Australia: You win Somyurek, you lose Somyurek

A Bastiaan of good taste … what’s the deal with Matt Canavan … are the Walkleys OK?

  A Bastiaan of good taste … what’s the deal with Matt Canavan … are the Walkleys OK? Marcus Bastiaan is not the only one in the family making some news. Plus: they're letting Matt Canavan "off the leash" (sounds horrifying) at CPAC, and can somebody go check on the Walkley Foundation, please?But a detail you may have missed is that as recently as last year Bastiaan’s wife Stephanie — herself a former Sukkar electorate officer and member of the Liberal Party’s conservative faction, and who quit the party after the initial round of stories — campaigned alongside none other than Monica Smit.

Adem-Somyurek © Provided by Crikey Adem-Somyurek

ADEM IF YOU DO, ADEM IF YOU DON’T

Victorian MP and former Labor powerbroker Adem Somyurek has announced via the Herald Sun that he will return to Parliament to vote against Premier Dan Andrews‘ pandemic bill, posing a serious threat to the bill passing the upper house as scheduled on Friday, The Age reports. This development comes after days of toxic debate around the bill. As The Australian reports, it was only a couple of days ago that the Victorian Government secured the support of crossbenchers needed for the bill to pass the upper house, but Somyurek’s unexpected return could see the vote tied at 19-19, and ultimately defeated.

Electric blue

  Electric blue Good morning, early birds. Prime Minister Scott Morrison has seemingly made a mental U-turn and is now a supporter of electric vehicles, and disgraced former Victorian Labor minister Adem Somyurek has admitted some of his actions could be categorised as corruption. It's the news you need to know, with Kishor Napier-Raman.It’s all absurdly cynical, as was Morrison’s claim that journalists pointing out the hypocrisy of his supposed Damascene conversion were repeating a “Labor lie”. He denied he’d ever attacked EVs during the 2019 campaign, a lie straight out of the Morrison playbook. Here’s a good little thread explaining just why it’s such a falsehood.

Somyurek quit the Victorian Labor Party last year after being dropped from the ministry amidst allegations of branch stacking, which were aired in IBAC corruption hearings earlier this month, AFR reports. He had been suspended from Parliament since October for failing to confirm his vaccination status, but that was cleared up on Wednesday to make way for his return.

This latest kerfuffle comes after the bill was already watered down last week, and the Herald Sun reports that the failure of the pandemic bill would further complicate the enforcement of restrictions and mandatory vaccinations. If the bill does not pass this week, the government will be hurtling towards the December 15 expiry for the current state of emergency, which cannot be extended. Only one sitting week is scheduled before the expiry, from November 30 to December 2, and to guarantee the support of more crossbenchers in such limited time, the government may have to make further concessions.

Adem Somyurek to block Vic pandemic bill

  Adem Somyurek to block Vic pandemic bill Ex-Labor minister Adem Somyurek will vote against the Victorian government's pandemic laws, which would derail the passage of the controversial legislation.Debate on the Public Health and Wellbeing Amendment (Pandemic Management) Bill is set to resume on Thursday but a final vote may come as late as Friday, with MPs advised parliament could sit an extra day.

PRAY ON

Details of the federal Coalition’s long-awaited religious freedom bill have begun to emerge ahead of its unveiling next week — and it’s already causing controversy. In a bid to deliver on one of Scott Morrison’s 2019 election promises, the AFR reports that the legislation will allow religious institutions including schools and hospitals to discriminate when hiring staff, so long as they provide and make public their policies explaining hiring decisions. The bill has sparked concern from moderate Coalition MPs, as well as groups including LGBTIQ advocates Equality Australia, as reported by the SMH, and the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners, as reported by The Age.

Vaccinated Victorians wake to new freedoms as state records 1273 new COVID-19 cases

  Vaccinated Victorians wake to new freedoms as state records 1273 new COVID-19 cases From today, a Victorian's vaccination status will determine what they can and can't do as the government battles to get its new pandemic laws through parliament.From today, a Victorian's vaccination status will determine what they can do after Premier Daniel Andrews revealed a raft of new freedoms - including the removal of most mask, home visitor, and density restrictions - for residents who have had two doses of coronavirus vaccine.

Religious discrimination has become a focal point of debate generally this week, as the Victorian government is simultaneously proposing laws that would prohibit religious schools from refusing to enrol students or sacking teachers based on their sexuality or gender identity, as The Age reports. Education Minister Alan Tudge’s comments on the matter did little to clear up how the proposed federal and Victorian laws would interact.

