You can’t blame the drought for corrupt water management.

No doubt by now you have all seen this photo, and others like it. That’s a Murray cod, like all its relatives it has survived droughts, damming of rivers, irrigation pumping and more. But this summer it died, along with thousands of other fish, because river flows in NSW are so depleted there’s just no oxygen left in the water.

Australians, or most of them, tend to go around with their heads up their bums most of the time, until a disaster grabs their attention for a few minutes. After a brief flurry of outrage and a bit of “they have to do something about this” comment on social media it’s all quickly forgotten. After the five seconds of outrage at least  45% of  Australians will keep on voting for the same conservatives who are responsible for the disaster.

The current crisis with the rivers in the eastern states has been developing for a few years now, but until this week’s fish deaths hardly anyone noticed or cared.

I blame it all on Barnaby Joyce, David Littleproud, their water-hoarding cotton-growing mates and above all, on the NSW government.

In this video Menindee resident Dick Arnold and Rob stand in the Darling river above weir 32 each holding a hundred year old fish. These Murray cod have lived through the highs and lows of this system however could not survive this man made disaster.

The NSW “Liberals and Nationals” government decided to reconfigure the Menindee Lakes last year. Part of the process involved the decommissioning of the pipeline that fed Broken Hill from the lakes. Instead of providing water to Broken Hill and Pooncarie, and a thriving irrigation farming industry, the water would be diverted to cotton farmers upstream. Many of those huge, water-guzzling cotton farms are overseas owned.

Others that are Australian-owned have had their CEOs charged with corruption.

The Menindee pipeline was to be replaced by a pipeline carrying water from the Murray River to Broken Hill. A pipeline from an already depleted river, placing more strain on a river already struggling to cope with demands on its flow.

Only a government as incompetent and as corrupt as the Berejiklian government could come up with such a stupid idea.

In 2017 Four Corners ran this program –

Pumped: Who’s benefiting from the billions spent on the Murray-Darling?

As usual with exposes like this there was the usual brief spate of outrage and then everyone – or almost everyone – went back to sleep until this week, when all those images of dead fish were all over the media.

The Australia Institute didn’t go back to sleep. They produced this, in June 2018, on mismanagement of the scheme . Result? Crickets from those in a position to make changes.

The Basin Files
Maladministration of the MurrayDarling Basin Plan: Volume I
“Since allegations of large-scale water theft were aired on Four Corners in 2017, a flood of media reports have shown that the $13bn Murray-Darling Basin Plan is not being well implemented: agency coverups, political and regulatory capture, agencies with cultures of non-compliance, dodgy water deals, alleged fraud and unlawful amendments.”

This file contains a huge amount of relevant links.

The Murray-Darling Basin Plan was yet another Labor initiative destroyed by the ATM government.

Residents of Walgett are living on the banks of a dry river. Water that would normally flow down the Barwon River, even during a drought, has been diverted and hoarded by upstream cotton mega-farms. They are relying for water on a rather dodgy bore that produces water too saline for drinking. The bore was taken out by a lightning strike a week ago and the residents had to go without any water at all for a day. That meant no air conditioning in almost 40 degree heat. Walgett residents use evaporative air coolers, they need water to run. No water = no air conditioning. I’ve lived out west, just under 150 km east of Walgett, , and I can tell you cooling is essential in summer out there. So is drinking water. The situation is so bad in Walgett that private citizens are appealing for funds to buy bottled water which they will drive to Walgett. The NSW government doesn’t want to know and won’t help.

You can’t blame Walgett’s water problems on the drought. You can, however, blame them on corrupt water management and on the interventions over the past five years of Barnaby Joyce, his successor, David Littleproud and the rotten-to-the-core NSW government, with willing help from the Queensland government. Littleproud, until his marriage fell apart, was married to the second cousin of one of the owners of Norman Farms, a cotton-growing mega-company and a very corrupt one. A responsible Prime Minister would never have made a man with such an obvious conflict of interest his Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, but Turnbull did exactly that. Morrison kept him in that position and gave him the added responsibility of  Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Drought Preparation and Response. Talk about putting a fox in the henhouse!

Meanwhile, much further south in NSW, the coal-loving NSW government is refusing to admit underground coal mines have been stealing Sydney’s water for years. ‘No place for mining’: coal mines drain water from dams.

