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.

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/07/hundreds-of-thousands-of-native-fish-dead-in-second-murray-darling-incident

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.

https://www.weeklytimesnow.com.au/news/national/cubbie-station-still-80owned-by-chinese-company-ruyi/news-story/c7393ae7ffa19039cc09a78fa90f53bb

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

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-08-28/cotton-executives-20-million-fraud-allegation-norman-farming/10172736

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?
https://www.abc.net.au/4corners/pumped/8727826

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.”

Click to access P531%20The%20Basin%20files%20Vol%20I%20%20%5BWEB%5D.pdf

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.

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/no-place-for-mining-coal-mines-drain-water-from-dams-20190106-p50pu3.html

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. Yesterday I had a phone call from StockDoctor an outfit that provides software to evaluate Australian shares and track their price.

    The salesman was really keen to complain about Labor’s policy to eliminate cash payments of franking credits, not deflected by comments about fairness, unaware that people who receive $1 of Aged pension will still be eligible for cash payments of franking credits

    He was keen to know what I am doing

    I reckon the Banking Royal Commission has made many investors aware that they can do better by using industry superannuation funds. The costs of dabbling in shares caused by the increasingly complicated regulatory framework and the world going into recession or depression means investing in Australian shares isn’t as popular as it has been

    I reckon StockDoctor will be wondering whether to pack up shop or ride it out

    • The relevance of the above

      In the 2016 election I was door knocking in Higgins – there was white hot anger about SMSFs only being able to have $1.6 million in tax free assets per person, paying 15% tax on assets above that amount

      It made angry voters amenable to listening to policies of the Greens and once they got the habit of not voting Liberal over the last 3 years their friends got the courage not to vote Liberal.

      Will ALP changes to cash refunds dividend imputation credits effect their voter base – probably not but the old Melbourne Ports will probably not be Labor after the election due to gentrification.

    • Latham at least had the decency to let a few years pass between being leader, then right wing shock jock before becoming a Pauline Hanson candidate

  2. The modern Australian version of bread and circuses – another expensive distraction. (Still no federal or state government help for the thirsty people of Walgett though.)

    FauxMo makes another gaffe, a serious one that shows he knows nothing about Australian history except the name “Cook”. He only remembers that because it’s also the name of his electorate.

    He’s obsessed with Captain Cook. (Actually a lieutenant when he sailed into Botany Bay, but let’s not confuse FauxMo too much with facts)

    First he spends $50 million on a totally unnecessary new memorial and statue at Kurnell to commemorate Cook. Now he has bigger plans. He’s going to spend $6.7 million on having the Australian Maritime Museum’s replica of the Endeavour do a circumnavigation of Australia as part of the (very expensive) celebrations he’s planning for the 250th anniversary of Cook’s voyage.

    The idiot says Cook circumnavigated Australia so this voyage will be a reenactment. No it won’t. Cook sailed up the east coast, that was it. The circumnavigation was done by Matthew Flinders, on board HMS Investigator. in 1802. I suppose FauxMo has never heard of Flinders, and that’s really odd, because on his second voyage down the south coast of NSW Flinders and his co-explorer George Bass stopped in Port Hacking, at South Cronulla, and a monument has been there marking their arrival since at least 1948. You might think that someone who loves having his photo taken on Cronulla Beach would also know a little about the history of the area, but no, he knows nothing. Nothing except the name “Captain Cook” and a very vague idea of what Cook actually did.

    https://junkee.com/scott-morrison-captain-cook/190345

    Could Labor please cancel this nonsense and save us a few million?

  3. Fiona – just glimpsed your remark yesterday on Julie Bishop’s leadership potential. You disappoint me with that catty comment about her arms – I know you were trying a bit of humor there – but for the life of me I don’t get it! That picture suggested there was more to her than I’d credited. A daily fitness routine and some solid running every day might clear the heads of all our pollies – and commentators too!

    • Patriciawa,

      I am sorry to have disappointed you, but I must remind you of the very many unkind remarks Ms Bishop made about PM Gillard.

      As for Ms Bishop’s physical appearance, she looks to me far more like a physical fitness anorexic (yes, they do exist), and not something I think should be glorified.

      I hope we can agree to differ, and remain friends.

  4. The government clown show continues – they really need to have someone tell them to stick to the same lies.

  5. Update on FauxMo’s stuff-up du jour.

    First, this was one of the earlier reports.

    The Government Is Spending Nearly $7 Million To Recreate A Voyage Captain Cook Never Made
    A replica of HMS Endeavour will spend 14 months circumnavigating Australia to mark the 250th anniversary of Cook’s first voyage.
    https://www.buzzfeed.com/aliceworkman/captain-cook-voyage-circumnavigate-australia

    Not long after that (and other reports) hit our screens someone told the Prime Dork that Cook did not circumnavigate Australia, so he changed his story to wtte “it will be a re-enactment of Cook’s voyage up the east coast but we will also be taking Cook’s story around Australia.