EMISSION IMPOSSIBLE

The Port of Newcastle, the world’s largest coal port, was shut down amidst protests by climate activists from the group Blockade Australia, 9 News reports. Two people climbed on large pieces of machinery and hit an emergency stop button, which saw operations at the port come to a grinding halt. They then took their positions suspended in the air after abseiling off a tall piece of equipment, with the entire protest being broadcast live to Facebook.

Guardian Australia reports that these protests are another in a long line of interventions by the group over the past 10 days, which has included blocking essential bottlenecks using their bodies, rope, and glue. The protests continued despite NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller warning the protesters could face up to 25 years in jail for their disruptions.

A Vickie situation

  A Vickie situation Good morning, early birds. South Australia's Parliament has passed a vote of no confidence in Deputy Premier Vickie Chapman, and Victoria has lifted almost all restrictions as the state nears 90% double dose vaccination. It's the news you need to know, with Josefine Ganko.ABC reports that the motion requires the Speaker of the House, former Liberal Dan Cregan, to express to the governor the House’s will that Chapman be dismissed from her duties as deputy premier and a minister of the government. The complication arises because Chapman is refusing to resign, and Premier Steven Marshall is standing by his deputy (and both are denying any wrongdoing), InDaily reports.

ON A LIGHTER NOTE

The ANU’s Australian National Dictionary Centre has again declared a very pandemic-inspired word of the year. ABC reports the 2021 word of the year is “strollout”, a term coined to describe the casual pace Australia’s vaccine rollout took earlier in the year. Luckily for us, Australia picked up the pace, so now we can (mostly) look back and laugh at these funny little pandemic-isms.

This year’s choice follows the trend set by 2020’s word of the year “iso”, which goes to show just how much COVID-19 has infiltrated not only our lives, but our vernacular. I for one hope this is the last time our word of the year is pandemic-themed, and that we can return to fun phrases like 2016’s winner “democracy sausage”.

SAY WHAT?

It is so unfair for a small, ugly mob to be taking attention away from the more than 90% of Victorians who have had a first dose and will soon have had a second dose.

Daniel Andrews

The Victorian premier hits back at anti-government protesters (and lets them know he doesn’t think they’re very good looking).

CRIKEY RECAP

Scott Morrison wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Crikey

Lowe pulls the rug out from under Morrison’s interest rate scare campaign

Morrison’s accusation is that Labor will somehow force interest rates higher than they should be — presumably by spending an even bigger proportion of GDP than the 26-27% Morrison is spending, or by managing the economy more successfully so that growth picks up quicker.

PL hits and misses: Conte brings the noise; Utd made to pay

  PL hits and misses: Conte brings the noise; Utd made to pay Man Utd are made to pay for dithering on their manager, while Antonio Conte inspires Spurs, and Steven Gerrard is off to a winning start.He has only witnessed two games so far, but Antonio Conte doesn't do matches at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium by halves. Following that chaotic victory over Vitesse Arnhem here in the Europa Conference League, his side staged a brilliant comeback to ensure momentum remains intact under their new ebullient head coach.

“But Lowe’s point is that interest rates will go nowhere until wages growth is up in the 3% range and forces inflation sustainably up above 2%. And they’ll go nowhere despite the conniptions of bond markets, the commentary of inflation hawks and the demands of neoliberals in places like The Australian Financial Review.”

a group of people standing in front of a crowd © Provided by Crikey

In my short time as a journalist, the gender disparity has already been palpable

“Every female journalist I know has stories about feeling like an outsider in their industry. Media isn’t even particularly male-dominated — women make up about 45% of the publishing workforce.

“But it’s not just who is on the floor that represents equality. It’s who is taken out for dinner and coffee, who is put forward for training, or moulded for promotions. It’s who ends up with a door on their office versus who keeps working shifts on the newsroom floor. It’s who takes home the higher pay packet.”

  You win Somyurek, you lose Somyurek © Provided by Crikey

The culture war army prepares for battle. The question is, will we get the full deployment?

“We can comfortably say that a full political culture war is on the way, assembled overseas and applied shakily to local conditions. It’s going to be plonked down in the middle of everything, it’s going to be on critical race theory, curriculum, education etc, and it’s going to be absurd and hideous, particularly as reasonable and necessary debate will be tangled up with ridiculous claims. No matter how often it falters, it will be jerked into life and kept running in the weeks preceding, and into, the election campaign proper.”