Gas drilling companies across NSW and Queensland are still being given unlimited access to water, especially artesian water, and their drilling is damaging the Great Artesian Basin, but our governments, state and federal, just don’t care.

What will it take to make our state and federal governments wake up? When will they realise this is a very dry continent and our water resources are precious,too precious to be frittered away on industries we simply cannot support, industries like cotton growing and gas mining.


698 thoughts on “You can’t blame the drought for corrupt water management.

  1. Good news on the osteomyelitis. I’ve had that (unwelcome side effect of cancer treatment) it’s not something I’d wish on anyone. It was dealt with over 20 years ago, but I still live with the consequences.

    My local hospital started installing solar panels in June last year, I don’t know if the project has been completed yet.I’m surprised Gladys allowed it.

    • A truly remarkable and admirable human being, an inspiration to all of us here at the pub. Well done Sir.

    • Jason is all of that, CKW, and we are all so lucky to know him, even if – for most – only virtually.

  2. Great news, Razz and 2 Gravel, and so is the ‘solar’ hospital.

    I suppose there’ll now be a barrage of criticism from Libs and Nats about this. Actually I can’t think of anything they could come up with, so my breath is bated.


    • Helen,

      My apologies. I forgot where I was. At The Pub, I mostly talk like a human. When I’m on Twitter, I schpeak Schnozza (because there I am a miniature schnauzer disguised as a cat).

  3. I tell you what, Turnbull’s got a frigging nerve:

    Check this out:

    “Pay TV services, like Foxtel, have been smashed everywhere by over-the-top streaming services like Netflix. They were enabled by broadband which was rolled out much faster and at less cost under my technology agnostic approach to NBN.

    “Labor’s approach would have taken 6-8 years longer to complete and would have cost upwards of $30 billion more – leading to even more expensive broadband. The streaming services that have disrupted the bundled Pay TV business model do not need 1 Gbps [gigabits per second] connection.

    “So in summary, by ensuring NBN is completed sooner and at lower cost, the disruption of Foxtel’s business model occurred sooner than it otherwise would have done.”

    Horseplop. The guy’s so intent on whitewashing his own contributions to politics that he seems to be blind to the devastation he visited on our broadband network.

    Foxtel have problems that completely dwarf the ‘competition’ of the likes of Netflix – three of which are: the terrible way the content is presented (bundling stuff you don’t need along with the things you want, and then making you pay for it); shortfalls in the amount of quality content provided; and the absolute avalanche of advertising, which makes it indistinguishable from FTA television as a content provider. They cover sport very well, and it seems to be what most people have it for. No other provider comes close to them in that area at the moment, but everywhere else they’re terrible.

    Broadband would have happened anyway, but Turnbull was primarily responsible for stunting its growth, making the service unreliable and slow, and blowing out the costs.

  4. Thankyou one and all for your kind wishes it is humbling. I do what I do for no other reason as I think it’s the right thing to do.

    So from the bottom of my heart for your support THANKYOU!!

