Scott Morrison JobMaker
(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

JOBMAKER, JOBMAKER, MAKE ME A JOB

Speaking at the National Press Club today, Scott Morrison will outline a vision to reset economic growth called “JobMaker” — because of course — that will focus on an overhaul of the skills and training and industrial relations systems.

As ABC and The Australian ($) report, Morrison will push for the national cabinet to overhaul TAFE, establish a uniform price for training costs, and target spending on the number of available places according to industry needs. Other subjects including tax reform, deregulation, energy and federation will be addressed at a later date.

A TAFE BET: After the government made JobKeeper effectively impossible for public universities by applying a six month, not one month, income loss requirement, The Australian ($) reports that Deakin University has announced that 400 jobs will be cut.

WUHAN ‘DOSSIER’ NOT SO EXPLOSIVE AFTER ALL

Shocking roughly nobody, an ABC investigation has found that the much-touted “Western governments dossier” used by the Saturday Telegraph and Daily Telegraph to link the COVID-19 pandemic to a Wuhan lab was in fact a “widely distributed — and deniable — background document created by the US State Department.”

Rather than specifying any new information, the document contains a timeline of dot points about the Chinese government’s behaviour from publicly available media and scholarly articles.

THE HONOURABLE AMBASSADOR TOADFISH REBECCHI

In order to counter China’s growing influence in the Pacific, the ABC reports that the government will spend $17 million to stream our very best content into the region i.e. The Voice, Border Security, Neighbours and MasterChef.

It’s just a shame we didn’t have an existing, slightly less white, and generally much better network in place. Some kind of “Australia Network”, if you will.

‘FROM THE HEART’ PROJECT TO LAUNCH

The Age reports that a public education campaign seeking to unify support for a proposal to officially enshrine a First Nations voice to Parliament, called the ‘From the Heart’ project, will launch today — three years after the landmark Uluru Statement.

While research by CT Group has support for a constitutionally enshrined First Nations voice at about 50%, with about a third unsure, the campaign will both seek to target groups who are unaware of the proposal and aim to get a referendum back on the political agenda.

A YACHT TO TALK ABOUT

Finally, in just a truly upsetting COVID-era marketing campaign, global aviation company VistaJet has launched a package for the ultra-rich to safely reach yachts without, as Bloomberg puts it, “risking exposure to the germ-ridden masses”; fly a sanitised jet to a yacht moored in Malta, where the company is based and only 611 cases have been identified.

ULTRA RICH KEEP GETTING ULTRA RICHER: The news comes after progressive think tank ‘Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ found that the total net worth of all American billionaires rose US$434 billion (A$663 billion) since state lockdowns began on March 19. Because that’s just how that country works!

STATE WRAP: SA, WA UPDATE RECOVERY PLANS

  • Yesterday, the South Australian government announced that pubs, gyms, cinemas, places of worship, beauty salons and other sites can have up to 80 people on their premises from 1 June, as long as they comply with appropriate safeguards. Contact training and non-contact outdoor sport competitions will also be able to re-commence, while contact competition can relaunch from June 25.
  • Similarly, the Western Australian government announced plans to further ease Phase 2 regional travel restrictions on Friday, 29 May. Regional boundaries will be lifted except for regions that are bound by the Commonwealth’s designated biosecurity determination and 274 remote Aboriginal communities, which the government is aiming to lift by Friday, June 5.
  • Finally, the Tasmanian government announced that the Premier’s Economic and Social Recovery Advisory Council will undertake a three-stage consultation process as part of their work reporting on the state’s short, medium, longer term social and economic recovery.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

[The second principle of ‘JobMaker’ will be] caring for country, a principle that Indigenous Australians have practiced for tens of thousands of years … This is as much true for our environmental, cultural and natural resources as it for our economic and financial ones. Governments must live with their means, to not impose impossible debt burdens on future generations.

Scott Morrison

According to leaked passages from today’s National Press Club speech, the leader of a government responsible for record high carbon emissions will co-opt an Indigenous concept of sustainable land management to frame recession-era spending.

The leak doesn’t specify where spending will be reduced, but it might just have something to do with the $60 billion JobKeeper underspend.

CRIKEY RECAP

The perils of hypocrisy: on China, Coalition’s pandering outstrips Andrews’ grovelling

“As Education Minister Dan Tehan recently demonstrated, some in the Morrison government are itching to get back to political business as usual and attack the Victorian Labor government. The latter’s collaboration with the Beijing regime over its notorious ‘Belt and Road’ initiative seemed to furnish a good opportunity for that.”


‘We need an agency with real teeth’: disability sector calls for reform following David Harris’ death 

“Disability advocacy groups have called for greater accountability in the sector following Inq’s investigation into the death of David Harris, who died last year after his National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding was cut off and his support workers stopped visiting.”


Fixing JobKeeper’s flaws would be a sign of leadership not weakness

“My keenest post-COVID wish is for the end of binary politics.

“The Australian public’s response to COVID-19 has demonstrated our collective capacity for nuanced thinking; the ability to hold two competing concepts in our head at once, to make rational choices while accepting that we are doing so in a context of uncertainty.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Australia heading into new ‘fire age’, warns global fire historian

Eden-Monaro byelection to be on July 4

Frydenberg moves to shield boards from class action lawsuits

Andrews government used China deal to target Liberal seats

German govt to climb aboard at Lufthansa in virus rescue

‘I don’t regret what I did’: Boris Johnson’s top adviser Dominic Cummings defends breaking lockdown

Australia stalls on emissions target update as UN urges deeper cuts

‘Sad times’: Bernard Collaery laments ‘now fragile democracy’ as pre-trial hearing takes place in secret

Public servants, army rush to cash out super, claiming hardship ($)

Counterfeit face masks sold to Australian hospitals

Lawyers for student Drew Pavlou demand University of Queensland sack Chinese diplomat from role

Free TAFE enrolments almost double in first year, 118 per cent surge in female students

THE COMMENTARIAT

A longer JobKeeper will keep people in fake jobs ($) — John Kehoe (AFR): “The $60 billion JobKeeper underspend has the government considering extending the duration of the wage subsidies beyond six months for coronavirus-crippled industries such as tourism and aviation. But lengthening the support for businesses that cannot afford to stand on their own two feet by late September will impede the necessary shift of people out of dead-end illusory jobs that are sadly never returning.”

Josh Frydenberg’s credibility just went backwards by $60bn ($) — Anthony Albanese (The Australian): “We’re talking about the hundreds of thousands of Australian workers excluded from JobKeeper payments on the basis that the program was full. We’re talking about more than a million casual workers employed for less than a year; employees of councils and universities, and people who work in the entertainment industry. In denying these workers support, the government sent a clear message that some Australians are less worthy of support than others.”

Take lessons from First Nations to come out of COVID crisis a better countryRona Glynn-McDonald (The Sydney Morning Herald): “As a proud Kaytetye woman caught between many worlds, I have drawn on the traditional ways of my people to cope with the new realities of COVID-19. This First Nations knowledge has lessons for all Australians. It can shape the future in a post-COVID society.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • The Senate inquiry into the government’s COVID-19 response will hear from the Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission, Chief Medical Officer Professor Brendan Murphy, and the Department of Health. The Select Committee on Regional Australia will also hold a public hearing.

Australia

  • Today is National Sorry Day, to commemorate the historic and ongoing mistreatment of Indigenous Australians.