Fairfax papers The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age as independent voices will require a ritual sacrifice from Nine if the company wants readers to believe its serious about severing its Liberal links. Both the company’s Liberal Party fundraiser and CEO Hugh Marks’ subsequent ‘apology’ — waiving off journalists’ concerns as ‘perceptions’ — suggest the company just doesn’t get the challenges the mastheads face. Nor how important their independence — both real and perceived — is for their survival in a competitive market place.”

Why the Melbourne Bike Share scheme failed

“Melbourne’s busy roads and the uncaring, even hostile, attitude of some drivers is a huge barrier to attracting casual cyclists. It’s important to understand that bike share largely relies on travellers who aren’t used to cycling in traffic; they’re easily scared off. My view is that subjective safety is a much bigger constraint on the success of bike share — and cycling more generally — in Australian cities than either the helmet law or the limited scope/scale of schemes. Even if MBS were exempted from the law and tripled in size, I still expect it would perform disappointingly.”


Set-and-forget welfare isn’t helping families like mineBen Morton (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “When drug testing was last debated in Parliament, I thought more about my feelings towards my nieces’ mother, whose addiction has at times put her into hospital intensive care, and what this policy could have meant for her. There was no drug testing for her, no intervention to provide the help that she needed. Welfare was simply set and forget. If drug testing had been in place 20 years ago, the lives of some of the members my family could have been different. There is a chance that this intervention will improve the lives of drug users and move them off drug addiction. We need to take that chance, to try this trial, and to learn from it.”

We’re not Asia’s ‘white trash’ but we must be careful ($) – Adam Creighton (The Australian): “Without migrants from Asia, Australia’s economy would slide into recession. In defending last week’s poor economic growth figures, Scott Morrison pointed to Germany and Britain, whose economies shrank in the June quarter. Ours expanded 0.5 per cent and 1.4 per cent across the year, the slowest pace since 2009. Yet their populations are growing at less than half the pace of ours. Per capita, economic output went backwards in Australia. In Germany and Britain it went forwards. It’s hardly a comparison to brag about: strip out the extra people, and we’re doing worse than both.”

Sorry, Albo. No one is buying your bleeding heart routine ($) – Renee Viellaris (The Courier-Mail): “Albanese, from the Left, has a reputation for being a good bloke, but one who can be a bleeding heart from an electorate that is very progressive. His values, generally, are too far to the Left for the majority of the Australian population. This was on show last week when his heart trumped his brain. As Opposition Leader, he should have been talking about the economy, but instead got caught up in the Biloela Tamil family who is facing deportation. In 2018 he fell into line with Shorten’s stance on turning back asylum seeker boats. But the vibe the community has about Albanese in relation to this issue is more in line about what he said in 2015 at the ALP’s national conference.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The 2019 Australian Social Policy Conference will be held at UNSW.

  • Magda Szubanski will give a speech as part of UNSW Social Sciences Week, talking about the abuse she encountered online as an advocate for marriage equality.

  • Political economist Frank Stilwell will discuss economic inequality as part of Sydney Ideas.

  • A panel of leading researchers in human rights, politics, and sociology will discuss and explore solutions to the new modes of racism emerging in the 21st century, in “Mutating Racisms”.


  • The Melbourne Press Club will host Annabel Crabb and Jamila Rizvi to discuss Crabb’s latest Quarterly Essay, “Men at Work: Australia’s Parenthood Trap”.

  • The ANU College of Asia & the Pacific will host “World on fire: Are democracy and liberalism in our region going up in smoke?” as part of its seminar series.


  • Professor Ruth Rentschler, head of the University of South Australia School of Management, will discuss the intricacies of funding through philanthropy in Australia.

  • I Am Worthmore will attempt the Guinness World Record for the “Largest Mental Health Lesson” as part of World Suicide Prevention Day.


  • The UQ School of Social Science will host the 2019 John Western Public Lecture, asking “Data analytics in the public sector — the tortoise or the hare?”

  • The Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital will host the Herston State of the Art Healthcare Symposium.