NATS PUT THEIR HATS IN THE RING

Barnaby Joyce will challenge Michael McCormack for Nationals leadership at a party room spill this morning, while Drought Minister David Littleproud and Queensland MP Keith Pitt set their sights on deputy leadership.

As The Guardian details, Matt Canavan has already stepped down as resources minister in order to back the former leader.

Multiple regional women’s groups have hit out at the possibility of Joyce retaking the leadership — which, given his long road to resigning in 2018 included allegations of sexual harassment and manufacturing a government role for Vikki Campion, is not that surprising.

BANDT THE FRONTRUNNER

The ten-member Greens party room will also choose a new leader this morning, with Melbourne MP Adam Bandt the only MP so far to have put their hand up to succeed Richard Di Natale.

Queensland Senator Larissa Waters has declared she will re-nominate for deputy leader, and Bandt has secured the support of Tasmania’s Nick McKim, The Sydney Morning Herald reports. Twitter’s hot pick, Mehreen Faruqi, however, has expressed interest in a “leadership position” and change to co-leaders.

Fun fact: The Greens were only a few months out from a plebiscite intended to reform their insane election process.

IRONIC JUSTICE FORTHCOMING

Australian residents will join 70 New Zealanders on an Air New Zealand flight today, The Sydney Morning Herald reports, as part of an agreement that will see them either quarantined on a military base outside Auckland or joining the first batch of evacuees on Christmas Island.

If it’s the former, here’s hoping New Zealand’s immigration system is nicer to our citizens than ours has been to theirs.

Or, for that matter, is being to some Chinese students, who, as The Australian ($) reports, escaped a now country-wide ban only to face instant detention and visa cancellation on their arrival in Australia on Sunday.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I’m not relying on evidence.

Jim Molan

Pressed on climate change at the first Q&A of the year, the former general and freshly-elected Liberal admits to the truth behind “scepticism”.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Record Labor war chest couldn’t compete with Liberal and Palmer onslaught

“A $50 million election war chest — its biggest since Kevin ’07 — was insufficient to get Labor over the line at last year’s federal election. Today’s political donation data, released by the AEC, shows that the Liberal Party able to overcome its leadership turmoil to equal its main opponent’s fundraising effort, political donation data released by the AEC today shows. But Clive Palmer outspent both of them with the biggest ever intervention in Australian politics.”


Financial firms hedged their bets on election outcome

“It appears that all of Australia’s major accounting firms hedged their bets as to who would win the 2019 federal election, with each largely splitting donations down the middle for the Labor Party and Liberal Party, with most tossing a small amount to a National Party branch for good measure.”


Speered on Aunty: the new Insiders boldly remakes an institution

“Television is a funny old thing. Stick a program on air and if it survives for long enough it becomes an institution; one day the host is not just the host but ‘legendary’ and ‘indispensable’.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Firefighters get some reprieve after blazes ease in Snowy region

Dinner by Heston restaurant owes workers $4.5m after wage theft

News Corp’s fire fight

Shark nets QLD: Drumlines and nets to be redeployed in Great Barrier Reef Marine Park ($)

State government to push through new coronavirus emergency laws

CITB lavish $47k dinner on taxpayers’ tab, leaked audit shows ($)

Investigation launched into near-death experience of eight firefighters stranded in Nowra inferno

Jackie Trad requests $1b from NAIF for QLD renewable energy investment ($)

$4.3 billion cost blowout in Sydney’s metro rail project

Liberals turn on Malcolm Turnbull for airing dirty laundry with release of texts ($)

Adani gave $200,000 to Coalition weeks after securing approvals

THE COMMENTARIAT

The economy may well be resilient, but we need ideas ($) — Adam Creighton (The Australian): “After the Reserve Bank cut the cash rate to a then record low of 1 per cent in July last year to bolster flagging growth, Josh Frydenberg declared the economy ‘remarkably resilient’. Resilience never scored a mention in the 12 interviews the previous month. Since July, though, if there’s one thing you need to know about the economy it is how resilient it is.”

What we learnt from the Hayne inquiry ($) — Karen Maley (Australian Financial Review): “For many bankers, the daunting, brutal, often capricious nature of the Hayne royal commission was clearly demonstrated by the different treatment meted out to those who previously held the top positions at the National Australia Bank and Westpac.”

The End Of The World As We Know ItTim Hollo (Meanjin): “As I sat down to write this—struggling with how to get on with normal life while, just down the road, a massive fire burns in one of my favourite places and smoke turns the morning light a ghastly orange—two kookaburras suddenly started laughing in the tall eucalypts behind my home.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • The Peoples Climate Assembly will hold a series of events as both chambers of parliament sit for the first time this year.

  • Wang Xining, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission of the Chinese Embassy in Australia, will hold a public briefing on the coronavirus outbreak.

Sydney

  • The Guardian will host its 2020s Vision discussion with the theme “ideas to make Australia better”. Panelists include editor-in-chief Katharine Viner, Australian editor Lenore Taylor, political editor Katharine Murphy, Indigenous affairs editor Lorena Allam and writer David Marr.

  • The University of NSW will hold the Gandhi Lecture 2020, “The Fight for Human Rights”, to feature speeches from Indigenous health advocate and Alyawarre woman Pat Anderson, former Australian of the Year Rosie Batty, and human rights lawyer Anna Brown, among others.

  • NSW Minister for Customer Service Victor Dominello will help launch Intermedium’s 2020 Digital Government Readiness Report.

  • Amnesty International will host ‘Refugee Rights: Stories and Discussion’ at 107 Projects, featuring a collection of journalists, caseworkers and experts from refugee backgrounds.

Brisbane

  • Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion will protest the opening of Queensland parliament.

Perth

  • Local author Jed Herne will launch his latest fantasy book, Across the Broken Stars, at South Perth Library, while University of Western Australia lecturer Nadia Rhook will launch her debut poetry collection, boots, at UWA Publishing’s Love House.

Queensland

  • The Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability will begin community forums in Ipswich and Logan.

Australia

  • The Productivity Commission will release an annual report into child care, education and training.

Iowa, USA

  • Iowa will become the first state to vote on candidates for the presidential election, with results expected by 9am AEDT.