“It’s a very pleasant island”

I thought we could take a close look at Nauru and totally destroy Abbott’s fantasy image of this hell-hole.

Abbott, unlike most politicians, has been to Nauru, in 2011. He knows exactly what it’s like, although how much he actually noticed while he was there is debatable. He certainly did not seem to notice the old Howard-era camp had become a primary school.

On a lightning trip to Nauru to inspect the detention facilities set up by the Howard government, Mr Abbott said the camp structures were ”sound” and a processing centre ”could be reopened within weeks”.

Last night Sam Dastyari explained the reason Nauru was chosen for off-shore detention – it’s about the worst place you could be.

Let’s see why.

First – the climate. 

Nauru is just a bit over 40 km from the Equator, so its very hot and humid. Right now, as I write, it’s 3.00 pm on Nauru, it’s 31C, the humidity is 68%.  It’s also raining. Daytime temperatures are usually in the 30C to 35C range, at night the temperature seldom drops below 25C.

When I got out of the plane, the hot weather slapped my face. I had this sinking feeling: “Oh, it’s the end the world and maybe the end of my world, too.”

Try living in a tent with 17 other people in weather like that, with only a fan to keep everyone cool. No wonder black mould is a big problem on the island.

https://theconversation.com/mould-levels-seen-at-nauru-detention-centre-are-enough-to-cause-serious-health-problems-92429

There are no seasons, just a monsoon season from November to February with the rest of the year usually dry. Droughts are frequent.

Water.

There are no flowing streams on Nauru to provide fresh water. There’s just a polluted freshwater lagoon, too contaminated for swimming let alone drinking,  and groundwater accessed by wells. Most of the groundwater is contaminated by seepage from the island’s septic tanks (there is no sewerage treatment facility) and by mining run-off.

The National Assessment Report (Republic of Nauru, 2004) identified the following threats to the quality of groundwater resources, including contamination by cadmium, leachate from rubbish dumps and sewage. Contaminants of concern include:

• Faecal coliforms and E.coli in soil / groundwater from septic tank overflow and soakage pits;

• Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) associated with the power station; • Metals (lead, zinc) associated with blasting / mining;

• Total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) associated with storage and disposal of fuels;

Asbestos associated with building materials; • Ordinance compounds and heavy metals associated with historical bombing;

• A broad range of contaminants associated with fill materials of unknown origins;

• Cadmium from disposal of cadmium sludge associated with mining activities; and

• Leachate from uncontrolled landfill practices.

(If you have time, look through that entire report and see all the problems known to our government when they decided to re-open the detention centre. Further proof Nauru was chosen because it really is a hell hole.)

The rest is too salty to be drinkable. Locals rely on tank water. There are some desalination plants, but they are unreliable, expensive to run and eat into the island’s limited, imported fuel supplies. In the dry part of the year water restrictions are the norm and that applies to the camp as well. Mosquitoes breed in the swampy places and plague those in the camps.

In the camp water collected from roofs is used for washing clothes and flushing toilets. Drinking water is brought in by tanker from the desalination plants.

Food

Food supplies are a problem. Mention a Pacific island and you immediately imagine plentiful tropical fruit, loads of seafood, feasts starring meats and vegetables cooked in an underground oven like a hangi or an imu,  chickens, eggs, taro, and more. Well, Nauru isn’t like that. The island is mostly barren rock, as a result of mining. Food is imported and is mostly canned or processed. Fresh food is restricted to limited amounts of fish and, very rarely, fresh beef. All other fresh food needs to be flown in or brought by ship on weekly supply runs from Australia and is very expensive.

Recent surveys have highlighted the difficulty of growing fruit and vegetables, and the high cost of importing nutritious, fresh food aboard Nauru Airlines planes. “We have WHO standards like ‘are there servings of fruit and vegetable in the diet?’” Auto said. “But 95 per cent of Nauruans in that survey reported not having the recommended amount of vegetables and fruits.”

Beaches.

You think of a “pleasant island” in the tropics and you imagine beautiful beaches with crystal water, clean sand and probably some palm trees.

Not on Nauru.

Yes, there is white sand, and yes, there are palm trees, but the beaches are rocky and footwear is needed for safety. Anibare Bay is advised as the best beach for swimming,  it has fewer rocks than the others, it is not as safe as it looks. The water at the beaches is contaminated by E-coli. Locals become immune to this as children, but tourists and refugees just get sick. The most popular swimming spot seems to be the boat harbour, which is mostly enclosed, making sure those friendly bacteria get a better chance of breeding and getting inside you. Some beaches are decorated with rusting, discarded bits of machinery left over from the now all but defunct phosphate mining.

