MORE POWERS FOR DUTTON

The government will today introduce “tougher” national security legislation, giving Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton the power to strip the citizenship of dual nationals($) convicted of terrorism offences, The Australian reports.

The new ministerial decision-making model would give the Home Affairs minister alone the power to revoke citizenship, moving away from the model introduced by the Turnbull government in 2015. ­The legislation will also lower the conviction threshold for revoking citizenship from six years to three, extending the law to include terrorism offences committed as far back as 2003. 

National security legislation monitor James Renwick yesterday tabled a report to parliament, calling for the law to be replaced by a discretionary ministerial power, and arguing that automatically removing citizenship may breach international law, The Guardian reports.

ABORTION DEBATE CONTINUES

Liberal colleagues are urging NSW MP Tanya Davies to remain in the party after an amendment to ban “sex-selective” abortions was rejected by the NSW upper house ($) during debate over the state’s abortion bill.

The contentious amendment, which The Daily Telegraph calls pivotal to keeping anti-abortion forces on side” ($), failed 26-15. The upper house is considering more than 30 amendments, several of which passed last night, including one requiring women to be offered counselling when seeking a termination after 22 weeks. Davies, who has now threatened both to defect and to move a spill, is reportedly waiting to see if her “essential” amendments pass before making an announcement on her political future.

HERE WE GO AGAIN

US president Donald Trump has announced a substantial increase in sanctions on Iran, as Saudi Arabia displays what it calls “undeniable evidence” of Tehran’s involvement in the weekend attack on Saudi oil facilities.

Trump tweeted the announcement but gave little explanation of the new sanctions, believed to be related to the Saudi oil attacks, for which the US has repeatedly blamed Iran. Saudi Arabia then used a news conference to display remnants of drones and missiles used in the attack, with a defence ministry spokesman saying the attack was “unquestionably sponsored by Iran”. Iran has continued to deny involvement in the attack, with Yemen’s Houthi movement — an Iran ally — claiming responsibility.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Always review the full lyrics of songs.

Scott Morrison

The prime minister uses his Midwinter Ball speech to laugh off his first-year gaffes ($).

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Prosecutor moves to make it easier to convict in serious violence cases

Australia home to one of world’s biggest temporary migrant workforces

UN bars coal nations from stage at global emissions conference ($)

No point building new dams, says minister ($)

‘Months rather than years’: UK pins hopes on swift post-Brexit Australian trade deal

Huang Xiangmo: Chinese billionaire pulls nearly $50m out of Australia as tax office chases $140m

Energy giants warned by Angus Taylor on ‘green’ influence ($)

‘Morally right’: Qantas and Virgin bosses reject Morrison government calls to be silent on social issues

‘Seduction’ of children did little harm, said Catholic gatekeeper

Health experts warn world ‘grossly unprepared’ for future pandemics

‘Where’s the squelch?’: Coal mine drying out Greater Sydney catchment

Government has already lost hundreds of secret robo-debt appeals: Tribunal lawyer

WTO deputy says stopping trade war ‘beyond its capability’, tells Australia to fill the void

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Canberra’s political Freaky Friday

“Politicians often play against type, either for strategic reasons or because of circumstance. However, at the moment we have some serious role reversals going on in Canberra. As both sides take on the roles usually reserved for once another, both supporters and the target of all this confused signalling — business — are very much lost in translation. This morning, Labor’s Anthony Albanese, who is still working on just what his persona should be — despite more than three decades in parliament — has been cuddling up to the Business Council of Australia (BCA), a lobby group that owns the expression ‘big end of town’.”


Paradise lost: how the Jehovah’s Witnesses punish those who speak out against child sexual abuse

“Rita is just one of a growing number of whistleblowers who has learnt the true cost of speaking out against the Jehovah’s Witnesses, a global organisation so secret that documents are regularly purged and critics are dismissed as ‘mentally diseased’. Its strict policy of shunning ensures people questioning the faith are swiftly excommunicated — cut off from their close friends and even their immediate family. After finding out that Rita had reported the abuse to police, her community quickly turned on her. She was hauled before a panel of elders and made to defend her actions. ‘I just started to see this was a sick, sick cult, that had full control of its people,’ she said.”


