2,016 thoughts on “It’s Spring!

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers

    Penny Wong will use a major speech today to warn of increasing populism under Mr Morrison’s approach to foreign affairs while warning of “increasing assertiveness” from China. She will also dismiss the results from Mr Morrison’s closer ties to US President Donald Trump, saying the Prime Minister has produced political distraction rather than solid outcomes.
    Paul Karp writes that Wong has characterised Morrison as being “disturbingly lightweight” on the issue.
    Nick McKenzie outlines the insidious presences of Huang and his “crop dusting over the political landscape”.
    Rob Harris writes that Gladys Liu is confident she no longer belongs to any “inappropriate” Chinese Communist Party-linked organisations after a “lengthy” probe of her association memberships.
    Sean Kelly laments that Morrison appears to be making it compulsory to be a nation of docile submissives.
    During Scott Morrison’s recent trip to the U.S., did he absorb some of Donald Trump’s intellectual genius by a mysterious process of osmosis asks The Independent Australia.
    Ross Gittins says that despite popular opinion the RBA is not keen to enter into the quantitative easing tactic like the Yanks did.
    The US president was warned about the consequences of betraying the Kurds. Now he can see them, and he still doesn’t care declares a Guardian editorial.
    According to Michael Koziol Morrison has stamped his authority over cabinet with new rules about teleconferencing and procedures that appear to give him greater sway over the direction of the budget.
    The Canberra Times editorial is concerned with how the Newstart Senate inquiry stories already beggar belief.
    Lisa Visentin tells us that Keating’s former federal attorney-general Michael Lavarch will deliver a report on NSW Labor’s best path to reform within a month, after he was appointed to lead a “frank and fearless” review into the party’s governance and administration.
    While Simon Cowan says that Labor should embrace meritocracy ahead of the next election.
    Melbourne’s Crown casino faces fresh demands for an official inquiry into its activities, with allegations to be aired that the venue brings overseas high rollers into Australia without customs checks. A new whistleblower has emerged writes Noel Towell.
    David Crowe writes that the federal government will launch a new inquiry into the market power of the big four banks in a new sign of the political fury at the lenders for denying home buyers a saving worth $500 a year by failing to pass on official cuts to interest rates.
    The AFR also runs the above story.
    As a federal parliamentary committee prepares to release a report from its inquiry into the so-called Medevac repeal bill this week, Labor is sticking to its guns in supporting the initiative.
    But Jacqui Lambie has ruled out horse-trading her vote on the Coalition’s bill to repeal provisions facilitating medical evacuation from offshore detention.
    Rather than introducing the cashless debit card, we should seriously consider the merits of universal basic income, writes Jane Goodall.
    Jennifer Duke writes that ACCC chairman has hit back at accusations from big business that he is using a review of Google and Facebook’s market power to make it easier to block corporate deals.
    The AFR says that a new report shows fee increases at non-government schools are running at nearly twice the rate of inflation and have outpaced wage growth every year for a decade.
    There’s no airport border ‘crisis’, only management failure of the Home Affairs department say these contributors to The Conversation.
    John Elder writes that the number of children worldwide living in heart attack territory has gradually risen over the past two decades, hand in hand with the obesity epidemic. This is disturbing!
    According to Darren Gray wind and solar power plant developers would have to foot some of the cost of new power transmission under a proposed overhaul of the energy system.
    Global markets are reacting with enthusiasm to Donald Trump claiming vindication and victory as he announces a deal with China. But the relief rally may be temporary says Jennifer Hewett.
    Judith Ireland explains how food charities have reported a spike in hungry Australians seeking help.
    NSW ministers appear to be splitting over the watering down of environmental rules as dams and pipeline projects are being fast tracked.
    Bill Shorten’s old union, the AWU, is under pressure to find a blue-collar union to merge with in the face of huge membership losses and a hostile political landscape.
    Amanda Vanstone won’t get much argument with this article in which she declares her care level in Harry and Meghan is zero.
    Christian Porter says he is convinced about the “achievability” of passing a religious discrimination bill – despite widespread criticism from church and community groups about his draft plans, and predictions from key crossbencher Rex Patrick that the controversial “can of worms” will never become law.
    This is an interesting article that explains the merits of strength-based learning for children rather than looking for weaknesses to “correct”.
    Jennifer Duke says that Telstra chief executive Andy Penn will face a major test this week as he fronts shareholders a year after an historic strike against the telco’s multi-million dollar executive bonuses.
    Telcos complain NBN is unfairly and unnecessarily competing in the enterprise market. But their complaints are unlikely to make much difference.
    Pro-remain MPs predicted on Saturday that they were gaining sufficient cross-party support to secure a second Brexit referendum as fresh doubts were raised over whether Boris Johnson can secure a deal with the EU that can pass through parliament.
    The New York Times hits hard at Trump’s taxation moves that have even further increased inequality in the US.
    Trump’s secretary of defence said yesterday that the Pentagon would cooperate with the House’s impeachment inquiry, while cautioning that Trump may try to restrict his disclosure of information.
    Robert Reich describes Donald Trump as being xenophobe in public and an international mobster in private.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe takes our leaders out for a meal.

    A despairing Cathy Wilcox has this contribution.

    Matt Golding

    Mark David with a couple on the extinction revolution.

    from Glen Le Lievre.

    From John Shakespeare.

    From the US

  2. Wise words on the NSW government’s sudden urge to “do something” about the drought –

    Independent MP Justin Field told the Herald that while the Nationals “are always talking about dams … they almost never get built because they don’t stack up”.

    “There is a finite amount of water in any system and a new dam doesn’t make more water. Spending billions of public money deserves a proper planning process and cost-benefit analysis,” he said

    I wish governments would understand that.

    The proposal for a dam on the Mole River in northern NSW is a good example of government stupidity in ignoring the finite nature of one small river as well as being blatant pork barrelling for the Member for New England. The NSW government says this dam will harvest flood waters and store them for future use, thus “drought-proofing” farms (aka agribusinesses) in Queensland and northern NSW and providing water security for towns along the Barwon and Darling rivers.


