Josh Frydenberg Scott Morrison Budget 2019 federal election
(Image: AAP/Lukas Coch)


The Liberal Party is being pressured to ditch its plan to ban cash payments of more than $10,000, with angry rank-and-file members agitating against the policy, Nine reports.

Senior ministers, including Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, may have their preselections challenged over the move, with the party’s Victorian branch moving overwhelmingly for the government to abandon the proposal. The ban, which was recommended by the government’s black economy taskforce, will no longer come into effect on January 1 as planned. The Victorian government, meanwhile, is warning more work is needed on a national defamation law review, as the NSW and federal governments push for immediate progress. Federal, state and territory attorneys-general are set to meet today to discuss.


The government has pledged to ­revive ($) its union-busting bill after a blindsiding Senate defeat in which One Nation sided with Labor, The Australian reports. Attorney-General Christian Porter, who had believed One Nation would back the bill, said the government was committed to the changes and would reintroduce them “at an appropriate time”, calling on One Nation leader Pauline Hanson to explain her decision (she said the Westpac scandal was a key factor).

The defeat reflects attempts to repeal medevac, with the government still lacking the numbers and struggling to negotiate with the crossbench. Plus, a new Federal Court ruling has confirmed that asylum-seekers can be medically transferred without speaking directly to doctors ($), in another blow to repeal efforts.


The EU might be the latest and largest jurisdiction to declare a climate emergency, but Australia plans to fight against climate demands in EU trade deal negotiations, Nine reports.

The largely symbolic emergency declaration will put pressure on the EU’s 28 member states to increase their efforts, as well as encouraging European Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen to continue focusing on the climate. Trade Minister Simon Birmingham is rejecting France’s push for Australia to adopt emissions targets as part of an EU trade deal, saying he will only accept terms that are in the best interests of the nation. Meanwhile, Labor has denied Energy Minister Angus Taylor a pair to attend energy and climate events in Europe next week, saying it is inappropriate that he be absent while under police investigation.


Look mate, for better or worse, it is sad but I’ve had to accept my fate. I could’ve gone the Albo comb-over, I guess, but I decided to shave it off.

Peter Dutton

The Minister for Home Affairs accuses Labor leader Anthony Albanese of having “the full comb-over”.


North Korea test fires two rockets as US deadline looms

Security forces kill at least 22 people, leaving more than 150 wounded in Iraq’s violent protests

Federal Labor MP challenges Andrews government over native forestry ban

The problem was the ‘candidate’: Abbott falls on his sword

Andrew Hastie helped ‘spy’ Wang Liqiang find an ASIO haven ($)

Unesco expresses concern over bushfire damage to Australia’s Gondwana-era rainforests

Westpac: More directors may leave as investigation seeks board accountability

Queensland town cuts water supply as nation suffers worsening drought

Kerry O’Brien warns of loss of press freedom is ‘how fascism begins’

TikTok parent company, Huawei part of censorship and surveillance ecosystem, report claims

Call for corruption investigation could draw in ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr


Morrison demonstrates how to use the police in a police state

“The AWU raids. The Fuller call. The Collaery delays. Not one-offs or coincidence, but part of the pattern of what happens in a police state, where the government exercises arbitrary power using the police, and other state apparatus, in its own interests. Each of them has individual significance, though, because each normalises or establishes a precedent for the abuse of law enforcement in the interests of the ruling party. Politically initiated raids on journalists and unions and vexatious prosecutions and procedural harassment are now established as tools to pursue opponents or those who have embarrassed the government. A prime minister calling his friend the police commissioner about an investigation of his own minister is now defended as entirely appropriate.”

Kevin Rudd wants the last word

“Kevin Rudd seems to want to have the last word lately, having spent the past week writing letters to editors across the globe defending his former government. On Friday, Crikey received and published a letter from Rudd responding to an article by reporter Chris Woods that canvassed the attempts of various politicians to spin or finger-point their way out of the climate crisis. The article made reference to a quote from Rudd that blamed the “Green Party’s political opportunism in 2009-10” for Australia’s lack of an emissions trading scheme. Rudd, to put it mildly, was not pleased.”

