PAYNE APPEAL

Foreign Minister Marise Payne has appealed directly ($) to her ­Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif for the release of three Australians detained in a Tehran jail, The Australian reports.

Payne said yesterday that she had communicated with Iran’s foreign minister “many times” about the cases, “including through face-to-face meetings”. The trio includes travel-blogging couple Jolie King and Mark Firkin, arrested for flying a drone near a military ­installation, and an unnamed female academic, who has ­reportedly been sentenced to 10 years’ jail for espionage. The prison in which they are believed to be held houses around 1500 political dissidents, and has been described by prisoners as “solitary cells with no windows, ventilation and lavatory”, The New Daily reports.

NASHIES CASHLESS PUSH

Nationals MPs are urging their party to support an Australia-wide rollout of the cashless welfare card for recipients under 35, as well as an inquiry into the adequacy of the welfare system, the Nine papers report.

The Nationals’ Federal Council will this weekend consider a motion calling on the government to expand the cashless debit card to anyone under 35 who receives the dole or parenting payments, in order to “reduce social harm caused by welfare-fuelled alcohol and drug abuse”. Another motion being considered calls on the government to support an inquiry into whether Australians on welfare can “meet their basic needs”, but stops short of calling for an increase to Newstart. Addiction specialists have told The New Daily that welfare drug testing does more harm than good, and could see users turn to more harmful substances or crime.

LIU SCANDAL CONTINUES

Besieged Liberal MP Gladys Liu did not declare links to Chinese government-affiliated organisations on her preselection forms, and failed to declare a 2015 donation to the Liberal Party ($).

The ABC has obtained the form Liu submitted during her Liberal preselection, showing that she failed to disclose her former memberships as required. The Herald Sun reports that Liu also failed to file a return to the AEC for a $39,675 donation made in 2015-16, her second such donor omission. Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who yesterday accused those questioning Lui of a “smear” with a “very grubby undertone”, has attracted the ire of conservatives including Sky News host Andrew Bolt.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

This is what the Greens want to see happen — baby pigs drowning in effluent.

Sam McMahon

The NT Nationals senator accused “smelly, hairy” Greenies of wanting to hurt animals, saying one farm invasion had led to the death of piglets, during yesterday’s farm trespass laws debate.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Impeachment inquiry of Trump intensifies as judiciary panel adopts new procedures

Scientists warn UN: We’re pushing our planet to the very brink of doom

Morrison reads riot act to big business over workers ($)

Frydenberg joins G20 warning on US-China ‘war’ ($)

Gender law repeal bid ‘highly likely’ after power shift ($)

Boris denies lying to the Queen as Northern Ireland’s top court rejects no-deal challenge

‘A bad year’: Victoria’s bushfire threat looms large

Google pays France over $1.6 billion in tax fraud case

Nauru ‘not appropriate’ for children: Australian Human Rights Commission

Long-awaited koala habitat map aimed at curbing habitat destruction

NSW plan to remap old-growth forests put on hold amid supply probe

‘I believe in climate science’: Australian natural disasters minister’s complete about face

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

The turmoils of Gladys Liu

“Ultimately, while her situation is in part a muddled intersection between genuine concerns about Chinese government influence and mundane ‘yellow peril; xenophobia, there’s an actual question at its root regarding the integrity of the Australian parliament. Our constitution retains some anachronistic rules about who is or isn’t eligible to sit in parliament, exposed in recent years by serial section 44 cases over dual citizenship and pecuniary interests. However, there is a ground for expulsion that has never been successfully invoked but could come into play if Liu’s story isn’t adequately clarified. Section 44 disqualifies from parliament, in addition to foreign citizens, anyone who is ‘under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power’. Call it the foreign agent provision.”


Compensation claims against Jehovah’s Witnesses could be jeopardised: lawyer

“An order by the Jehovah’s Witnesses in Australia to destroy confidential records could undermine a child abuse compensation claim currently being prepared for the Supreme Court of Victoria. A lawyer representing the victim says she was shocked to learn that the Christian body had ordered confidential documents, including notes taken by elders investigating child sexual abuse, to be destroyed.  ‘These are the sorts of documents that are required by la

DROUGHT INCOMING

Parts of regional NSW could run out of water by November, with projections from WaterNSW warning of worst-case scenarios if there’s no rain or government intervention, The Guardian reports.

Dubbo, Cobar, Nyngan and Narromine are expected to be the first towns to lose water supply, with the Macquarie River forecast to soon run dry. NSW Water Minister Melinda Pavey has described the situation as “critical”, saying the government is doing “everything humanly possible” to get the state through the drought. Deputy premier John Barilaro is calling for a “line in the sand moment”, suggesting NSW should sacrifice a surplus and limit community consultation ($) to build dams faster, The Daily Telegraph reports.

FOREIGN INFLUENCE SCARE CONTINUES

NSW Labor MLC Shaoquett Moselmane hired a staffer who once completed a propaganda training course in Beijing, The Sydney Morning Herald is reporting. Moselmane, who has taken nine privately-funded trips to China since entering parliament in 2009, recently hired John Zhang, who in 2013 completed a propaganda training course run by a branch of the Chinese State Council targeted at overseas Chinese community leaders.

MPs have scaled back the China junkets ($) amid concerns over foreign influence, The Australian reports. An audit of MPs’ sponsored travel between 2016 and now showed a significant drop in visits to China, with parliamentarians continuing to accept internationally funded “study tours” paid for by other foreign governments, including Taiwan, Qatar, Kuwait, Morocco and Azerbaijan.

NATIONAL PRIORITIES

The Nationals have passed a motion in support of a national rollout of the cashless debit card for welfare recipients under 35, as well as restrictions on the labelling of non-dairy milk, The Guardian reports.

A meeting of the Nationals’ federal council on Saturday passed a motion calling on the Morrison government to pursue increasing welfare payments while also voting to expand the cashless debit card. The council also voted to lobby the federal government to change labelling requirements on vegan food, preventing soy milk and almond milk from being branded as milk. Former leader Barnaby Joyce auctioned off a lump of coal, which sold for $800, The New Daily notes.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

You don’t have to be a Catholic, you don’t have to be a Christian … you don’t have to believe in anything other than the basic decency of every other human being to think that we should never have infanticide on demand.

Tony Abbott

Speaking at an anti-abortion rally in Sydney, the former prime minister says that the NSW decriminalisation bill is “effectively infanticide on demand”.

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Emergency warnings for NT bushfires downgraded

Boating tragedy in India’s Andhra Pradesh state kills 12, with 35 missing

Gladys Liu declines to explain her part in mysterious $105,000 donation

Labor flags complete overhaul of climate policy

Hong Kong protesters sing God Save the Queen and call on Britain to back them against Beijing

Julie Bishop offers to help with Iranian negotiations to free detained Australians

Berejiklian’s agenda risks getting stuck in legislative ‘graveyard’: MPs

Victoria’s chief commissioner investigated over alleged failure on bullying

End activist campaigns, CEOs warned ($)

US points finger at Iran over Saudi oil drone attack that could cause energy prices to spike

EU officials reject Boris Johnson claim of ‘huge progress’ in talks

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Porter elbows out Frydenberg to become Morrison’s most likely successor

“Where Porter’s ability is best seen is in his role as the government’s chief parliamentary tactician, the leader of the house. His score against his Labor counterpart, Tony Burke, is entirely lopsided, as his mastery of standing orders demonstrated during this week’s intense battle over Victorian Liberal backbencher Gladys Liu’s interviewing skills, political doings and fundraising. Even in this matter, Porter showed he was able to go on the attack without stepping in the bear traps all over the place. When Porter had to shut down a Labor move to debate the Liu matter, he used Liberal Party history for protection and ammunition.”


A nice lie down: on news exhaustion and rehabilitation

“People who previously lived and breathed politics and news reported a dramatic change. In the last few months, it seems progressives especially (though not exclusively) have been feeling helpless and lied to, and are taking a break for their own mental health. It was a good reminder that one of the best uses of social media is to grapple with the power of mainstream media. But it’s not just Twitter reacts that have given me pause. The reason I sent the tweet had a commercial interest. As an editor of Crikey, I had watched the audience numbers plummet on political content after May 19. All news outlets experience ups and downs, but suddenly it seemed nobody wanted to read hot takes on Scott Morrison’s latest announcement or an explainer on what tax cuts really mean.”