    He then stuffed up even more with an attempt to sound cool by talking about Star Trek. He blathered on about Captain James T Kirk being based on Cook and then got himself hopelessly tangled up by trying to say Cook wrote the famous Star Trek introduction “to boldly go where no man has gone before” in his journal.

    I’m a Star Trek fan, from way back when the first series aired here. Gene Roddenberry did use Cook’s name as inspiration for the name “Captain James T (Tiberius) Kirk, and he used a line in Cook’s journal – “ambition leads me … farther than any other man has been before me” as inspiration for both the title for the pilot episode and the introduction to each episode.

    Apart from that – no, it wasn’t Cook. Roddenberry took inspiration for the series from Gulliver’s Travels, he wanted a Western in space that would be part morality tale, part a way to engineer change. Remember, the series started during the Vietnam War in the middle of teh counter-culture movement of the 1960s, the Cold War and growing demand for Civil rights. Roddenberry used the 23rd century setting to show how Earth could change for the better. The character Captain Kirk was inspired by Horatio Hornblower.

    FauxMo then made everything even worse by blathering on about what an important time 2020 would be for his electorate and for Cooktown. It’s only a 250 year anniversary, it’s not a tricentennial. Why we have to spend millions on a celebration of the might of the British Empire in the 18th century is a good question that deserves a decent answer. We won’t be getting one. All we’ve had so far is blather from FauxMo about not crab-walking away from our history.

    • Shouty’s history is not too good on electorate names either. “Cook” the electorate was named after Joseph Cook, an early PM of Australia, not Captain James Cook.

      Joseph Cook would probably have held the title of Australia’s worst PM until Abbott came along. Now it’s becoming a crowded field with Turnbull and Morrison also earning nominations.

    • CKW is now officially gobsmacked to the max (that’s 11 on the gobsmackometer).

      And in answer to the question, I believe it would be impossible to hear anything more ridiculous than that so yes I have heard everything.

  6. You’ve just gotta wonder what the thinking was behind the decision to parachute Mundine into Gilmore. Not only a spectacular own goal, it’s now got so bad that even if Mundine drops out the damage has already been done.

    • Crikey! I remember Year 12 Science as
      Aim
      Theory
      Method
      Observations
      Conclusions

      and i think agricultural science PhDs follow the same model taking a year to research current theory, a year of observations and a year to develop conclusions and write them up

  7. Furious Liberals have accused Prime Minister Scott Morrison of betraying party members after he orchestrated a backroom deal to install former Labor Party boss Warren Mundine as the Liberal candidate in the key seat of Gilmore.

    In an intervention spearheaded by Mr Morrison and factional allies, NSW state executive members agreed to dump the preselected candidate – south coast real estate agent Grant Schultz – and install the high-profile Indigenous leader and businessman.

    As local Liberals fumed, Mr Schultz announced he had quit the party and would contest the seat as an independent. He said his father, the late state and federal Liberal MP Alby Schultz, would be “rolling in his grave”.

    “The Prime Minister stated that he believes in a fair go – he has not given me that,” Mr Schultz said.

    He told his local newspaper, the South Coast Register, that Mr Morrison “has taken the party to the days of Eddie Obeid and the faceless men of Labor”.

    Long-serving south coast Liberal MP Shelley Hancock, who is also Speaker of the NSW Parliament, said it was “one of the darkest days of the Liberal Party”, and unleashed an extraordinary tirade against the PM.

    “What they’ve done to us here in Gilmore is appalling. We’re handing this seat to the Labor Party,” she told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

    “I’ve had mass threats of party resignation from branch members. I can’t convince them otherwise. These are long-term Liberal members.

    “I know this area pretty well but nobody bothered to pick up the phone and ask ‘what do you think about this Shelley?'”

    Ms Hancock said voters would not accept the “outsider” Mr Mundine, who lives on Sydney’s north shore and applied for membership of the Liberal Party only on Tuesday.

    However, he has ancestral ties to the Shoalhaven area and family members who live in the electorate, and has said he would prefer to run in Gilmore if he made a tilt at politics.

    Ms Hancock and other local Liberals said disgruntled members would likely stay in the party until the state election but would not campaign for Mr Mundine.

    “I doubt he’s even seen the Princes Highway in the last 10 years,” one irate local Liberal member said.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/what-they-ve-done-to-us-is-appalling-liberals-fume-after-scott-morrison-intervenes-in-key-seat-20190122-p50sxa.html

  8. The circumnavigation is being funded from the existing nearly $50 million set aside to mark the anniversary, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying the events would offer new generations an insight into Captain Cook, the Endeavour and the experiences of Indigenous Australians.

