TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAMWORK
The Quadrilateral Security Dialogue leaders’ summit in Tokyo has wrapped up, with the four members — Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, US President Joe Biden, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the host, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida — releasing a statement on the quad’s commitments regarding security, climate change, and COVID-19.
The leaders vowed to accelerate efforts to “raise global ambition, including reaching out to key stakeholders in the Indo-Pacific region, and supporting, strengthening, and enhancing climate actions by partners in the region, including through mobilising climate finance, both public and private, and facilitating the research, development, and deployment of innovative technology”. It goes to show that climate is at the top of Albanese’s agenda, The Australian reports.
China received scrutiny too — Albanese downplayed a congratulatory message sent to him by China’s Premier Li Keqiang, the SMH reports, saying there is “no justification” for China’s trade bans on Australian coal, barley, wine, and other products.
While Australia’s relationship with China is still strained, our friendship with the US seems to be blossoming, the SMH reports: Biden was seen putting his arm over Albanese’s shoulder, commending him on making it to the event the day after being sworn in as prime minister.
SAME SAME BUT SAME
While the Liberal Party has faced a barrage of criticism for politicising Australia’s on-water asylum seeker policies, criticism of the policy itself is starting to emerge.
The Australian Border Force issued a press release on election day after two boats from Sri Lanka were intercepted in the days “leading up to and including polling day”, with the NSW Liberals then sending text messages about the boats to voters in marginal electorates. Acting prime minister Richard Marles called the text messages a “disgrace,” Guardian Australia reports, saying the texts made the country “less safe [and] our borders less secure” but directed ABF to proceed with the Morrison government’s “take-back procedure”.
The Greens have attacked Labor for continuing the policy, The Australian ($) reports, arguing that Australians voted for and expected change, saying the policy was “unnecessary, ineffective, inhumane and contrary to international law”.
ACTION ON RUSSIA’S WAR CRIMES
Ukraine’s first war crime trial has resulted in a conviction, AP reports, with a Russian soldier who pleaded guilty to killing a civilian sentenced to life in prison.
The war has been going for three months — much longer than Russian President Vladimir Putin likely intended — with Russia struggling to gain control in key regions, forcing Russia to focus on Donbas in Ukraine’s west. But it’s likely far from over: According to Guardian Australia, Russia’s military campaign has entered its most active phase as Russia continues to advance in the east.
Ukrainian authorities say at least 21,000 people have been killed in the conflict. The ABC reports that as of yesterday evening at least 200 bodies have been found buried in the rubble of a high-rise building in Mariupol, which fell to Russia last week.
ON A LIGHTER NOTE
A cheese factory in Victoria has been fined $9087 for its offensively stinky produce. The fine, issued by the Environmental Protection Agency Victoria, was issued to Yering cheese maker Yarra Valley Dairy Pty Ltd for a “strong odour affecting neighbouring properties”. The smell was described, perhaps unsurprisingly, as a “sour milk odour with earthy characteristics”.
But there’s good news for stinky-cheese lovers too, the ABC reports: A new national standard evaluating the “flushability” of wet wipes is being rolled out to help curb “fatbergs” forming in wastewater systems. Products ranging from wet wipes, cat litter, rubbish and other insoluble sanitary products will be given a new special stamp to show whether they’re flushable or not for a guilt-free flush.
Hope your day passes easily.
Can we expect a lynching on the steps here?
The now former Victorian Liberal MP made the comments after being expelled from the party for posting anti-abortion posts — including saying rape victims should be denied abortions and that abortions wouldn’t occur in a “civilised” society, according to the ABC.
“The ABC, and especially ABC News, responded by internalising the Coalition’s accusations, privileging complaints from Coalition staffers, driving out more experienced and independent-minded journalists likely to embarrass the Coalition and business, echoing Coalition talking points in its news coverage, taking its editorial leads from News Corp, and routinely giving a platform to unrepresentative right-wing groups such as the IPA, with no transparency as to their funding or links.
“Indeed, at times the ABC has looked a lot like a less entertaining wing of News Corp, with News Corp staffers invited to run Coalition talking points on-air, News Corp stories followed up by ABC journalists and Coalition/News Corp coordinated attacks on Labor given prominent coverage.”
“Yet it was Holmes à Court, the 49-year-old one-time supporter of former treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who was singled out by the Murdoch machine. So what has the experience taught him about the state of Australian democracy?
“’The whole Climate 200 is first and foremost a democracy project,’ he says. ‘The community independence movement is built on the premise that our democracy is broken. So it’s no surprise to me that our democracy is broken, but I have learnt so much about how broken it is.’”
“The Murdoch organisation threw everything it had at discrediting the government’s opponents. It also abandoned any pretence of neutrality or balance. But to no avail. Voters paid no heed to warnings that Australia would be plunged into chaos if independents were elected, and ignored the endless attacks on ‘red’ Anthony Albanese.
“In short, the Australian electorate gave the Murdoch machine the finger.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Russia’s shrinking war (The New York Times) ($)
Biden veers off script on Taiwan. It’s not the first time. (The New York Times) ($)
Albanese’s day one: change the climate (The Australian) ($)
Reports of Libs’ death greatly exaggerated — Janet Albrechtsen (The Australian) ($): “Even so, all is not lost for the Liberals. For starters, Scott Morrison has departed, his unpopularity being a key reason for losses across the country. As leader, Morrison seemed detached — not just from the electorate but from his own parliamentary party, and even from many of his ministers. As one reader commented online on Monday, under Morrison ‘the Liberal Party lost the stomach for a fight. Potential Liberal voters in Melbourne thought Morrison had sided with Dan Andrews in locking them up while Australians overseas were shut out of their own country. The Liberal brand of financial prudence was trashed by Morrison and (Josh) Frydenberg during COVID. Net zero should only have been offered in conjunction with nuclear energy. I could go on and on.’
“In short, the Liberal brand under Morrison, a former marketing executive, was damaged to the point of being little different from Labor on some big policy fronts.”
This teal independent wants tax reform — Allegra Spender (The AFR) ($): “We need to raise skilled migration to 220,000 a year for the next two years, urgently address pathways to permanency, and proactively bring back working holidaymakers. We must also bring business, unions and the government together on productivity, innovation and regulatory reform.
“We spend less than 2% of GDP on research and development compared to nearly 5% in South Korea and Israel. Productivity growth has been stagnant for a decade. And our technology start-ups say our regulatory frameworks aren’t fit for purpose.”
Good timing and hard work: behind the election’s ‘Greenslide’ — Kate Crowley (The Conversation): “So, how did the Greens do it? A combination of good timing and hard work. The climate election arrived at last, Scott Morrison was deeply unpopular, and the third party of Australian politics harnessed support it had been quietly building for years, especially in conservative-leaning Queensland. The only surprise is that many of us weren’t paying attention.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Eora Nation Country (also known as Sydney)
A NSW inquiry hearing into school infrastructure planning and delivery is set to take place in state Parliament today.
Mparntwe (also known as Alice Springs)
DefenceNT, the NT government’s office for growing and promoting the defence industry, will hold a defence industry roadshow at Hilton Hotel Alice Springs.
A discussion on what happens next in the Senate, with ACT Independent Senate candidate David Pocock, will be held online.