Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Morrison flags migration cuts

Prime minister Scott Morrison has announced plans to cut the annual migration intake and involve state and territory governments in setting targets for migration. Speaking at the Bradfield Lecture on Monday, Morrison said “Australians in our biggest cities are concerned about population” and that “the roads are clogged, the buses and trains are full”. Morrison revealed the states and territories would be asked to submit individual population plans ahead of the next Coalition of Australian Governments meeting in December, saying they “know better than any what the population carrying capacity is for their existing and planned infrastructure and services”.

New South Wales Greens state MP Jenny Leong has taken legal action against NSW Police after police officers made racist, sexist and aggressive comments on her Facebook page. In 2016, several serving officers posted and shared comments mocking Leong’s ethnicity and calling her father a “swamp monkey” after she introduced a bill aiming to abolish the use of drug sniffer dogs. Leong’s lawyer, Giri Sivaraman, said Leong made a complaint when the comments were published, but “still has not received a substantial response from police as to their findings regarding her complaint and actions taken”. The Human Rights Commission will examine whether the comments, and the NSW Police response, constituted a breach of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Rugby league star Jarryd Hayne has handed himself in to police over allegations he sexually assaulted a woman in September. Hayne, 30, turned himself into Ryde police station on Monday and was charged by NSW Child Abuse and Sex Crimes Squad detectives with aggravated sexual assault and inflicting actual bodily harm. Last week Fairfax published details of the investigation against Hayne, who is accused of injuring a woman during a sexual encounter in which she withdrew consent. A separate civil suit against Hayne in the United States, in which an unnamed woman accused Hayne of raping her at his San Jose home in 2015, will likely head to trial after mediation efforts failed.

Casual workers routinely miss out on the higher hourly wages they are legally entitled to, according to new research commissioned by the Australian Council of Trade Unions. The Myth of the Casual Wage Premium report found most casual workers did not receive a 25 per cent wage premium over permanent workers in similar roles, and that more than a quarter of all Australian workers were casually employed. The report came after the Fair Work Commission ruled last week that drivers for food delivery company Foodora were employees rather than independent contractors, a decision with potential ramifications for other food delivery services and gig economy employers.

And the Fairfax Media name will cease to exist in December after shareholders approved a proposed merger with Nine. More than 80 per cent of Fairfax investors voted in favour of the merger, which came after the company rejected a last-minute bid from former Domain chief executive Antony Catalano to buy nearly 20 per cent of Fairfax shares in an effort to stop the vote. Paul Murphy, the chief executive of journalists’ union, the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, criticised the vote, saying the new media giant would “jeopardise not only media diversity, but threaten the scale of public interest journalism, especially in our regions”.



“Twenty years ago, when Australia previously seriously considered the republic question, the first Aboriginal member of federal parliament, Neville Bonner, made a passionate speech in opposition to a republic. ‘I cannot see the change we need. I cannot see how it will help my people ... I cannot see how it will ensure that indigenous people have access to the same opportunities that other Australians enjoy’, he said.”


“The decision of the US and Australia to combine forces in a joint naval base on Manus Island (at the invitation of Papua New Guinea, of course) represents a direct challenge to China’s expansionism in the region, and the US vice president, Mike Pence, deputised for the chief confronter, made no attempt to disguise its purpose. And by announcing Washington’s participation in what had been seen as a purely Australian initiative, Pence has locked Australia into America’s side in the great game.”


“At the outset, Boy Erased presents its audience with a familiar premise – a young, white, relatively well-off man fumbling through the transition from high school to college. Our protagonist, Jared Eamons, played by a luminescent Lucas Hedges, is immediately likeable, though somewhat reserved and by all appearances unremarkable. That is, until a sexual assault at the hands of a fellow student prompts his coming out to his conservative religious parents.”


“Australian voters are split on whether to cut the number of migrants coming from Muslim countries, as the Morrison government considers an overhaul of immigration and population rules within weeks ... The exclusive poll was conducted after the Bourke Street terror attack by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali and amid growing calls from some conservative members of Parliament to cut migration from Muslim nations.”


“The first law of journalism is that bad news is good news – bad news sells. On Monday, Fairfax’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age newspapers had a choice between a ‘good news’ story and twisting the facts to make a ‘bad news’ story. No prize for guessing which way the decision went. In the process, the once-venerable Fairfax mastheads ventured a little further down the road of clickbait and populism, joining the Murdoch newspapers with a sectarian beat up.”


“Back in 2016, we introduced you to the photos of Roman Fedortsov, a deep-sea fisherman who posts his discoveries to Twitter and Instagram. The monsters he pulls from the deep are horrifying, to say the least. So it seems like a good time to check back in with Fedorstov’s social media.”

Alex McKinnon is Schwartz Media's morning editor.