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Crispin Hull writes that Australia’s health-insurance system (public and private) is slowly parting at the seams and the government’s “reforms” due in April are more likely to make patients angrier rather than mollify them.
    Jack Waterford, in looking at the future for the government, says that if Morrison and his ministers continue shedding votes almost every time they open their mouths, the casualty list could be twice as high, probably putting the Coalition out of reach of power until the late 2020s.
    Paula Matthewson says that sometime next week, Australia’s accidental PM will have to make a diabolical decision – whether to call a ‘snap’ election just after Australia Day for March 2, or paint himself into a corner by waiting for the scheduled election in mid-May.
    Why is it that Australia seems to have sympathy for an attractive, strong Saudi woman from a wealthy family, coming by plane who, if she were a man from the Middle East on a boat, we would call a ‘queue jumper’? Is there misandry or something else at play in our public debate?
    Greg Sheridan writes that British politics is facing a shocking crisis, as complex and dangerous as anything the great nation has seen since World War II. It will hit one decision point next Tuesday, when the House of Commons votes on Prime Minister Theresa May’s deal for the terms on which Britain leaves the EU — Brexit.
    Jonathon Freedland wonders whether or not UK MPs can unite quickly enough to save the country as a Brexit disaster looms.
    The National Party have voiced their concern over the proposed registration of a new “Conservative National” political party by Senator Fraser Anning, who attended a Victorian rally organised by some of Australia’s most prominent neo-nazis.
    The Australia Institute’s Ebony Bennett explains how policy and politicians are failing our environment and our future. On the MDB she says bypassing good process and due diligence is becoming a hallmark of this government.
    The Liberal Party is “gangrenous” when it comes to climate change and “amputation might be the only cure”, Liberal Party dissident Oliver Yates says.
    Richard Cooke writes about the moral and intellectual collapse of Australian conservatism.
    Key sections of the Great Ocean Road are at risk of being washed away, raising safety fears and calls for the Andrews government to reroute parts of the world-recognised tourist road.
    Donald Trump is edging closer to declaring a national emergency to fund his long-promised border wall, as pressure mounts to find a solution to the three-week impasse that has closed parts of the government, leaving hundreds of thousands of workers without pay.
    How Peta Credlin has become the Liberal Party’s ‘great right hope’.
    Opal Tower residents fear they are ‘caught in the cross fire’ between the owners’ corporation and the builder, with uncertainty on when they should return.
    Michael Koziol reports on Turnbull’s defence of his work on the NBN in light of Kevin Rudd’s spray the other day.
    Peter van Onselen thinks that in the light of an expected deterioration of economic outlook Morrison might call an early election.
    The corporate watchdog has suspended the financial licence of a stock broker that collapsed just before Christmas trapping more than $200 million in client funds. Bastards!
    The Lowy Institute tells us that we need the Five Eyes spy network, but with oversight.
    How Australia’s far-right were divided and conquered – by themselves.
    A fundraiser is seeking to address the atrocious incarceration of Aboriginal women in WA, a disproportionate number of whom have been imprisoned because of unpaid fines.
    Tim Soutphommasane tells us why a young go-getter like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won’t dance into Australian politics.
    Staffing ratios in aged care facilities being made public will be at the heart of Centre Alliance MP Rebekha Sharkie’s efforts when federal parliament returns next month. should be at or near the top of the Tax Office’s list of grand tax avoiders but the revenue authorities seem blind to the true nature of this giant online travel agency and the governance arrangements of its parent, The Priceline Group. Google, Facebook and Apple have dominated the press coverage of new economy tax dodgers but the online travel agents are even worse offenders. Michael Hibbins exposes the business model .
    Despite some emerging acknowledgement of the miserable failure of neoliberalism, it will carry on as a dominant force in western ideology and policy formation, writes Rob Stewart.,12264
    Fourteen consecutive months of declining new home approvals has cost South Australia’s building industry tens of millions of dollars, prompting calls for urgent action to support the struggling sector.
    Laly Katz, from personal experience, says women should not wait what has become the customary 12 weeks to tell friends and relations of one’s pregnancy.
    Almost 12 months after a crisis within Australia’s recycling sector came to light, local councils and businesses are still looking for answers from government at state and federal levels.
    Victoria Police announced on Friday that Craig McLachlan had been charged with eight counts of indecent assault, one of attempted indecent assault, and one of common law assault. It’s the “Lachy Horror Show”!
    What will Morrison say now about his beloved Sharks now they land a nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”?
    And this guy gets the gong for “Idiot of the Week”!

    Cartoon Corner

    David Pope with the MDB haunting the Coalition.

    Peter Broelman joins in on hammering Joyce.

    Mark David has been on fire this year.

    Alan Moir at the beach with Morrison.

    Matt Golding’s work for the day.

    Cathy Wilcox and The Wall.

    A fairly accurate depiction of the MDB situation from Jon Kudelka.

    From the US.

  6. She has left

    A Saudi woman who fled to Thailand saying she feared her family would kill her has been granted asylum in Canada and is on her way to the country, Thai officials have said.

    Rahaf Mohammed al-Qunun, 18, boarded a Korean Air flight from Bangkok to Seoul on Friday night, they added. She is due to board a connecting flight to Canada from Incheon airport in Seoul.

    The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, confirmed on Friday that Qunun had been granted asylum.

    He told reporters that the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) had asked Canada to take in Qunun. “Canada is a country that understands how important it is to stand up for human rights, to stand up for women’s rights around the world, and I can confirm that we have accepted the UN’s request,” he said.