    It’s a load of bull about a dam that even if initial community consultation starts today will not be completed for at least ten years. That is no help for towns that will run out of water within months, or towns like Wilcannia and others along the Darling that have been dry all year. This dam is intended to supply huge cotton farms, especially in southern Quieensland, not small NSW communities.

    Here’s the problem.

    The Mole River is a small, shallow river, with low flow. Parts of it only have water during a flood. That dam will never fill unless the river flow is stopped completely, forever, and all water used to fill this dam. There just isn’t enough flow in that river in a good year, let alone a drought, to both fill the dam and to maintain river flow below the dam.

    But – this proposed dam is in Barnaby’s electorate, so of course the feds aided and abetted by the Gladys government are going to throw money at a business plan for a dam that should never be built.

    • “Long-time ABC critics such as Sydney Institute director Gerard Henderson ………”

      Gerard is still more than happy to front up for Insiders, he seems to there every fortnight and must be making a nice little income just from that one program.

      By “political diversity” the old white men doing all the whinging mean “we want our spots on the ABC back”.

      As far as I can see the ABC is far too right-wing. The bias is blatant on programs like The Drum and Q&A and 7.30 is just as bad. Even the 7 o’clock news is hopelessly biased.

    • gigilene
      I agree, and better than Julia Baird when she was hosting The Drum. It’s the panel I get annoyed by and the reason I rarely watch.

  3. Podcast on the cashless welfare card aka cashless warfare card from The Juice Media.

    Follow-up to their most excellent video on the same topic.

    Well worth a listen.

    Some of the details given are terrifying. No-one who relies on any form of social security, even a tiny part payment, will be safe if the government gets its way.

    In case you missed the video –

  4. In a country far away

    This is how Diane Abbott, the shadow home secretary, put it in a statement last night.

    This Queen’s speech is farcical. It is just an uncosted wish list which the government has no intention and no means to deliver, and nothing more than a pre-election party political broadcast.


    Sounds sort of familiar.

    • “The first ten million years were the worst,” said Marvin, “and the second ten million years, they were the worst too. The third ten million years I didn’t enjoy at all. After that I went into a bit of a decline.”

  5. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe reports how the government has egg all over its face with respect to the arrival of “plane people” asylum seekers.
    Peter Hartcher quotes a former diplomat and eminent US expert Nicholas Burns, who has said “If you are an American ally anywhere, the message is ‘beware”. This is well worth reading.
    Joel Fitzgibbon has been savaged by several of his colleagues over his climate retreat.
    Richard Denniss piles into Morrison’s coal-fired climate hypocrisy.
    The Morrison government has delivered another rebuke to Turkey over its invasion of northern Syria amid growing concern in Parliament at the fate of Australians trapped by a conflict that has displaced 130,000 people writes David Crowe, but it avoided any reference to the role the US troop withdrawal has played.
    Shane Wright explains how the banks are saying they might have to actually lift interest rates in order to protect their profits. A former bank chief Don Argus has said that in the government’s rush to help home buyers the interests of depositors who relied on the interest on their savings were being disregarded.
    Crummy superannuation funds are right to be uncomfortable about the impending release of performance appraisals that will expose high fees and poor returns, APRA says.
    The former environment minister Josh Frydenberg sought urgent information about an investigation for land clearing brought by his department against a company in which fellow minister Angus Taylor and his relatives held an interest, new documents show. This seems to be warming up.
    John Della Bosca said Labor officials had become more interested in “nosh-up lunches with rich people and powerbrokers than their branches” reports Alexandra Smith.
    More from the ICAC as Michaela Whitbourn tells us how ex-NSW Labor general secretary Jamie Clements has been forced to hand over his mobile phone to the corruption watchdog as it investigates an illegal $100,000 cash donation.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz refers to a banquet photo that gives a good idea of who has got the better of US/China trade negotiations after Trump had tweeted “the deal I just made with China is, by far, the greatest and biggest deal ever made for our Great Patriot Farmers in the history of our country.”
    Elizabeth Knight looks at what is facing the punch drunk banks in this latest inquiry.
    Call your bank and ask for a better mortgage deal – but read this first advises Greg Jericho.
    Professor Mark Humphries-Jenner proposes four questions about mortgages the ACCC inquiry should put to the big four banks.
    Michael Pascoe reckons Frydenberg’s home loan inquiry is a stunt but he hold out hope that the ACCC will surprise.
    Michael West writes that three interest rate cuts have failed to lift the economy. As have the Government’s $1080 tax breaks. Printing money is now a serious option. Quantitative Easing they call it, or “QE”.
    Former competition tsar Graeme Samuel has joined business groups in disputing the need for new laws to block corporate mergers, while questioning whether the regulator he used to run was contesting the right cases in court.
    Following on from some pointed remarks from Dutton an official Chinese state newspaper has urged Morrison to “build more consensus” on China policy in his government ranks if he wants to improve ties with China.
    Meanwhile Kirsty Needham reports that Eric Abetz has dramatically upped the rhetoric against China, condemning the Chinese communist “dictatorship” and accusing China of shocking human rights abuses.
    Christian Porter has emphatically rejected the Victorian government’s claim the religious discrimination bill could harm its proposed ban on gay conversion therapy, writes Paul Karp.
    Professor Erin Wilson explains that the biggest hurdle for the Coalition’s religious discrimination bill: how to define ‘religion’. This is an excellent contribution.
    Sarah Martin writes about Morrison getting a bit rattled over references to his relationship with Brian Houston.
    Jennifer Hewett explains how litigation funders, many of them international, are able to earn huge fees for reasonably low risk through class action lawsuits.
    Zoe Wunderberg takes serious issue with the government, and Michaelia Cash in particular, over their “jobs snobs” comments.
    Tasmanian parliamentarians should reject the Federal Government’s attempts to water down Tasmania’s anti-discrimination laws, a group of twelve community groups has said.
    Toni Wren proposes a $75 fix that would help solve Australia’s poverty problem.
    Kim Carr has lashed out at Australia’s national security establishment, claiming that a “creeping authoritarianism” in Canberra and hawkish opposition to research collaboration with China risk the nation’s future prosperity.
    The nurses’ union has joined calls for Labor to block new free trade agreements that undermine Australian working conditions, as the party splits over whether to support new deals with Indonesia, Hong Kong and Peru.
    Sally Whyte reports that the Australian Statistician has issued a warning to the government of just what will be lost if the Australian Bureau of Statistics faces further funding cuts.
    Infrastructure is the latest area of Morrison Government incompetence exposed by fresh data from the Bureau of Statistics says Alan Austin.
    Nick Miller opines that the UK is unlikely to leave the EU on October 31, as it has repeatedly promised to do. And, depending on how this chaotic, high-tension week unfolds, the government might not even be in power shortly afterwards.
    The editorial in the UK Guardian describes the Queen’s speech as “show without substance”.
    And its John Crace says that Johnson has reduced the Queen to a furious frontwoman for a grubby election stunt.
    As they sweat on the results of the long drawn out post mortem over Labor’s loss in the unlosable election, the warlords are already staking out their own positions writes Mungo MacCallum.
    The days of being forced to find hidden nasties in lengthy product disclosure statements to protect yourself when dealing with banks, insurers and super funds are numbered, explains Sarah Danckert.
    According to Kate Burgess Labor has been accused of running a scare campaign about Morrison government plans to outsource Australia’s visa processing system.
    Joko Widodo may have won a second term as president, but Indonesian democracy is in a parlous state says James Massola.
    Peter Hannam explains how the benefits of the $1 billion dam-building plan in NSW will likely be limited by rules that cap the amount of water than can be taken from catchments within the Murray-Darling Basin.
    Kate Aubusson tells us about how surgeons are being urged to disclose their rates of surgical complications to prove they’re worth premium fees.
    Snowy 2.0 will not produce nearly as much electricity as claimed. We must hit the pause button says energy expert Bruce Mountain.
    The Washington Post explores the 2020 presidential race which just keeps getting more uncertain.
    Some previous “Arseholes of the Week” nominees have now pleaded guilty after what looks like a substantial plea deal.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe on the banks.