    “As the 250th anniversary nears we want to help Australians better understand Captain Cook’s historic voyage and its legacy for exploration, science and reconciliation,” Mr Morrison said in a statement on Tuesday.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/australia-sinks-6-7-million-into-replica-endeavour-circumnavigation

  9. Too much metooism

    The Australian National Maritime Museum gets $6.7 million to sail the Endeavour replica from Sydney in March 2020, heading south to Hobart before turning north and sailing around the country’s coastline.

    It will call in at some ports and sail by specific locations, with 39 stops proposed where it will host events and activities.

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten, who was in Queensland to announce a policy on hydrogen energy, welcomed the government’s funding announcement.

    However, he insisted Labor was more focused on the future than the past.

    “A replica vessel trip around Australia sounds very nice in 2020-21,” Mr Shorten said in Gladstone.

    “I think we’ve got to respect our history and what happened in 1770, but I’m also interested in what happens in Australia in 2070.”

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/people/2019/01/22/morrisons-grand-plan-to-rediscover-james-cook/

  10. The Australian newspaper targets Chinese university students

    The Australian began the year with an article attacking Chinese students and warning of Beijing’s growing influence at university campuses.

    The article, which did not provide any evidence for its claims, signals that 2019 will be marked by an intensification of a xenophobic anti-Chinese campaign. This is aimed at intimidating anti-war opposition and legitimising Australia’s central role in a massive US military build-up throughout the Asia-Pacific region directed against China.

    The stoking of anti-Chinese xenophobia over the past two years was invoked to justify the passage of draconian “foreign interference” laws by the federal Coalition government and the Labor Party opposition last June.

    The legislation potentially criminalises internationally-coordinated political activity. Its passage followed unsubstantiated claims from the media and political establishment that the activities of Chinese businessmen, students and community organisations were part of a sinister plot hatched in Beijing. Australian politicians and corporate figures with interests in China have similarly been accused of advancing the interests of the Chinese regime.

    The article in the Australian indicates that having secured the passage of the foreign interference laws, sections of the ruling elite are anxious for them to be tested out.

    The January 7 opinion piece, titled “University’s Panda Warriors cannot be lightly dismissed,” was authored by Nick Cater, the executive director of the Menzies Research Centre, a Liberal Party aligned think tank.

    Cater particularly highlights the fact that Jacky He, a Chinese-born student, won the presidency of the University of Sydney’s Student Representative Council (SRC) in elections last September. He stood on the “Panda Warriors” ticket, which was composed of students of Chinese descent.

    Cater declares that “the rise of He is a sign that international students have become a formidable political force at Sydney and other Group of Eight universities.” Cater wrote that while the “Pandas seem like a cuddly bunch,” and “steer clear of overt politics,” “nothing touching on China is simple these days and the influence of Beijing in Australian student politics should not be underestimated.”

    Cater’s insinuation that the result of a routine student election should be the cause for alarm is another symptom of the McCarthyite character of the anti-China campaign. The sweeping, anti-democratic character of the “foreign interference” legislation could potentially make the Panda Warriors the subject of surveillance by Australian intelligence agencies and legal action.

    https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2019/01/21/aust-j21.html

  11. ‘People would be blown away’: Sam Dastyari lifts lid on drinking in parliament

    Amy Croffey January 22, 2019

    After spilling the beans on his marriage breakdown, drug-taking and views on capital punishment, Sam Dastyari is proving once again why he’s worth every penny of his multi-thousand-dollar I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here! appearance fee.

    In a behind-the-scenes chat on Tuesday, Dastyari opened up about the alleged drinking habits of politicians, describing parliament as a “sad” place that saw people looking for ways to cope.

    Speaking to campmates Justine Schofield and Richard Reid, a chef and entertainment reporter respectively, the former Labor senator, who resigned following the Chinese donations scandal in 2016, shared the opinion that it was deemed acceptable to be intoxicated during question time in parliament, but not to suffer from mental health issues.

    “I think people would be blown away if they knew [what happens] in parliament,” he told Reid and Schofield. “They were drunk in question time.”

    “You’re allowed to drink a bit too much to deal with your anxiety, but if you say you have a mental health issue, your political career is over.”..

    Dastyari, who has been open about having “lost everything” following his fall from political grace, later spoke to the show’s cameras alone, saying that the atmosphere in parliament causes people to look for ways to get by.

    “Parliament is a very sad place, it’s a lonely place, it’s a dark place, and people cope – they have to cope,” he said. “You’re not allowed to talk about mental health.

    “You’re not allowed to talk about those challenges. You’re not allowed to say that you’re struggling, and people fill it with things like alcohol.”

