Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

Here’s my two cents worth on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s leaked impersonation of US President Donald Trump.

If you are prime minister and you are going to do a private impersonation of Trump you could pick a better occasion than the Parliamentary Mid-Winter Ball which is packed with drunken politicians, journos and political advisers. So it is a mighty stretch to call it a leak.

However, if you are a conservative, hollow-man prime minister, down in the polls, the “leak” of a recording of the said impersonation might be a welcome circuit breaker.

US President Donald Trump sent his vice-president Mike Pence on a beat-the-drums-of-war Asia-Pacific tour and even before Pence got to Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull started talking Trumplish.

He regurgitated Trump's jingoistic riffs with near word-for-word precision: “Australia and Australians first”, “Australian values”.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, has used speeches to the UN General Assembly and US President Barack Obama’s leaders’ summit on refugees to push Australia’s “compassionate humanitarian” solutions to the worldwide refugee crisis.

Yes, the country strongly criticised in numerous UNHCR and Amnesty International reports is using the UN General Assembly to proclaim itself a leader in “compassionate” refugee solutions.

Turnbull is using this “solution” as the cornerstone of a bid for Australia to sit on the UN Human Rights Council.

Mass meetings of members of the United Firefighters Union (UFU) on July 26 voted to endorse in principle two proposed enterprise agreements negotiated with the Victorian state government.

One agreement covers workers employed by the Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB), while the other covers the Country Fire Authority (CFA).

The two agreements provide for pay rises and cover a wide range of other issues including rostering, staffing levels and occupational health and safety.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said he will amend the Fair Work Act to make it possible for the federal government to block the proposed new enterprise agreement for firefighters employed by Victoria's Country Fire Authority (CFA).

Turnbull said he will introduce legislation in the first sitting week of the new parliament to expand the list of "objectionable terms" that cannot be included in enterprise agreements.

The morning after the July 2 federal elections, Australians awoke to a still undecided election.

Whether the incumbent Liberal Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull holds on by a slim majority, or is able to form a minority government, or whether Labor under Bill Shorten can form a minority government, or whether there is a hung parliament requiring new elections, remained unclear.

Some things, however, were immediately apparent.

When I heard that Omid Masoumali had set fire to himself on Nauru on April 27, had to wait 26 hours to be airlifted out, during which time he had no pain relief, and then died in Brisbane, it was too much. Suddenly the activism we were engaging in seemed very inadequate.

Two weeks into a protracted election campaign, it is looking ever-more likely that climate change is to be placed way down the order of business – at least for the major parties.

The contest over climate change that characterised the previous three federal elections seems to have disappeared off the political radar despite the issue being more urgent than ever.

About 200 unionists, refugee activists and students rallying in Melbourne on April 8 outside a Liberal Party fundraiser to celebrate 20 years since the election of the Howard government, were attacked by police on horses and the indiscriminate use of pepper spray.

The Construction Forestry and Mining Employees Union (CFMEU) has produced this short explanation of what the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) is and what it will mean for Australian workers.

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What is the ABCC?

The ABCC, or the Australian Building and Construction Commission, was created by John Howard in 2005. It was abolished in 2012, but now Malcolm Turnbull wants to bring it back — only it’s going to be bigger and more powerful.

What does it do?

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