Health care. 

The Australian government has spent millions on upgrading the Republic of Nauru (RON)  Hospital on Nauru. We were shown photos of a new ward with a row of new beds, and told this is “state of the art”. Both Dutton and Abbott have told us facilities on Nauru are better than facilities in some regional Australian towns. This reflects poorly on both men. Facilities are nowhere near those in regional Australia, they are vastly inferior. There’s another issue with these lies. If they are allegedly “better” then what the hell has this government been doing for the last five years, to make our facilities worse than those on a rotting, corrupt Pacific island where anyone with anything worse than a stubbed toe needs to be flown to Port Moresby for treatment?

Refugees are treated differently to the local population. They are denied proper medical care. Many articles have been written about this, especially over the last few weeks. Look them up, I’ve already taken up far too much space to detail all the problems with health care.

And finally –

The government of Nauru, dependent on Australian funding, seems determined to cut off as much medical help as possible. This is beyond my understanding. Nauru depends on Australian money to keep the island going. Without the steady stream of funding the refugees bring the island would be unable to survive. It has no other means of support. There is no tourism, the place really is a hell hole. There’s no industry, no fuel to support any. There’s no water supply. There’s no food. Without help from the outside world Nauru would revert to a barren rock within weeks.It seems odd to me that the dictatorship masquerading as a government seems intent on killing off all the remaining refugees as fast as they can.

 

 

 

 

 

192 thoughts on ““It’s a very pleasant island”

  1. Emma, the L/NP would be slaughtered on fiscal issues. Better to keep asylum seekers and climate change on the boil.

  2. The government’s reported decision to bring all children and their families off Nauru by the end of the year is an admission of failure in its offshore processing system, Amnesty International Australia has said.

    Human rights and welfare groups said the “welcome” revelation demonstrates politicians are catching up with community sentiment, but that the timeline is still too long for the 38 children still on the island, and the remaining adults must also be evacuated.

    They have also questioned the motives of the government continuing its legal challenges against medical transfers while telling the Australian public it is working to bring kids to Australia.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/01/decision-to-bring-children-from-nauru-an-admission-of-failure-by-government

  3. I don’t trust this government.

    ScumMo says all kids will be off Nauru by Christmas. They might be. But what happens next? Are they going to be sent back when the fuss dies down?

    I suppose they are. The government is sticking to its “no-one who arrives by boat yada yada yada” thing.

    What happens to their parents?

    All the talk is about the government “quietly” bringing children from Nauru. They would all need medical attention, and those that have arrived seem to be in hospital being checked out.

    What next?

    Will they be sent back to their parents on Nauru once their health is deemed OK? Will they be kept here, away from their parents? Is our government intending to follow Trump’s example and keep children locked up somewhere far away from their parents?

    Is this just a whole new level of cruelty from Dutton and ScumMo? I suspect it is.

    • OK – I’m told parents are being brought here with their children. Not sure if that means both parents or just “a” parent.

      Still leaves many questions.

  4. Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has registered the brand name “Fair Dinkum Power”.
    He plans to use it for a movement to promote renewable power.

    Billionaire blows up again over Coalition’s “fair dinkum” power slogan
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/billionaire-blows-up-again-over-coalitions-fair-dinkum-power-slogan-38220/

    Also from RenewEconomy –
    Snowy says cost of “firm” wind and solar significantly below current base-load prices
    https://reneweconomy.com.au/snowy-says-cost-of-firm-wind-and-solar-significantly-below-current-base-load-prices-76846/

  5. Not before time. In fact, much too late.

    Seven months on from the ball-tampering scandal in Cape Town, another victim has been claimed with the Cricket Australia chairman, David Peever, tendering his resignation in the wake of a damning review into the organisation’s culture.

    Following an extraordinary board meeting on Thursday afternoon, Peever fell on his sword after calls from the states for him to stand down effectively made his position untenable. Earl Eddings, the deputy chairman, was appointed as the interim chair.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/nov/01/david-peever-resigns-as-cricket-australia-chairman

  6. Mandy Rice-Davies

    Peter Dutton has said the Morrison government is not able to pursue the resettlement of asylum seekers in New Zealand because intelligence suggests people smugglers would resume operations.

    Dutton declared on Sky News that Labor had raised New Zealand as an option to speed up the removal of people from Nauru, but the idea was in fact raised by the prime minister, Scott Morrison, before the Wentworth byelection.