    Back in the camp, Reid asked how rehabilitation was viewed in parliament.

    “What if you were a drunk and went to rehab and came back?” he asked.

    “In a weird way, that is seen as OK,” Dastyari replied.

    “What about drugs?” Reid asked.

    “Depends what. Prescription, yes,” Dastyari said, adding that illegal substances like cocaine were not acceptable.

    It’s not the first time Dastyari has opened up about alcohol use by his former colleagues.

    Speaking to KIIS 1065’s Kyle and Jackie O Show in August last year, he said, “Drinking in parliament is a big thing, all doing it, widespread, because it’s late night sittings.

    “What people don’t know is that there are a couple of secret rooms beside the entrance to the parliament.

    “Traditionally what they used to be there for is that senators and members can sit and think and talk privately before going into the chamber to vote, but what it ends up getting used for is if you’re maggot drunk they sit you in that room, someone will physically drag you into the room to vote, take you back out and you’ll just sit there.”

    Dastyari is one of two contestants on the show with a background in politics. Former Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie is also competing, with the pair (and 11 other celebrities, including intruder Shane Crawford) battling it out for $100,000 prize money to the charity of their choice.

    https://outline.com/9bGacJ

  12. Hi folks, I’m still on deck.I just got back home from a town hall meeting with Bill Shorten down in Yeppoon.

    I got the chance to ask a question about the proposed Adani coal mine and its open slather allotment of GAAB water at no cost & the potential effect on graziers & farmers when their bores go dry because Adani has dropped the table below their spears. It’s basically the only water landholders out there have got and there is a conger-line of potential miners wanting to piggyback on Adani.

    Gina and Clive Palmer are just 2 of them.

    Had a chat with Bill after the event as well as a beer with Albo but missed out on a chat with Laura Tingle who was busy interviewing a guy from the CFMEU.

    Sad that our girl couldn’t keep her hot run going at the Australian Open Tennis but she might be better for the experience.

  13. Sound familiar?

    The Morrison government is set to hand $17.1m to the commercial networks to provide TV programming to Pacific nations but the TV industry says it did not seek the funds and does not know what content to provide.

    Last week the prime minister announced the surprise deal while on an official tour of the Pacific but very few details were revealed.

    “We’re also announcing the Australian government, in partnership with FreeTV Australia, will commit some $17.1m to provide 1,000 hours of new Australian television content each year for three years to Pacific broadcasters across the region,” Morrison said in Fiji. “That would include opportunities obviously here in Fiji.”

    It was the first injection of funds for soft diplomacy in the Pacific since 2014, when the Coalition axed the ABC’s $220m, 10-year contract with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to run the Australia Network.

    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jan/23/coalitions-171m-pacific-broadcasting-plan-was-not-sought-out-by-commercial-networks

  14. How do you feel about paying for particularly misleading advertising aimed at winning votes for the Coalition?

    Having ditched its biggest donor (Malcolm Turnbull), the Coalition has taken the standard trick of stealing taxpayers’ money for an election campaign to a new low.

    Governments of both flavours routinely produce “information” ads in the run up to an election, promoting or “explaining” one government initiative or another.

    No, it’s never classy. Yes, it’s always an abuse of the power of incumbency. And politicians wonder why we respect them less.

    But the Morrison government has taken that abuse to another level of propaganda altogether.

    Perhaps bowing to the dictum of “When telling a lie, tell a big one and keep telling it”, Prime Minister Morrison, the former marketing guy, is using your money to try to give you the impression his government is spending more on infrastructure. It’s not.

    Oh, the radio ads sound impressive, suitably voiced with all the conviction of faked sincerity. The reality is that when he was treasurer, Mr Morrison’s two budgets have cut federal infrastructure investment.

    As I reported at the time, Mr Morrison took a Joe Hockey smoke-and-mirrors trick and amplified it.

    Mr Hockey’s first budget boasted a “record” federal transport infrastructure investment of $50 billion.

    It was a con job, political spin, and most of the media fell for it. It was achieved by thinking of a big number – $50 billion sounded about right – and adding up the number of years of reduced infrastructure spending necessary to get there.

    In Treasurer Hockey’s case, the fine print showed the $50 billion was to be spread over six years – an average of $8.3 billion a year.

    Whatever Joe could do, Scott could do 50 per cent better in his first budget: A “record” $75 billion!

    But this time the fine print was over 10 years – an average of $7.5 billion each year, a nominal cut of 11 per cent a year and more than that in real terms.

    The trick worked well in his first budget, so Mr Morrison trotted out the same number last year – $75 billion over 10 years – and most of the media again swallowed it.

    Even a moment’s thought delivers the realisation that no increase in the annual spend means the real value has been reduced. There actually has been inflation in construction costs.