‘A Clive James book once cost me a friendship’

“The second reason, for this writer at least, and I suspect I am far from the only one, is that, in my lifetime, my view of James has swung from his work being — to quote Peter Corris’ review of him in the old National Times— ‘the reason God gave you eyeballs’, to finding it so irritating, smug, rote and frequently fatuous that I recognise it as an irrational reaction, but can’t do anything about it. His translation of Dante’s Commedia, which managed to be worse than Dorothy L. Sayers rhymed version from the 1920s, the essays in Cultural Amnesia, where a piece on a French film essayist is liable to veer off into a defence of John Howard’s border policy, the volume of memoirs dealing with the TV years from which all the wit and self-deprecation of the early volumes had been excised in service to the legend that he was now a great thinker on the media — these seemed to get good reviews. Some of them were by people I respected, yet every time I picked one up, all I felt was the disappointment with someone whose writings I once couldn’t get enough of.”


The doofus roll call: Scott Morrison’s worst week as prime ministerKatharine Murphy (The Guardian) “The other more than mildly disturbing element of the week was Morrison’s preparedness to be sloppy and unrepentant about being sloppy in full public view, from the call to the police commissioner, to misleading the chamber on four separate occasions over the past couple of days – really quite brazen behaviour I haven’t seen in Canberra before. We have washed up in the post-truth era, an untethered hell of our own making, a hall of mirrors. Emboldened by opportunity, a number of politicians around the world are seeking to govern in a consequence-free universe, not seeking to trouble the discourse with facts or stabilising conventions. The mark of the post-truth politician is the preparedness to pit themselves against their own institutions, to trash the lot in an effort to fly free, saying all the things, feeling all the feels. Until this week, I’ve felt that comparisons between Morrison and Donald Trump have been way overblown. Now, I’m not so sure.”

Long may they reign: republicans are so divided we could be a monarchy beyond Charles’ timeDavid Crowe (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “Support for a republic was only 40 per cent in a Newspoll published last November, down from 50 per cent in surveys over many years. One theory is that younger Australians are less inclined to break with the monarchy, influenced perhaps by the popularity of William and Kate. More important, though, is the fact that republicans cannot galvanise the community if they are themselves divided. A huge gulf remains not only on the model for the republic but on the process to get there, making it hard to convince Morrison to take steps towards a vote. Without agreement now on how to settle these differences, the republicans would struggle to be ready for a referendum at the end of the Queen’s reign. They may find themselves waiting throughout the reign of King Charles.”

Wishful thinking will not save us ($) – Jim Chalmers (The Australian): “Australia needs a growth strategy. Not growth for growth’s sake, but the right kind of growth — strong, inclusive and sustainable. A strategy that creates good, well-paid jobs and gets us on the path to full employment and lifts living standards. A strategy that takes immediate action to boost demand; tackles the major drags on Australia’s productivity; anticipates the big forces bearing down on our economy and approaches reform with a mindset of genuine partnership and co-operation. So much of what Labor seeks to achieve for Australia, from creating good, well-paid jobs in the regions to the extending of new opportunities to our suburbs, comes back to that.”


The Latest Headlines



  • School Strike for Climate activists will walk out of school for a day of “Solidarity Sit-downs” outside the offices of politicians and fossil fuel companies.


  • Senior defence officials will be quizzed at a Senate estimates hearing.

  • A parliamentary inquiry will be held into the regulation of auditing in Australia.


  • Multicultural Arts Victoria will launch its nine-day festival “Mapping Melbourne 2019”.

  • China Matters CEO Alistair Nicholas will give the keynote address at “China 2020: Powering the next growth wave”.

  • mHIVE will host its fifth World AIDS Day Symposium.


  • The BOOMTOWN Summit Policy Conference will be held.

  • An inquiry will be held into supporting Australia’s exports and attracting investment.

  • NSW Police and the NSW Police Association will donate blood as part of the ‘Bleed4Blue’ campaign.


  • A judgment will be handed down in Sokhom Prins v News Corp, after Prins made a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission about Andrew Bolt, Chris Merritt and others.


  • Annabel Crabb, Clare Wright and Senator Penny Wong will sit on a panel exploring women’s suffrage and economic empowerment, to be led by Tory Shepherd.


  • WA’s chief justice and attorney-general will discuss a holistic approach to justice in WA, such as building communities, not prisons.

  • Programmed Facility Management will host its annual “Safety Town Hall” seminar.