Welcome to the new normal: partisan government advertising all year round

“Andrew Hughes, a lecturer at the College of Business & Economics at Australian National University said that as the use of departments for politicised advertising was a bipartisan pursuit, it was unsurprising the campaign passed the legal framework, even if it failed the ‘reasonable person test’. ‘And you know what will happen, as soon as Labor get in, we’ll see the same thing from them, they’ll say “the Libs have had their turn, and now it’s ours”,’ he said. ‘So as much as I’d like to see reform in this area, I won’t hold my breath, because it benefits both parties to have it this way.’”

THE COMMENTARIAT

Why going green is the best way to fire up Australia’s economyRosalind Dixon and Richard Holden  (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald):  “We have suggested before that one way to address the problem of shovel readiness is with “green stimulus”. This would involve Treasury working with the states to compile a list of significant environmental expenditures — from tree planting to waterway clean-ups, and cycle-path construction to dune repair — that could be implemented quickly when fiscal stimulus is needed. The difficulty Australia faces, however, is that we have not done much of the planning to roll-out a full-scale green stimulus package of this kind. There may still be time for federal and state governments to develop such a plan. But in the meantime, the emphasis should be on finding projects that are socially worthwhile and shovel ready. That means prioritising green projects that can get done well and fast, not that are necessarily the best long-term investments. The hope, if the economy turns around, is that we will then have both the time and money needed to plan those projects.”

It’s not racist to call out politicians over their links to foreign interests ($) – Chris Mitchell (The Australian): “Some journalists remembered the importance of facts over feelings. The AFR on Friday reported the Chinese donor alleged to be at the centre of the Aldi bag $100,000 donation, Huang Xiangmo, had given $20,000 to the 2016 Liberal campaign of Michael Sukkar in the federal seat of Deakin. Liu played a role in Sukkar’s campaign. The Herald Sun reported Liu had failed to declare to the Electoral Commission a $39,675 donation made in 2015-16 and had links with a group that in 2016 held a rally against The Hague’s decision to block China’s territorial claims in the South China Sea. No wonder she did not answer Bolt on the issue. Hastie has nailed it: Xi’s view of the future is one where capitalism will be eclipsed and ‘the consolidation of and development of the socialist system will require its own long period of history … it will require the tireless struggle of generations …’ The media does not yet know the truth about Liu’s involvement with Beijing. Its duty is to find that truth and ignore undergraduate cries of racism.”

From Manus Island to Port Moresby ($) – Shaminda Kanapathi (The Saturday Paper): “I feel broken seeing these men – whom I came to know as my brothers on Manus – in this state. I cannot process what I am seeing or the inhuman treatment of innocent vulnerable people that has caused such an unwinding in them. When these men first attempted to come to Australia, when they arrived on Christmas Island, they were young, strong, active and healthy. Even in the early stages on Manus they tried to remain involved in activities and sport. Now, after going through all the hardships of this never-ending torture of medical neglect, forced transfers, the powerlessness and dehumanisation of arbitrary indefinite detention, they have been completely worn down. They are broken men.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Nationwide

  • Dementia Australia will launch Dementia Action Week, a nationwide awareness-raising campaign. A launch event will be held at the Sydney Opera House, including a panel discussion with Ita Buttrose, Maggie Beer, Shaynna Blaze and Phil Hazell.

Melbourne

  • Olivia Newton-John will speak with Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre executive director Professor Grant McArthur at the VCCC’s research conference 2019.

  • Voting will open for the First Peoples’ Assembly of Victoria, with the assembly to replace the Treaty Advancement Commission and work with the government to prepare for negotiations.

  • Henry Hammond will appear in court for a committal mention, charged with murdering Courtney Herron in Royal Park on May 25.

Sydney

  • World-leading researchers will discuss the role that inflammation plays in human health and disease at the 14th World Congress on Inflammation.

Darwin, Alice Springs

  • Prince Edward will attend events in Alice Springs and Darwin to celebrate 60 years of the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Australia.

Brisbane

  • The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will hold its first public sitting.

Adelaide

  • Flinders Automotive Solar Team will launch Investigator Mark III solar car ahead of the World Solar Challenge.

w to hand over, so if they’re being destroyed, it’s incredible,’ Dr Judy Courtin told INQ. ‘Such evidence can be critical to whether a case gets up or not … It could be critical to the whole case.’”


