September, 2019

Govt should say it got banks wrong: Joyce

Minister for Revenue Kelly O’Dwyer has defended the government over the banks royal commission.Federal government MPs should admit they got it wrong when they argued against a royal commission into the banking sector, Barnaby Joyce thinks.
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Mr Joyce says the revelations in the royal commission have been “beyond the pale” and he concedes a probe should have been held sooner.

And the former deputy prime minister thinks other politicians should do the same when asked about it.

“Right at the front and the end of the interview, just say, look mate, no one ever predicted this,” he told ABC television on Sunday.

“This is completely beyond the pale. I apologise. I shouldn’t have argued against it.”

His comments came after Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer refused to accept the Liberal government should have agreed to a royal commission earlier.

Ms O’Dwyer deflected the question eight times and instead talked up the coalition’s efforts to boost the standards for financial advisers and increase penalties for misconduct.

“We have done it, we have established (the commission),” she told ABC TV on Sunday.

“Not only with very broad terms of reference rather than the narrow focus that some might have actually had instead, but we have also put in place a very good royal commissioner.”

Mr Joyce said Ms O’Dwyer would have been following “speaking notes” but should have spoken more honestly.

“I know where Kelly is. I understand. She’s got the talking points. These are your speaking notes,” he said.

“Well, screw them up, throw them away and say … This is wrong. We’re going to deal with it. I take responsibility for it.”

For 18 months, the federal government opposed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s proposal to investigate the banks.

Ms O’Dwyer described the idea of a royal commission as a talkfest five months ago, claiming it would “kick the can down the road” for a number of years.

Now, she admits to be being appalled by a number of the issues that have been aired.

Labor hit back, saying anyone watching Ms O’Dwyer’s performance would conclude the government is from another planet.

“They’ve learnt absolutely nothing from all of the scandalous revelations that we’ve heard over the last little while at the royal commission,” the party’s finance spokesman Jim Chalmers told the ABC.

“They still can’t bring themselves to say that they were wrong to run a protection racket against that royal commission for so long.”

Crossbench senator Derryn Hinch tweeted his reaction to the minister’s refusal to accept the government should have acted sooner.

“The words ‘we were wrong’ obviously not in O’Dwyer lexicon. (Barry) Cassidy 100, Minister nil,” he wrote.

The commission has heard one Commonwealth Bank of unit had been extracting fees from dead people, in one case for more than a decade.

The inquiry has also heard earlier wealth manager AMP had charged clients for advice they never received and repeatedly lied to the corporate watchdog.


Adelaide on track in A-League: Kurz

Adelaide coach Marco Kurz is upbeat after finishing the A-league season in fifth place.Adelaide United will chase evolution not revolution in the A-League off-season after seeing their finals flame snuffed by Melbourne Victory.
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Besart Berisha’s 89th minute wondergoal ended Marco Kurz’s first campaign in as the Reds lost 2-1 at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

The German coach appeared deflated after the match but could only express pride in his side’s performance.

“We saw a really good quarter final from two strong teams,” he said.

“I’m very proud about my team. It was very close.

“We are disappointed in the moment … but I am not disappointed with the playing style from our team the whole season. Everybody in Adelaide can be proud of these boys.”

United grabbed the lead against Victory, which came after having the better of the opening hour.

Nikola Miluesnic got the jump on the Victory defence to poke home past Lawrence Thomas.

After Leroy George’s equaliser six minute later, Victory found a way through Berisha as extra-time loomed.

The off-season will bring change at United, which is under new ownership.

A group of European businessmen, who haven’t made their identities public, bought the club last March.

The biggest question is whether they’ll back Kurz – who has another year on his coaching deal – to bring international-quality players to replace any that might leave.

“We are on a good way,” Kurz said.

“It’s up to us to find maybe good players and we will see which players will leave us.

“I think the (new owners will) do the next step but it’s a question for him.

“We have enough time. We will train the next two weeks and we will see with the squad in the break, what we can do to sign new players for Adelaide.”


Sicily and Thomas sent to AFL tribunal

The AFL’s match review officer will assess a high elbow by Hawthorn’s Tom Mitchell against the Roos.Hawthorn star Tom Mitchell can still win the Brownlow Medal, but Port Adelaide’s Lindsay Thomas and Hawthorn defender James Sicily are off to the AFL tribunal.
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AFL match review officer Michael Christian laid 12 charges on Monday, with Mitchell escaping with a fine and Thomas and Sicily referred directly to the tribunal.

In addition to Thomas’ tribunal charge, he was offered a one-game ban for striking Joel Selwood, with the Geelong skipper offered a one-match ban for striking Thomas.

The Port forward will answer a charge of rough conduct at a hearing on Tuesday night for his heavy and high hit on Scott Selwood during the Power’s 34-point loss to the Cats at Adelaide Oval on Saturday night.

Sicily will answer a charge of serious misconduct after he was deemed to have intentionally trodden on Shaun Atley’s lower leg during the Roos’ upset win.

Geelong premiership skipper Cameron Ling labelled Thomas’ bump a dog act, with Christian classifying it as careless conduct with severe impact to the head.

“I should take the opportunity to emphasise that this wasn’t graded as intentional,” Christian explained.

Hawthorn’s James Sicily has been referred to the AFL tribunal for an incident on the weekend

“I think it’s really important to understand that you’re permitted under the rules of the game run past the ball, if it’s within five metres, and execute a bump.

