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


UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been accused of using the Queen’s speech to parliament to lay out his election plans and push his Brexit agenda, the ABC reports.

Queen Elizabeth II has delivered an “unusual” speech, stating “my government’s priority has always been to secure the United Kingdom’s departure from the European Union on 31 October”, before outlining a proposed post-Brexit immigration system, criminal justice reforms, and healthcare changes. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has dismissed the speech, saying “there has never been such a ‘farce’ as a government with a majority of minus-45, and a 100% record of being defeated in the Commons, setting out a program for government.”


Opposition Senate leader Penny Wong has labelled Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Lowy Institute speech as “disturbing”, while Morrison has identified the United Nations as the institution he not-so-subtly accused of “negative globalism”, The Guardian reports.

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In a speech to the Australian Institute of International Affairs, Wong said that the PM’s speech “broke from Julie Bishop’s white paper” which planned to work multilaterally towards a rules-based order, adding, “You cannot be an isolationist and free trader.” Morrison, meanwhile, told parliament that the government rejects the UN’s calls for a more ambitious emissions reduction target, arguing that “The Australian people … supported the re-election of our government … on the basis of us going forward with a commitment to 26% reduction of emissions”.


Australia’s top universities could be helping the Chinese Communist Party develop mass surveillance and military technologies, a joint Four Corners-Background Briefing investigation has found. A number of universities have research collaborations with Chinese entities involved in Beijing’s surveillance apparatus, with security officials warning that the joint research could compromise national security.

The China Daily has used an editorial to urge Scott Morrison to “build more consensus” on China policy, following Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s “anti-China” remarks, Nine reports. The Australian, meanwhile, is accusing Labor of being “split” ($) on Beijing.



Anthony Albanese

Labor has some fun with the Coalition’s talking-points gaffe, using copies of the government’s prepared lines to play a round of Question Time bingo ($).


‘Lost ability to do basic maths’: Asylum seeker number bungle means ‘plane people’ not a record

Going underground: Federal government lobbies Andrews to sign up for airport tunnel

Fears of a broader war as Syrian army advances to border and US forces withdraw

Australia must oppose any move to extradite Julian Assange to US, Labor MP says

‘Ill-considered and ill-timed’: Labor savages Fitzgibbon over climate retreat

‘That’s not what official figures show’: Government under fire over climate claims

Catchment curb could cap benefit of ‘outrageously expensive’ dam plan

‘Business on notice’: Asic vows to use new powers to protect consumers ripped off by small print

Second woman in 50 years wins Nobel prize for economics, simplifying problem of poverty

Native title owners’ push for more negotiation rights shelved after cattle industry fights back 

ICAC-tainted Labor boss Kaila Murnain in bid to stay on ($)

Accused extremist allegedly wrote ‘Patriot’s Cookbook’ to drive terror


The amnesiacs’ interest rate inquiry

“In the perpetual present of political reportage in Australia, where no one seems to recall what happened five minutes ago, entire issues play out in perfect repetition. In the Rudd and Gillard years, when the major banks declined to pass on interest rate cuts in full — or lifted rates faster than the RBA raised them — treasurer Wayne Swan would savage the banks and urge consumers to ‘shop around’, shadow treasurer Joe Hockey would savage him for being ‘treated with contempt’ by the banks, an inquiry or two would be held and the government would unveil reforms to facilitate competition. Nearly a decade later, when banks don’t pass on interest rate cuts, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg savages the banks and urges consumers to ‘shop around’, while shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers (previously Swan’s chief of staff) says the banks are ‘thumbing their noses’.”

The media’s glaring double standard on free speech

“Of course, trolling to whip up outrage — both for and against something — is central to the business model of old media. But shrugging off the Extinction Rebellion demonstrators’ rights to freedom of expression directly undermines the demand for freedom of expression for journalists. It transforms ‘freedom of the press’ from a fundamental human right to a self-serving professional privilege. Given public attitudes to journalists, it’s impossible to build public support for change on such a narrow foundation.”