    Alan Moir’s fine form continues.

    Andrew Dyson and power politics.

    A cynical Cathy Wilcox gives us the banking cycle.

    From Matt Golding.

    This is an anonymous contribution from the UK.

    A good one from Jon Kudelka on the leaked talking points.

    From the US

  6. About David Crowe’s article on FauxMo’s rebuke to Turkey –

    He is making things up as he goes, isn’t he. Just saying whatever pops into his head. Does he not have experts to advise him or does he prefer to have conversations with his god at three in the morning where instructions are passed on?

    The US is not the only country with an insane leader

    And now the Kurds are turning to Assad and his Russian-backed forces for help to fend off the Turks. What a mess!


  7. More on NDIA’s chairman Helen Nugent and her dodgy Macquarie Bank email address.

    Confidential and highly personal information about NDIS clients is being sent to Macquarie Bank via Nugent’s email address which she insists on using despite having two NDIA email accounts.

    Compromised standards of NDIS chairman Helen Nugent

    ……it is not the highest standard of corporate governance to direct – even irregularly, or to a limited extent – a $22 billion government agency beyond the visibility and ongoing reach of that agency. And it is not the highest standard of corporate governance for the personal data of NDIS participants to be transmitted to or from an investment bank. We have sighted emails sent to Nugent’s Macquarie account containing highly sensitive case information on Tim Rubenach, a 32-year-old man with severe epilepsy who died in northeast Tasmania awaiting NDIS care in May 2018. Prima facie, such communication is a clear breach of NDIA privacy policy. And, frankly, it is not the highest standard of corporate governance to sling $25 million of consulting work anyone’s way without subjecting it to a competitive procurement process. Taxpayers – and, more importantly, Australians with disabilities – deserve a whole lot better


    You will need an incognito window to read the whole article.

  8. Yesterday, at a public hearing for the Senate inquiry into the proposed expansion of the cashless debit card scheme –

    Public Hearing: Department says Indue card costs current $50.8 MILLION and 11547 people on cards now = $4399.41 per card holder. Over 4 years projected costs: $180 MILLION “going forward” – $5202.31 per card holder min ( current numbers + 23,000 NT/.CY)


    Is the misery this card inflicts on those forced onto it worth this needless expense? Imagine the cost if the government gets its wish and extends this card to everyone on any form of social security!

    Wouldn’t it be better to put that money into increasing Newstart?

    If you use Facebook The Say NO Seven page is an excellent source of information on the card and well worth following.

    • Add on top of those expenses for the blatant rip off admin cost of the Indue the cost to business if they want to accept the cards. This cost will of course be passed on to the poor,literally,, bastards forced to use the card. All in all someone has found a nice little earner.

    • Something else that happened yesterday – also from the above web site.

      Kathryn in Hinkler responding to Senator Jacqui Lambie’s atrocious ignorance and slurs today in the Senate inquiry public hearing in Canberra: Damn right! We are angry too. Jacqui intent on totally dismissing FIRST HAND reports from cardholders themselves calling their FIRST HAND reports ‘nonsense’. Jacqui, you are a waste of a senate seat. Resign

  9. Lambie has already decided everyone on the Indue card is a drugged-out alcoholic (she would know all about that, given her past) so obviously she is going to vote for an expansion.

    She is still pretending to dither on the medevac repeal and says she will read and consider the report – including the negative responses – very carefully over the weekend. Yeah, sure she will. I doubt she can read much past the level of your average reading-impaired eight year old.

    Eureka Street has sussed her out.

  10. Listening to Lambie over the years I found she is quite a fluent speaker of ‘Talkback Radio” . Poorlene of course speaks it like a native, all those years gossiping with locals at the fish and chip shop paid off handsomely..