    Morrison told government backbenchers concerned about deteriorating conditions on Nauru, and also telegraphed in the parliament, that New Zealand could be an option if the government could secure the passage of legislation intended to ensure there could be no backdoor entry to Australia.
    Australian politics: subscribe by email
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    However, the home affairs minister said on Thursday “now is the wrong time to be sending people to New Zealand” because intelligence surveillance of smuggling operations had detected “increased chatter” and “talk about elections and change of government here”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/01/decision-to-bring-children-from-nauru-an-admission-of-failure-by-government

    • A despicable response, just like the ones every other Labor politican from Shorten down trots out whenever this issue is raised.

      All we get is endless repetition of this “Turn boats back where it is safe to do so ….. offshore processing …. third country resettlement” rubbish. They must have been trained to recite it by rote.

      The government is going to use this issue as an election campaign scare – vote Labor and the boats will start again. Hint – they never stopped. No matter what lies this mob tell us those boats have kept on coming. It’s why we still have that damned turn-back policy. If the boats really had stopped we would not need it, and we would not be spending billions on having Border Farce and the RAN cruising in circles up north looking for “boats”.

  7. From over the road. I completely agree. I have outlined the article so you do not have to go to teh SMH.

    Nancy-Bird Walton’s younger brother John was just 15 when the merchant ship he served on in World War II was torpedoed by Japanese submarine I-180 off the New South Wales coast. He was one of 19 survivors rescued by the USS Patterson and is the last of them still alive.

    She went on to become one of Australia’s most celebrated pilots, an Officer of the Order of Australia, and her name would one day appear upon Qantas’s flagship A380 aircraft.

    Pilot Nancy-Bird Walton died in 2009. She was named a National Living Treasure in 1997.
    Pilot Nancy-Bird Walton died in 2009. She was named a National Living Treasure in 1997.

    By war’s end John Bird had been awarded honours by both Australia and the United States, having served in the merchant navies of both nations. He moved for a time to the Australian protectorate that is now Papua New Guinea, where he married his Papuan wife and had five children before returning to Australia.

    Each of the children were immediately registered and granted Australian citizenship, and when they turned six they were packed off to boarding school in Sydney. There they spent their weekends and holidays with their aunt, Nancy-Bird. One of John’s daughters is Mary-Anne, who at 64 remains an active member of the Australian Army Reserve, which she has now served for 29 years.

    So it has been a shock to the whole family that the Department of Home Affairs is now challenging the citizenship of all the children. Mary-Anne has been forced onto a bridging visa which will expire in the new year.

    Mary-Anne Bird was denied a new passport and had her citizenship challenged, despite serving in the Army Reserve for 29 years.
    Mary-Anne Bird was denied a new passport and had her citizenship challenged, despite serving in the Army Reserve for 29 years.Credit:Brian Cassey

    Another daughter, Cathy, went on the run after a Border Force officer told her she might be arrested and detained at any time pending her deportation to Port Moresby. Donald Bird is currently teaching English in Thailand and may have trouble returning should his passport expire.

    “The immigration department positively hounded them” John Bird said of his children’s treatment.

    John Bird, now 91, is worried for his children and furious at the family’s treatment.

    “I was bloody devastated. They are Australian. I am Australian. I have been a member of the RSL for 50 years and I get a veteran’s pension. The immigration department positively hounded them,” he said.

    Cathy first discovered that her citizenship was being questioned by the Department in 2016 when she went to renew her passport. A couple of days after submitting her fee and the appropriate forms she received a call from the department saying that it did not consider her to be a citizen and demanding she apply for a Returning Resident visa.

    Cathy Bird, niece of Nancy-Bird Walton, went into hiding after her bridging visa expired.
    Cathy Bird, niece of Nancy-Bird Walton, went into hiding after her bridging visa expired.

    “I told them, ‘I can’t, I haven’t returned from anywhere, I’m here, I’ve always been here,” she says. “It is just being told you that you don’t belong that hurts the most.”

    Later she was informed that according to the Department she had been issued a visa in 1994 that expired in 2006 and she needed to sort out her status. She says she has no idea what the Department is talking about, that during that period she lived in Australia, holding an Australian passport, and that the Department has refused to show her the visa it is referring to.

    Finally in September she was contacted by a case officer in Cairns and instructed to apply for a bridging visa. She claims her case officer bullied and intimidated her in a meeting, telling her that he could – and would – remove her from her flat at any time.

    “He said he could break down my door and he would be happy to do it,” says Cathy. “It is common knowledge up here [in far North Queensland], people are scared of Border Force.”

    She was granted a one-month bridging visa which expired on October 31. Last week she locked up her Cairns apartment, had Mary-Anne drive her to the airport and went into hiding in rural NSW.