  7. ‘Israeli jets’ target Damascus airport warehouse, ‘most’ missiles intercepted – Syrian media

    Syrian air defense systems have been activated against a “number of hostile targets,” local media report, claiming that Israeli jets targeted Damascus airport but the damage was limited as most the missiles were intercepted.

    A warehouse in the vicinity of Damascus International Airport was damaged in the apparent Israeli air raid, a military source told SANA, claiming that the jets fired “several missiles” from the direction of northern Israel. Syrian air defense systems were immediately activated to confront the “hostile missiles,” and managed to intercept “most” of them, the source claimed.

    Intel Drop: Israel Dancing the World Toward War Over Syria

    Damascus and Latakia were attacked today by Israeli planes firing missiles from Lebanon’s airspace. Again, Syria hasn’t used its Russian S300 system, this time because of a general fear in Russia, and Russia is very much in control of Syria’s air defenses, of a broader conflict.

    Insiders in Moscow believe a nuclear war brought about by Israel is days away. Trump will likely “lose his cookies” if Israeli planes begin dropping from the skies of Lebanon and if Russia fails to do this, they will lose everything.

    Stranger still is the Iraqi secret delegation that just flew into Israel. Even the Iraqi Foreign Ministry knows nothing about it, we got the call when our people were there on the ground unloading them from the plane.

    The real war will be Iraq, they are the ones with the oil and the majority Shiite population. Playing Sunni and Shiite inside Iraq against each other has long been the game of Israel and Saudi Arabia though the two are moving politically further and further apart.

    With embassies of Bahrain and the UAE opening in Damascus…along with Egypt and Britain…the mood in Damascus is unsettling.

    There is no water, no fuel, no electricity in Damascus.

    The town is freezing, and no one is getting a real explanation.

    Beyond this, the issues is Turkey and Erdogan. Erdogan thinks he is keeping Idlib Province as the hub of his imaginary Ottoman Empire but Erdogan has burned everyone. Both Russia and America hate him, he has betrayed everyone, backed out of every agreement, broken every promise and proven militarily inept as well.

    • OK – two ways to find it.

      1 – Click on your Twitter name at the left-hand top of your page, as you look at your screen. This will take you to your profile page where under your header you will see headings –
      Tweets, followers, following, likes, lists, moments, with numbers telling you how many of each you have.

      Click on “likes” and every tweet you have ever liked will be shown.

      Or –
      At the right-hand top of your home page click on your avatar and you will get a list of options.
      Click on “profile” – it will take you to the same page.

  8. Leone

    Thanks you so much for your patience. Both suggestions were very easy. By the way, grandson C was here for a little while and I showed him, he loved it. There are often things that I would like to show Razz, now I can do it and show her when she is not outside or asleep.

  9. An interesting little chat with J O’B et al about Brexit but a lot of comparisons can be made with our very dissapointing media –

  10. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Michael Koziol has a ten point wish list for politics in 2019.
    Urban geographer Kate Shae tells us mot to panic – it’s the housing correction we needed to have.
    Shane Wright looks at our trade agreements in light of the US/China stoush.
    Alan Kohler writes that if there’s a recession in Australia in 2019 or 2020, or if it feels like one, the causes will be traceable back to two things that happened in 2014: the recommendation from the Senate Economics References Committee for a royal commission into financial services and the final report of Murray Inquiry.
    Julie Szego prepares herself for the ritualistic Australia Day patriotic venting.
    How companies like Apple bury secrets in earnings reports
    The managing director of a company that plans to construct Victoria’s largest windfarm says the project will supply enough power to replace up to a third of the generation of the decommissioned Hazelwood power station at less than $50/MWh.
    Maybe Scientology will do to itself what governments should have done.
    Not unexpectedly, Trump has lashed out following a New York Times report that the FBI had opened a probe in 2017 to determine if the president had been working, knowingly or unknowingly, on behalf of Russia.
    A good weekend column from Peter FitzSimons.
    The environmental catastrophe at Menindee Lakes and the Lower Darling should be a wake-up call for politicians, writes Sue Arnold. We are massive environmental crises. Crises that are so serious that, in many cases, the damage is irreparable.,12267
    A long-awaited decision could settle an industrial conflict that has dragged on for several years between Home Affairs Department workers and their bosses. The Fair Work Commission has drafted a workplace determination setting conditions and pay for the department’s public servants until 2021.
    Chloe Booker is fed up with many companies’ customer interfaces.
    Has the advent of smart phones brought about a diminution of IQs?
    Anyone who has researched the best way to raise money for a sporting club, charity, school or community group will know that a Bunnings sausage sizzle is the most effective way to raise about $900 while having plenty of fun.