  11. So how goes our Happy Clapper PM with the 2GB mob ? Looks like the Shoutbackradioland natives re restless.

    “Blood’s boiling’: Listeners slam PM

    Sam Clench
    2GB radio has shared some of its listeners’ reactions to Scott Morrison’s interview with Alan Jones this morning, saying its open line went “into meltdown”.

    It’s fair to say they were angry.

    “I’m just devastated. This guy’s a waste of space. I just can’t believe it,” said Jim.

    “My blood’s boiling after hearing that. I’ll describe it, right. Complete failure as a Prime Minister. He’s arrogant. They’ve been conning the public after the election,” said Robert.

    “As a former one-eyed Liberal, I felt like putting my fist through the radio listening to Scott Morrison this morning,” said Anna.

    There were more. You can listen to them here, courtesy of 2GB.

    • There’s a lot to unpack in this tale.

      It seems to be a stunt intended to gain support for the government’s very fake drought relief efforts, but it went terribly wrong.

      First – the whole interview is in here –

      Next – The phone call from the alleged suffering pool manager was obviously a put-up job. FauxMo admitted he had already rung this man “yesterday”. The caller could not have voted for “Scott Morrison” because he obviously does not live in Cook. He would have voted for Mark Coulton, a Nat, so he deserves all he gets for being so damn stupid.

      The man’s father is the local mayor of Bourke Shire, a chap called Barry Hollman, an “independent politician” according to Wikipedia.

      The pool manager is Mark Hollman.

      FauxMo is giving Bourke Shire funding for an upgrade to the local council-owned pool. Isn’t that wonderful! That will really be a big help to a town running out of water. I suspect that was a pay-off to Hollman Jnr for making this call. I’m not alone in my suspicions, the Twitterverse also suspects put-up job.

      The interview and the call from Mark Hollman the pool manager were intended to make listeners fall about in gratitude for FauxMo’s “generosity” to drought-stricken country towns. Instead he was absolutely caned by those listeners, and by Jones.

      If Alan Jones’ listeners are waking up to FauxMo then things are very dire indeed for this government.

      And –
      The damn Bradfield scheme (sigh) gets a mention. Well of course it does. Every farmer and his dog now knows the name of the long-dead scheme but none of them understand it was only intended to send water from three North Queensland rivers (Tully, Herbert, Burdekin) across the ranges into Lake Eyre via the Thompson River, with no water going anywhere near the Murray/Darling system. The plan was to fill Lake Eyre and use the water for irrigation, opening up new farmland in Queensland. It was discredited decades ago.

  12. Joining a few dots.

    Barnaby Joyce tells struggling farmers to give up and get another job.


    That wouldn’t have anything to do with Gina Rinehart buying up properties in Barnaby’s electorate would it?

    Gina Rinehart buys another New England property for Wagyu export business

    No wonder Barnaby was so keen to have Dungowan Dam rebuilt to be much, much bigger than it is now. Gina needs that extra water for her growing beef empire.

  13. Gina the Hutt and Barnyard would make a fine couple. Morally matched for sure..

    Gina Rinehart flew MPs to India for lavish wedding-

    ……. Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce, to take part in a sumptuous three

    https://www.smh.com.au › national › gina-rinehart-flew-mps-to-india-for-lav…

    Gina Rinehart, Barnaby Joyce slammed for ‘extraordinary’ actions during trust case

    Gina Rinehart’s eldest son, John Hancock, told Radio National Breakfast the pressure extended beyond the family, with Barnaby Joyce sending his sister Hope an email trying to convince her not to proceed…………refused to say whether he was asked to send the letter but it is one of several the children received urging them not to take on their mother in court in the weeks after they launched their legal action.

    Barnaby Joyce plunged into controversy over $40,000 cheque from Gina Rinehart

    • And then he went on to tell us “a drought means there is no water”. Isn’t it wonderful to have such a deeply insightful PM!

      How does he tie this definition of drought to his loopy decision to reward Bourke’s council pool manager with a $1 million gift to repair the pool? What will they be filling the pool with if there is no water?