    PNG-born Mary-Anne Bird was denied an Australian visa after her fourth Australian passport.
    PNG-born Mary-Anne Bird was denied an Australian visa after her fourth Australian passport.Credit:Brian Cassey

    Fairfax Media understands that since media made enquiries to the Department on Thursday morning, the bridging visa was extended.

    Mary-Anne Bird with her Papuan mother Mary. The interpretation of regulations have been changed in relation to the citizenship of Australians born to mixed marriages in PNG.
    Mary-Anne Bird with her Papuan mother Mary. The interpretation of regulations have been changed in relation to the citizenship of Australians born to mixed marriages in PNG.

    Mary-Anne’s battle with the department began later when she sought to have her own passport renewed. Like Cathy, she does not know why her citizenship is being questioned. “I am serving in the Australian Army. I have had my security check. You can’t serve in the Army if you are not a citizen,” she says.

    Like Cathy, she has been forced onto a bridging visa, though she was given three months rather than one.

    In recent days Cathy confessed to a friend that she had for a time considered suicide. “It was just so disheartening. I thought, ‘How can I keep this fight up? How can I live like this?'”

    Dan O’Brien, the secretary of US Army Small Ships Association, a group founded to assist Australian veterans, said over recent days members of the group, along with the Maritime Union of Australia, the Merchant Navy Association of NSW and the American Legion had raised money to help the Birds pay for legal assistance.

    He said it was his understanding that when the Department of Immigration combined with other Australian government arms, including Border Force, to become the Department of Home Affairs, regulations – or the interpretation of regulations – about the citizenship of Australians born to mixed marriages in Papua New Guinea changed.

    Mary-Anne Bird with her mother, Mary and two of her brothers.
    Mary-Anne Bird with her mother, Mary and two of her brothers.

    If this was the case, he says, those affected by the changes should have been notified and assisted rather than threatened with deportation.

    “This is not how you treat a family that has given so much to this country,” he said.

    Asked why the Birds’ citizenship had been challenged and how many people might be affected by changes to regulations, a spokesperson for the Department of Home Affairs declined to comment on individual cases due to privacy concerns.

    After hearing Cathy’s bridging visa was extended, Mr O’Brien, called on the government to apologise to the Bird family and settle the question of their citizenship conclusively.

    https://outline.com/SWEdjY

    Steve777 (Block)
    Thursday, November 1st, 2018 – 8:14 pm
    Comment #2334
    A bloody disgrace. No doubt bureaucrats blindly following rules, rules which seem to have been changed without considering the repercussions and without informing those affected: https://www.smh.com.au/national/bloody-devastated-family-members-of-aviation-pioneer-have-citizenship-challenged-20181101-p50dgl.html

    What is it with right wing Governments and citizenship?

    • Dear Puffy

      i’m sorry, I found this in the Spam folder this morning. It’s now where it should be. My apologies for not finding it last night.

  8. https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/dunkley-mp-chris-crewther-could-be-rubbed-out-by-section-44/news-story/9b770cb19f40f7a3d5462de3b02d161d paywalled

    Dunkley MP Chris Crewther could be rubbed out by Section 44
    James Campbell, national political editor, Herald Sun
    25 minutes ago

    EXCLUSIVE: The Morrison Government faces losing another MP and a nightmare by-election in its second most marginal seat in ­Victoria after a backbencher made an investment that could disqualify him from parliament.

    Two weeks after the ­government lost its majority in the House of Representatives, it risks having ­Dunkley MP Chris ­Crewther rubbed out by the High Court under the ­notorious Section 44 of the Constitution, which has ­already seen 16 MPs booted since the 2016 election.