    Cartoon Corner

    Reg Lynch ushers in the new year.$width_828/t_resize_width/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto%2Cdpr_auto/f56fa7d10ff9c137299e6e46edc60666e5bdecab,jpg
    Matt Golding accurately points the fish finger.

    Peter Broelman ridicules Cormann’s RAAF flight.

    Glen Le Lievre replies to Turnbull over the NBN.

    From the US.

    And from the UK.

  11. FauxMo is back from holidays and has returned, it seems, in a foul mood, determined to bring us all into line no matter what. He has kicked off with an attempt to be a tyrant.

    His interview was given to the Daily Telegraph, in line with his government’s alleged policy of only talking to the Murdoch media.

    Councils forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on January 26

    Every council will be forced to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day with the Morrison Government making good on its threat to strip rogues councils of their citizenship rights.

    In a move designed to further entrench January 26 as our national day, the government has revised the citizenship code, making it compulsory for all 537 councils to hold citizenship ceremonies on Australia Day.

    Gearing up for a an election-year fight against the Greens-led campaign to change the date of Australia Day, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the government would “protect our national day and ensure it is respected

    And –

    “Force”? Since when have PMs of this country attempted to force us to do anything?

    FauxMo is acting like a dictator. It does not bode well for his behaviour should his government win the election. What else does he plan to force us to do? Attend church every Sunday or else? Convert to Pentecostalism or be sent to prison? Work for the dole or be forced into a chain gang?

    Their ABC dodges all hints of dictatorship in their brief report, telling us it was just an announcement by David Coleman, a minister so useless and so lacklustre that the usual response when his name is mentioned is “Who?”. They churn out an entire article without once mentioning the name of the PM.

    • It’s a distraction, of course.

      FauxMo wants us all at one another’s throats over a holiday. He doesn’t want to talk about dead fish, dying rivers and the blame being squarely on corrupt governments, state and federal. He doesn’t want to talk about his budget surplus disappearing before our eyes. He doesn’t want to talk about election campaigning. He just wants us to be distracted by a petty argument about a day. Few Australians understand what we are supposed to be celebrating on Australia Day. Just ask the average drongo in the street what it is about – most of them will have no idea or will tell you it’s the day Captain Cook landed.

    • A good sign of what is ahead for Australia if the vote this mob of vandals back in at the Federal election. If Labor get it, I would hope they would change this so called change they are making, and allow Councils to have their citizenship ceremony when it suit the Council and the people taking part.

    • He’s also banging on about what you’re supposed to wear at the ceremony. Quite clearly a case of trying to get us to talk about anything except his range of policy and environmental disasters.

      I suspect he’s going to the well once too often. The range of Liberal distractions is getting very low, and they intend to make a meal of every one available. But after it all being thrashed out last year, with the result being the entire country are now uneasy (or even put off) by RW insistence on making a big deal about Jan 26, another bout of it could well cause a backlash.

      Last year we also had the ‘African Gangs’ hysteria going on. I note that after last weekend’s rally the subject has fallen right off the radar, which is interesting.

    • No-one who not only appears in public but also has their photo taken with a fire brigade in this outfit has any right to tell us how to dress for official occasions.

  12. Quoting from Bill Gammage in “The Biggest Estate on Earth – How Aborigines Made Australia” (well worth a read by the way)

    “…it ran slower and clearer. The Darling below Bourke was ‘beautifully transparent, the bottom was visible at great depths, showing larger fishes in shoals, floating like birds in mid-air’ most water ran shallower, on shallower beds”

    Read it and weep.

  13. While FauxMo, on his first day back from holidays, is making threats about forcing Australians to do what he wants, Bill Shorten has done this on his first day back –

  14. The only media reporting Shorten’s big health announcement today are a few Murdoch papers and the regional press. Their ABC? Crickets. The Guardian? Nothing. Nine papers? Nope, although Channel 9 News did give it a mention.

    FauxMo dashed to Jabiru this morning to beat Bill Shorten to an announcement.

    Guess who is going to get all the media coverage?

    Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten scramble to announce more than $200m to save Kakadu National Park

    Is this what the election campaign will be like? FauxMo’s minders lurking around trying to find out where Shorten will be and then rushing to get there first, with the MSM focusing on trivia and ignoring the big issues?

    • He needs to be more explicit about the standards he’s referring to.

      The Standard Hotel maybe? (I didn’t think he was a Fitzroy fan.)

      A standard hotel room? Hardly his taste, when we can pay for his luxury suite.

      A Standard 8? An idea for a new C1, instead of that German Pimpmobile he parks his bum in?

      A Standard poodle? Or is Pyne more than enough poodle for him.

    • Andrew Elder is wrong.

      He says this –

      Consider this map. It not only shows the state electorates of non-metropolitan NSW, it shows all the seats currently held by the Nationals. It also shows the state’s natural watercourses. None of those seats is safe for the Nationals. None of those seats which they do not hold today (e.g. Orange, Wagga Wagga, Goulburn, even Ballina) is realistically within their grasp on 23 March

      I know one Nats seat that will be safer than safe – mine. Port Macquarie will return the sitting Nats member Leslie Williams. I will be delighted to admit I’m wrong, if someone takes her down, but it’s about as likely to happen as I’m likely to win the next Miss Universe contest.

      Labor has a good and well-known candidate here, Peter Alley, who has run as a Labor candidate several times. He ran for mayor a while ago, he lost to a closet National. He would be an excellent member of the NSW parliament, but he’s not going to get that chance. His campaign won’t get any support from Sussex Street either, they always concentrate on saving inner city seats from the Greens. (You might remember Peter, he was the Labor person who tried to bring down the Turnbull government by dragging David Gillespie into the high Court on a Section 44 issue. The court decided Dr Dolittle was not guilty, damn it.)

      The next-door seat of Oxley will also stay with the Nats.

  15. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    This stinks to high heaven!!!
    Michael Koziol tells us that the major parties have assigned close to 300 operatives to the upcoming federal election campaign, with infrastructure, advertising and personnel already in place for whenever Prime Minister Scott Morrison calls the poll.
    David Wroe reports that Morrison will embark on a major push on traditional national values in the run-up to Australia Day to connect with what the government regards as voters’ concerns as the election year kicks off. Here we go again!
    Andrew Taylor explores the use of the word “progressive” in politics these days.
    Now Credlin could be reaching for the Grecian 2000.
    How many lies politicians can tell before Australians distrust them?
    Professor Geoff Warren writes that The Productivity Commission inquiry was just the start. It’s time for a broader review of super and how much it is needed.
    The New Daily says that if Scott Morrison’s department is going to be underhanded you would think they would do something useful like airbrushing out this week’s largely dismal collection of economic figures, rather than doctoring a picture of the Prime Minister’s sneakers.
    Scott Morrison says he is ‘prime minister for standards’ after unveiling his Australia Day plan. Desperation, I’d say.
    Morrison has rebuffed Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s claim the government is politicising Australia Day with a plan to force councils to have citizenship ceremonies on January 26.
    The South Australian court efficiency measures are making its system run slower than ever before. Nice work!
    Lately, Scott Morrison has tried to bolster his credentials as a compassionate Prime Minister. But why hasn’t he acted to help the poor? Does he pray for the forgotten Australian?,12271
    Wealth giant AMP’s chairman David Murray has warned of unintended consequences if a “best in show” list for superannuation funds is introduced, saying it could distort funds’ investment decisions. He may well have a point.
    The NSW government was warned by its own experts in 2012 that flow rules under its proposed 10-year plan for the Darling River would put threatened species of fish at risk, including the Murray cod, a confidential document has revealed. Surprised?
    And Labor has branded the death of up to one million fish an “ecological disaster” and called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to gather an independent team of scientists to urgently investigate the mass fatalities.
    Sam Maiden reports that Australia has defended its refugee record after accusations it “slow walked” the processing of a Saudi teenage refugee who is now in Canada.
    A widespread problem of corrupt migration agents poses a “high risk” threat, and may require greater investigative powers to combat, according to the Department of Home Affairs. Disciplinary investigations by Home Affairs found some migration agents have swindled hundreds of thousands of dollars from desperate clients, while others regularly falsify documents to obtain visas which should never have been issued.
    Tony Walker clearly wants to see the arse end of Fraser Anning! Like most of us.
    Ross Gittins explains how canny treasurers keep the tax we pay out of sight.
    The SMH editorial begins with, “More than a quarter of a century after compulsory superannuation was introduced in Australia, it is fair to ask whether the system is truly set up to meet the needs of the workers whose nest eggs underpin the estimated $2.7 trillion industry.”
    Tens of thousands of cases of abuse and neglect will be revealed at the aged-care royal commission when it opens this Friday. This is not going to be a pleasant exposition.
    The big four banks are worried they won’t be able to meet APRA’s capital demands if they have to raise funds in the shrinking ‘Tier II’ bond market.
    The Queensland ban on political donations from developers has been expedited by the High Court, with the prospect of a decision before the Federal election.
    John McDuling writes about the appalling approach of this federal government on innovation.
    Climate change expert Professor John Church goes to the ocean to explain why we need to immediately take action.
    The use of gas to produce electricity has fallen sharply, raising fears some plants may close despite the need for them to fill in the gaps between wind and solar power.
    British economist Andrew Hammond thinks it might be end of days for Theresa May as parliament heads for the vote on the Brexit deal.
    And the London Telegraph reckons UK Conservatives are on the brink of imploding over Brexit.
    Theresa May has been warned her government will lose its ability to govern after a bombshell plot by senior MPs was exposed.
    Paul Chadwick warns against fraudulent reporters.
    The Washington Post explores what the FBI can do if the threat ids the President himself. Exposure might be the key.
    Nicole Hemmer writes that Trump’s walkout spoke volumes about his governing style.
    Meanwhile Trump has unleashed another Twitter storm as emboldened Democrats circle.
    Trump is losing the battle to avoid blame for the government shutdown, according to a new poll. The president has reportedly told advisers he thinks the 23-day partial closure of the US government, the longest ever, is a win for him.
    This is enough to deter one from a night out at the Sydney Opera House.
    Should Catholics view the pope as infallible?
    It’s going to be a stinker of a week as every state and territory will bake through a heatwave this week with a “big burst of heat” likely to smash weather records across the country.
    This woman clearly qualifies for a nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    Absolutely brilliant work from Alan Moir!