  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    The IMF has sharply downgraded forecasts for the Australian economy for this year and next, as evidence mounts the Morrison government’s personal income tax cuts are not being spent by cautious consumers who are trying to get on top of their mortgages. Shane Wright says our economy is growing at a slower rate than in Greece! No doubt the Ad Man and Mr Shouty will be in full flight today.
    Yet Morrison still rejects the calls for economic stimulus.
    Judith Ireland tells us how Anglicare has shot holes in the government’s “a job is the best form of welfare” mantra. Anglicare’s research shows that for every available low level job there are five job seekers.
    And Ross Gittins reckons politicians too poor at their jobs to fix poverty.
    A government jobs program for long-term unemployed is taking an average of five years to find people work, the Anglicare report has found.
    Katharine Murphy looks at the entrails of the latest Essential poll.
    David Crowe reports that GetUp will escalate its fight with Prime Minister Scott Morrison by accusing him of being an “authoritarian populist” who tries to shut down his critics, naming three campaign priorities to take on his government.
    Rob Harris writes that Albanese has vowed to hold the Morrison government to account over its record on climate change, but says a decision on his party’s emissions reduction targets won’t be made until closer to the next election. Gun shy?
    It gets worse for Mascot Towers apartment owners.
    The government has refused to address multiple claims taxpayers have been ripped off by the way it has rolled out the much-maligned national broadband network reports Isabelle Lane.
    Michael Koziol explains the schism developing in the Anglican Church over same sex marriage.
    Meanwhile the Uniting Church has offered to conduct pill testing on its grounds as a NSW coroner calls for it to be rolled out at music festivals ahead of summer.
    The SMH editorial says that NSW sadly seems further than ever from a rational policy to stop drug-related deaths of festival-goers.
    The problems in the mortgage market are well known and the latest ACCC inquiry make any new discoveries, says the Productivity Commission’s Stephen King.
    Simon Crean has lashed the US decision to pull out of Syria, arguing it gives the green-light to an Islamic State revival while sending a message to America’s allies they will be treated as “fair-weather friends”.
    With the Federal Court ruling that there were “no reasonable grounds” for the 2017 union raids, Labor has called for the Registered Organisations Commission to be shut down.
    Michelle Grattan writes about Alan Jones’ on air berating of Morrison over the drought.
    And Sam Maiden describes how Jones broke down in tears during the tirade.
    Michael Pascoe opines that Australia’s long-established bipartisan approach to relations with our biggest trading partner China is at breaking point.
    According to Elizabeth Knight it looks like retail broadband telcos are on a mission with a new message: stop the government-owned wholesale supplier, NBN Co, from encroaching on their turf.
    The government is waving a big stick at the energy companies and big banks with great enthusiasm – just with very limited practical effect. But that’s not the political point says Jennifer Hewett.
    The Guardian reports that music festivals, cemetery upgrades, public toilets and a virtual gym are among the hundreds of projects to ­receive federal grants under the government’s signature Drought Communities Program. Surely this will get a run in QT today.
    The CPSU wonders if the new Services Australia is a real service delivery redesign or just window dressing.
    George Pell’s lawyers have accused Victorian prosecutors of ‘mischaracterising’ the cardinal’s appeal.
    Nations are struggling to agree on how international carbon trading should work under the Paris accord. A weak result would undermine global efforts to fight climate change.
    Paul Karp reports that state and territory anti-discrimination commissions have revolted against the Coalition’s religious discrimination bill, warning it privileges religion over other rights and will cause “significant disruption” by overriding state laws.
    Caitlin Fitzsimmons explains why hiring predominately on the basis of “cultural fit” can undermine diversity, professionalism and merit.
    Reviews have been mixed about Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s cameo as a water boy in a rugby league international in Fiji on the weekend writes Dave Donovan.
    Katie Burgess reports that the Australian Electoral Commission has drastically increased its spending on external contractors, after using labour hire companies to boost back-end staff for the last federal election for the first time. It has also repeated its warning that its funding in-between elections is too low, and posed an “ongoing risk” to its operations.
    Agitation is growing over bureaucratic delays in pushing ahead with important lifesaving car technology, autonomous emergency braking, as the “silent epidemic” of road crash trauma puts around 100 Australians in hospital every day.
    Australia is facing a looming cyber emergency, and we don’t have the high-tech workforce to counter it warns Professor Greg Austin.
    Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party members are fundraising to attend their own AGM and plotting to expel Hanson as president, and Ashby from the party altogether. Ha ha!
    People on the cashless debit card (CDC) are still able to gamble and buy alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and pornography because a potential loophole in the system allows them to use credit cards without detection while they are on income management.
    “Why should Turkey play by the rules when Donald Trump doesn’t?”, asks lawyer Rebecca Barber.
    Boris Johnson appears to be on the brink of reaching a Brexit deal after making major concessions to EU demands over the Irish border. But will the DUP accept the complicated arrangement?
    But any Johnson Brexit deal sows seeds of future confrontation with the EU warns Rafael Behr.
    Democrats have continued their whirlwind investigation of Donald Trump yesterday as another witness testified before Congress, building momentum towards a likely impeachment of the president.
    These two guys certainly deserve nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”!

    Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir with Barnaby’s cry for help for Assange.

    From Matt Golding

    Andrew Weldon and some perspective.

    Zanetti is in his usual form.

    Jon Kudelka takes a well-aimed kick at Labor.

    From the US

  15. “Why should Turkey play by the rules when Donald Trump doesn’t?”, asks lawyer Rebecca Barber.

    Hey , Rebecca under what ‘by the rules’ were the yankees there in the first place ? Queen Hilary and Obama ignored even US rules let alone international rules in much of their fueling of the civil war in Syria. The Americans’ and their ‘9/11 Wars’ in the Middle East have cost $trillions and wrecked the lives of millions and after nearly 2 decades there is still no end in sight. Any damage Trump does will be a small drop in an ocean of blood and money spilt on the sands of the ME and who knows Rebecca, getting their noses out of the place might just be what the place needs.

  16. Re

    The IMF has sharply downgraded forecasts for the Australian economy for this year and next, ……… our economy is growing at a slower rate than in Greece!……………Yet Morrison still rejects the calls for economic stimulus.

    Scrott and Josh have gone all……

    over the mythical surplus. I can understand why. No matter how bogus the ‘surplus’ it will be the fig leaf they can cling on to as they claim ‘credit’ for it . They will be economic surplus miracle workers so obviously when the inevitable tsunami of economic merde hits us it couldn’t have had anything to do with them eh ? 😦

  17. An interesting interview.
    |MSNBC | Full Interview: Edward Snowden On Trump, Privacy, And Threats To Democracy | The 11th Hour

    Sep 17, 2019

  18. Bloody show off 🙂
    Extremely dexterous robot can solve a Rubik’s cube one-handed

    The AI learned to correct for mistakes like accidentally rotating a face of the Rubik’s cube too far.

    How long the robot hand took to solve the Rubik’s cube depended on how jumbled the cube was, with the best attempt taking around three minutes, says Welinder.


  19. So people on the cashless debit card are using credit cards to allegedly buy drugs and alcohol.

    Of course they are. If you were lucky enough to have a credit card before being forced onto the Indue card then of course you are going to use it to buy the things you are no longer able to buy with your card.

    The flaw in this story is the impossibility of getting a credit card if your only income is a social security payment. Lambie is showing her ignorance (yet again) when she says “everyone will be getting Visa cards tomorrow”. No, they won’t.

    There’s another loophole, revealed a couple of months ago, that didn’t get much attention and is far more plausible than the “they are using credit cards to buy booze” beat-up.

    It’s the gift card racket.

    Loopholes in cashless welfare scheme allowing access to alcohol, cigarettes and cash

    Some welfare recipients forced onto Centrelink’s cashless card schemes are using gift cards to skirt government-imposed spending restrictions on alcohol, drugs and cigarettes.

    Last week a message was circulated among Wesfarmers employees warning department store workers that some Cashless Debit Card or BasicsCard holders were buying multiple Vanilla Visa gift cards at self-service checkouts.

    According to store workers and cardholders, some welfare recipients are using the prepaid gift cards, which can be used anywhere Visa cards are accepted, to freely buy alcohol and drugs instead of spending their welfare payments on essentials


    There are ways around the Indue card, I’m surprised no-one in government seemed to have thought of them when this vile card was being planned.

  20. So yesterday afternoon this happened –

    Anthony Albanese confirms Labor backflip to support ‘big stick’ energy laws

    Labor opposed the big stick during the last parliamentary term, characterising it as a bizarre Venezuelan-style intervention that would chill investment.

    But Albanese said the Morrison government had amended the original proposal, which happened after an internal revolt from Liberal backbenchers concerned the law was fundamentally inconsistent with the pro-market philosophy of the government.

    After objections from backbenchers, the treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, adjusted the package last year to make it clear that the federal court, and not a minister, was to be the decision maker if a divestiture was to be ordered, and the package would sunset in 2025.

    Even though Labor was unconvinced by the reworking at the time, Albanese said on Tuesday that Labor could now support the current draft of the bill with the two amendments, which he said the opposition would insist on. “This is very different legislation,” the Labor leader said


    For frack’s sake! When is this bloke going to grow a spine? I thought Turnbull was a spineless jellyfish but Albo is even worse.

    He’s going to insist the amendments are upheld, is he. How scary! How terrifying! I bet Anus Taylor is shaking in his R M Williams at the thought of Albo The Spineless “insisting”.

    If he is doing this about face to retain the support of Joel “(Wanna-be Liberal) Fitzgibbon then that makes it even worse.

    • Sad that Labor too likes to privatize. Jim Ch explained why on PK. I must say he is very articulate , never short of a reply. In spite of often adhering to the Libs as Albo does, I appreciate people who are good speakers. And who are young and presentable.

  21. One thing that amuses me, well not really, is the current OMG over the IMF’s forecasts for ‘Straya. Way back about the time of last year’s budget The IMF the World Bank and I think the OECD laid out economic projections for a number of countries for the next decade or so and on all measures from all the organisations Australia was dive dive dive all the way. At the time and ever since we have had Josh Fraud and Scrott shouting how bloody good it is all going and the future even better. Budget projections the total opposite to all the forecasts. Yet somehow our trajectory has just been ‘discovered’ by a couple of media lizards.

  22. This NYT article on Australia really got my attention –

    Can Mayors Save the World From Climate Change?
    Australia’s northern coast is a case study on the impacts of a warming planet. Small-town leaders there are struggling with constituents who doubt reality.

    A decade ago, the country was at the forefront of adaptation expertise, creating a national research center to collect and share knowledge among academics and officials. But over time, the federal government lost interest, and in 2018 the facility’s funding fell to zero.

    The conservative government has mostly dismissed calls for action on climate change, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison recently arguing that young activists like Greta Thunberg are causing “needless anxiety.” It’s a reversal that resembles what is happening in the United States, where the Trump White House has rejected established climate science, and cities like Miami have paid for their own coastal protection.

    But the absence of national leadership does not change reality. It just puts more pressure on mayors and councils, including those in less populated areas, forcing them to become the climate infantry — the grunts who push through solutions on their own

    While I live much further south than the councils this article is about I can relate to a lot of what goes on.

    We too have homeowners along the one beach here with actual beach-level homes destroying vegetation on sand dunes because it blocks the views from their very expensive homes. The fools do not realise those dunes have to be retained or their homes will be destroyed by storm surges sooner rather than later.. Volunteers go in, plant trees and shrubs and within days these are pulled up and left to rot by nearby homeowners. It’s easy to work out who is responsible, but no-one is ever named and shamed or in any way taken to task.

    We also have something not mentioned – a local council that just isn’t interested in doing anything to address climate change The conservatives on council voted against a motion to declare a climate emergency, the lefties for it, it needed the vote of the mayor to break the tie. Being National in all but paid-up party membership the female twit voted it down. Sheer stupidity from a coastal council in a town with extensive canal and river-front developments and beaches that are at risk if sea levels rise..