    Chris Crewther, MP for Dunkley, which includes Frankston, Langwarrin and Mornington, is likely to face a vote in parliament to refer him to the High Court over shares he recently bought in local company Gretals Australia which specialises in developing highly innovative pharmaceuticals.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe tells us how Morrison is holding the line on his controversial stance on Israel despite a growing rift on the policy with his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, and a forced retreat on his disputed claim on Thursday about a diplomatic mission to ease trade tensions with Indonesia.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bali-bungle-morrison-gives-ground-in-conflict-with-turnbull-20181101-p50dht.html
    Tony Wright has a pointed contribution in which he says Morrison’s attack on Malcolm Turnbull’s truth-telling has turned into a full-blown shambles.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-s-attack-on-malcolm-turnbull-s-truth-telling-turns-into-a-full-blown-shambles-20181101-p50dfi.html
    Michelle Grattan says that now Malcolm Turnbull is the sniper at the window.
    https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-now-malcolm-turnbull-is-the-sniper-at-the-window-106193
    And The Australian’s Simon Benson writes that Turnbull has ignited a new legacy war within the Coalition, putting Scott Morrison on notice that he will publicly defen­d his record, in a thinly veiled warning that has infuriated the new Prime Minister.
    https://outline.com/A7uR2w
    Paula Matthewson advises Turnbull to step away from the microphone.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/11/01/malcolm-turnbull-sniping/
    More strife surrounding the ABC.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/abc-reporter-suspended-for-two-months-after-complaint-by-alex-turnbull-to-chairman-20181101-p50de4.html
    Matthew Knott examines the role of religion in the US elections.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/eat-pray-vote-the-evangelists-who-trump-s-counting-on-for-a-miracle-20181027-p50cao.html
    David Crowe looks at the foot soldiers in political parties and how there is a need for greater transparency.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/foot-soldiers-march-on-through-battle-of-egos-and-arrogance-20181101-p50de9.html
    Phil Coorey says that Scott Morrison was ill advised this week to offer hope to motorists facing pump prices of more than $1.60 a litre and fearing they could hit $2.
    https://outline.com/8SftXW
    Bevan Shields writes that a demand to speed up the probe into misconduct allegations against Australia’s most decorated soldier has been condemned as “highly inappropriate” by legal experts who say investigators should not be pressured by prominent public figures.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/call-to-speed-up-ben-robert-smith-probe-condemned-as-highly-inappropriate-20181101-p50dhk.html
    The federal government’s cuts to asylum seeker support payments has placed almost 80% of them at risk of homelessness and destitution, a report commissioned by the Refugee Council of Australia has shown.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/02/federal-government-cuts-put-80-of-asylum-seekers-at-risk-of-homelessness
    Meanwhile Dutton has said the Morrison government is not able to pursue the resettlement of asylum seekers in New Zealand because intelligence suggests people smugglers would resume operations.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/01/decision-to-bring-children-from-nauru-an-admission-of-failure-by-government
    Katharine Murphy tells us that the Coalition is right to remove children from Nauru – but there’s very little to celebrate.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/01/the-coalition-is-right-to-remove-children-from-nauru-but-theres-very-little-to-celebrate
    Sam Maiden writes that Pauline Hanson’s accusation that asylum seekers are breeding children on Nauru to get to Australia has sparked fury with lawyers insisting that some are the product of rape.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2018/11/01/pauline-hanson-nauru-children/
    Kate Aubusson reports that it’s not only staph aureus that is toxic in this leading hospital.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-hospital-s-cardiothoracic-surgery-unit-trainee-ban-over-bullying-20181101-p50de3.html
    John McDuling reports that Australian software billionaire Mike Cannon-Brookes has accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of being dishonest over the cause of rising power bills, as he called on supporters of clean energy to get behind his “Fair Dinkum Power” movement.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/billionaire-tackles-government-dishonesty-on-renewables-20181101-p50dg2.html
    The SMH editorial is relieved that Morrison seems to have moved away from his apparent wedding to Trump’s ideals and moved back to more normal foreign affairs stance.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/morrison-switches-back-to-normal-foreign-policy-20181101-p50de2.html
    The NSW Nationals “Nazi scandal” has exposed deeper divisions within the party, with senior MPs concerned a rushed investigation hasn’t weeded out key players behind a rise of factionalism.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/state/nsw/2018/11/01/nsw-nationals-neo-nazi-investigation/
    The head of the Presbyterian Church in Australia has warned Scott Morrison that the ability of religious schools to insist on separate uniforms, sporting teams and toilets for boys and girls will be open to legal challenge under a government plan to outlaw discrimination against gay students.
    https://www.outline.com/qTttzA
    Michael Sexton explains how contentious religious discrimination and protection legislation can be.
    https://outline.com/mjf2Kf
    More than 1,000 current and former students from Anglican schools have written to their principals asking them to give up “the right to discriminate” against LGBT students and teachers. Morrison is not going to be able to hide from this festering issue.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/01/anglican-school-students-ask-principals-to-give-up-right-to-sack-gay-teachers
