Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Morning Mail: Australia replaces (not abolishes) 457 visa, Theresa May calls UK election for June, gas exporters warned domestic shortage 'unacceptable'

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Guardian Australia's Morning Mail
Wednesday 19 April 2017
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Australian government to replace 457 visas

 Malcolm Turnbull says abolishing the 457 visa will give Australians priority in the jobs queue.

Good morning, and welcome to the Morning Mail.

Among the stories leading our website this morning: in a shock announcement yesterday, Malcolm Turnbull said the government will replace skilled 457 visas with a new category to give Australians priority for Australian jobs. "Australians first", as he called it in a video first posted to Facebook: "Australians must have priority for Australian jobs – so we're abolishing the [class] 457 visas, the visas that bring temporary foreign workers into our country".

But, as Guardian Australia political editor Katharine Murphy points out, the government really isn't abolishing anything except a title. So why is "abolish" the message the government wants to send? To genuflect to the political disruptors du jour and our collective, surly, scapegoating, political sensibilities, Murphy writes:

Australian jobs, Australia first, Australian values. Written and authorised by Malcolm Turnbull, Liberal party, Canberra #Straya #2017 #BloodyBewdyM8.

You don't have to do anything as politically crude as stand up in your parliament house courtyard and declare out, out, [politically inconvenient] foreigners, because that's implicit when you say, as the prime minister did in his Facebook video, "We are an immigration nation ...

"... But ... "

Will disaffected voters really buy Turnbull's swerve from Mr Globalisation to #StrayaFirst? Turnbull's "whiplash-inducing political transitions" are "less prime minister steering a steady ship than a magpie collecting shiny objects". Read the full piece.

Ben Doherty also has this analysis on how Australia's move to restrict migrant intake reflects a broader global trend, while Peter Dutton this morning is defending the decision, repeating the 'Australian jobs for Australians first' talking point the government will be pushing.

Keep reading for the rest of the top stories this morning, with more news from around Australia and the world.

Headlines

Peter Dutton defends decision to replace 457 visa program
The immigration minister expects Australians to welcome the policy change, despite criticisms from business leaders

Violence against women almost always committed by family member – study
Fewer Australian women and girls are treated for assault than men, but analysis finds nearly all violence against them is by a partner, parent or relation

Theresa May calls for general election in bid to secure Brexit mandate
Prime minister asks parliament for vote on 8 June as Jeremy Corbyn welcomes contest despite trailing by 21 points in ICM poll

Frydenberg to consider shark cull, drumlines after death of WA teenager
Environment minister says federal government 'would welcome any proposal to protect human life first' after attack on surfer Laeticia Brouwer

The Australian budget is likely to confirm this is a big-spending, big-taxing government
With an ageing population, rises in health, aged care and education spending, the electorate may demand a bigger government than ever before

Australian news and politics

Malcolm Turnbull warns gas exporters a domestic shortage is 'clearly unacceptable'
Talks between government and producers on Wednesday follow crisis summit, where PM threatened reservation policy if supply could not be guaranteed

More voters oppose use of super for housing than support it: Guardian Essential poll
Labor leads Coalition 54% to 46% in two-party preferred vote as poll shows high disapproval ratings for crossbenchers

Tony Abbott says he has a duty to speak out and won't quit politics
Former PM tells Alan Jones that he will continue to make public contributions as he sees fit and says he didn't enter public life to be a 'Trappist monk'

Turnbull swerves from Mr Globalisation to 'Australia first' – but will voters buy it?
While it's clear the government isn't really abolishing anything, other than the title of the 457 visa, the change in rhetoric is another of the PM's whiplash-inducing political transitions

Councillor says she did not see Liberal National party donation until after election
Kristyn Boulton tells Crime and Corruption Commission she initially thought $30,000 was a personal donation from Stuart Robert

Manus Island shooting caused by drunk soldiers, police say
Police investigating 'nasty' Good Friday shooting at Australian-run detention centre blame Papua New Guinea's military

Australia's move to restrict migrant intake reflects broader global trend
The government's abolition of the primary visa for foreign workers coincides with a US plan to overhaul its temporary skilled migration program and reports New Zealand is set to 'control' its immigration 'mix'

Around the world

Child refugees in Europe 'forced to sell bodies' to pay smugglers
Governments urged to end 'most heinous human rights violation' as report finds widespread sexual exploitation of migrant children in Greece

US military considers shooting down North Korea missile tests, sources say
Exclusive: As Pentagon looks for strategies to pressure into denuclearization, officials worry that intercepting missiles could escalate tensions and risk war

Man accused of murder in Facebook video kills himself after police chase
Steve Stephens was sought by police in the shooting of a Cleveland man broadcast on social media Sunday, and shot himself after a brief pursuit

Force India F1 team boss Vijay Mallya arrested in London
Tycoon held on behalf of Indian authorities investigating fraud claims linked to Kingfisher Airlines collapse

Asylum applications in Mexico have soared 150% since Trump's election
More Central American migrants are seeking refuge in Mexico rather than take their chances in the US after Trump vowed to crack down on deportation

One last thing

Stand-up comedy's topic du jour: The US president, Donald Trump, has rewritten the old rules of political engagement. Photograph: Bo Zaunders/Getty Images

How do you solve a problem like The Donald? Comedians share how they tackle Trump With the Melbourne International Comedy festival taking place throughout April, we caught up with some of its performers to ask them: how do you make jokes about the US president? See what  Emily Heller, Damien Power, Cal Wilson, Nazeem Hussain, DeAnne Smith and Stephen K Amos had to say. Have an excellent day and if you spot something I've missed, let me know on Twitter at @earleyedition.
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