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May 28, 2018

Coalition party room split over national energy guarantee -May 28, 20- politics live | Australia news | The Guardian.

Coalition party room split over national energy guarantee – politics live | Australia news

Katharine Murphy

It is that time of day again!
Question time is almost upon us.
You know the drill - hit me up with your predictions

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If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps fund it, our future would be much more secure. For as little as $1, you can support the Guardian – and it only takes a minute. Make a contribution. - Guardian HQ

Melissa Davey
Before lunch the community affairs committee interrogated the government’s My Health Record scheme. Earlier this month the government revealed that from 16 July people will have a three-month window to opt-out of the scheme. After that period, a health record will automatically be created for all Australians.
If people do not opt out, two years’ worth of pharmaceutical benefits scheme and Medicare data will be uploaded to the system. The chief executive of the Australian Digital Health Agency, Tim Kelsey, told the committee that an advertising campaign would run in newspapers, on television and on radio alerting people to the opt-out period. If people forget to opt-out they will automatically have two years of data uploaded at their next medical appointment, Kelsey says.
The Greens leader, Richard Di Natale, asks about what would happen if someone is taken to an emergency department and is unable to consent to this occurring. Kelsey said that at the point of the patient being discharged a discharge sheet would be uploaded to the patient’s My Health Record and this would trigger an automatic upload of two years’ worth of data.
But he tells Di Natale the patient can also retrospectively request to remove this data. The committee heard that patients will need to opt-out of having their data passed on to third parties, such as pharmaceutical companies for medical research.

Barnaby Joyce has had a little bit of a longer chat to Greg Brown at the Australian earlier today, where he explains why he has accepted the money for the interview:
Remember there are other people in this interview, being Vikki and Seb, so if it was just an interview with me as a politician, sure, I am not going to charge for that.
But that is not what they wanted, they wanted an interview obviously to get Vikki’s side of the story and, like most mothers, she said: ‘Seeing as I am being screwed over and there are drones and everything over my house in the last fortnight, paparazzi waiting for me, if everybody else is making money then [I am] going to make money out of it’.

Anthony Albanese has written an op-ed on how we look at sporting facilities in our local communities:
Whenever we build new housing estates we should ensure they include adequate sporting fields and open space, not just for now, but for the future, as populations increase. But the real challenge lies in increasing space for sport in existing urban areas.
Across Australia’s cities there has been a strong increase in construction of apartments, which is increasing population density in some areas.
Our challenge is to accommodate this greater population density while also creating more open space.
One solution here is incorporating indoor sporting facilities in urban renewal plans.
We should also work harder to better utilise existing sporting grounds and improve their facilities.
Many existing sports facilities have only male change rooms. Significant investment is required to ensure that female facilities are provided so as to encourage female participation.
Another way to make better use of existing space is to think harder about the way we design and use parks.

For anyone who feels like they haven’t had enough Barnaby Joyce today - here are those comments, straight from the MP’s mouth:
ABC Politics (@politicsabc)
Barnaby speaks. Briefly. #auspol
May 29, 2018

“I am anticipating that will be the case,” Eric Abetz says about separate tickets for Tasmanian Liberal senators and the Tasmanian tiger. (That’s Steve Martin, who Michael McCormack has accidentally donned with the extinct* moniker)
“[I also anticipate] that there will be respectful and healthy competition but a very strong exchange of preferences,” Abetz says. “The people of Tasmania will be able to determine whether or not they prefer Liberal or National party senators, noting that the difference is relatively small, and that is why I would anticipate those who vote one Liberal would be voting two National and vice versa.”
As for the Braddon byelection, Abetz doesn’t believe the “sympathy” vote, which was with the Coalition MPs in the earlier section 44 byelections, will be present this time around.
“I think we are in with a very real fighting chance, for a number of reasons ... the former Labor member clung on to her seat for an extra six months, when people like senator Stephen Parry and senator Jacqui Lambie ... accepted the high court decision and resigned, but the Labor member, limpet like, kept on and drew an extra $100,000 worth of salary, in circumstances where she must have known that she was at all times disqualified and I think therefore she won’t have the sort of sympathy that John Alexander enjoyed when he had to recontest his seat.”
Both Parry and Lambie only resigned after the high court decision that ruled Fiona Nash, Malcolm Roberts and Barnaby Joyce were dual citizens.
*thought to be extinct