    A phone call from Cricket NSW chairman John Knox to David Peever on Thursday triggered the resignation of the under-siege Cricket Australia chairman, who was told for the good of the game he had to step down.
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/cricket/peever-set-to-resign-as-chairman-of-cricket-australia-20181101-p50dfb.html
    Paull Daley says that the $498m about to be blown on the Australian War Memorial could be spent better.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/01/the-498m-about-to-be-blown-on-the-australian-war-memorial-could-be-spent-better
    The Washington Post’s Greg Sergeant writes that Trump knows full well that his rhetoric and conspiracy theories are putting people’s lives in danger – and in one case may have already helped incite mass murder – yet he continues to push them, anyway. Scary stuff!
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/trump-knows-his-conspiracy-theories-incite-violence-he-keeps-pushing-them-anyway-20181102-p50dig.html
    Jenna Price looks at how we got to the Rush/Norvill situation.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/what-women-feel-when-they-read-about-ej-norvill-and-geoffrey-rush-20181101-p50dcp.html
    The chief executives of Origin Energy, AGL Energy and their smaller electricity retailing competitors look set to have a united and firm message for Energy Minister Angus Taylor at the “roundtable” he has convened on November 7: Don’t just pick on the easy targets in your quest to force down retail power tariffs.
    https://outline.com/6gTueA
    In the meantime Taylor will meet chief executives of Australia’s major power companies in Sydney next week as part of the Morrison government’s ongoing jawboning exercise to bring power prices down before voters go to the polls.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/01/energy-minister-angus-taylor-to-meet-electricity-ceos-and-demand-fairer-deal
    And Stephen Koukoulas explores what he calls the “absurd issue of electricity prices”.
    https://thekouk.com/item/646-the-absurd-issue-of-electricity-prices.html
    Harold Mitchell explains how the app WeChat is set to change the way we do things.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/asia/it-could-be-goodbye-to-the-banks-if-wechat-takes-over-the-world-20181030-p50cy1.html
    This university deputy vice-chancellor (Research) tells us what is wring with Tehan’s “pub test”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/problem-with-tehan-s-pub-test-for-academic-research-20181101-p50df3.html
    And Van Badham opines that Simon Birmingham is the one who needs a history lesson in western civilisation.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/01/simon-birmingham-is-the-one-who-needs-a-history-lesson-in-western-civilisation
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that a parliamentary inquiry into Labor’s $55 billion dividend imputation policy has been inundated with complaints from retirees about the proposal to strip tax refunds from investors, including one who called it “abhorrent”.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/all-that-is-now-at-risk-retirees-vent-their-anger-in-super-inquiry-20181101-p50ddr.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz goes to NAB’s results to tell us that the golden age of banking is over.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/nab-results-confirm-the-golden-age-of-banking-has-ended-20181101-p50dam.html
    Macquarie Group did business with a British hedge fund investor who has been accused by the Danish government of orchestrating a large-scale alleged tax fraud, as banks face growing pressure over a European share-trading scandal. A hand-written note might prove to be the smoking gun.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/macquarie-link-to-investor-accused-of-major-danish-tax-fraud-20181101-p50dg4.html
    Michael West writes that executives at the corporate regulator have helped themselves to “performance bonuses” again this year. This, despite the backdrop of systemic corporate corruption and blatant regulatory failure exposed by the Royal Commission into the banks.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/parallel-universe-more-performance-bonuses-for-corporate-watchdog/
    With his usual good style of writing Gideon Haigh tells us about Peever’s ugly end to an inept innings at Cricket Australia.
    https://outline.com/EAYxWK
    In a lecture on the role of the public service, Mike Pezzullo said public servants must navigate remaining apolitical in a political sphere and ensure they are always ready and willing to serve the government of the day.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/pezzullo-an-apolitical-public-service-is-not-separate-from-politics-20181030-p50cx0.html
    The London Daily Telegraph says that there’s a 50-50 chance Trump is about to trigger a global oil shock.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/markets/there-s-a-50-50-chance-trump-is-about-to-trigger-a-global-oil-shock-20181101-p50dae.html
    Sydney house prices have seen their biggest annual fall for nearly 30 years as the city dragged Australia’s average property values down sharply over the past 12 months.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/01/sydney-house-prices-fall-at-fastest-rate-in-30-years-dragging-rest-of-australia-down
    Caroline Wilson reflects on her time in the male-dominated AFL sphere.
    https://www.theage.com.au/sport/afl/caroline-wilson-women-do-often-see-things-differently-20181101-p50dfu.html
    Australia has eliminated rubella – but that doesn’t mean it can’t come back.
    https://theconversation.com/australia-has-eliminated-rubella-but-that-doesnt-mean-it-cant-come-back-106056
    Anna Patty provides a generic nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/workplace/i-made-sure-i-never-broke-in-front-of-him-bosses-who-bully-workers-and-make-them-cry-20181028-p50chh.html
    But this Pentecostalist also stakes a strong claim!
    https://outline.com/8YLtfE