“It’s part of the game, but when you elect to do that you must execute the bump fairly.

“(But) to say that someone intentionally set out to commit a reportable offence when you’re allowed to bump is a bridge way too far, so that’s why it was graded careless.

“Ordinarily it would have been high impact but with the potential to cause more serious injury we decided to upgrade it to severe.”

Christian based that classification on the speed Thomas was travelling, the front-on position that he came from and also the vulnerability of Selwood.

Mitchell, one of the favourites to win the Brownlow after four rounds, will still be eligible if he accepts a $1500 fine for misconduct.

Christian explained the force of Mitchell’s elbow to Todd Goldstein’s neck wasn’t enough to warrant a suspension.

North veteran Shaun Higgins spent a night in hospital with concussion and underwent cosmetic surgery on his lip after a collision with Ryan Burton.

The young Hawk was cleared of any wrongdoing over the clash.

“Contact was made from Burton’s shoulder to the chest of Higgins,” Christian said.

“I think it’s really important to understand that he took reasonable care to execute the bump fairly.

“He couldn’t reasonably foresee that there was going to be an accidental clash of heads.

“It was unfortunate for Higgins, but I just want to emphasise that when we’re assessing incidents we look at the conduct first and foremost.”

Greater Western Sydney ruckman Dawson Simpson was found to have no case to answer for his part in a collision that left St Kilda’s Jack Newnes concussed.

Players to receive fines included Geelong’s Patrick Dangerfield, North Melbourne pair Cameron Zurhaar and Majak Daw, Gold Coast’s Touk Miller and Jesse Lonergan, and Hawthorn’s James Cousins.


Morrison promises responsible budget

Chris Richardson says improving global and local economies are “raining revenue” on the budget.The Turnbull government is providing a $260 million GST top-up for the Northern Territory after it lost out in the latest revenue carve-up and $550 million for remote housing.
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With the May 8 federal budget fast approaching, it is also beefing up staff at the Centrelink call centre by 1000 over the next few years to reduce the time people are put on hold.

“We can do all this because we are running a strong economy and a responsible budget,” Treasurer Scott Morrison told reporters in Alice Springs on Monday.

But a potential centrepiece of the budget – personal tax cuts – has been questioned by one economist.

Deloitte Access Economics partner Chris Richardson says improving global and local economies were “raining revenue” on the federal budget, giving the government the potential for a surplus earlier than 2020/21 as presently forecast.

Asked on ABC television whether personal tax cuts would be a good thing, Mr Richardson said: “No, I don’t think personal tax cuts are needed from the viewpoint of the economy. The economy is going absolutely fine.”

“They are needed, if you like, from the viewpoint of politics,” he added.

In his latest quarter business outlook, Mr Richardson argues the economic gains made from the mining boom were promised away by both the coalition and Labor.

“That was a mistake of historic proportion – that boom fizzled, leaving huge deficits in its wake,” he said.

Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said before the government starts making unfunded promises about income tax cuts it should rule out the tax hike it’s inflicting on people who earn less than $87,000 a year through an increase in the Medicare Levy.

“Labor is always one income tax cut ahead of the Liberals,” Mr Shorten told reporters Melbourne. .

A survey of medium-sized business by consultants KPMG also found almost half saying personal income tax cuts should be on hold until the budget is back in surplus, while 38 per cent said they should come into effect next year.

Over half said efforts should be prioritised to get the government’s business tax cuts passed, particularly for businesses with a turnover of up to $100 million.

For this financial year, a deficit of $23.6 billion has been forecast, although the government’s most recent monthly financial statement suggests the budget is running around $8 billion better off than forecast.

Human Services Minister Michael Keenan says tens of thousands of people are now off welfare because the government has been so successful helping to create jobs.

“If you are running a good economy, if you’re creating employment, then what will happen is that less people will need to access the social security system and that is what is happening,” he said.


Chinese to join Perth Anzac Day march

Perth’s Anzac Day march will be joined by descendants of Chinese WWII veterans.Descendants of Chinese veterans who fought in WWII against the Japanese will march in Perth’s Anzac Day Parade for the first time.
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Labor upper house MP Pierre Yang appealed to the Returned & Services League WA to include the group after being approached by some of the relatives who live in his electorate and knew he had served in the n Army Reserves.

Descendents of Chinese veterans marched in Melbourne for the first time in 2016 and in Sydney in 2015.

It’s now Perth’s turn to demonstrate recognition of their fight alongside the Allies against a common enemy.

“The Japanese Imperial Army was unstoppable,” Mr Yang told AAP.

“It was a formidable opponent.

“I’m very heart-warmed and appreciative of the RSL for looking at it and making a decision based on the facts.”

About 19 descendants are expected to march on Wednesday.

RSL WA chief executive John McCourt said the branch strongly welcomed their participation.

“Another group that will have many people marching for the first time behind their own banner are servicemen and women who have served in the n Defence Force anytime since 1990,” Mr McCourt said.

“This will allow anyone who has served in the ADF, regardless if their service, who have been overseas on operational deployments or here in .

“They can also be a former or current serving ADF member; either a Reservist or permanent member.”

About 180 groups will take part in total including bands.

RSL WA-hosted commemorative events within the city are expected to attract more than 100,000 people.

This year holds special significance as it is the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI.