Sunday 21st of July 2019

same breed...

new dog

Scott Morrison's timidity and inaction have been driven by the irreconcilable differences between the moderates and conservatives within the Government, and the rejection of the Coalition’s brand of neoliberalism by many workers and others. 

Morrison's reign as Prime Minister has hardly been ten days that shook the world.

Climate change and drought

Take climate change. We are nominally in the Paris Agreement, without really being in it. We still have no target for emissions reductions.

We have a new Minister for Energy, Angus Taylor. In his first speech as Minister a few days ago, he did not mention reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Taylor’s pitch is that we need cheaper electricity without subsidising renewables. This ignores the fact that renewable energy is reducing the cost of electricity

Melissa Price, our new Environment Minister, is a former lawyer for the mining industry. A few days ago, her first statement as the Minister for the Environment did not mention reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Since then, she has mentioned climate change, but only in the context of balancing the environment with industry, jobs, prices and other excuses for inaction.

Nowhere is this Government’s climate change denialism clearer than in the discussion about the drought. Amid all the crocodile tears from conservative politicians for farmers, they either ignore or dismiss the underlying cause: climate change. Indeed, our new Prime Minister went so far as to saythat climate change was not "part of this [drought] debate". Seriously?

Social services

On social services, the Government's victim blaming robo-debt continues. More than half of those on Newstart – 55%, in fact – are living below the poverty line. For pensioners, more than one third live below the poverty line.

For Indigenous Australians, the health, imprisonment and poverty rates are a national disgrace in such a rich country.


On the economy, wages are stagnant or falling, while the rewards for the top 1% are increasing rapidly. Underemployment remains a great concern for workers, as does precarity. Despite the half-truths analysis from the Productivity Commission, the reality of inequality remains and, for many, continues to grow. 

All the $110 billion in unpaid overtime that we work goes straight into the bosses’ coffers.


Read more:

pyne was never bullied...

Scott Morrison has defended the Liberal party’s handling of concerns from female colleagues about being bullied and intimidated during last month’s leadership spill, despite more Liberal women coming forward with accusations.

The minister for defence, Christopher Pyne, has also repeated the line that no “specific complaint” of bullying has been made, but warned if such a complaint was made “it will be dealt with appropriately.”

“I haven’t been bullied or intimidated in 25 years,” he said on Monday. 

“If any of my colleagues feel they have been and they make a complaint to the chief whip or the prime minister’s office it will be dealt with appropriately.” 

Female Liberal MPs Kelly O’Dwyer and Julia Banks, and Liberal senators Lucy Gichuhi and Linda Reynolds, have spoken publicly about the experiences some MPs say they endured during the backroom number-crunching amidst the leadership crisis.


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a little bit of impossible satire...


Joan Wilson (Letters, September 4) makes a valid point when she suggests relocating a major military asset, Garden Island, away from the centre of Sydney. However, Newcastle already has an RAAF base close by. Might I suggest an alternative site? How about Newport? - Jenny Mooney, Karuah


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Apart from a zillion letters in The Sydney Morning Herald, blasting our ScoMo for being an ignorant selective school twit-twat, and an editorial to let him know a Royal Commission on Electricity Prices would be a fucking waste of time in an ideal world, there was this interesting letter about having a military naval base in the middle of the city.

I believe it was written in jest, as to relocate an industrious potential "enemy bombing site" to the North Shore of Sydney — mainly to Tony Abbott electorate, where surf, beaches, palm-trees, rocky headlands and acreage properties are the elements of paradise, unfortunately with a fool for Member of parliament. Hence, a fool's paradise.

I am sure that Jeny Mooney knows that Pittwater, where Newport stands, a bit too close to mudflats, is by and large deep water. But there is a little known fact that happened during the last climate change, which possibly did not happen on the North Shore because Tony Abbott says so, that would make the relocation of the naval base difficult.

Before the sea rose about 100 metres, more than ten milleniums ago, the small river that flows into Pittwater used to flow through Palm Beach. Palm Beach was a valley — THE river bed that went about 10 kms, to where the seashore was. 

Due to the vagaries of the raising sea water of the big melt 10,000 years ago, the now under-water ridge between West Head and Barrenjoey (head) was flooded and the river was diverted by accummulation of sand now known as Palm Beach. This under water ridge makes a kind of a dike that would prevent any navy ships entering the bay as it is barely three metre deep at low tide at its lowest point. 

But there is hope, apart from blasting the natural dike.

With the present global warming (which is not happening in the mind of the people of the North Shore because Tony Abbott told them so as to preserve their investments in coal mines in the Hunter Valley and Queensland, but is still happening in THE bay) in another 100 years, the dike at low tide would give at least four metres of clearance. Another hundred years after this, and seven metres clearance is not out of the question. A lot of boat sheds and low lying houses would have had to be relocated, but it's a small price to pay to find real employment for the lazy stock-traders who live on the North Shore, with the relocation of the Garden Island navy base then — if the planet is still in one piece.

I though we needed to know. Further reading:

in the light of au pairs...

As our Dutton sprouts idiotic excuses and threats in regard to having given "preferential treatment" to some au pair "girls" (women), one reader of The Sydney Morning Herald writes:


More than 120,000 Australians petitioned Mr Dutton to allow two Australian-born children and their asylum seeker parents to continue living in Biloela, Queensland. Is this what citizens expect from the exceptional discretionary powers conferred on the Minister for Immigration? Would it not be better if the discretion was exercised for sound social justice and humanitarian values? - Margaret Hetherton, Balmain East


Though I do not know the outcome of this case, could I be naughty and suggest that had the 120,000 signatories contributed a dollar each to the Minister's party fund, the case would have been reviewed favourably at the speed of light? 

bizarre from abetz bazaar...