    So with the subterfuge working well and plenty of obvious construction under way in the key cities, the Coalition’s spinners are now making you pay for radio advertising that says the federal government is spending big on infrastructure.

    The average punter might not know state governments are paying for the vast majority of that construction.

    What the government is making you pay for is advertising that tells you the federal government funds some infrastructure. This is not new.

    Next: Federal government funds the army; federal government funds old age pensions; federal government is headquartered in Canberra.

    In something closer to reality, “next” is a similarly voiced radio ad lauding the coalition’s income tax proposals. It’s naked electioneering with your money to tell you there will be tax cuts for all.

    What you’re not being told is that Treasurer/Prime Minister Morrison’s key initiative is a radical flattening of the tax scale to primarily benefit the top tier of income earners, eroding the progressive nature of our tax system that has played a key role in preventing income inequality from worsening.

    And this is before Josh Frydenberg’s election budget.

    There’s more work in the offing for the voiceover bloke.

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/01/22/coalition-election-advertising-pascoe/

  15. The Darling has always been an ephemeral river, but old timers insist that it is running dry for longer under the Murray-Darling Basin plan.

    Now a project lodged by the NSW government with the MDBA proposes shrinking the Menindee Lakes and draining them more often. It will almost certainly result in a dry river south of the lakes becoming the norm most years.

    And that will have unknown consequences for fish populations.

    Why would the NSW government want to do this?

    With a kind of Kafka-esque logic, the Menindee Lakes project is about delivering more environmental water to the Murray Darling river system, by reducing evaporation from the lakes. But it will leave the lower Darling drier more often, cutting off the Murray from the Darling and leading to unknown environmental consequences for fish, bird and land-based wildlife that depend on the river.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/23/the-pipeline-plan-that-will-drain-the-lower-darling-river-dry

  16. The Coalition Government ended our car manufacturing industry which had an Effective Rate of Protection of 8%. It employed 200,000 people. We are told by the Government that the void in SA will be filled by building the new French submarines in Adelaide. The won’t. There will be only about 2000 new jobs in SA and the Effective Rate of Protection for the submarines will be 300%

    Our economy and defence would be far better off if we had kept our car manufacturing industry,imported new submarines ‘off the shelf’ and maintained them in SA

    Who said that conservatives are good economic managers and are the best to keep us safe?

    The 300% effective rate of protection for the submarine build is the highest rate of protection ever in Australia. And for that rate of protection, there will be less than 2,000 people employed. Even in the days of high protection with Tom Playford and Jack McEwen, we never saw a rate of protection like this.

    When the Abbott Government pushed our automobile manufacturing industry out the door the effective rate of protection was 8%. Yes 8% and employing 200,000 people.

    Apart from the massive level of protection and the $50b plus budgetary cost, the Coalition has yet to adequately explain how our security will be improved by building these conventional submarines to operate against Chinese nuclear submarines in the South China Sea. Even the US has reservations about our inserting twelve conventional submarines in the South China Sea. Projecting ourselves into that area against China is likely to make us less secure.

    https://johnmenadue.com/john-menadue-we-are-paying-an-enormous-price-to-keep-christopher-pyne-in-parliament/

  17. A Labor government will seek to carry out all the recommendations of the royal commission into financial services and both sides of politics will need a “very, very, very good reason” not to adopt any finding, shadow treasurer Chris Bowen says.

    “Your default position should be if the royal commission recommends it, it shall be done,” Mr Bowen told The Australian Financial Review in an interview at his family home in western Sydney.

    https://www.afr.com/business/banking-and-finance/chris-bowen-if-the-royal-commission-recommends-it-it-shall-be-done-20190122-h1ac6k

  18. Good morning bludgers

    Why ISN’T SCOTT MORRISON at DAVOS at the World Economic Forum.