How The Australian has run a Holy War on trans youth

“Bernard Lane has led the charge in this Holy War. Four experts have been key to his reporting. The Australian refers to them as ‘clinicians’ but one (Dr Geoff Holloway) is actually a health sociologist who describes himself as ‘pro-radical feminism’. He was, at the time, joined by paediatrics professor and former deputy president of Fred Nile’s Christian Democratic Party John Whitehall, developmental psychologist Dianna Kenny, and paediatrician and 2019 Senior Australian of the Year Dr Suzanne Packer. Kenny has compared ‘transgenderism’ to other ‘solipsistic disorders’ like anorexia, plastic surgery addiction or a rare ‘alien limb’ illness. Whitehall has admitted to supporting conversion therapy (a practice widely condemned by child welfare advocates), and having never treated transgender patients before.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

I can’t make John Setka stand aside. But I think he shouldJacquie Lambie (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald):  “John, your leadership is harming the reputation of what it means to be a union member in this country – that’s union officials saying that. And you’ve been asked by the two most senior union officials in Australia to step aside, more than once. And you’re ignoring them. You’re undermining the reputation of the membership, and you’re undermining the authority of the leadership. You’re doing more damage to the Australian union movement than anybody sitting on the Coalition frontbench. And what’s more, you’re helping the Coalition stay in government.”

Trust, transparency and G20 trade rules hold key ($) – Finance ministers Josh Frydenberg, Heng Swee Keat (Singapore), Sri Mulyani Indrawati (Indonesia), and Bill Morneau (Canada) (The Australian): “Uncertainty over the outlook is contributing to a slowdown in trade and manufacturing activity. We have seen a return of financial market volatility, currency instability and decreased capital flows to emerging economies. Dampened global trade conditions are affecting investor confidence, business investment and produc­tivity. Growth has slowed and risks remain tilted to the downside. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund continue to revise down economic growth forecasts. Collectively, we need to take steps to reverse this course. We need to champion the rules-based multilateral system. While respecting each country’s domestic priorities, we should be clear that protecting free and open markets will ensure stronger growth and greater prosperity for all.”

No news is not good news for Prime Minister Scott Morrison ($) – John Rolfe (The Daily Telegraph): “Since becoming The Daily Telegraph’s national political editor three weeks ago, I’ve had the chance to sit down with several Cabinet ministers. One proposed we do a story about how Labor was yet to dump a particular policy it took to the election. I thought that was a bit odd. The minister didn’t seem to understand people might be more inter­ested in the plans of the government they just re-elected than what the mob they didn’t elect isn’t going to do.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • The Witness K case will return to court.

  • The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) will appear at a Parliamentary Joint Committee on Corporations and Financial Services public hearing.

  • The official investiture of Australian honours recipients will take place at Government House, with Hugh Jackman to collect his Order of Australia.

Queensland

  • The PM will be visit the Gold Coast and Binna Burra Lodge to see some of the fire damage, before paying a visit to the staging site and command centre at Canungra Showgrounds.

Melbourne

  • The Aged Care Royal Commission will hold a public hearing into younger people in residential aged care.

  • The inquest into the death of Yorta Yorta woman Tanya Day in police custody will continue, with Vic Police superintendent Sue Thomas to give evidence, and Day’s family to give a statement.

  • Swiss Canyoning Disaster survivor Tiffany Johnson, will launch her book Brave Enough Now, with special guest MC Georgia Comensali and MPs Tim Richardson and Mark Dreyfus to be there.

  • Adani Mining CEO Lucas Dow will speak at a CEDA event.

Adelaide

  • Domenic Perre will face court, accused of the 1994 NCA building bombing, which killed a police officer and seriously injured a lawyer.

  • The Supreme Court will rule on whether the APY Lands are subject to the Freedom of Information Act, after former MP Dr Duncan McFetridge tried to access the details of general manager Richard King.

Sydney

  • Prince Edward will be joined by prominent Australians such as Jack Thompson, Dawn Fraser, Layne Beachley, Kirk Pengilly, David Campbell and Eddie Woo to present almost 400 young people with The Duke of Edinburgh’s International Gold Awards.

Darwin

  • The Australia China Business Council NT will host a working lunch with Australian Consul General to Shanghai Dominic Trindade.

  • The National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Workers Association will hold a one day networking and professional development workshop.

Brisbane

  • Brisbane Eco Expo 2019, Australia’s largest sustainability exhibition open to the public, will begin, with free workshops, cooking demos and seminars running all weekend.