  23. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    It wasn’t any one thing that cost Labor the election – it was everything says Peter Lewis.
    The AFR explains how Frydenberg is grimly hanging on to his surplus.
    Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison are trying to polish a political message looking ever more battered by economic reality says Jennifer Hewett.
    Our economy is not growing well, neither historically nor against other advanced economies – and Greg Jericho has the data to back up his assertion.
    Why Australia’s positive economic growth still feels like a recession.
    Australia wasted decades in climate denial and it must break free of the mire of misinformation writes Lenore Taylor.
    It appears prayer has become part of government public policy writes Professor Philip Almond.
    Sarah Danckert reports that Australian blood giant CSL has been rocked by an alleged corporate espionage attack, with a former “high level” employee accused of stealing tens of thousands of its documents – including trade secrets – in order to land a job at a key competitor.
    According to Michael Koziol the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney Glenn Davies has been accused of trying to force a historic split in the church over same-sex marriage as he moves to deny funds to any diocese that wavers from marriage doctrine.
    John Warhurst goes into the politics of the National Prayer Breakfast and says those in the room didn’t represent the full diversity of Australia, which is an increasingly secular and multi-faith country.
    The SNH editorial has some advice for the Anglican church.
    David Crowe outlines the valedictory speech of Arthur Sinodinos.
    The former federal transport minister who oversaw the privatisation of many of the nation’s airports says the policy has been a failure that has pushed up the cost of airfares.
    Things are getting worse in Hong Kong as the most visible face of its peaceful variety of protest marches was ambushed by a group of up to five men, who attacked him with hammers and left him on the road in a pool of blood.
    Richard Dennis opines that Scott Morrison is a master at shifting responsibility. But even God can’t help him now.
    Tony Wright provides a history of the Snowy Hydro scheme and how,, with Turnbull’s help, still continues to surprise.
    Jennifer Duke describes how Peter Costello has said that monetary and fiscal actions have run their course in Australia and now it’s time for deregulation.
    However our manufacturing sector is demanding a financial stimulus “spark” to head off a lift in unemployment, as the Morrison government reveals it is building a budget surplus in case the economy deteriorates.
    Michael Sainsbury and Michael West look at the tech bidders for the privatisation of Australia’s visa system, Oracle and Accenture. It’s not pretty.
    A lady has written an open letter to Morrison over the family law inquiry he gifted to Pauline Hanson. She says that by pursuing the course of action he has chosen, you have emboldened those who choose to use violence against their partners and have rendered victims more fearful and more reluctant to come forward than ever.
    The NBN boss says we have great broadband speeds. I bet he’s not on the fag end of an FTTN service!
    ASIC intends to make use of a new “fault-based criminal offence” that could result in up to two years’ imprisonment for auditors who fail to do their job properly.
    According to the Guardian little more than two years of land clearing will cancel out the $1.5bn in taxpayer funds that goes towards protecting native habitat
    As the clock counts down the UK Guardian says that Johnson’s Brexit is more dangerous than Theresa May’s.
    How is Crown Casino getting the green light to let this go on?
    Trump, possibly with Johnson’s complicity, has done the dirty on the UK parents of the cyclist killed in a hit and run incident.
    And Ross Barkan says that Trump’s treatment of the Dunn family was reality TV spectacle at its most heartless.
    Matthew Knott says that if Warren loses to Trump in 2020 they won’t be able to say they weren’t warned.
    It hasn’t all just been trash talking. U.S. President Donald Trump’s tenure in office has seen myriad policy blunders, missteps and disasters.
    Now a fourth Giuliani associate has been arrested, The show goes on!
    Trump has been accused of undermining attempts to broker a ceasefire in Syria by claiming the Kurds are “safer” since Turkey’s military incursion.
    This animal clearly earns nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    Another beauty from Cathy Wilcox.

    Andrew Dyson gets it!

    A couple from Mark David.

    Like it or not, Zanetti might have a point here.

    And the same goes for this Cathy Wilcox contribution.

    David Pope and the climate emergency.

    Glen Le Lievre hits the spot here.

    From Matt Golding.

    John Shakespeare on pill testing.

    Jon Kudelka and the “headwinds”.

    From the US

  24. FauxMo and his prayers –

    As John Warhurst points out, the National Prayer Breakfast at Parliament House is a Christians-only thing. No other religion is acknowledged. This function gives the incorrect impression Australia is a Christian nation and Christianity is our state religion. It’s a very false impression, an incorrect assumption.

    Now to FauxMo and his constant “we need to pray more” blatherings.

    The PM needs to be very careful about forcing his Pentecostal “faith” on Australia. He can’t help himself. Pentecostals believe they must bring as many souls to Christ as they can, must “save” everyone they can. It’s drummed into them at church, along with the importance of giving more and more to the pyramid scheme this cult really is. If you are not “saved” then when you die you go to Hell. That’s what this “church” teaches.

    Here’s some interesting reading on this –

    This is why there was so much rejoicing from happy-clappers when FauxMo first became PM. They saw Australia becoming a full-on Pentecostal heartland.

    So why does the PM need to be very careful with his constant blather about prayers and his rotten, money-grubbing “faith”?

    Because our constitution – that thing no-one bothers to read – guarantees Australians religious freedom Freedom to chose any faith we like, or no faith at all. It forbids the federal government from making any laws that would set up a state religion.

    Commonwealth not to legislate in respect of religion
    The Commonwealth shall not make any law for establishing any religion, or for imposing any religious observance, or for prohibiting the free exercise of any religion, and no religious test shall be required as a qualification for any office or public trust under the Commonwealth


    FauxMo seems to think all Australians should not only be Christians but should be “saved” as well. By continually blathering on about the need to pray more he is attempting to ram his own weird religion down our throats.

    If he keeps this up (and he will, he believes his God-appointed mission is to convert Australia) he may well be accused of being in breach of Section 116.

  25. It seems Sarah Henderson has done a complete about-face now she is a senator.

    Was this due to a deal with the Liberal Party – abandon her principles to allow some Andrews-bashing in return for six years in the Senate – or was she given a substantial bribe from a gas company?

    Sarah Henderson demands Victorian gas drilling ban be lifted, more dams built

    Having fiercely campaigned against fracking in Victoria’s south-west and a planned drilling campaign in the Great Australian Bight while she was an MP, Senator Henderson challenged Premier Daniel Andrews to lift the moratorium on mining of on-shore conventional gas


  26. I don’t think this is accessible to everyone, it certainly won’t work for me in an incognito window that does not have my handy little anti-Murdoch extension, so here’s the lot..

    A very interesting piece from Niki Savva on FauxMo, his trip to the US and Houston, with, of course, Niki being Niki, a bit of Labor-bashing at the end.

    It must be a good article because the comments at the end (I won’t post them) are full of hate and anger, all aimed at Ms Savva.

    It’s Brian Houston, and the Prime Minister does have a problem

    Everybody inside the bubble knows how it works, and it’s so bleedingly obvious almost everybody outside the bubble also knows how it goes.

    If the US President decides to host a state dinner for the Australian Prime Minister, the Prime Minister, through his office, submits a list of people he would like invited. These days a quick internet search alerts the White House to any potential problems with any of the guests.

    If they had not heard of him before, once they saw Brian Houston’s name on the Prime Minister’s list, a quick Google search would have raised a red alert, as would a few follow-up questions.

    In the overall scheme of things, the rejection by the White House of pastor and evangelist Houston, founder of the fabulously successful Hillsong Church and friend of Scott Morrison, is not a huge story. But it is a story. And to paraphrase the Apollo 13 crew, yes “Houston, we have a problem”.

    As chummy as he is with ­Donald Trump, the state dinner was not arranged for Aquaman Scott Morrison, all-round daggy dad from the Shire, as a private get-together. Morrison was there as Prime Minister representing Australia at an event to celebrate the ­alliance and the achievements of prominent citizens with global connections.

