Josh Frydenberg


A national jobs slump is likely to amplify economic stimulus calls ($), putting pressure on the government and strengthening calls for the ­Reserve Bank to cut rates again, The Australian reports.

Total employment fell by 19,000 in October, the biggest one-month employment fall in more than three years, with 726,000 people now looking for work, the largest number since March 2017. Opposition Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers said the figures proved that “the Australian economy needs responsible, proportionate and measured stimulus”. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told Sky News the government was “always looking” at ways to cut taxes, but remains committed to a budget surplus.


Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt is calling for calm over the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Warlpiri man Kumanjayi Walker, while the devastated couple who raised him are calling for justice.

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Wyatt flew to Alice Springs to meet with elders on Thursday amid protests across the country, saying “now is not the time for blame … it is a time for compassion”. Eddie and Lottie Robertson, who took Walker in when he was young, told 7.30 they wanted “judgement or justice” to “cleanse our heart”. Constable Zachary Rolfe, who has been charged with murder over the shooting, flew home to Canberra ($) yesterday, avoiding questions from the media. The NT Police Association says he will plead not guilty and “vigorously contest” the charge.


Manus Island refugee and journalist Behrouz Boochani has landed in New Zealand, telling The Guardian he will never return to Papua New Guinea or Australia’s immigration regime.

Boochani received a visitor’s visa to travel to New Zealand to speak at a literary event, and is not ruling out claiming asylum there, the ABC reports. He recently obtained a visa for resettlement in the US, and is investigating whether he can fly there directly from New Zealand, although it is uncertain how long the process will take. The Kurdish Iranian journalist has written extensively for The Guardian, documenting life in Australia’s offshore detention system, after being held for six years on Manus Island and at Port Moresby.


I asked if I could use that word in my maiden speech, and you said I couldn’t.

Gerard Rennick

The Liberal senator complains that Senate president Scott Ryan let Labor senator Deborah O’Neill use the word “piss“ in a speech (as in, Nationals deputy Bridget McKenzie “couldn’t organise a piss-up in a brewery”) and not him.


‘No end in sight’: Lightning strikes likely to spark fires as thunderstorms forecast for tinder-dry Queensland

Fire conditions to worsen as total fire ban declared for Sydney, parts of NSW

Former fire chiefs ‘tried to warn PM’ to bring in more water-bombers ahead of horror bushfire season

NSW Police to review whether body-worn cameras should turn on automatically

Regional grants: Coalition defies Senate order on scandal-ridden scheme

‘A lot of misinformation’: Asic snaps back at critics of responsible lending laws after Frydenberg remarks

Latest cyber attack on Parliament thwarted as cause of January hack revealed

Anthony Albanese to dodge union ALP conference walkout ($)

Tracey Spicer should own error over domestic violence names: Rosie Batty ($)

Documents name ex-intelligence officer as alleged source of leak to journalist

MH17 investigators say phone taps reveal Russian political ties

Climate change inaction mars public health, major report warns

Targeted R&D may be best way to use scarce dollars: Labor

Frydenberg asks for preselection peace talks


Enter the right-wing freedom paradox, if you dare

“The 30th anniversary of the removal of the German anti-fascist protection barrier — that’s the Berlin Wall to you — has been the occasion for a few articles about the dangers of communism, a movement defunct for decades, at a time when it is capitalism and nationalism that threaten the possibility of life on Earth. But it’s also been the occasion for what I like to think of as the ‘freedom paradox’ — that those in our time who damn communism in retrospect as ‘against human nature’ and celebrate the joys of individualism, are those whose careers most resemble the smooth organisational progression and circumspection that was characteristic of the Soviet era.”

Is a former banking doyen teaching bureaucrats empathy?

“Remember how Senate estimates revealed the Morrison government had paid consultants almost $200,000 of taxpayer money to teach them how to empathise with drought-affected communities? The Department of Infrastructure’s Inland Rail project hired the firm FutureEye to smooth over relations with landowners in northern Victoria, central New South Wales, and southern Queensland, where its controversial rail line will be built. Well, it turns out that one of FutureEye’s advisers is former Australian Bankers’ Association CEO, Steven Münchenberg — the man best known for telling us we didn’t need a royal commission into the banks.”

Provocative comments go both ways, prime minister

“Yet even while demanding others pipe down, Morrison himself is well known for dramatic displays and provocative prose. This is the man who strutted into parliament with a lump of coal held high. He stood in the same room a few years later and imitated a famous Kazakh journalist, saying, ‘I know what Borat would think of Labor’s policies on emissions reduction: verrrrry niiiiice’. He suggested Save the Children workers had been ‘making false claims’ and ‘allegedly coaching self-harm’ for detainees on Nauru. He said a job could serve as ‘a prescription for a young person with mental health issues’. He implied the death of asylum seeker Reza Berati on Manus was Berati’s fault.”


Union-busting Prime Minister takes the stageDavid Crowe (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “Morrison remains a work in progress as a Prime Minister. What is his agenda? What can his government achieve? Breezy statements at a press conference offer no reliable guide when the measure of a government is its actions, not its words. That is why the vote on industrial relations in the next fortnight could be such a test. Those who say the government has no agenda may soon discover there is one and that they do not like it. When that happens, they will want the heavy machinery of the Senate to move even more slowly.”

At the heart of the voice is just our desire for honesty ($) – Rachel Perkins (The Australian): “The past has made us. We are its inheritors, for better or worse, and this is now our time. How we move forward from this moment will set the course of relationships between indigenous people and their fellow Australians. I was brought up surrounded by politics, trailing after my father from meeting to meeting. I saw the hard work required to achieve understanding and consensus and I also witnessed the extraordinary change it can bring. The Uluru statement and the Cook anniversary provide a moment in time, a catalyst to see each other better, to strive for a more holistic national identity.”

While Australia burns, the world watches our credibility go up in smokeDamien Cave (The New York Times): “When a mass shooting shattered Australia in 1996, the country banned automatic weapons. In its first years of independence, it enacted a living-wage law. Stable retirement savings, national health care, affordable university education – Australia solved all these issues decades ago. But climate change is Australia’s labyrinth without an exit, where its pragmatism disappears. The bushfires that continued raging on Wednesday along the country’s eastern coast have revealed that the politics of climate in Australia resist even the severe pressure that comes from natural disaster.”


The Latest Headlines



  • The Senate’s environment and communications references committee will hold an inquiry into press freedom.

  • The parliamentary economics committee will quiz chiefs from National Australia Bank at a public hearing.

  • A court hearing will be held for Witness K, who has pled guilty to breaching secrecy laws by revealing Australia’s spying on Timor-Leste.


  • The Global Cities After Dark forum will discuss Sydney’s nightlife in a post-lockout era.

  • Philippines Australia Union Link and Migrante Australia will hold a day of action against the killings of union leaders and workers in the Philippines.

  • Qantas’ second Project Sunrise flight will arrive direct from London, testing the 19-hour route’s commercial potential.

  • NSW Minister for Health Brad Hazzard will speak on changing healthcare needs and community expectations.

  • National McHappy Day Ambassador and actress Katie Holmes will visit Ronald McDonald House Westmead to launch McHappy Day 2019.


  • Iraqi national Maythem Kamil Radhi will appear in court over his alleged involvement in the 2001 people smuggling operation that ended with 353 adults and children drowning at sea.


  • Live exporter Emanuel Exports will appear in court over alleged animal cruelty following a deadly voyage from Fremantle to the Middle East.


  • Victorian Labor will hold its annual state conference.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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