Victorian Labor MPs Jill Hennessy, Danielle Green and Dustin Halse not contesting 2022 election

  Victorian Labor MPs Jill Hennessy, Danielle Green and Dustin Halse not contesting 2022 election Former Victorian attorney-general Jill Hennessy announces she will not recontest next year's election, saying she wants to give her teenage daughters "all the best of me" as they finish high school.Two other Labor MPs, Danielle Green and Dustin Halse, have also announced they will not stand at the 2022 state election.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

William Tyrrell: Inside the police thinking on the case (The Daily Telegraph) ($)

‘Worse’ than lockdown: Hundreds of students at Sydney schools isolating after COVID-19 exposures (The SMH)

Former Labor MP Craig Thomson arrested over alleged migration fraud (The Australian) ($)

$8b takeover offer could avert one of China’s biggest potential corporate failures (Bloomberg)

Japanese experts craft ‘super clone’ of Afghan mural from Bamiyan valley destroyed by the Taliban (ABC)

They saved classical music in Melbourne: now they’re going national (The Age)

Desperation is taking hold for cold migrants marooned in a police state (The New York Times)

Anti-vaxxer extremists now targeting WA school students, Premier Mark McGowan has revealed (The West Australian)

Inflation, rather than sleaze, could kill off Boris Johnson’s government (The Independent)

THE COMMENTARIAT

Why I won’t be supporting pandemic BillAdem Somyurek (the Herald Sun) ($): “Had I continued to be a member of the Andrews cabinet, I would have argued this Bill is a bad idea because it gives too much power to the government. Since I did not trust the opposition (Coalition) with such power I would argue that without meaningful parliamentary oversight and independent review mechanisms as Victorians we all risk the prospect of being unjustly governed by a Coalition despot in the future. Given the democratic deficit in our parliamentary system, I believe the emergency powers need to come back to Parliament for endorsement of a two-thirds majority.”

Working together for a free and open Indo-Pacific regionSumio Kusaka (The Australian) ($): “Turning to Australia-Japan defence co-operation, last year the two sides reached an in-principle agreement on a reciprocal access agreement. With the re-election of the Kishida government, I hope the agreement can be signed off as soon as possible, taking advantage of the opportunity presented at this critical juncture. Our world is faced with extraordinary challenges, yet we have a historic opportunity to turn the tide of escalating tensions and re-establish the rules-based international order. Many of our greatest challenges are still in front of us. We must be prepared and, mindful of the lessons of the past, never allow ourselves to underestimate how much is at stake.”

Opinion: Slow starts, misfiring attack cost Springboks

  Opinion: Slow starts, misfiring attack cost Springboks Rugby writer Jon Cardinelli stresses that South Africa must improve their first-half performances after sluggish starts in the Test arena in the last year.Since the Boks won the 2019 Rugby World Cup, fans and pundits have waxed lyrical about the ‘Bomb Squad’, South Africa’s world-class bench that has the ability to destroy opponents in the latter stages of a Test match.

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

Eora Nation (also known as Sydney)

  • Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give the keynote address at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s Sydney Dialogue, also streamed online.

  • A panel of NSW university vice-chancellors will discuss the significant challenges facing the state’s tertiary education sector.

Kulin Nation (also known as Melbourne)

  • Lord Mayor Sally Capp will launch the City of Melbourne’s annual Christmas Festival in Federation Square.

Larrakia Country (also known as Darwin)

  • A formal apology ceremony, including a smoking ceremony, will be held for Garden Point abuse survivors.

Australia

  • The Australian Institute of Employment Right’s Ron McCallum Debate on the future of workplace relations in Australia will feature keynote speeches from International Labour Organization Deputy Director Greg Vines and Industrial Relations Minister Michaelia Cash, held online.

The post You win Somyurek, you lose Somyurek appeared first on Crikey.

Opinion: Slow starts, misfiring attack cost Springboks .
Rugby writer Jon Cardinelli stresses that South Africa must improve their first-half performances after sluggish starts in the Test arena in the last year.Since the Boks won the 2019 Rugby World Cup, fans and pundits have waxed lyrical about the ‘Bomb Squad’, South Africa’s world-class bench that has the ability to destroy opponents in the latter stages of a Test match.

See also