    Matt Golding and an ominous Credlin.

    A couple from Pat Campbell.

    Jon Kudelka rolls out Shrodinger’s cat

    And he’s at the official launch of the 2019 Australian culture war.

    From the US.

  16. Heaven help us!

    A “headland speech” from FauxMo! I bet youse can hardly wait for that.

    Here’s my prediction – we will be in for more blather about “mateship” and “a fair go” while the ATM government continues to encourage us all to hate one another.

    “Mateship” is not a unique Australian value. No matter where you live on this planet helping others, even people you don’t know, is the usual human thing to do. In FauxMo’s Australia “mateship” is actually in decline as this government continues to ramp up hate.

    Want proof?

    Take a look at the story about the young woman assaulted by a crazed woman on a bus yesterday. The crazy woman was pumped up on government-inspired hate speech. Maybe this woman was hyped up on drugs, or maybe she had not been taking drugs prescribed for a mental health condition. Maybe she was drunk, had been indulging in that other great Australian tradition of drinking until you lose all control. We don’t know, but it was a shameful display, both from the woman doing the attacking and from the passengers, who showed their true Aussie mateship by calmly filming the incident without showing the slightest interest in helping two women and a child who were being attacked. The incident was a charming display, showing us just how well the government’s hate agenda is working and also showing us how little “mateship” exists in the real Australia.

    No-one gave these three people a “fair go” either, not until a man finally stepped in. What a shame no-one stayed with the three victims when they got off the bus. If someone had stayed then maybe the hater would not have continued her attack. Another “mateship” fail, another “fair go” missing.

    I’m sick of being yammered at by politicians keen to present a fantasy image of an Australia that does not exist.

    I’m also not impressed by Labor’s “A Fair Go” campaign slogan. It’s time we stopped the pretence and took a long, hard look at what this country has become.

    • Talking about standards… This is very sad. I remember noticing some outright abuse the moment Abbott took over. There was a case of one putting excrement in someone’s letterbox. “Fair go” and all – just old-fashioned Aussie terms. I wish it would stop. It lacks maturity. Yes, let’s look at what Australia has become.

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