According to The Age, Anthony Albanese is pushing for former Victorian premier Steve Bracks and ex-deputy federal leader Jenny Macklin to lead Labor’s review into the Victorian branch stacking scandal, while The Guardian reports the federal party is considering an audit of the entire state membership.
The news comes after Albanese — fresh from delivering a now-overshadowed CEDA speech — was forced to shoot down questions on 7.30 over now-former powerbroker Adem Somyurek’s alleged federal influence. As the ABC reports, Victoria’s Assistant Treasurer Robin Scott also resigned last night so as not to be a “distraction”, while maintaining that subsequent investigations will clear his name.
BUT IS #PALMSPILL ANY BETTER?
On the other side of politics, The Australian ($) reports that the relationship between Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington and LNP headquarters continues to crumble, after Frecklington received unanimous support last night from party MPs.
The paper also explores how multiple background figures are on the payroll of one Clive Palmer — not just president David Hutchinson, but ally and former president Bruce McIver and members of the state executive Malcolm Cole and Larry Anthony.
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PS: In just the latest federal expense scandal, The Guardian reports that Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and his wife billed taxpayers for return flights to the Melbourne Cup, then justified the trip by re-announcing a three-year-old funding pledge to a bunch of pissed off councillors.
GOOD NEWS? FROM THE US?
In a decision that’s surprising for a number of reasons, NBC News reports that the conservative-controlled US Supreme Court has ruled in a 6-3 decision to uphold anti-discrimination protections for LGBTIQ workers.
Written by Donald Trump’s first Supreme Court appointee, Neil Gorsuch, the court ruled that provisions under the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that protect against employee discrimination on the basis of sex applies to sexual orientation and gender.
DON’T WORRY, THERE’S ALSO BAD NEWS: Despite pleas from health experts and local newspaper the Tulsa World, Donald Trump plans to speak at a 19,000-strong arena this Saturday in Tulsa, Oklahoma amidst high transmission rates. However, in a sign the campaign understands the health risk on some level, they have asked attendees to sign a likely-unenforceable waiver.
NZ TO PASS ODDLY-FAMILIAR INFRASTRUCTURE BILL
One week after the country hit level one restrictions, the New Zealand government announced 11 projects, including housing, rail and cycleways, will fall under legislation to be introduced this week — the strangely familiar-sounding COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track) Bill.
As Scott Morrison’s announced a plan to streamline federal-state regulations and fast-track 15 infrastructure projects, RNZ reports that New Zealand’s bill will do something similar with council/public reviews while maintaining environmental and cultural protections; for example, and unlike Australia, projects cannot involve land returned under a Treaty settlement unless there is agreement from the relevant iwi authority.
PS: In domestic news, The Australian ($) reports that Labor and the senate crossbench have rejected a move by the Coalition to impose mandatory sentencing — a system that basically overrides discretion for mitigating and aggravating circumstances — for child sex offenders, after the Law Council warned it would do nothing to reduce crime while creating a blanket, five year sentence on even a theoretical “18-15 year-old” relationship.
HORROR FOOTAGE FROM ADELAIDE
Late last night, organisers of Victoria’s Blak/Black Lives matter event, Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance, shared footage that appears to show a South Australian police officer repeatedly punching a detained Indigenous man. A woman who filmed the original videos says the man had been pulled over for not wearing a helmet and having no light on his bike.
RIO TINTO JUST KEEPS DIGGING: After AFR ($) reported on leaked footage that shows Rio Tinto iron ore boss Chris Salisbury telling employees the company was actually not sorry for blowing up the 46,000-year-old Juukan Gorge caves, just the pain that had been created, the company has taken another crack at saying sorry, not sorry, no now we really are sorry ($).
STATE VIRUS WATCH: THINGS START TO SLOW DOWN
In what feels like the first slow day for historic, multi-billion-dollar state announcements in recent history, yesterday only saw:
- the Victorian government officially opened a $250 million investment program, the Victorian Business Growth Fund, that will operate in partnership with First State Super and, rather than provide grants, invest in small-to-medium enterprises on commercial terms and take an equity stake; additionally, all investment decisions will be made by independent fund manager Roc Partners.
- the Queensland government will now allow up to 100 people to attend funerals.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
What worries me most is Premier Palaszczuk knows that she is absolutely choking our economy by having these borders shut. She is the knee on the throat of the businesses of Queensland stopping them breathing. Right?
Because politics is literally just a game for some people, the LNP senator co-opts the words of dying, black victims of police violence in order to criticise Queensland Labor’s COVID-19 policies.
“The Somyurek operation was hitherto documented most fully by Crikey in your correspondent’s series ‘Red Brotherhood At War’, which described how Somyurek had carved off his own mini-faction from the Shop, Distributive and Allied Employees Association (the Shoppies, or SDA), forming a ‘Centre Alliance’ with the Bill-Shorten-backing Australian Workers Union, and then did a deal with a new CFMMEU faction the ‘Industrial Left’, which had jumped out of the Victorian Socialist Left.”
“If you’re struggling to find members to sign up en masse, consider signing up members with false addresses, so that later you can move them onto a different branch in a different location after their membership addresses have been accepted as genuine (known as ‘warehousing’).”
“The fight for a journalism that serves its local communities has spilled into metropolitan mastheads with the revitalised call by The Age journalists for the masthead’s independence, together with last week’s announcement by News Corp that reporting in its metro tabloids would be ‘done once … and shared across the company’.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Adem Somyurek branch stacking sacking scandal: Drive-by political hit a whodunit ($) — John Ferguson (The Australian): “But the deeper question for a party that majors in sexism and foul language is who killed Somyurek and why? His defrocking was months in the making, carefully choreographed to derail his career and suck some of the power away from the right-dominated political alliance Somyurek had formed in Victoria.”
View from The Hill: ‘Can do’ Scott Morrison needs to take care in deregulating — Michelle Grattan (The Conversation): “Morrison’s drive for deregulation is much more ambitious than just accelerating approval processes for infrastructure and other major projects. Crucially, it is aimed at a general change in attitudes.”
You don’t have to publish both sides when one side is fascism — Eric Alterman (The Nation): “Those running the country’s elite media institutions have no experience with a situation like this and still cannot figure out how to handle it. Historically, media machers have seen themselves as collaborators with government officials to ensure that things run smoothly for whoever is in power.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The second day of CEDA’s virtual State of the Nation forum will include panel events featuring Attorney-General Christian Porter and ACTU Secretary Sally McManus.
The News and Media Research Centre at the University of Canberra will release The Digital News Report: Australia 2020.
Foreign Minister Marise Payne will outline Australia’s post-COVID-19 agenda and speak in conversation with Professor Rory Medcalf, Head of the ANU’s National Security College.
After NSW’s 60 day eviction moratorium ended yesterday, the Rent Relief Now Campaign and Housing Defence Coalition will protest at NSW Parliament to demand direct financial relief and an end to all evictions during the pandemic’s aftermath.