    Cartoon Corner

    Some Greek mythology from David Rowe.

    Paul Zanetti clean bowls Peever.

    From Matt Golding.

    David Pope has a ripper for us this morning.
    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto/ba7a341ccf1cf5f47ec26f34962cfe64e7a8eeae
    Jon Kudelka with Morrison’s Turnbull problems.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/dc215f3febb32330b1b2283a5ce745ad
    More in here.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/best-of-fairfax-cartoons-november-2-2018-20181101-h17ehm.html

  10. Little Willy-Wagtail,
    Do I see a cheeky glint,
    In your sparkling eye?

    And why strop your beak,
    On the dry branch at your feet?
    Little Wagtail thy.

    Do you have dire intent,
    To swoop upon me stalking,
    Past nesting bough so bent?

    Little, cheeky Wagtail.

  11. Last night the wonderful Puff, the Magic Dragon posted a most interesting item about citizenship. Unfortunately it went into the spam folder, where it languished until this morning’s spam check.

    It’s where it belongs now, among last night’s posts, at 8.53 pm.

    Do have a look at it.

  12. I’m still worrying about what will happen to the kids from Nauru once they are released from hospital. It looks like things will be just as bad for them, maybe worse, now they are here. The rejoicing over their move to Australia is misguided.

    I’m also worried this government will quietly ship them all back to Nauru once their health has been stabilised. This is the same mob who quietly moved families from Christmas Island and from mainland detention centres to Nauru in the first place.

    It’s great to get kids off Nauru, but detention centres in Australia are like prisons

    Unfortunately, these children will likely be placed in detention here, in Australia, where conditions are much the same.

    If asylum seekers are allowed off Nauru and Manus Island, where will they go? Does Australia take these already traumatised people and put them in detention centres here indefinitely? And is that any better than where they are?

    I have visited detention centres in Australia and I have worked with community groups that regularly visit migrant detention centres. Visiting an onshore detention centre is confronting, it is very much like visiting a prison

    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/nov/01/i-have-visited-detention-centres-in-australia-they-are-not-much-better-than-nauru

    This is a companion piece, from June 2016, on the horrors of Nauru and Manus Island.

    The worst I’ve seen – trauma expert lifts lid on ‘atrocity’ of Australia’s detention regime
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/jun/20/the-worst-ive-seen-trauma-expert-lifts-lid-on-atrocity-of-australias-detention-regime

  13. Leone

    Thanks for pointing out Puffy’s piece from last night. This is absolutely disgraceful. Hopefully Labor will get onto this and help. What atrocious behaviour by dutton and company.

    • Dutton clearly has an agenda. He has a vision on who will or will not be permitted Australian citizenship. Some German chap had a similar agenda last century. It’s easy to see where Dutton gets his inspiration.

  14. hmmmm
    “ABC reporter suspended for two months after complaint by Alex Turnbull to chairman.
    An ABC journalist has been suspended and is the subject of a two-month investigation following a direct complaint by Malcolm Turnbull’s son to former chairman Justin Milne.

    Peter Lloyd, a senior correspondent in the broadcaster’s radio current affairs division, is accused of leaking un-aired portions of an interview between high-profile presenter Emma Alberici and Alex Turnbull in August.

    ABC reporter Peter Lloyd has been suspended pending an investigation.

    The ABC told Senate estimates last week no formal complaint had been made, and on Wednesday said Mr Milne never raised the issue with ABC management.

    But Fairfax Media can reveal Alex Turnbull telephoned Mr Milne shortly after the leaked comments were published by the Australian Financial Review, and demanded answers.

    The revelation sheds new light on the close relationship between the Turnbull family and the former ABC chairman – who was in business with Malcolm Turnbull at Ozemail in the late 1990s.”

    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/abc-reporter-suspended-for-two-months-after-complaint-by-alex-turnbull-to-chairman-20181101-p50de4.html

    Jump! How high, Sir?

  15. A new headache for Dutton and for ScumMo.

    Exclusive: Afghan Invictus Games athletes remain in Australia to ‘seek asylum’
    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/exclusive-afghan-invictus-games-athletes-remain-in-australia-to-seek-asylum

    Last week ScumMo was busy being terribly, terribly supporting of the Invictus Games and the athletes, telling us they were an inspiration, wishing them well, welcoming them to Australia. He made speeches, he had his photo taken, he even caused offence by likening the Liberal Party’s Wentworth result to the spirit of the games. He just couldn’t stop talking.

    He even wrote an article of the Daily Telegraph to express his admiration.

    Scott Morrison: Conquering Defence athletes an inspiration to all
    https://outline.com/8HxnMA.

    Now he has to tell us these people will be deported or shoved into detention. He will be telling us last week’s heroes are now this week’s evil asylum seekers. It’s going to take a lot more than ScumMo’s usual advertising spin to get around this level of hypocrisy. While they work out what to say they are sticking to the line about athletes being able to stay until their visas expire.

    You have to wonder if these now missing athletes were injured helping Australians fighting in Afghanistan.

