Crikey Worm …

The Crikey bird gets The Worm Good morning, early birds! Scott Morrison is considering a new loan scheme for “clean” coal plants, Turkey continues to dismiss Saudi Arabia’s Jamal Khashoggi story, and NSW Labor signals abortion decriminalisation. It’s the news you need to know, with Chris Woods.

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Scott Morrison is seeking advice on using taxpayer funds to provide discounted loans for new “firming” power generation, including new and existing coal-fired energy plants, under a new energy package.

Following yesterday’s announcements of a “default market offer” to force down prices, The Australian ($) reports the Coalition has opened consultations on a new “design program” for baseload generation that could go further than Australian Competition & Consumer Commission recommendations and fund the extension of existing coal and gas plants.

The government will also give energy companies until January 1st to reduce prices or face new regulations and even a potential royal commission. As RenewEconomy notes, the baseload consultation processes has been fast-tracked and the government will announce tenders for projects in March 2019.


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has rejected claims that exiled Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and has called for an independent investigation into the “savage murder”.

The Guardian reports that Erdoğan, speaking at the Turkish parliament, said he was not satisfied by the Saudi Arabian government’s suggestion that Khashoggi’s death was the result of a rogue extradition operation. Instead, he has announced that “intelligence and security institutions have evidence showing the murder was planned” and called for the “highest ranked” responsible officials to be brought to justice.


New South Wales Opposition Leader Luke Foley has signalled that a future Labor government would decriminilise abortion in the state, after last week’s historic vote in Queensland left NSW the only state left to list abortion as a criminal offence.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Foley would seek advice from the NSW Law Reform Commission on removing illegality around abortion and then give any Labor MPs a conscience vote on the topic. The announcement comes after a bill from former NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi to remove abortion as an offence was defeated last year.



You’re not being helpful, Kevin.


— Julie Bishop

The former Foreign Affairs Minister speaks for roughly every Australian following a suggestion from Kevin Rudd that the Liberal Party adopt a Rudd-like “Bishop rule” against mutiny ($).


scott morrison Scott Morrison is truly the Forrest Gump of Australian politics 
Guy Rundle
“Russian multipart novels typically end with a short comic story that recapitulates the entire plot in farcical terms. How lucky we are that Australian politics has taken up that form! A decade on from the election of Kevin 07, our sixth prime minister since John Howard has turned out to be an absolute blithering idiot. ScoMo rounds out the series, not with the mediaeval strangeness of Tony Abbott, the exhausting delusions of Malcolm Turnbull, or Kevin Rudd — last seen as a relentlessly saluting golden cat on the shelf in Richo’s Chinese restaurant — but with plain old-fashioned suburban crapness.”
Chadstone shopping centre How shopping centres came to reflect the generation gap 
Helen Razer
“The Southdale Shopping Centre of Edina, Minnesota, was the first to open its doors, and its car park, to the lady consumer. This experiment in retail was designed by Victor Gruen, a Jewish and socialist intellectual forced to flee his native Austria in 1938.”
Behind the scenes at Geoffrey Rush’s defamation trial 
Emily Watkins
“The Federal Court took a theatrical turn on Monday as Geoffrey Rush’s much-anticipated defamation case against the Daily Telegraph’s publisher Nationwide News opened in Sydney. To a nearly-full courtroom on the court’s 18th floor, Rush’s barrister, Bruce McClintock SC, talked through the ‘lies’ he said the Daily Telegraph had knowingly published in its now-infamous ‘King Leer’ front page story and follow-ups.”
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Morrison rejects Labor offer on Nauru asylum seekers as ‘horse-trading’

Labor risks $12bn housing hit over ending negative gearing ($)

‘No record’: Julie Bishop facing questions over Jimmy Choo shoes disclosure

Nationals deputy Bridget McKenzie moves on Cathy McGowan’s turf in Indi ($)

Papua New Guinea court dismisses Manus Island detainees’ case on technicality

Nuclear scientists suggest reactor to power desalination plant for Eyre Peninsula farming water ($)

‘The President of the United States says it’s OK to grab women by their private parts’

ACTU rallies: estimated 150,000 workers march for ‘better deal’ on pay

‘Dr Love’ egg-freezing clinic targets young women and single Asians

ABC says review of claims made by Michelle Guthrie about Justin Milne will stay secret


Scott Morrison tries to tame the political price of energy ($) — Jennifer Hewett (Australian Financial Review): “Coalition MPs still seem determined to make an unpalatable political hash of the government’s much battered energy policy. So the latest demand from some moderate Liberals of an extra $1 billion to be put aside for the Emissions Reduction Fund has all the hallmarks of a counter-productive initiative that would satisfy no one.”

Fallen PMs always blame the media, never look in the mirror — Peter Hartcher (Sydney Morning Herald): “Rudd calls it ‘the coup that killed politics’. He says that Australian politics has yet to recover as it lurches madly from one prime ministerial coup to another eight years later. So if my story was the catalyst for so momentous a change in national politics, I should address his claim that it was false.”

The English-only NT parliament is undermining healthy democracy by excluding Aboriginal languages — Ben Grimes (The Conversation): “After Yingiya Guyula was elected as a member to the NT Legislative Assembly in 2016, he rose to give his inaugural speech and started speaking in his first language, Yolngu Matha. Yolngu Matha is dominant language of Guyula’s electorate, and the third-most commonly spoken language in the NT. Nevertheless, he was interrupted by the speaker, Kezia Purick, because he wasn’t complying with recently enacted standing orders that placed barriers on speaking languages other than English in parliament.”




  • A Women in National Security conference will include speakers such as former Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop and Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Frances Adamson.


  • Kevin Rudd will launch his new book The PM years in-conversation with ABC’s Patricia Karvelas at Sofitel Melbourne.
  • ACTU will launch results from a survey of 1,100 ride-share drivers demonstrating low pay and safety problems.
  • Business journalist Adele Ferguson will discuss “Learning from ethical failure” at The Centre for Ethical Leadership’s Vincent Fairfax Speaker Series.
  • Chief Economist at The Australia Institute Dr Richard Denniss and policy analyst Fergus Green will speak on “Targeting Fossil Fuels: The Political and Economic Case” at the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute.


  • UNSW’s Institute for Global Development will hold an “Africa Roundtable” research event as part of Global Development Month.


  • Primary Industries Minister Tim Whetstone will launch the $132 million “Fight Food Waste” research centre.


  • The West Australian European Business Association and the Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade will host the first official “Heads of Missions” visit to Western Australia by the Ambassador of the European Union to Australia Dr. Michael Pulch.


  • UK technical director at the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers Hywel Davies will present “What can Queensland learn from Grenfell Tower?” as part of the 2018 CIBSE ANZ seminar series.


  • Tasmanian Minister for Justice, Corrections, Environment and the Arts Elise Archer will host a United Nations Day event at Parliament House, to include a keynote speech from Australasian Campuses Towards Sustainability President Leanne Danby.


  • The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law will hold seminar events at every Australian capital city as part of United Nations Day.


  • South Australian Premier Steven Marshall and state Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas will attend a French defence conference.
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