Eric Abetz:

"There has been some bizarre criticisms about the quickness that one of these cases was determined by the minister. I would have thought we should all be celebrating that the department and the minister can make quick decisions rather than keeping someone in detention unnecessarily."


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The problem is not about the "speed" , you twit, but about the discretionary choice of cases by Dutton, which it appears some of them seem to be aligned like planets, with a bit of cash in the coffers of the Libs (CONservatives).

roman quaedvlieg au pair connection...

The man Peter Dutton hand-picked as the first Australian Border Force (ABF) commissioner has divulged new details of the lengths the Minister's office went to in securing a tourist visa for an Italian nanny.

Key points:
  • Roman Quaedvlieg was Customs boss at the time Peter Dutton intervened in an Italian au pair's visa situation
  • Mr Quaedvlieg has told a Senate inquiry that Mr Dutton's chief of staff Craig Maclachlan called him about the case in 2015
  • This claim that Mr Maclachlan called Mr Quaedvlieg "on behalf of the Minister" implies a challenge to Mr Dutton's denial of any personal association with the case


Roman Quaedvlieg, who was ousted from the Border Force job in March, has lodged a submission to a Senate inquiry into Mr Dutton's use of ministerial power in 2015 to grant visas to two European au pairs.

His submission was lodged with the Senate after Mr Quaedvlieg had watched former colleagues give hours of evidence to the committee's hearing in Canberra on Wednesday.

Their testimony did not include any reference to conversations the former commissioner and chief executive of the Customs and Border Protection Service had held on the Italian nanny case.

Addressing the omission, Mr Quaedvlieg's submission to the inquiry sets out his recollection of a phone call he received from Mr Dutton's chief of staff, Craig Maclachlan, in June 2015.

The Minister's office was in the early stages of preparing for what would soon become a visa intervention for Italian woman Michela Marchisio on behalf of Queensland police officer Russell Keag and his wife, Nicole.

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Dutton should resign and go to prison for misleading parliament...

dutton should be sacked...

A former immigration department lawyer has accused the public service of not renewing his employment in retribution for an interview in which he criticised Peter Dutton’s handling of the au pair visa cases.

The veterans’ affairs department told lawyer Greg Phillipson on Wednesday that it would not extend his contract – just a day after an interview in which he noted the home affairs minister was not subject to the same impartiality guidelines as other departmental decision-makers.

Phillipson told Guardian Australia he was “extremely disappointed” at what he labelled “an attempt to silence people, to punish people who dare to speak to the media”.

On Tuesday, Phillipson – a former senior lawyer in the immigration department, where he worked for nearly 40 years – told the ABC’s 7.30 program that if Dutton were a departmental official he would not have been able to decide the au pair cases because of a perceived conflict of interest.

“The usual situation is you declare the interest and you say it’s not appropriate for me to make this decision because I know these people,” he said.

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potato head should get his briefs examined...

Section 44(v) of the constitution bans parliamentarians from having a “direct or indirect pecuniary interest in an agreement with the commonwealth”.

Donaghue concluded that participation in the program was likely to constitute an agreement with the commonwealth, but said the “better view” is that Dutton does not have an interest in it because the funding was given for specific purposes to hire a special needs teacher.

“Assuming the Camelia Avenue childcare centre complied with that condition, it therefore appears unlikely that the funding would have generated a surplus for RHT Investments that could have been distributed to Mr Dutton,” he said.

Dreyfus told reporters that it is “now clear … that Peter Dutton must be referred to the high court”.


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But as you know, the laws of democracy are that in the Australian parliament the number of Liberal (CONservative) liars versus the rest of the world is that the liars win — even by a small margin. To expect one (or several) of the liars to switch side and be honest for two minutes is too much of a democratic pipe dream...

as melissa plans to built more trees...

Minister Price – Only a couple of weeks ago, we announced our new forestry plan, which is a plan to build one billion trees and create some 18,000 jobs”.




Meanwhile in the leafy already "built" forests:

Some of the largest river red gum forests in New South Wales would be opened up for logging if a private members bill from the Nationals’ MP for Murray, Austin Evans, wins support.

In what would be a first for New South Wales, Evans is pushing to reverse the national park listing for the 41,0000 hectare Murray Valley national park, which includes the largest contiguous forest of river red gums and several endangered species.

Whether he has the support of his own side remains to be seen. The bill is unlikely to reach a vote before the state election in March.

But the issue could prove dangerous for the Coalition.

The environment and climate change were key issues in the Wentworth byelection, which saw a huge swing against the Coalition.


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the garden of royal eden...



But a damning 50-page report produced last week by the National Parks Association of NSW concluded the agreements failed in all their aims, with the logging of native forests they facilitated resulting in an increase in threatened species.

The report’s lead author, ecologist Oisin Sweeney, examined scientific papers as well as the logging industry’s own data, and found the RFAs cost the states huge sums, didn’t decrease disputes over logging and worsened the environmental outcomes.

The report also noted the agreements, which were designed in the 1990s, didn’t take climate change into account, and logging of native forests is a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions.

The federal government’s current policy is to extend the RFAs when they expire. The report concluded that “would constitute an irrational decision on environmental, economic and social grounds”.

Read more from 2 years ago:


 See also:

saving the royal planet...