PORTER DOWNPLAYS TUDGE’S ACTIONS
Attorney-General Christian Porter has downplayed the Federal Court’s finding that Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge engaged in criminal conduct by detaining an Afghan man seeking asylum for five days in spite of a tribunal order.
While shadow home affairs minister Kristina Keneally has called for Tudge to be dumped from cabinet, the ABC reports the minister has denied wrongdoing and Porter has claimed that it’s “not the first time that in the robust environment of the law surrounding visa approvals, that there’s been strong words said about what is in effect government undertaking its duties through the minister”.
PS: For an update on Tudge’s current pet project, check out The Signal’s explainer on the government’s push to take phones from refugees, asylum seekers and other detained migrants.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT’S DUE
According to the ABC, the Morrison government has flagged changes to credit laws that would reduce verification procedures for borrowers such as homeowners and small businesses seeking loans and, consequently, remove some global financial crisis-era liabilities on banks lending to people who cannot afford them.
As The Australian ($) notes, the move comes after the Reserve Bank warned of a credit freeze because banks are becoming too scared to lend, and Josh Frydenberg has argued in an op-ed ($) that, “the provision of and access to credit will be critical to rebuilding every sector of our economy, from hospitality to tourism, construction to retail”.
Still, maybe be wary of anyone slashing “red tape” liabilities for banks, considering the plan can’t help but read like the exact cause of both the GFC and banking royal commission.
OUT OF BORDER
In the latest from the state border border wars, The Brisbane Times reports that Peter Dutton has called Queensland’s Deputy Premier Steven Miles a “schoolchild”, after he implied the Morrison government was using the ADF as a bargaining chip ahead of a planned withdrawal from the state’s borders on September 30.
As the ABC explains, the Queensland government has pushed for the deadline to be extended after the Department of Defence confirmed the withdrawal and planned redeployment ahead of a high-risk weather season.
AAP reports that Greg Hunt denied the withdrawal is “payback”, while Dutton has told his friends at 2GB that, “the fact is we don’t support their Queensland border closures, which have been done for political reasons, and we’re not going to have military officers there supporting that cause, particularly when you have a higher need to support Australians coming back from overseas.”
The ABC reports that California has announced a ban on the sale of new petrol-powered passenger cars and trucks from 2035, just a day after The Guardian revealed that the UK will bring forward their ban from 2040 to 2030.
For context, the share of plug-in sales (all-electric, plug-in hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) in California hit 8.26% in 2019, while the UK hit 9.7% in August 2020; Australia grew from 1.4% in 2018 to 3.5% in 2019.
As The Driven explains, the Morrison government’s Technology Investment Roadmap puts electric vehicle and hydrogen fuel cell recharging stations as second order priorities, to be supported “where possible” with no outlined policy initiatives, ranking after main priorities carbon capture and storage etc but ahead of “mature” technologies i.e. solar, wind, gas and coal.
PS: In case anyone had any doubt, The New Daily reports that UK-based think tank InfluenceMap has found that Australia’s failed history of climate and energy policies have been driven by “insidious” lobby groups and vested interests.
R.I.P. DEAN JONES
Finally, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Australian cricketer and commentator Dean Jones has died, aged 59, after a suspected heart attack in Mumbai as part of the Indian Premier League’s official broadcasting crew.
The paper also notes that Brett Lee has returned to TV just hours after trying to save Jones’s life in their hotel, describing the batsman as “an absolute legend”.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
[asked if he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the event he loses the election]: Well, we’re going to have to see what happens, you know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots and the ballots are a disaster…
[asked again]: We want to have — get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful, there won’t be a transfer, frankly. There’ll be a continuation.
Pushing his (false) claim that mail-in voting leads to voter fraud, the US president declines to commit to a peaceful transfer of power in the event he loses in November. Which, considering there are now armed Trump supporters in paramilitary gear threatening people in cars, is probably fine.
“Federal Minister for Aged Care and Senior Australians Richard Colbeck has given his in-principle support for the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety to examine government aged care tenders, following Inq’s revelations that a multimillion-dollar contract was awarded without open tender to the Mable workforce platform.
“Mable Technologies Ltd is backed by a powerful network of investors, including Liberal party members and donors. It was awarded a $5.8 million contract in April to help provide staff for COVID-affected aged care homes but was initially unable to provide the staff required.”
After asking questions at 500 AGMs, Crikey’s founder gets a judge’s attention — and Crown’s CEO a hard grilling
“Jeepers, it’s not often that a corporate AGM exchange is replayed at a judicial inquiry and then the CEO of a public company admits he gave a misleading answer. That’s what happened at the NSW inquiry into Crown Resorts yesterday.
“Nine’s Patrick Hatch reported the exchanges in today’s papers, quoting commissioner Patricia Bergin getting stuck into Crown Resorts CEO Ken Barton for his response to a question I asked during the company’s October 2019 AGM regarding the level of selective briefings that controlling shareholder James Packer was being provided.”
“The full extent of the ‘conservative’ Morrison government’s respect for the rule of law and its honouring of the fundamental human right to freedom from arbitrary detention is now laid out for open view.
“PDWL is an Afghan refugee who applied for a protection visa in 2016. In December 2019 the immigration minister, David Coleman, refused him on the ground that he had a criminal conviction. Shortly after this Coleman went on leave which is still, mysteriously, going. The acting minister since has been Alan Tudge.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Labor’s failure to back workers on gas is not just morally indefensible, it’s strategically moronic — Daniel Walton (The Sydney Morning Herald): “To be fair to my friends in Labor, I think many are not seeing things clearly. They’ve been suckered by the extreme left and the extreme right into believing there’s a hard fork in the road: should we pick the path of industry-loving climate vandals or the path of pure-spirited planet saviours? But this is a ridiculous way of looking at things. There’s no actual choice between gas and renewables — they’re complementary.”
Can Morrison use his ‘bully pulpit’ to inspire the confidence vital for economic recovery? — Michelle Grattan (The Conversation): “We’ve all observed Scott Morrison’s pragmatism in this pandemic but COVID has highlighted another notable feature of his political style. The prime minister is a great admirer of Theodore (“Teddy”) Roosevelt, US president in the early 1900s, and this year has shown how he draws on the Roosevelt political toolbox.”
Classrooms of death v schools for life: Kevin Gannon’s teaching manifesto — Max Bledstein (Overland): “The first chapter of Kevin Gannon’s new book Radical Hope: A Teaching Manifesto has an ominous title: ‘Classrooms of Death.’ As he proceeds to flesh out what the phrase means for teachers and students in contemporary higher education, the implications for the current situation of Australian universities become all too clear.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Dan Andrews is set to face the final day of the hotel quarantine inquiry.
The 2020 Archibald Prize winner will be announced.
Students and supporters will hold a #FundOurFutureNotGas national day of action to coincide with global rallies for a climate-led COVID-19 recovery.