    Jacinta Ahern is there

  19. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Michael Koziol tells us how the latest Captain Cook call has Liber party members in Gilmore absolutely fuming.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/what-they-ve-done-to-us-is-appalling-liberals-fume-after-scott-morrison-intervenes-in-key-seat-20190122-p50sxa.html
    Michelle Grattan looks at the Mundine parachuting.
    https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-morrisons-gilmore-candidate-is-the-man-whos-been-everywhere-110300
    And after another Captain Cook call the Morrison government is set to hand $17.1m to the commercial networks to provide TV programming to Pacific nations but the TV industry says it did not seek the funds and does not know what content to provide.
    https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/jan/23/coalitions-171m-pacific-broadcasting-plan-was-not-sought-out-by-commercial-networks
    Sam Maiden has a scoop that says Scott Morrison was the “last holdout” against calling a royal commission into the big banks, according to insiders in the inner sanctum of Malcolm Turnbull’s economic team.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/01/22/scott-morrison-banking-royal-commission/
    The AFR explains how Chris Bowen has touted a $200b tax hike ‘buffer’ against global ‘headwinds’.
    https://outline.com/PhNGAr
    Labor’s proposal to limit negative gearing to newly built properties would be the “shot in the arm” the weakened off-the-plan property market needs, according to one Sydney developer.
    https://outline.com/qjES6U
    The AFR reports that a Labor government would seek to carry out all the recommendations of the banking royal commission citing it would need a “very, very, very good reason” not to adopt any finding.
    https://outline.com/u8L92u
    The pipeline plan that will drain the lower Darling River dry.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/jan/23/the-pipeline-plan-that-will-drain-the-lower-darling-river-dry
    And John Quiggin says that the Darling River fish kill is what comes from ignoring decades of science.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/22/the-darling-river-fish-kill-is-what-comes-from-ignoring-decades-of-science
    Michael Pascoe explains how we are being robbed to fund the Coalition’s election advertising.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/01/22/coalition-election-advertising-pascoe/
    Paul Bongiorno says that the Liberal Party’s problem with women is tying them in knots so they are resorting to marketing spin to solve it. They have moved to sprouting bravado.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/01/21/liberal-party-women-jane-hume/
    Oh oh! Australia’s corporate and consumer watchdogs are allowing commissioners and staff to accept gifts and hospitality from the industries they regulate but refuse to publicly disclose the largesse or potential conflicts of interest.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/watchdogs-wined-dined-and-given-corporate-gifts-without-scrutiny-20190122-p50sy8.html
    The SMH editorial says that Morrison’s trip to the Pacific islands trip was marred by a lack of leadership on the region’s biggest issue, global warming – which poses an existential threat through rising sea levels and the increased frequency of catastrophic weather events.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/pacific-shames-pm-on-climate-policy-20190122-p50svd.html
    Clancy Yeates writes that money markets are betting there’s now a 50-50 chance that by late this year, governor Philip Lowe will have announced an interest rate cut, which would take the cash rate to just 1.25 per cent.
    https://www.smh.com.au/money/borrowing/behind-the-market-s-change-of-heart-on-interest-rates-20190122-p50stg.html
    Meanwhile Stephen Bartholomeusz says that the global economic slowdown is accelerating – and Australia is vulnerable.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/the-economy/the-global-economic-slowdown-is-accelerating-and-australia-is-vulnerable-20190122-p50suq.html
    Colin Brinsden writes that Fears of an escalating trade war between the US and China and the threat of a “no deal” over Brexit has the International Monetary Fund worried about the global economic outlook. Such concerns are also unnerving businesses and Australian consumers.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/money/finance-news/2019/01/22/imf-economy-warning-australia/
    Nicholas Stuart reckons it’s time to shift some money away from defence.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/act/time-to-shift-some-money-away-from-defence-20190122-p50svg.html
    Simon Benson reports that almost 11m Australians who earn money from sharing-­economy platforms will be subject to a new tax reporting regime.
    https://outline.com/srztBb
    Yet another NSW project blowout! The cost of building a motorway to the new Western Sydney Airport risks blowing its $1.25 billion budget unless the road project’s size is reduced or extra funding found, leaked government documents reveal.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/cost-of-motorway-to-sydney-s-new-airport-risks-blowing-out-20190122-p50st7.html
    The Australian’s Chip le Grand writes that for more than a year, Jason Ball has been shadowed by an embarrassing but innocuous sexual encounter which, if released into the combustive atmosphere of a federal election and the MeToo movement, could destroy his campaign for the seat of Higgins.
    https://www.outline.com/vGG8H3
    Emma Koehn reports that interactions between accountants and the Australian Taxation Office look set to be much faster and taxpayers will see the flow-on benefits from an overhaul of the nation’s digital tax systems. The tax office has been working on a reboot of the 18 year old architecture of its tax portal systems for several years, but development was paused in 2016 after a widespread outage caused havoc.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/small-business/just-awesome-ato-system-reboot-to-speed-up-tax-returns-20190121-p50sqi.html
    Chris Wallace opines that the Liberals’ woman problem has reached critical mass.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/liberals-woman-problem-has-reached-critical-mass-20190122-p50svu.html
    Jennifer Hewett looks at the economic part of the upcoming election campaigns.
    https://outline.com/SnrcpF
    Geoff Clark – what have you done?
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/ex-atsic-chief-geoff-clark-charged-with-embezzling-2m-community-fund-20190122-p50svb.html
    The potential that buy now, pay later market leader Afterpay will be forced to adopt bank-like credit checks appears to have faded.
    https://outline.com/pSyHeE
    One-third of elderly Australians who need help to live at home say they don’t get the assistance they need, with average wait times into aged care climbing 44 per cent in two years. The Productivity Commission released its government services reviews into the aged care and disability sectors on Tuesday, as the royal commission into nursing homes begins.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/01/22/aged-care-disability-sector-productivity-commission/
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that the former Inspector-General of Taxation Ali Noroozi will become an adviser to some of Australia’s largest companies at PricewaterhouseCoopers just three months after leaving the post as head of the tax watchdog.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/politics/federal/former-head-of-tax-watchdog-takes-high-profile-private-tax-adviser-role-20190122-p50sw1.html
    Ross Gittins writes about how the employment participation rates of older age groups are higher than they’ve ever been.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/more-jobs-for-older-workers-than-ever-before-20190122-p50sss.html
    Former Liberal MP Margaret Fitzherbert writes that we’re not doing enough about a lethal cancer that’s easily treated – bowel cancer.
    https://www.smh.com.au/healthcare/we-re-not-doing-enough-about-a-lethal-cancer-that-s-easily-treated-20190122-p50suh.html
    Abbott will direct a Liberal campaign mach­ine on the back of his Facebook followers to counter the left-wing activist group.
    https://outline.com/frFDfh
    Christopher Scanlon explains why men need meaningful friendships, not just mates. Something to think about.
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/men-need-meaningful-friendships-not-just-mates-20190118-p50s6p.html
    Richo writes that reviling paedophiles is not enough.
    https://outline.com/cT8jmp
    Should we redress gender imbalance in Australia Day medals?
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/let-s-redress-gender-imbalance-in-australia-day-medals-20190121-p50sqe.html
    The embattled wealth group AMP faces growing investor resentment at its upcoming annual general meeting.
    https://outline.com/zWqaCN
    Decades-old temperature records will be under threat on Thursday as the mercury soars across South Australia. Adelaide’s 80-year heat record could topple, the Bureau of Meteorology says, as the city and its healthcare system brace for a new maximum forecast of 45C.
    https://outline.com/d5hDGX
    This is hardly surprising. A former Trump staffer has written that a chaotic White House is out of control.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/absolutely-out-of-control-former-trump-staffer-s-book-depicts-white-house-chaos-20190123-p50t00.html
    To those who have done business with Trump the government shutdown comes as no surprise.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/cost-of-motorway-to-sydney-s-new-airport-risks-blowing-out-20190122-p50st7.html
    Matthew Knott reports that the field of Democrats seeking to become a left-wing hero by denying Donald Trump a second presidential term is growing rapidly, with Californian senator Kamala Harris the latest contender to enter the fray.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/democrats-full-of-excitement-anxiety-as-2020-contenders-begin-roman-theatre-torture-20190122-p50stb.html
    In Trump’s America four women were found guilty of misdemeanours and are facing possible prison time for leaving jugs of water and canned food in the Arizona desert for migrants braving the scorching triple-digit temperatures during the summer of 2017.
    https://independentaustralia.net/life/life-display/trumps-america-prison-time-for-compassion,12301
    A clear choice for nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” . . .
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/hairdresser-arrested-at-eastern-suburbs-salon-charged-with-child-sex-abuse-20190122-p50sxj.html

