house prices
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)


The government has unveiled details of its first-home buyers scheme, aimed at helping buyers on low and middle incomes enter the market with a deposit as little as 5%, the ABC reports.

The scheme, first announced during the May election campaign, will be available to 10,000 buyers each year on a “first-in, best-dressed” basis. The loan guarantee will apply to properties worth up to $700,000 in Sydney, $600,000 in Melbourne, and less across the rest of the country. The price caps are lower than the median house prices in each area, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann telling Sky News “It’s really focused on helping first home buyers buy a modest first home.”


Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, one of the world’s most-wanted terrorists, has been killed in a US-led raid on his Syrian safe-house. The operation is being called a “major victory” for besieged US President Donald Trump.

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The two-hour operation took place at the building where Baghdadi was sheltering with his family and associates in the province of Idlib, one of the few areas of the country still outside Syrian regime control. Donald Trump confirmed the death on Sunday morning US time, claiming that the operation was bigger than the Obama-sanctioned raid that killed Osama bin Laden.


The government will today unveil a $102 million plan to slash power costs by upgrading the technology connecting the east coast power grids, Nine reports. The federal and NSW governments will jointly underwrite the first stage of upgrades to the Queensland-NSW transmission link, delivering an extra 190 megawatts of capacity during peak periods to protect against blackouts and work to lower wholesale energy costs. It’s unclear how much prices would fall for the average household, with the government unable to provide figures. 

Meanwhile, Australia’s carbon emissions are flattening out but not enough, with emissions predicted to edge higher in the final quarter of the 2018-19 financial year.


The National Party at its finest.

Matt Canavan

The LNP senator tries to put a positive spin on a month of infighting and leaks, telling Insiders “this is what our members do”.


Police given shoot to kill powers under new pursuit policy

Melbourne Uni head warned arts faculty ‘toxic’: top academic 

Victim of brutal police raid breaks silence, demands reform

Bureaucratic bungling delayed crucial water infrastructure

Andrews resists pressure to boost corruption watchdog’s powers

Hong Kong protesters hurl petrol bombs after police fire tear gas to clear rally

Watchdog to probe surge in tax debts ($)

Working-class woes: ALP strategists blamed ($)

Media Diary: Hamish Macdonald short odds for Q&A gig ($)

Absence of Morrison at Uluru event ‘more than an insult’ to Indigenous Australians

‘Our compass is not revenge’: Aiia Maasarwe’s family pays tribute to murdered student

UK lorry deaths: Vietnamese families fear for missing loved ones


Hastie and co derails another overreach by Home Affairs

“The [Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security] usually recommends improvements to national security bills and call for reviews down the track, but rarely knocks bills back. Yesterday, the committee unanimously told Dutton’s department to go back to the drawing board with the Identity-matching Services Bill 2019. That should illustrate just how far Dutton and his Home Affairs Secretary Mike Pezzullo overreached in drafting the bill. The proposed legislation would enable Home Affairs to run a biometrics hub so that every security agency in the country — state and federal — and local councils and corporations can use facial recognition to obtain information, verify identity and prevent identity fraud and abuse, ranging from multiple drivers’ licences to identity theft.”

It turns out you can put a positive spin on the climate crisis

“Is the climate emergency all that bad? Could it be a real boon for some parts of the world? Jo Evans, deputy secretary for the Department of Environment and Energy, told a Senate hearing on Monday that deciding whether climate change is ‘bad’ is ‘a judgement call and a matter of opinion’. She even went so far to say that some parts of the world may find climate change working to their ‘advantage’.”

Scott Morrison’s celebrity obsession is running wild

“He ran water for the Wallabies in Fiji. Nobody asked him to. He just wanted to get involved. Like a substitute teacher at a sports carnival, he slipped off the boots and lurched onto the field to collect water bottles. Scott Morrison was in his element; mugging for the cameras, taking selfies with players and actively positioning himself next to their genuine celebrity. His message? ‘It’s not about me, it’s about them. But hey! They like me. See me — with them?’ Our prime minister, the former child actor, has an obsession with celebrity.”


Keeping children safe in the family law systemRosie Batty (The Saturday Paper): “Women battle a prevailing myth – which the research has proved to be false – that they lie about family violence to stop men seeing their children. This dangerous illusion serves only to push women underground as they struggle to be believed in a system that is meant to protect them and their children. It means family violence is not fully disclosed early enough in the courts. We know the courts have the power to test evidence of family violence to ensure everything is on the table, but rarely do they have the time and the resources to do this. Women are having to manage the safety risks on their own with little or no court oversight, which can mean dangerous consequences for children.”

FOI: a right to know or just to ask?John Pesutto (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “Anecdotally, it is striking how many people seem to have simply given up on FOI. It takes forever and very few people have the resources to go 15 rounds with a government or public sector agency. It shouldn’t be this way, of course, but that’s what I take out of the report. It’s easy to understand why. Complaints to the OVIC, for example, increased by 6.5 per cent last year alone. It is concerning that the OVIC’s five-year review of the operation of the Freedom of Information Act 1982 shows that the number of FOI requests that have been denied has more than doubled over that period in absolute terms and increased significantly in percentage terms. This is so even after allowing for increases that typically occur from year to year in the number of FOI requests.”

Perhaps we can help find peace to honour Aiia’s life ($) – Tim Costello (The Australian): “For too long, the Israeli-Palestinian divide has been regarded as one of the world’s most intractable problems. It is a contest between two equal rights — the right for Israel to exist within safe borders, and the right for Palestinians to exist with the same safety. It is why I have always been a supporter of a two-state solution. Everyone seems to take sides even as the sands shift and the wind blows strongly against any two-state plan. But there are glimmers of hope; possibilities that are not couched in terms related to peace, but to coexistence based on mutual interest and respect. With the arrival in Australia at the weekend of Saeed Maasarwe, we could be one small, but meaningful, step closer to a future that will change the Israeli-Palestinian relationship forever. ”


The Latest Headlines



  • Climate activists, along with Indigenous, social justice, workers’ rights and animal rights advocates plan to blockade the International Mining and Resources Conference.

  • Advocates and lawyers will take to the steps of the Victorian Parliament to ask the government to give the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission power to investigate serious police misconduct.

  • Treaty Advancement Commissioner Jill Gallagher will attend the unveiling of a significant Aboriginal artwork, a two-metre possum skin cloak mosaic made of pelts, inscribed with art, messages and sentiments.


  • The NDIS parliamentary committee will hear from participants, their carers and family members, as well as service providers and registered plan management providers in a town-hall style meeting.


  • Water Minister Melinda Pavey and TV star Charlie Albone will be unveiling a Drought Proof Garden, covering 100 square metres at Martin Place.

  • Professor Vanessa Hayes and Dr Eva Chan will talk about their groundbreaking research, after pinpointing a southern Africa “homeland” where anatomically modern humans first originated 200,000 years ago.

  • NSW Transport Minister Andrew Constance will be the keynote speaker at a CEDA event, joining a panel of industry experts discussing trends and challenges in transport planning.


  • A Coalition of Peaks meeting on Closing the Gap will be held, providing an opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to tell governments what changes are needed to improve their lives.


  • Resources Minister Matt Canavan will address a CEDA lunch about the future of the country’s resources sector.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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