    Taxpayers and voters have every right to know who was there — or not — and why, and media has a duty to ask. It is not gossip, and it is everybody’s business, not just the Prime Minister’s. When Morrison opened the door of his Pentecostal Horizon Church to the cameras on Easter Sunday, he opened the door into what is usually a private part of any prime minister’s life.

    Once opened, those doors cannot be closed, particularly if the perception is they become a gateway to political advantage.

    Morrison’s refusal to answer questions inside or outside parliament about this, all the slip-slidin’ away, dodging and weaving is unedifying, unacceptable and so unnecessary. And what has made it even more ­uncomfortable for the Prime Minister is that Labor has woken up to the fact some issues in isolation, like Houston, do not add up to much but taken together with others they might amount to something, or help paint a different picture from the one Morrison presents.

    Morrison’s radar should have told him putting Houston on the invitation list would be a problem ­because of the allegations of sexual abuse of children, before Hillsong was founded, against Houston’s father and former pastor Frank and the ongoing questions surrounding Houston’s role in the handling of the allegations against his father that were canvassed at the royal commission into institutional child sex abuse.

    Samantha Maiden of the New Daily reported on September 23 that “NSW police had confirmed that Brian Houston remains the subject of a probe over his handling of the sex crimes committed by his father, Frank Houston”.

    Labor, stung by its loss of votes from people of faith in May, ­decided to run with the Houston issue regardless of the risk, and a few others besides, including government repositioning on China (despite its own vulnerability) in an effort to redefine Morrison.

    It goes to questions of his judgment and, Labor believes, to his character. A freelancing Morrison is nowhere near as sure-footed as the disciplined campaigner following the talking points. That much was clear from the beginning (moving the embassy in ­Israel) and it has not improved (denying he ever described former senator Sam Dastyari as “Shanghai Sam”). Although even the talking points were little help with Alan Jones or his listeners, judging by the callers after his interview where he sought to explain what the government was doing to help drought-stricken farmers. The pick-and-stick club can turn quickly and violently.

    Nor could the talking points survive the closer examination of the funding deal with NSW on dams showing half the money from the feds would have to be ­repaid. Under questioning, Morrison tidied up a tricky formulation in the press release announcing a 50-50 investment.

    Labor has found a theme and worked out how to get under Morrison’s (at times thin) skin by branding him evasive or, more damagingly, “loose with the truth”. Many people would think any politician with lips moving would qualify for that, but at some point it reaches critical mass.

    Referring to the announcement on dams funding, Anthony Albanese asked: “Why can’t the Prime Minister give a straight ­answer to a simple question?” Those lines were woven into ­almost every other question to him in an effort to accentuate the mismatch between rhetoric and reality or highlight his sensitivities until finally, on Houston, Morrison told them to take up any issues with parishioners, and on drought called Joel Fitzgibbon a dill.

    Regardless of the superficial sugar hits these strikes bring, Labor remains in a world of pain that will only worsen. Frontbenchers see glimmers of hope in the strategy, which they say have been prompted by voter feedback about Morrison. They are gambling that eventually voters will see Albanese as a straight shooter and Morrison as the artful dodger. That’s hard to visualise now while Albanese remains unable or unwilling to answer questions about where Labor stands and while his MPs brawl publicly and privately over every aspect of policy.

    Labor knows the issue that will ultimately decide all its MPs’ fates is the economy. They tried to turn that into a character test too. Morrison and his Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, are holding firm to their plan to deliver a surplus, staking their credibility on it, knowing the Reserve Bank’s interest rate cuts are doing little or nothing to lift confidence or activity. The cuts are near pointless and in some ­respects counter-productive but, despite another downgrade, this time from the International Monetary Fund, the government refuses to step in with fiscal stimulus, banking on the surplus surviving and the economy staying afloat. That is another judgment call. Also a gamble


  27. Clive Hamilton has a long look at our and other elections and the forces shaping voting patters.
    .Culture shock: politics upended in era of identity

    Two worldviews face each other uncomprehendingly

    …………..Labor’s inability to attract enough votes has been blamed on its unduly complicated message. Some say its marketing misfired. People were confused and so voted against their own interests………………………..In other words, they blame confusion for voters’ irrational behaviour. But it’s more plausible that those who vote against their economic interests are as rational as other voters; it’s just that they don’t behave according to the pundit’s mental model – in which economic interests guide rational voting behaviour.

  28. Not everyone is happy with today’s announcement about the Farm Household Allowance changes.

  29. It will be fun watching the farmers realise that moths of thoughts and prayers sprinkled with dollops of rosy flim flam from our Holy Roller is worth exactly nothing and that they are cactus. Enjoy your vote for the Coalition guys and gals on the land.

    • A distraction from the drought, the lack of an energy policy, the failing economy, another death in custody, Nerwstart, the NDIS, Brian Hosuton, FauxMo’s incontinence ……..

      Didn’t work.

      I like Amy’s take on Dutton’s outburst –

      It’s Peter Dutton HOW SAFE ARE YOU time!

      How safe are we today, Peter Dutton?

      Well, Australia, I’m really glad you asked. You are as safe as we can make you. BUT JUST IMAGINE IF LABOR WAS IN POWER. THE CHAOS. THE PANIC. THE KRAKENS! WHY, THE TRIFFIDS WOULD RISE UP.

      Thankfully Australia, you have Peter Dutton. So it’s all cool beans.

      Dutton finishes.

      Ed Husic: “Yeah, but you choose Greg [Hunt] as your deputy leader. It’s TRUE


  30. An Afghan doctor who was transferred to Australia from Manus Island for medical care has died in Brisbane.

    Sayed Mirwais Rohani had been in Australia for around two years, after more than four years on Manus Island.

    The 32-year-old Hazara man is believed to have taken his own life, and is the 13th death of a person sent to Manus Island or Nauru by Australia under its offshore immigration system.


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