What the Gladys Liu saga says about Australia’s cultural anxiety

“The Liu case highlights a number of anxieties for those in government, as well, not because it tells them something they did not know already, but because it reminds them of something they have long known and failed to address: unless Australia’s mainstream politicians and media are very careful, the fraught bilateral relationship with China could have deeply adverse effects on Chinese-Australians for generations to come.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

Donations gnaw at the integrity of an MPPru Goward (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “When the NSW Parliament voted to ban political donations from developers, later extended to the liquor and gaming industries, life as a Member of Parliament became so much easier. It was a huge load lifted from my conscience and I recommend the lighter-than-air feeling it left. It is absolutely true that in the end, the donor’s the one using you. Thank you for this blinding insight, Sam Dastyari. What is absolutely unbelievable is the former secretary of the most powerful and ruthless branch of the ALP in the country is only just working this out.”

‘Big stick’ shifts balance ($) – Angus Taylor (The Australian)It’s no secret that some in the business community oppose the legislation. With much of my career spent working in business, I understand the suspicion of government intervention. But this is an essential service, purchased by almost all households and businesses. Increasingly, business leaders are capit­ulating to shrill cries from political fringe-dwellers, such as those who want to rapidly shut all coal-fired power stations. Meanwhile, the interests of the quiet Australians are lost in the noise. The government’s hope is that we are already moving beyond the sharp practices of the past. New competition and supply should emerge as we remove the shocking market distortions of the past. That way the big stick can stay in the bag, then disappear in 2025.”

How can I tell my patients they’ll be fine in a nursing home? Our trust in the industry was misplaced Ranjana Srivastava (The Guardian): “When people ask me if the Australian public health system is any good, my answer is a resounding yes. When they ask me if cancer patients are well served in Australia, I can say yes, they have some of the best outcomes worldwide. But when it comes to the treatment of aged-care residents, it’s hard to say yes with confidence. One hopes that with a combination of better policy, stronger governance and greater respect for the consumer voice, cultural change will occur – but it will take a long time and we must hold the industry accountable, not losing sight of the fact that one day we will be in the place of our elders.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • The final budget outcomes for the past financial year will be released, with Australia to learn if the budget is already back in surplus.

  • CEDA will host “State of the Nation”, a two-day annual event featuring Julia Gillard, Christian Porter, Paul Fletcher, Jim Chalmers, Sally McManus, Tim Pallas, Dominic Perrottet, and Ben Wyatt

  • Energy and emissions reductions minister Angus Taylor will launch Zero-Carbon Energy for the Asia-Pacific at ANU, a four-year $10 million research effort aimed at replacing fossil fuels.

Sydney

  • NSW Health and ACT Police will give evidence in the second last day of hearings of the NSW music festival inquest.

  • The Australian Turf Club will officially launch the seven-week Everest Carnival.

  • Cirque du Soleil’s brand new white and grey Big Top will be raised.

Melbourne

  • Justice Mordy Bromberg will deliver a judgment over the deportation of the Biloela Tamil asylum seeker family.

  • The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the German Ministry of Education and Research will host the Australian-German Energy Symposium.

  • Former Health Services Union boss Kathy Jackson will appear in court, facing 166 charges, including 147 counts of obtaining financial advantage by deception.

  • Contemporary artists KAWS will unveil his largest bronze sculpture to date, and reveal his first major solo exhibition in Australia at the NGV.

Ballarat

  • Roads Minister Jaala Pulford will announce the start of safety upgrades to Sturt Street.

The Great Ocean Road

  • Great Ocean Road Regional Tourism will mark 100 years since construction began with “The Story of the Road” campaign, featuring events, pop-up cinemas, public art installations and augmented reality experiences.

Brisbane

  • The beer and cider community will gather to recognise individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding contribution to the growth of Queensland’s beer and cider industry at the 2019 Beeries.

Darwin

  • Australian Industry Defence Network NT CEO Kerryn Smith will speak on the support AIDN NT provides to Defence and Industry.

Washington DC.

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison will fly to the US for a state dinner and top-level meetings.

Peter Fray

Inoculate yourself against the spin

Get Crikey for just $1 a week and protect yourself against news that goes viral.

If you haven’t joined us yet, subscribe today to get your first 12 weeks for $12 and get the journalism you need to navigate the spin.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

JOIN NOW