    Cartoon Corner

    A cracker form David Rowe!

    From Matt Golding




    https://static.ffx.io/images/$width_828/t_resize_width/t_sharpen%2Cq_auto%2Cf_auto%2Cdpr_auto/580492371813229f69be7d84198adc00300ca91b,jpg
    Cathy Wilcox and the Endeavour.

    A nice contribution from Fiona Katauskas on the same subject.

    Zanetti and Morrison’s baby blues.

    Another ripper from Alan Moir!

    From the US



  20. The Australian Motor Industry Federation and the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries have successfully lobbied the Australian government to continue restrictions on the imports of second-hand vehicles.

    The Turnbull government accepted many of the recommendations of the Harper Review into competition policy, but it decided to continue Australia’s archaic system where there is a $12,000 specific customs duty on second-hand vehicles.

    https://johnmenadue.com/john-menadue-we-are-paying-to-protect-an-industry-that-no-longer-exists/

  21. Curioz
    January 22, 2019 at 9:41 PM

    So … what was the answer?

    Basically that Labor in government will not break any agreements or approvals made so far but will review the potential environment impacts and if they don’t measure up, then bye bye Adani.

    I said to Albo that I understood that Labor was forced to walk a fine line because of the potential job and economic benefits (read CFMEU) and conservationists but the whole thing just doesn’t stack up on a number of measures and should be binned.

    I gathered that is their preferred position but currently are being careful in expressing it.

  22. At last! Labor seems to have seen the light on the cashless welfare card.

    No mention of this on the big national news sites, I wonder why. Another case of “Let’s block news about Labor”?