The IPA has a solution for the super issue – just be done with compulsory superannuation.
From its statement:
“Compulsory superannuation in Australia should be abolished in favour of a voluntary scheme,” said Morgan Begg, research fellow at the free market thinktank the Institute of Public Affairs. “The Productivity Commission’s recommendations are a mixed bag that does not address the fundamental problem in the superannuation sector: over-regulation and compelled participation.
A September 2016 paper for the IPA found that high taxes and transaction costs, complexity, inconsistent treatment of different assets and a bias against savings are a predominant feature of Australia’s superannuation system.
“With employees’ money locked up in superannuation for several decades, it is important that the system is transparent and empowers workers to control their own financial choices,” Begg said.
“Instead, superannuation in Australia has become a playground for vested interests. For instance between 2013 and 2017 trade unions directly received over $18m from industry super funds via directors’ fees.”

Eric Abetz had a chat to Sky, where he had opinions on everything, except what he thinks about Barnaby Joyce accepting the reported $150,000 for a tell-all interview.
Anything he has to say on that, he’ll say privately to Barnaby, he says.

Things are going great in the government’s energy policy discussions – with its own members.
Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo)
Breaking: Another discussion about the national energy guarantee in the Coalition partyroom today. Tony Abbott wanted a guarantee the policy would come back for discussion before sign off. Josh Frydenberg declined to give that guarantee #auspol
May 29, 2018
Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo)
The NEG discussion kicked off with Andrew Gee raising concern about power prices. Abbott then chimed in, wanting the NEG to come back before sign off. Craig Kelly raised this morning's Newspoll, saying the Coalition needed to differentiate more with Labor #auspol
May 29, 2018
Katharine Murphy (@murpharoo)
On power prices, Frydenberg told colleagues they would come down in Queensland from July. It would take longer in other states because of hedging. He said the govt would not agree to an emissions reduction target higher than 26%, & it might be a hockey stick trajectory #auspol
May 29, 2018

Michael McGowan
The last hour or so of Defence estimates has been taken up debating the department’s $89bn shipbuilding plan, which has been pilloried by the auditor general.
The auditor general’s office released a scathing report on the plan earlier this month.
The report criticised the approval of a new fleet of patrol boats without a concrete idea of running costs, and revealed that the decision in 2016 to begin construction of new frigates forward to 2020 “presented such extreme risk that cost and schedule overrun was likely, and that to proceed on the current schedule had the potential for severe reputational damage to Defence and the government”.
But in questioning in estimates, department official Kim Gillis said media reporting of the audit was “outlandish” and insisted much of its findings were “relatively positive”.
He maintained that in early 2016 Defence had identified some aspects of the frigate building program were of high to extreme risk but mitigation efforts were in place to make this more manageable.
“This was our statement that the audit office was reporting, it wasn’t the audit office’s assessment,” Gillis said.
He said some parts of the audit report were “out of date”.
Twelve new submarines, nine frigates and two new offshore patrol vessels are set to be constructed in Adelaide, while Perth will host the building of 10 offshore patrol boats and 19 Pacific patrol boats.

If you really want to know what is destroying Australia though, it’s obviously the divide between those who see a battered, deep fried, smashed scoop of grated potato and think potato scallop, and those who think potato cake.
It is obviously a potato fritter.
But the war has had a brief flare up in Canberra, after the Canberra Times ran the term “potato scallop” in its headline and my messages and DMs are blowing up with people who don’t want to take part in a public war, but still feel the need to tell me if it’s a cake or a scallop.
How Potatoes are Destroying Australia is 100% a book launch I would attend.
Amy Remeikis (@AmyRemeikis)
Where were you when the Canberra Times reignited the great Australian battered and fried potato war?
May 29, 2018

This invitation has just popped into our inboxes:
Michael Wilkinson & Wilkinson Publishing invite you to the official launch by The Hon Tony Abbott MP and Mr Alan Jones AO of Dr Kevin Donnelly’s new book:
It’s on Wednesday, 6 June, in Sydney, if anyone feels the need to mark their calendars.

So the Australian Electoral Commission wants you to know it is ready for anything.
Including, one would assume, early elections
AEC (@AusElectoralCom)
We employ 80k Australians to help deliver a federal election. Paid roles available before, on or after election day. Register your interest today at
May 29, 2018

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