extinction rebellion climate rally protest
(Image: AAP/Glenn Hunt)


The UN Environment Programme has called for “unprecedented” cuts to climate-heating greenhouse gases over the next decade, following news emissions hit a new high in 2018, The Guardian reports.

The annual Emissions Gap Report says global emissions must fall by an ambitious 7.6% per year from now until 2030 if the world is to keep temperature increases within the 1.5°C limit scientists say is necessary. On average, emissions have risen by 1.5% per year over the past decade, with the collapse of the Soviet Union being the only time in recent history when a country’s emissions have fallen at the rate being called for. Victoria may be off to a good start, however, with plans to pump 125 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the Bass Strait seabed.


Westpac investors are calling for the removal of more directors ($), following the dramatic resignations of chief executive Brian Hartzer and chairman Lindsay Maxsted yesterday, The Australian reports.

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Bank investors welcomed the resignations, but are calling for more, threatening to force a spill of the entire board ($) unless more directors follow. Maxsted has rejected the idea that more heads need to roll, calling the idea “very dangerous” ($). Westpac insiders, meanwhile, told The Australian they expect the bank to be excluded from the government’s first home-buyers scheme ($), with NAB yesterday granted the first of two spots on the panel of lenders reserved for the big four.


The NT parliament has voted to decriminalise sex work, as sex workers call for greater protection amid fears the current system is “emboldening” predators to exploit women.

The parliament voted 16-5 last night to decriminalise brothels, soliciting and home-based sex work, in a change aimed at keeping workers safe, the ABC reports. A number of sex workers have shared their stories of rape and assault with Nine, many of which were not reported to police, as part of a push for decriminalisation, as the Victorian government embarks on a review of the state’s laws too. Queensland is also holding a Law Reform Commission inquiry, while a South Australian private members’ bill to legalise sex work fell at the final hurdle earlier this month.


The Urban Dictionary has a very interesting definition of ‘garrad’. You ought to go and have a look at it.

Richard Marles

Labor’s deputy leader suggests people google “garrad” after NSW Police nicknamed its investigation into the Angus Taylor document scandal “Strike Force Garrad” ($).


Interest rates to stay low but unlikely to go ‘negative’ says RBA boss

Police suspect drug overdose behind Bo Zhao death as ‘spy’ mystery deepens ($)

ADF aims to integrate robotic war strategies ($)

Canberra to increase HIV funding, list groundbreaking drug treatment

Murray Darling water woes strip another 100 jobs from drought-hit rice towns

GPs back Health Minister’s plan to use private health for out-of-hospital care

Berejiklian to overhaul planning laws with push for 30-minute cities

Victorian builders call for cladding amnesty as danger list grows to 1200

No change to trade ties with China, says Andrews, despite spy claims

Prosecutors to appeal against 36-year sentence for man who raped and killed Aiia Maasarwe

Indigenous politician calls for independent committee into remote NT policing


Taylor’s dodgy doc shows up the farce of a Coalition ‘integrity’ commission

“The possibility of a minister’s office forging documents of another government body would, surely, be the kind of issue that a properly constituted federal anti-corruption and integrity body should examine. And the government is very proud of its proposed national integrity commission. Last week, Attorney-General Christian Porter devoted a large proportion of his National Press Club speech to attacking the Australia Institute for criticising his proposed model, possibly unaware that the model backed by the Australia Institute was designed by and has the support of an array of Australia’s most senior legal figures. So let’s test Porter’s proposed model.”

Sun sets on the British empire, but its racist legacy remains

“‘This place is full of white people talking about the food and essentials they’ve been stockpiling and brown people talking about the racist abuse they’ve been copping,’ I reported to friends during a trip to Britain earlier this year. Remainers were swapping tips inherited from their grandparents about food preservation during rationing. Leave supporters were piously proclaiming that Brexit had nothing to do with immigration and certainly nothing at all to do with racism. And people of decidedly non-European immigrant appearance were being told that the Brexit vote meant that it was time for them to pack their suitcases and go back to where they (or their parents… or their grandparents) had come from.”