    • Those athletes obviously didn’t look up what is happening here with refugees. They are in for a not very good time until this is resolved, and they needn’t bother asking scummo for help.

  16. https://outline.com/ZFkcue

    Non paywalled version of the Mackay article here, although you won’t get the pictures. See if you can open the original via my tweet or a google search first.

    • The Callan Park War Memorial –

      Callan Park War Memorial
      The monument commemorates those who died in service or were killed in action during World War One.

      It was designed by a former indigenous soldier, Douglas Grant, in memory of his fallen comrades. Douglas was a clerk at Callan Park Hospital and the memorial was erected by patients of B Ward.

      The memorial is a scale model of Sydney Harbour Bridge above a circular wishing well. The bridge pylons are made of sandstone and the well is made of concrete. The back of the pylons show the years 1939 and 1945.

      His Excellency the Governor, attended by Brigadier-General A. T. Anderson, C.M.G., private secretary, unveiled a soldiers’ memorial in the grounds of the hospital, Callan Park, yesterday afternoon.
      The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW), 5 August 1931

      http://monumentaustralia.org.au/themes/disaster/display/21851-callan-park-war-memorial

  17. Ross Cameron has been booted off Sky News. About time!

    Now they need to get rid of his mate Rowan Dean as well. Their grubby little show would have been lucky to have 1,000 viewers.

    Here is the offending segment – I think.

    Fancy being such a racist bigot that even Sky After Dark, a haven for bigots, racists, the braindead and assorted conservative has-beens won’t tolerate you.

    • Must have been a response to Shorten’s announcement about Labor raising Newstart.

      ScumMo will never have to worry about being unemployed. Even if he loses his seat he will be looked after by his Liberal Party mentors. After politics he will get a well-paid position on a few boards. He will also receive a lavish parliamentary pension, he’ll get extra money and perks for having been PM, even if it turns out he only had that position for a few months.

      Don’t believe the popular Twitter myth about a PM needing to spend two years in that position to get their pension, or the one about Abbott missing out by just a few days. It’s all rubbish.
      https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/tony-abbotts-pension-the-myth-that-wont-die-20150925-gjv14d.html

      I saw this myth trotted out yet again the other day. Why people keep repeating garbage is beyond my understanding. It’s so easy to check your facts before you tweet.

    • I see Morrison is neatly side-stepping the argument that it needs to be raised for both pensioners and the unemployed. And the “if I thought I had the money to do that” is particularly egregious considering all the other things he’s been happy to throw money at.

      It’s not even a good argument to say “we can’t afford it”. If they were both raised, where does Morrison think the money would go? Down at the bottom end of the pay scale not a lot of saving goes on. That money gets spent, and therefore goes back into the market, stimulating the economy. I mean, geez, the GST was specifically designed to take advantage of all the spending we all do, producing a tax cut for all of it. Reduce the money we earn and spend in any way and there’s an impact right along the board. You can’t make the same argument for corporate tax cuts, and certainly not for tax cuts for the higher wage brackets. That stuff gets mostly taken out of the market – off-shored or tied up in investments – and we never see it again.

      That’s a simplistic way of looking at it, granted, but it is fundamentally true. Morrison’s doing what all Liberal leaders do, dressing up class warfare as economic management.

  18. Sexiness? Jewellery? On which planet?

  19. Arron Banks, one of the UK’s biggest political donors, is being investigated by the National Crime Agency over an 8-million-pound loan he gave to the leave campaign.

    Some remain supporters say Brexit should be put on hold until the inquiry is complete.

    Under UK laws, loans and donations to campaigners cannot come from overseas sources.

    The National Crime Agency suspects Mr Banks was not the true source of loans to the Leave.EU campaign — which he co-founded — and that they came from impermissible overseas donors.

    The matter was referred to the agency by the Electoral Commission because of its concerns about the source of the money.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-11-02/brexit-donor-arron-banks-referred-to-national-crime-agency/10459784

  20. Hercules dropping water on the Pierces Creek (Canberra) fire:

    Arvo RJ85 (BAe-146) after dropping fire retardant:

  21. The Hercules firebombing aircraft are a bit gee wiz, They can do a lot of good with a water drop, stop about a Km of firefront on a running grass fire, but then they need to refill, so they disappear for about 45 minutes. Trucks on the ground and helicopters are a much better combination.
    I love those Ericsson Skycranes.

    • We had this beauty here last summer helping fight a huge fire . A lot of the area (over 10,000 hectares was burnt out) was inaccessible, so tanker aircraft made a big difference.

      The “Nancy Bird” DC10 Very Large Air Tanker.

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