Fairweather foe: Bob Carr changes tack on Assange

“Bob Carr described Assange as ‘in trouble because he delivered on our right to know’. ‘We have an absolute right to know about American war crimes in a conflict that the Australian government of the day strongly supported — we wouldn’t know about them except for Assange,’ Carr said. That marks quite a turnaround for Carr from his position when he was foreign minister under Julia Gillard. Back then, Carr argued Assange hadn’t delivered on our right to know. In 2012, he accused Assange of releasing ‘secrets … for the sake of being released without inherent justification’. In dismissing any public interest in what Wikileaks revealed, Carr also attacked comparisons of Assange with Daniel Ellsberg. It was ‘not like Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers which revealed huge American deception, huge deception by the American government of the American public’. Too bad Ellsberg himself disagreed.


Here’s a $75 fix that would help solve Australia’s poverty problemToni Wren (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “The latest ABS unemployment numbers for August 2019 tell us more than 1.1 million Australians, or around the same number of people who live in Adelaide, are under-employed, meaning they can’t get as much work as they’d like. This is in addition to the more than 700,000 who are officially unemployed. While interest rate and tax cuts don’t seem to be boosting our flagging economy, raising Newstart by $75 a week would provide a much-needed stimulus with every dollar spent, especially in regional areas that are doing it tough in the worsening drought. This Anti-Poverty Week, raising Newstart isn’t only the right thing for our federal government to do, it’s the smart thing to do.”

Boundaries need defining ($) – Penny Wong (The Australian): “There’s no doubt Morrison is the best political tactician in Australia. He is the master of the political manoeuvre but he hasn’t delivered anything of substance because that’s not who he is. His first foray into international affairs was to try to change Australia’s longstanding, bipartisan position on Jerusalem and the Iran nuclear deal to chase votes in the Wentworth by-election. Is it enough to play short-term political tactics on something so profoundly important as the integrity of our political system or the assertion of our ­national interests — a serious and long-term plan that can proactively navigate us through the strategic competition between the US and China, and manage this new phase in our relationship with a more assertive China? Morrison has no plan for dealing with this new phase in Australia’s relations with China.”

Sydney motorists do not want a congestion tax ($) – Andrew Bushnell (The Daily Telegraph): “Around the country, various government-backed bodies have floated this idea since it was implemented in London more than 15 years ago. Yet time after time, governments continue to reject it. This time, the New South Wales and Victorian governments, coming from either side of the political aisle, both rejected the idea immediately. And for good reasons. A congestion tax hits the least wealthy hardest. The suburban working-class would be forced either to pay extra to get to work or to cram themselves into unreliable, already full trains. Or take the bus, gazing out the window at the people who were able to afford the new tax. Car commuters may be more likely to have above-average incomes, but this will be no consolation to those working-class people who are priced out of their preferred mode of travel.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt will present the 2019 Wilson Dialogue at ANU, exploring important themes in Indigenous public policy, capability and leadership.


  • A case management hearing will be held for First Peoples of the Millewa-Mallee v State of Victoria.

  • The Victorian Homelessness Conference will hold a session on the NDIS and homelessness, with people with a disability who are homeless struggling to access the NDIS.

  • Think Pink Foundation and Mirvac will release plans, and tour the site, for the Think Pink Living Centre to be established on the ground floor of a residential towers in the Docklands.

  • Telstra will hold its annual general meeting.

  • American diplomat Nicholas Burns, the Lowy Institute’s 2019 Rothschild & Co Distinguished International Fellow, will give a speech on restoring American leadership.


  • Accused Sydney CBD stabber Mert Ney will appear in court  for a brief status committal hearing.

  • The Australian Federal Police and Anti-Slavery Australia will hold a press conference to discuss the launch of a new forced marriage awareness and prevention initiative.


  • The Australian Nickel Conference will begin, with speakers including BHP Nickel West asset president Eduard Haegel.


  • Wesley LifeForce, a leading advocate for suicide prevention, will host a Suicide Memorial Service.


  • Deborah Cheetham AO will deliver the 2019 Paula and Tony Kinnane Annual Lecture, discussing her symbolic work, which marks a significant step in Australia’s journey of reconciliation.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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