‘Plucky little Israel’ cracks apart as Netanyahu pulls a Trump

“Witness, as well, the attempts by the pro-Zionist leaders of diaspora Jewish community groups to deny that the threat to their communities comes from the hard right, with their renewed enthusiasm for old-school pre-WWII anti-Semitism. This wilful occlusion produces its own absurdities, such as Peter Kurti and the Centre for Independent Studies’ (CIS) recent bizarre paper on anti-Semitism, which seeks to minimise the, erm, rather large role of the European right in its rise, attributing it all to the left. The Australian’s reporting of this focused on the vandalism of the Bondi beach wall, painted with a line of swastikas. Does anyone seriously believe that the painting of a traditionally Jewish area with swastikas was the work of anyone from the left?”


Angus Taylor should stand aside as minister because it’s the right thing to doKatharine Murphy (The Guardian): “Taylor vacating his post temporarily should have happened without fuss, just because it’s the right thing to do. Old fashioned, I know, to invoke the basics of right and wrong when this is politics and it’s all meant to be busted. But I still believe in right and wrong, and I reckon politicians would boost their standing with a sceptical voting public (and they’ll be watching this) if they believed in it too. But even if we are inclined to view right and wrong as superfluous, and irrelevant, if we view Tuesday’s events just through the lens of intra-day political management, Morrison’s decision to stand by his man doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.”

The fateful mistake that Westpac’s outgoing CEO and chairman madeAdele Ferguson (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “The financial crimes regulator’s legal case of 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering and counter terrorism financing laws by Westpac is off the charts. Particularly its claim that the bank’s failures resulted in the facilitation of transactions for paedophiles. All up more than $11 billion was transferred into Australia with Westpac knowing nothing about the source of the funds. It doesn’t get more serious and harrowing than that. How the bank thought it could get away with peddling the argument that it didn’t know beggars belief. The fact is Westpac should have known. In a post-Hayne royal commission era, the media, the public, shareholders and politicians have had a gutful of arrogant banks. After a year of scandals, they want our banks cleaned up. The tolerance for spin and limp apologies has run out.”

Cosy plan will allow banks to cream off even more cash ($) – Adam Creighton (The Australian): “The Australian Business Growth Fund, expected to be legislated in coming weeks, will be another case of crony capitalism, bringing together the government and the biggest financial institutions in a cosy venture that will crowd out existing private sector investors. While Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have condemned Westpac and other banks, they have been planning to put $100m of taxpayers’ money in a fund that will enable the banks to cream off the best investments. Not content with giving the big banks the right to join a fund that will enjoy artificially low borrowing costs by virtue of government involvement, the banking regulator even has agreed to pervert prudential regulation so the banks can treat high-risk investments through the fund as loans.”


The Latest Headlines



  • Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Australia will hold a briefing on human rights violations in West Papua, with MPs Ged Kearney and George Christensen, and Senator Richard Di Natale.

  • Labor leader Anthony Albanese will speak at Australian Council of Social Service’s national welfare conference.

  • The Parliamentary Budget Office will  release its national fiscal outlook report.

  • Anthony Albanese will launch Andrew Leigh’s new book, Innovation and Equality.


  • The Victorian government will formally apologise to victims of abuse linked to railway organisations, including Puffing Billy.

  • The Legislative Council’s environment and planning committee will table its report on recycling and waste management.


  • NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will outline her government’s priorities in a “state of the state” address.

  • The 33rd annual ARIA Awards will be held, with red carpet arrivals from 2pm and the official ceremony from 5pm.

Deniliquin, New South Wales

  • The NSW government and WaterNSW will hold another series of community information sessions, focusing on water issues in drought-impacted regions.


  • Stop Adani campaigners will target the Australasian Groundwater Conference because it is being sponsored by engineering firm and Adani contractor GHD.


  • Climate protesters, including Extinction Rebellion, will “blockade” the entrance to a major resources conference featuring BHP and Fortescue.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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