Scott Morrison Donald Trump AUSMIN
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)


Prime Minister Scott Morrison has used a major US speech to push for trade reforms backed by the US and opposed by China. The speech rejected the idea that China deserves “developing nation” status and pushed Beijing to step up on climate change.

Speaking at the Chicago Institute of Global Affairs after three days with Donald Trump, Morrison urged China to admit it was no longer a developing economy and accept the obligations that come with being a world power, in a more direct echo of comments he first made in June. Morrison said world trade rules are “no longer fit for purpose” ($) following the rise of China, arguing they must be adapted to a new global economic order. Morrison also used the speech to suggest Australia will shift its focus to reducing plastic pollution in the south west Pacific, in what The Australian calls a “practical” green plan ($).


A new report shows a retrenched attitude toward domestic violence among rural Australians, while the family law inquiry is expected to drain vital resources from frontline services, the ABC reports.

The Young Country Women’s Perceptions of Intimate Partner Violence study found that young women living in regional areas are often apprehensive about seeking professional support and are also not equipped to recognise the early signs of violence. The report recommends more community education and training for youth workers. Meanwhile, cash-strapped women’s legal services say they will be forced to divert resources from already overburdened services if they want to participate in the family law inquiry, knowing that to abstain may result in even worse outcomes for women.

If you or someone you know has been impacted by violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit 


An investigation by The Australian into the Queensland LNP’s secretive “corporate observers” program has prompted the party to discourage its do­n­ors­ ($) from speaking to the media.

The program, under which businesses could buy meetings with federal ministers and state opposition frontbenchers, has been accused of lacking transparency, with donation declarations leaving “no way of telling what the Queensland donations were for, and which donors secured cash-for-access meetings with which politicians”. LNP head of corporate relations Michael Leighton has told companies being approached for the investigation that they are “under no obligation to engage in any way” with questions.


You’d think I’d get it a bit better, because we’ve got Wagga Wagga, Wollongong, Wallerawang, Wangaratta, Warrnambool, Woolloomooloo. So you know, Wapak, that fits right in.

Scott Morrison

The prime minister visits Wapakoneta, Ohio and struggles to pronounce its name ($).


‘How dare you’: Greta Thunberg delivers scathing speech at UN climate summit

Qantas asked to help with stranded Thomas Cook travellers

System will ‘grind to a halt’: Sydney’s focus must shift from cars to public transport, experts warn

NSW Police database unlocked: the where, when and why officers used force

NSW mining industry launches unprecedented attack on State Government ($)

Israel Folau plans shock rugby league return with Tonga, but approval yet to be granted

‘Mean-spirited’: Plan to make people with savings wait longer for welfare criticised

Angus Taylor: Josh Frydenberg backs minister’s account of grasslands meeting

Wedlock not a roadblock after ‘unfair birth’ certificate rule reversed

3AW’s Nightline program axed after nearly 50 years

Impeachment talk intensifies over Trump’s call with Ukraine president

Parliament House security asked disability advocate to remove her clothes and ‘show her belly’ 


Pauline and Jacqui: the Senate’s ultimate odd couple

“Both senators entered politics fuelled by anger. Lambie was furious at the treatment she received from Veterans’ Affairs (VA), after being discharged from the army on medical grounds and denied compensation; Pauline was just angry with a world she saw as tilted towards the less deserving. Lambie was full of vengeance, wanting to prove the VA wrong and, if she could, change the system. Hanson’s anger was fuelled by grievance, which was all too obvious in the springboard for her initial political success — a letter to The Queensland Times complaining about money spent on local Indigenous people in her adopted home of Ipswich.”

The coal workers striking for the climate

“In Newcastle, a town quite literally built on coal, Ian Hodgson was one of those men. A fitter and turner currently working at the coal-fired Bayswater Power Station, he has spent much of his working life in or around mines and now only reluctantly takes on coal-related work as a last resort. ‘I try to do anything else I can first — but sometimes I’ve just got to pay the bills.’  Ian says he is deeply concerned about the planet his children and grandchildren will inherit, and hugely frustrated by the public debate. ‘I can’t stand the way it’s made into an ‘us-versus-them’ scenario,’ Ian said, of the way some politicians frame calls for climate change action as attacks on coal communities. ‘Climate change affects all of us. You might work in a mine but you live in the world.’”