    Labor to scrap cashless welfare card if elected
    https://outline.com/WzV8rP

    Labor puts end of cashless welfare card on the table
    https://outline.com/cHMEed

    Twiggy Forrest isn’t happy.

    Neither is the mayor of Ceduna.

    • Wonderful news!

      Saves the annual administration cost of $10,000 per card
      The card is owned by organisations affiliated with the National Party

      Allows the welfare recipient to exert autonomy over their spending, able to buy from farmers markets and Vinnies and Tender Centres etc

      Was never going to work in major metro areas where market rent is higher than welfare payment.

  23. Clive Palmer hopes to win votes by sueing us?

    Clive Palmer threatens to sue Australian taxpayers for $45b as he re-routes business through NZ

    Clive Palmer has channelled his corporate empire through New Zealand and threatened to use free trade rules to sue Australian taxpayers for $45 billion as part of a dispute with a Chinese mining company.

    Mr Palmer, who has re-emerged as one of Australia’s richest people according to Forbes magazine, last month transferred the ownership of his flagship Mineralogy company to an Auckland-based holding company.

    That company, Mineralogy International Limited (MIL), last week flagged using investor protections under the trans-Tasman free trade agreement to claim $45 billion in damages from the Commonwealth if the Western Australian government intervenes against Mr Palmer in his latest dispute with Chinese state-owned Citic.

    However, NZ company searches show MIL is controlled by two of Mr Palmer’s Australian companies, River Crescent Pty Ltd and Closeridge Pty Ltd.

    Those companies have registered offices in Brisbane and were previously direct shareholders in Mineralogy

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-01-22/clive-palmer-sets-up-kiwi-company-threatens-to-sue-taxpayers/10734744

    • Has Clive Palmer paid the wages of his Queensland Nickel employees in Townsville?

      No, he has not.

      It’s wages and unpaid redundancy entitlements. This has been dragging on for three years now, and the bastard still refuses to pay.

  24. Can we have an Australia Day thread starter?

    To improve navigability ( new word) can the thread starter be brief with the detailed post being the first comment

    I am finding it impossible to post tweets or links at the bottom of a page when I am using my iPad and there was something pertinent that I couldn’t post until the top of the next page, by then I had lost the link and the conversation had moved on

  25. BuzzFeed News has released documents showing that Trump’s Russian real estate plans were much more developed than the president has let on, contradicting his previous claims that the project was just an idea that had barely gotten off the ground.

    Trump Tower Moscow, a skyscraper on the Moscow river providing roughly 250 luxury condos to Russian elites — including a $50 million suite at the top offered for free to Putin — and a spa by Ivanka, branded by Trump’s daughter, and was expected to turn over $300 million in profits:

    By the time Donald Trump signed the project’s letter of intent, he was four months into his presidential campaign — running for the highest office in America while conducting private business negotiations with a hostile nation.

    Today that choice has produced controversy and possible legal risk. But back then, it seemed to be pure upside.

    ‘Let’s make this happen and build a Trump Moscow’ Sater wrote to Cohen shortly beforehand. ‘And possibly fix relations between the countries by showing everyone that commerce & business are much better and more practical than politics. … Help world peace and make a lot of money, I would say that’s a great lifetime goal for us to go after’”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2019/jan/22/us-politics-donald-trump-latest-live-updates-government-shutdown

    • Lying again – when doe he ever stop?

      Just because Mundine is aboriginal does not mean he must be related to every other indigenous person in this country. Nor does it mean all the indigenous voters in Gilmore will vote for him.

      Mundine was born in Grafton. He’s a member of the Bundjalung people, a coastal northern NSW group. Some time in his childhood his family moved to Sydney’s western suburbs. There seems to be no connection with southern NSW at all.

      Take a look at this article from 2013.

      ‘Shattered’: lingering pain of Mundine divorce
      https://www.smh.com.au/national/shattered-lingering-pain-of-mundine-divorce-20131004-2uzol.html

      I don’t understand why it has taken so long for Wazza to join the Liberal Party. He has belonged there for ages. He used Labor to get to a position of national recognition then dumped the party to become a North Shore Coconut. (Brown on the outside, ultra-white on the inside, for those not familiar with the term)

      How appropriate was his choice of Luna Park for his wedding!

  26. Lying is the default

    A series of letters sent to Indigenous Affairs Minister Nigel Scullion have called on the government to change the date of Australia Day, despite Mr Scullion’s claims that he has never been approached by an Indigenous person regarding the matter.

    The letters, obtained by ABC News under Freedom of Information legislation and addressed to Senator Scullion and former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull, suggest different dates for celebration.

    https://www.sbs.com.au/news/letters-sent-to-indigenous-affairs-minister-call-on-australia-to-change-the-date?cid=news:socialshare:twitter

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