Underskilled, understaffed and gagged: how hospitals rort the nursing system

“A glaring loophole in the nurse-patient staffing model in states across Australia has allowed a number of hospitals to employ cheaper, underqualified nurses and pocket the proceeds, with some nurses warned to keep the issues under the radar and off the official incident management record. New South Wales, Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia use a Nursing Hours per Patient Day (NHPPD) staffing model instead of a direct nurse-to-patient ratio, as used in Victoria and Queensland. (South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory also use variations of the NHPPD staffing model, but haven’t reported similar issues.) The NHPPD allocates each patient a number of hours of a nurse’s time — usually between six and eight — per 24 hours of a patient’s stay. But it doesn’t define a nurse’s skillset, meaning wards are left understaffed and underskilled when hospitals go cheap.”


If world leaders choose to fail us, my generation will never forgive themGreta Thunberg (The Guardian): This is all wrong. I shouldn’t be standing here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean. Yet you all come to me for hope? How dare you! You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction. And all you can talk about is money and fairytales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! For more than 30 years the science has been crystal clear. How dare you continue to look away, and come here saying that you are doing enough, when the politics and solutions needed are still nowhere in sight.”

We know what’s wrong with the Family Court – here’s how to fix it Jenna Price (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “The government could begin to fix that today. It could begin small – fix its own notoriously poor representation of women to provide an example of what equality looks like. It could mandate quotas for men in female-dominated industries, such as childcare, aged care and health and community services. Fund research that tells us how to teach kids in childcare, primary school and upwards how to treat each other with respect and then fund the rollout of those programs, instead of dismissing those programs as queerifying young people. Everyone benefits from respect and if that includes the queer, onwards, upwards. Just those few small steps would cause a revolution in equality in this country. All this could be done if the government’s real concern was for the safety of Australian children and their parents.”

Time to up the ante on climate change strategy ($) – Graham Lloyd (The Australian): A sobering lesson from the latest UN science report on climate is not how much still needs to be done but how little has been achieved for all the effort and money already spent. Temperatures are rising and fossil fuel use is increasing with no sign of peaking. Despite the extraordinary growth in renewable energy the world overwhelmingly is powered by fossil fuels. This will continue as the yearly rise in global energy use is greater than investment in renewable energy, which has been showing signs of fatigue.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The ACTU, AIG, TWU, CPSU, AMWU will appear at a public hearing for the Inquiry into Ensuring Integrity bill.

  • The NSW ICAC inquiry into the Chinese Friends of Labor dinner will continue, with witnesses Teresa Tam and Wei Shi.

  • RBA governor Philip Lowe will make speech at the Armidale Business Chamber Dinner.

  • The Alzheimer’s Association USA International Conference Satellite Symposium will gather global dementia researchers to discuss the latest findings.


  • The first case management hearing for Vanessa Garbett v Gladys Liu and, Oliver Yates v Josh Frydenberg, with Garbett and Yates arguing that Liberal Party election signs in Mandarin deceived and misled Chinese voters.


  • Australia’s chief scientist Dr Alan Finkel will speak on the development of the national hydrogen energy plan.

  • ATO whistleblower Richard Boyle will appear in court for charge determination and plea declarations.


  • A Federal Court hearing will take place in the case of Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate v ABC.

The Gold Coast

  • Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will address Gold Coast leaders in a business brunch hosted by Moncrieff MP Angie Bell.

New York, USA

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison will attend a reception with Australian business leaders, hosted by the American-Australian Association led by former US ambassador John Berry, with Rupert Murdoch also likely to attend.

  • World leaders will attend the UN’s general assembly debate, with Morrison to attend the General Assembly welcome reception, the reception for Pacific Island leaders reception and the reception for Commonwealth nations.

Peter Fray

Fetch your first 12 weeks for $12

Here at Crikey, we saw a mighty surge in subscribers throughout 2020. Your support has been nothing short of amazing — we couldn’t have got through this year like no other without you, our readers.

If you haven’t joined us yet, fetch your first 12 weeks for $12 and start 2021 with the journalism you need to navigate whatever lies ahead.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey