2,016 thoughts on “It’s Spring!

  1. Buy pork futures ! I did not realise what an ‘apocalypse’ this has been……..is
    A quarter of the world’s domestic pigs have died this year as a virus rampages across Eurasia, and that may be just the start. Half the pigs in China – which last year numbered 440 million, some 50 per cent of the world’s pigs – have either died of African swine fever (ASF) or been killed to stamp out the virus.

    Read more: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2222501-a-quarter-of-all-pigs-have-died-this-year-due-to-african-swine-fever/#ixzz64SJSP38X

  2. Josh Taylor (from the Guardian) is livetweeting the court proceedings of the Josh Frydenbery-Gladys Liu misleading election day signs case.

    SimonFrost, former acting state director for the Liberal Party, now working for Frydenberg made this admission –

    • Frost, who now works for Frydenberg, had already confirmed that the signs were intended to say “to make your vote count” but the meaning was lost in translation to “the correct way to vote”. He said on Thursday it “could be” a problem that the signs said different words than he authorised.

      That would be because there was no one fluent in English and in the Chinese characters. Right?

    • Apparently there was a Chinese reader but he was a Liberal candidate, so his opinion would not be unbiased.

  3. The media are onto the court results in the Frydenburg/Liiu case.



    Will this admission mean the election in those two electorates is void and has to be redone? Or will the government find away to wriggle out of yet another scandal?

  4. In Kentucky, Democrat Andy Beshear has declared victory over Trump-backed Republican Matt Bevin. Beshear is ahead by about 5,300 votes with 100% of precincts reporting. But Bevin has not conceded.

    In Virginia, Democrats have taken both the state House and Senate, gaining full control of the state government for the first time since 1994. Democrat Ralph Northam holds the governorship.


  5. The parent from hell

    The New South Wales police minister, David Elliott, has defended the practice of strip-searching minors, saying he would want police to strip-search his children if they were suspected of breaking the law.

    Guardian Australia revealed on Wednesday that in the last three years police in NSW have strip-searched 122 girls, including two 12-year-olds.


    • How would he like it if his kids had to take off their underpants and squat so Mr Plod could perve at their genitals? If they are really lucky they would be asked to cough while they are being perved on, to see if any drugs pop out of body cavities. That;’s what a strip search involves.

    • Child’s genitals were inspected after panty liner was inspected

      Methinks drug dogs confuse blood and drugs

  6. I know there’s an election coming up in Queensland, but isn’t it time Queensland (and the rest of Australia) had a policy to re-employ workers who lose their jobs in the timber industry?

    Why can’t they be retrained, or put to work planting millions of new trees to replace the environmental damage Queensland has done with land clearing? Why assume these workers have to keep on cutting down native forests until there are no more left?

    At least there was one laugh in that story – “We banned plastic bags” given as an example of environmental responsibility and credibility.

    Big deal!

    Annastacia and her government are desperate to get Adani (plus Gina, Clive and the rest) started on digging huge holes in the ground, shipping the coal through the Great Barrier Reef and adding to global emissions by flogging off a product the world is abandoning. How is any of that demonstrating the environmental credentials of the Queensland government?

    Queensland Government allows timber industry to keep harvesting native forest, says it will save up to 500 Wide Bay-Burnett jobs

  7. Heartening election results over in the USA. Especially the Kentucky Governor upset. If they can go blue there, McConnell better be worried.

    Also heartening is that New York City voted ‘yes’ to an Australian style preferential voting system for their local candidates. Shame it doesn’t cover the whole state of New York, but preferential voting in practice so far has helped the Democrats – allowing them to win the 2nd congressional district in Maine last year.

    Hoping this voting system spreads through more states, because first past the post voting is, in my opinion, inferior. It may have worked well for the Liberals in Canada, but, it’s likely to give the bozo a majority in the UK that’ll allow him to do as much if not more damage to society there than Thatcher.

    • Well that surprised me. When I heard about the proposed ‘ranked voting’ I gave it no chance to get up. Too open to all sorts of bullshit scare stories from the Repugs.

  8. @KK

    It’s surprisingly a popular idea over there. I was talking to a friend from North Carolina and he said that he thinks it’s one of the best voting systems possible.

    We had a long conversation afterward, when I told him how it can still be corrupted by other factors, like the Playmander and Bjelkemander, as well as the existence of the DLP, which pretty much only existed to deny Labor government from 1955-1972, and that the party with the least votes has still won government in Australia multiple times, he retorted “Well, at least in those elections, all the votes counted”. And I can agree with that angle.

  9. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    John Hewson says that privately owned and operated businesses that provide essential services, while driven by profit and improving shareholder value, are seen to have failed generally in delivering socially acceptable outcomes. He goes into the motives and effects of privatisation using the banking and aged care royal commissions’ findings as examples. This is one hell of a read!
    David Crowe says Chris Bowen will urge his colleagues to heed the anger of workers who shunned the party at the last election, warning of a fatal failure to connect with suburban voters on values and economic growth.
    Domenic Perrottet’s call to governments to “break the emergency glass” comes as experts at the nation’s two largest banks say the Morrison government needs to do more than just rely on interest rate reductions and recent tax cuts to get the economy moving.
    Perrottet has written an op-ed to make his point.
    A sobering contribution here from Jess Irvine as she examines the change in consumer habits that shows no indication of reversing.
    A failed $2.5 billion capital raising, four phone hook-ups and a magistrate’s cartel call – Rod Sims’ Operation Deacon will be tested in a Sydney court on Friday.
    Kirsty Needham explains how Australian businesses in China have praised a New Zealand trade deal which overcomes prohibitive red tape and any unofficial go-slow at Chinese ports that can plague Australian exporters. She says China is moving ahead with trade deals with other countries as the Morrison government slowly works its way out of a diplomatic freeze.
    Private health insurers allege prosthetic-device manufacturers are boosting sales to counter a government-mandated cut in their cost and are threatening audits over suspicious sales.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz writes that it finally appears to have dawned on the Trump administration that, while its trade war with China may have damaged that country’s economy, the US hasn’t escaped unscathed. The US might now begin to roll back the trade war Chinese tariffs.
    The AEC seems to have let us down as it was revealed in court yesterday that it was the Liberals’ intention for the Chinese language election posters in Kooyong and Chisholm were intended to look like the AEC’s. Nice.
    If the Reserve Bank governor has found a “gentle turning point” in the economy, he hasn’t been looking in the nation’s car yards laments Michael Pascoe.
    John Warhurst proffers a view that not everything can be blamed on governments.
    Rob Harris outlines how a new bush stimulus package – including $1 billion in concessional loans for small businesses and hundreds of millions of dollars for community infrastructure projects across the country – will be unveiled by the Morrison government today in its latest response to the worsening drought.
    Five people died at a children’s hospital in Scotland built by Brookfield, billions have been stripped offshore in Australian assets, yet Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has approved the sale of the nursing home and retirement village business Aveo. It will be controlled in Bermuda. This follows the Brookfield takeover of 43 Australian hospitals. They are now controlled in the Cayman Islands. Michael West reports on yet another decision by the Government to favour big foreign corporations over the interests of Australian citizens.
    Sam Maiden reveals that Anthony Albanese has carpeted Labor frontbencher Joel Fitzgibbon in shadow cabinet over his call for Labor to water down climate change targets as the party braces for the release of a post-mortem into the election defeat.
    The banks are not only reducing the number of their ATMs but they are selling them off to private operators who will charge a $2.90 fee to withdraw cash. This particularly affects rural and regional areas.
    Labor will attempt to stoke simmering tensions within the Nationals by working with the Senate cross bench next week to bring on debate of One Nation’s dairy support legislation.
    The price of lamb has soared by 200% since the 90s – now the drought is sending it even higher explains Greg Jericho with some telling exhibits.
    Dana McCauley reports that the CFMMEU helped the Coalition win two key seats back from Labor at the May election by funding the campaigns of two independents who sent 1757 votes between them to the Liberal Party.
    According to Lick Toscano BHP will face a push from major superannuation funds to cut its ties with influential lobby groups accused of being at odds with goals to tackle global warming.
    A company that was originally hired to run a call centre was roped into assessing grants for the Coalition’s $220 million regional jobs program reports Katie Burgess. The $3.15 million contract was also awarded without a tender or quotes from any other companies.
    According to this expert in dementia care tweaking prescribing rules won’t fix chemical restraint in aged care.
    It looks like quite a lot of jobs are set to be lost at Qantas.
    And Elizabeth Knight tells us how Virgin is going to shrink its way back to profit.
    Crown Resorts’ Annual General Meeting (AGM) showcased the company’s disregard for meaningful reform, writes Tim Costello who says the company is a law unto itself.
    Professor Michael Flood explains why forceful and dominant men with sexist ideas of masculinity are more likely to abuse women.
    Margaret Court has spat the dummy over reaction to her Pentecostal ravings on homosexuality and gay marriage.
    Days after bowing out as Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow has described Brexit as the biggest mistake Britain has made since the second world war.
    It’s not just Britain that’s breaking up, Europe is too says Martin Kettle.
    The coming British Election is showing up two radically different angles about how democracies should work. Lee Duffield writes on the stand-off between the “reactionaries” and the “socialists”.
    Richard Wolffe explains how ambassador Gordon Sondland”s painfully humiliating new testimony reveals the real story behind the suspension of aid to Ukraine.
    This bunch of lawyers has earned nomination for “Arseholes of the Week”.

    Cartoon Corner

    Cathy Wilcox and the message to Morrison from 11000 scientists.

    John Shakespeare also has a shot.

    Best on the subject comes from David Rowe.

    Fiona Katauskas and the lobbyists.

    From Matt Golding.

    Zanetti’s back on song!

    Andrew Dyson and the Queen’s latest move.

    Jon Kudelka and the Kooyomg Chinese election posters.

    From the US.

    • Every morning, BK, you report scandalous behaviour by the L/NP government. Privatizing, off-shoring, money-for-mates. it’s horrendous. Not to mention general laziness and incompetence.

      But we have to know. So, thanks.

  10. Hard to argue against that

    Days after bowing out as Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow has described Brexit as the biggest mistake Britain has made since the second world war.

    Bercow, who was persistently accused of bias by Brexit-backing MPs during his term as Speaker, gave a valedictory speech to the Foreign Press Association, revealing himself to be a remainer.

    “I don’t think it helps the UK. Brexit is the biggest mistake of this country after the war. I respect [the] prime minister, [Boris] Johnson, but Brexit doesn’t help us. It’s better to be part of the [EU] power bloc,” Bercow said, according to the journalist Antonello Guerrera, of La Repubblica, who attended the event in London.

    However, Bercow rejected the idea he had blocked Brexit, insisting “it was parliament” that had prevented Britain from leaving before now, “not me”.


  11. Nothing much changed since Potato Head was there, then.

    The misuse of Queensland police computer systems by current and former officers has “brought our organisation into disrepute”, the police commissioner, Katarina Carroll, has said.

    Carroll’s statement, emailed to police across the state on Wednesday night, was made ahead of hearings by the Crime and Corruption Commission into public-sector data misuse and several high-profile cases that have highlighted the extent of the problem.


  12. What would they know!

    Leading marine scientists have detailed a litany of “serious deficiencies” by Australia’s chemical regulator that have failed to prevent the ongoing pollution of the Great Barrier Reef catchment, where they found excessive levels of several pesticides banned by other countries.

    A new paper, co-authored by reef water quality expert Jon Brodie and fisheries veterinarian Matt Landos, found that pesticide regulation and management in the reef catchment areas of Queensland had failed to prevent the exposure of ecosystems to the significant risk of agricultural chemicals.

    The report detailed extensive concerns about the processes and practices of Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority (the APVMA), which is responsible for the regulation and licensing of chemicals.

    “More than 80 of the active ingredients registered for use in Australia are prohibited by the 27 member countries of the European Union,” the study says. “This includes 17 pesticides that are known to be or likely or probable to be carcinogens and 48 pesticides flagged as potential endocrine [hormone] disruptors.

    “More than 20 are classified as either extremely or highly hazardous by the World Health Organisation. Three of the pesticides are subject to actions by international conventions but are still used in Australia.”


  13. Blunder Boris blundering along

    Boris Johnson sought to turn around his scandal-hit election campaign on Wednesday as he gave his first major speech, attacking Jeremy Corbyn for planning tax rises to fund “deranged” nationalisation and Nigel Farage for thriving on Brexit not happening.

    The prime minister promised activists in Birmingham that he would get Brexit completed within weeks and spend next year focusing on the NHS, schools and other priorities, as he tried to draw a line under a disastrous few days for the Conservatives.

    He attempted to reposition himself as leader of a “moderate, one nation Conservative” government. However, his campaign has already been overshadowed by a series of damaging blunders in recent days. His ally, Jacob Rees-Mogg, suggested that victims of the Grenfell Tower fire lacked common sense; and Alun Cairns, the Welsh secretary, resigned over his knowledge of a former aide’s role in allegedly sabotaging a rape trial.

    Johnson is now facing calls to remove Cairns as a Conservative candidate, with the furore threatening to derail the Tory campaign in Wales.


  14. Australia’s main electricity grid was briefly powered by 50% renewable energy this week in a new milestone that experts say will become increasingly normal.

    Data on the sources of power in the National Electricity Market showed that at 11.50am on Wednesday, renewables were providing 50.2% of the power to Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia – the five states served by the market.

    Rooftop solar was providing 23.7% of all the power demand, followed by wind at 15.7%, large-scale solar with 8.8% and hydro at 1.9%.

    At the same time, coal was still the largest provider of electricity on the grid, with power stations fed with black coal generating 35.7% and brown coal plants at 13.5%.

    First reported on RenewEconomy, the milestone was spotted using an online tool called OpenNEM that monitors the grid in real-time using data from the Australian Energy Market Operator.


  15. Richo has got himself into quite a pickle.

    Last night on Sky’s “Richo and Jones” he said “it’s the first time in my life where I voted 1 Liberal”

    Watch the video –

    Today he is making things even worse by trying to deny that’s what he said and by telling a porkie about donating to Tim Murray’s campaign.

    Here are some responses from Tim Murray.

    • No mention of incredibly biased media turning voters away for years with constant repetition of “Shorten is unpopular/dull/disliked etc”?

      No mention of incredibly biased media presenting a stack of pro-Liberal, pro-Morrison comment while giving mostly negative comment on Labor and especially Shorten?

      No mention of the media refusing to criticise FauxMo’s lack of policy or his one-man-band election campaign, or his refusal to allow any of his ministers to appear with him?

      No mention of the glowing media campaign reporting that portrayed FauxMo as a much-loved, daggy but adorable footy-loving bloke from the suburbs while refusing to say anything positive about Shorten?

      No mention of the millions spent by Palmer just to get preferences to the Coalition?

      No mention of the media, once again, running Hanson’s campaign for free with their constant favourable coverage and lots of spots on breakfast TV (for which she was probably paid) which all helped get the Coalition over the line in many seats in Queensland and regional NSW?

      I give up.

      Dark forces are at work within the ALP, dark forces that want to abandon all the decent policies Labor took to the election and force the party to move drastically to the right.

  16. From The New York Times –

    Why Is Australia Trying to Shut Down Climate Activism?
    An increasingly outraged public is demanding action in a nation intimately linked to coal mining. The government has responded by threatening a new law to punish protesters.

  17. Not quite backing Labour but it is a Guardian editorial

    An early casualty of any general election campaign is perspective. News cycles accelerate, the volume goes up and it becomes difficult to detect a clear signal about what is happening amid the noise. Those caveats must accompany the observation that the Conservative campaign has had an inauspicious start.

    Among the items making headlines: Downing Street obstructing the release of a report on Russian interference in British elections, raising suspicion that its contents compromise the Conservatives; Jacob Rees-Mogg causing distress by suggesting that victims of the Grenfell Tower fire defied “common sense” in following fire service advice; Tory backbench MP Andrew Bridgen aggravating the offence, implying that Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments express the superiority of his intellect.

    Meanwhile, chancellor Sajid Javid had planned to seize the agenda with a document attacking Labour’s economic plans, using research carried out by the Treasury. He was thwarted by the cabinet secretary on grounds of civil service impartiality. That attack had been lined up for the morning of Boris Johnson’s official campaign launch. By lunchtime, the Welsh secretary, Alun Cairns, had resigned over his association with a Tory Welsh assembly candidate accused of sabotaging a rape trial to help the defendant.


  18. I disagree with Bill Shorten saying Labor should have gone higher with tax cuts after the government matched Labor’s promised cuts.

    We need to get rid of this tax cut/budget surplus mentality.

    We have the weird situation now where our government, after giving tax cuts (actually tax offsets) refuses to spend on necessary moves to tackle the failing economy because they value a budget surplus over everything else.

    Governments can’t have it both ways. They cannot keep on cutting taxes while insisting on a budget surplus.

    Maybe taxes should be increased, not cut. Why else do we keep hearing demands for an increase in the GST and a broadening of its base? Could it be because government members realise we are not getting enough tax revenue to pay for all the necessary spending? It would be better if they picked on big tax-avoiding overseas-owned companies instead of adding to the GST burden, but that isn’t the Liberal way, and right now it doesn’t look like it will be Labor’s way either.

    • “inclusive”: Labor must be inclusive, not penalise one for the other. That statement came out strongly. On the whole that review made LNP look good and successful.

  19. Priorities, priorities

    After the White House cut off military aid to Ukraine, Donald Trump’s top officials scrambled to get it restored but were unable to organise a meeting with the president, in part because his staff were too busy pursuing his interest in buying Greenland, according to newly released congressional testimony.


  20. Read about a quarter of that essay about Queensland in the election in the Monthly before just closing the tab with a sentiment of “Well fuck you too!”

    Honestly at this point it just feels like an irreconcilable divide. I have no idea how this can be mended.

    • Honestly at this point it just feels like an irreconcilable divide

      Not necessarily. Watching the US primaries I was struck by how many issues Sanders raised and enthusiastically cheered for by his supporters were also raised by Trump at his rallies, also met with enthusiasm. When it came to the cost of healthcare , education, work security/conditions they would have much ground to unite on. Both sides felt that there is something out of whack with the system and the need for change. They would be tatal opposites on many issues but on those biggies there were many bridges that could have been built.

      When Trump won the election I vividly recalled a couple of panelists on a US PBS show discussion right at the start of the primaries saying that there was a mood for change in the electorate and that going with ‘business as usual’ candidates would be a mistake. Boy were they on the mark !!! Hello hilary 🙂

    • I don’t see the equivalence.

      Labor offered change from the incumbent 6-year Liberal-National government regime. As a population, Queensland’s response was “To hell with your change. We’re still angry at the South. All the way with ScoMo”

      Admittedly with the report released today, yeah, there was the fact that Labor has now repeated the “Fightback!” mistake that the Liberals did at the 1993 election. But the question remains, how exactly can Labor win from here when what seems nearly 60% of a major state just stubbornly hates on them federally? Especially when most of their news comes from Murdoch?

  21. Bushfires all around us up here. We live in haze of smoke, the sunsets for the last few nights have given us an angry red ball drifting down through the haze. Our eyes and throats are sore from the smoke. The fire fighters are taking a bit of a break after spending a week fighting a 5000 hectare monster with the help of a fleet of aircraft, but that fire isn’t out yet and neither are the others in this area and further north. It’s a dreadful start to summer.

    If you didn’t see Greg Mullins, Climate Councillor and former Commissioner of Fire and Rescue NSW, on 7.30 last night, talking about the bushfire threat looming over us this summer, then give it a watch.


    Here’s more comment on his interview from Facebook page “The Bulletin”, linking FaucxMo’s lack of interest with his cult beliefs. It’s absolutely right.


    Again Scott Morrison has been caught out sitting on his hands.

    He has received several warnings about the 2019/2020 fire season which is expected to be one of Australia’s worst.

    Already parts of Australia is experiencing un-seasonal hot weather, but the Federal Government appears not to be interested.

    The simple answer is Scott Morrison being a Pentecostal believes in massive conflagrations that kill people and destroy property.

    Its all part of God’s will.

    Its now been revealed 23 experts were very willing to sit down with the Prime Minister and come up with solutions to combat the bush-fire season but they have been fobbed off.

    Rather than sitting down with experts and planning for the future Scott Morrison does not want to be seen as interfering in God’s plan.

    Greg Mullins a member of the Climate Council and Emergency Leaders for Climate Action has written several times requesting a meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and has failed to gain any attention or interest from the Prime Minister.

    “We were fobbed off to Minister Angus Taylor who is not the right minister to speak to,” Mr Mullins said.

    “We wanted to speak to the Natural Disasters Minister and the PM. We asked for help with that, we never got a reply.

    “You had 23 experts willing to sit down with a PM and come up with solutions and plans, but he’s just fobbed us off.

    “What does it take to wake these people up in Canberra? I don’t know.”

    Greg Mullins is a former NSW fire chief who has just visited firefighters battling blazes in northern California. He has a stark warning for Scott Morrison and his government to act now or suffer the consequences.

    Once the word Climate Change was mentioned Scott Morrison didn’t want to know and he appears to have washed his hands of any strategies for combating the bush-fire season.

    Its like all things with Scott Morrison he can’t be bargained with. He can’t be reasoned with and he doesn’t feel any pity, remorse or empathy for any person who might be affected by the misfortunes of Gods Plan

    Its atrocious that our national government doesn’t recognize that there’s a disaster heading their way.

    Why would we fritter away millions on modern firefighting aircraft and equipment for fighting bush-fires when our money can be wasted on building sports facilities, it just doesn’t add up.

    Morrison is dangerous and unfit for public office


    I’ve said this before – FauxMo is dangerous because of his religious beliefs. I just hope a few of his ministers decide to stand up to him and demand action before we all go up in flames.

  22. Kirsdarke

    You spoke of an ‘irreconcilable divide” . You would think that would also exist between Bernie supporter and Trumpenstein supporters but there was in fact a number of avenues where Maga peeps could be won over. The divide not so irreconcilable as it would appear.

    • And that thing they had in common was that Bernie supporters and Trump supporters would never vote for a candidate without a penis.

      That was all it came down to. I saw it here once Murdoch successfully suffocated Julia Gillard’s popularity. It was just a ‘vibe’, just a ‘thing that didn’t have to be explained’. Gillard/Clinton just didn’t have the gravitas. Gillard/Clinton just didn’t inspire. Gillard/Clinton were flawed as human beings. As soon as that took hold, they were easy to take down by their male opponents.

  23. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    David Crowe writes that a damning review has warned Labor of a lasting threat to its fortunes if it does not halt the desertion of key voters, including younger Australians, and scale back its “cluttered policy agenda”.
    Rob Harris looks at the part of the review that goes to Shorten’s unpopularity.
    Shane Wright opines that Bill Shorten had gone so close to an unlikely victory in 2016 that issues that should have been addressed – such as his unpopularity as leader or how the party continued to struggle with voters in Queensland – were shunted aside.
    Sam Maiden explains that Australia’s most trusted election oracle, Newspoll, had a “persistent technical error” which may have falsely built expectations that Labor was the unbackable favourite to win the May election.
    In the wake of the release of the post mortem Michelle Grattan says there is plenty of work to be done by Labor.
    Katharine Murphy simply says that Labor’s election review reads like a disaster movie – with a few clues for the stunned survivors.
    On the day Labor released its autopsy into the shock May election loss, Pauk Keating warned inequality would continue to grow in Australia unless Labor stepped up to address it.
    Michael Koziol reports on the gala dinner for Abbott. Read it if you must.
    In this searching contribution David Crowe says, “Morrison now sets a course that looks utterly inconsistent with his convictions on other fronts. He believes so strongly in freedom of speech on religion that he seeks new laws to protect the faithful. With every step he triggers another question about his selective convictions.”
    And the SMH editorial says that Morrison’s threat to outlaw certain forms of protest by environmentalists against coal and gas mining companies might be good short-term politics but it would be a dangerous move for Australian democracy.
    The PM is worried that activists are targeting the economy. He would be better leaving companies to fight those battles says Phil Coorey.
    It is impossible for consumers to achieve the maximum advertised speeds of their NBN plans, even outside of busy hours, the consumer watchdog has revealed.
    One of the recipients of the regional jobs program heavily criticised by the Auditor-General seems bo a cot case.
    According to Amy Remeikis the government faces an uphill battle in winning independent senator Jacqui Lambie’s vote to expand its cashless debit-card program across the Northern Territory.
    Rob Harris has a look at some aspects of the drought package including the use of SA’s desalination plant.
    Michael Pascoe writes that while the government throws money at the bush, farm prices are paradoxically booming.
    Amy Remeikis tells us that drought is not a natural disaster and must be accepted as an enduring feature of the Australian landscape which climate change is only going to make worse, the drought coordinator has reported, warning the nation may see some areas become “more marginal and unproductive” as a result.
    National Australia Bank interim chief executive Phil Chronican has warned profit margins will take a bigger hit from ultra-low interest rates in the year ahead, and that cutting borrowing costs has lost its potency as a form of stimulus.
    This submission by Jeffrey Knapp to the impending Parliamentary Inquiry into the Regulation of Auditing in Australia documents how the Big 4 audit firms – KPMG, PwC, Deloitte and EY – have undermined Australian auditing and financial reporting practice for multinational clients. Knapp includes a number of recommendations.
    Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are now in an era of building them again writes Waleed Aly. He says that in Australia we are being lightly stalked by this fortress mentality, too.
    Georgie Moore writes about the AEC’s somewhat bizarre statement that Chinese people would not have been influenced by the spurious Chinese language posters.
    Nick McKenzie and Chris Masters report that Afghan investigators have corroborated the testimony of a former Australian special forces medic who said an injured Afghan man in his care was taken away by a senior SAS soldier and summarily executed.
    Michaela Whitbourn reports that after a 12-year pay freeze and threats of lawyers withdrawing from cases over fee disputes, the NSW government has announced it will “progressively” increase the hourly rates paid to private lawyers appearing in Legal Aid cases.
    A panel of experts assembled to help with emissions reductions is led by those in favour of fossil fuels, writes Michael Mazengarb.
    Sam Duncan tells Margaret Court it’s her fault that so much fuss has been made about her moralistic stances.
    And Jenna Price says we need sporting heroes to unite us, not divide us.
    Aged Care advocate Rachel Lane says that Australians have earned the right to quality, affordable aged care.
    PhD student Angela Jackson makes some interesting observations about the aged care market.
    Despite many Australians campaigning for fairness, the Morrison Government still insists on denying assistance to the Biloela family, writes Meg Devery.
    Law lecturer Zoe Rathus writes that One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s unfounded claim women that lie about domestic abuse to deny fathers access to their children is what’s driving the latest parliamentary inquiry into the family law system.
    In a typically classy act Donald Trump jnr on Wednesday tweeted the name of the alleged whistleblower whose complaint about his father’s behaviour towards Ukraine kick-started the impeachment inquiry.
    Boris Johnson has made a “cast iron” pledge that he will not grant Nicola Sturgeon the powers she needs to hold a second independence referendum.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and the report into Labor’s loss.

    What a beauty from Jim Pavlidis!

    Cathy Wilcox and police strip searches.

    Nice work from Jon Kudelka.

    From Matt Golding.

    Zanetti is not impressed with the drought package.

    Nor is Alan Moir.

    A nice gif from Glen Le Lievre.

    Jon Kudelka and the Labor post mortem.

    From the US

  24. I have not read Labor’s review. I don’t intend to read it. I’m not reading any of the mountain of articles that will keep coming at us for a few days.


    I have my own opinions.

    The real reason Labor lost, I believe, is because Labor over-estimated the intelligence of the average Australian voter.

    Here’s a lovely tweet from Ronni Salt that developed overnight into a tribute thread to Bill Shorten.

  25. A Liberal Party who’s who gather to honour former prime minister Tony Abbott’s 25-year political career at a dinner where he describes his government as “remarkably underappreciated”.

    And such a sense of humour!

  26. Once again the media focus on Labor when they should be looking at what the government is doing.

    While every journalist seems to be writing about Labor no-one has been looking at FauxMo’s drought package.

    How clever of him to make his announcement the same day the Labor review was being released.

    The package is a dog. It’s only $500 million, peanuts to a government and a slap in the face to the Nats who proposed a $1.3 billion drought response.

    Farmers will be given loans – big deal. Loans they will not be able to repay because it’s going to take years to recover from this drought, if it ever ends at all. What happens to their farms if they have to sell up? Guess. Overseas agribusinesses, or maybe Anus’s mates from the Caymans would love to snap them up. Maybe struggling farmers will be asked to sell their water rights to big conglomerates eager to trade more water and make a few easy billions.

    In case you missed it –
    Drought-affected farmers and businesses to be offered super-cheap loans to stay afloat

  27. “Jenna Price says we need sporting heroes to unite us, not divide us.”

    Why do we need sporting “heroes” at all?

    Sports persons are not heroes. People who save lives are heroes, over-paid,over-hyped individuals who kick or hit balls better than others, run or swim faster than other over-hyped “stars” or who belong to teams that happened to win are not heroes at all.

    Let’s cut this ridiculous adoration of people who are incredibly well rewarded for doing nothing much at all.

  28. Right now it’s 10C in Hobart and the Tasmanian highlands are covered in snow.

    Meanwhile, here on the mid-north coast of NSW, it’s 29C heading for an expected high of 36C and the whole area is covered in bushfire smoke. I couldn’t tell you if it was cloudy or the skies are clear because all I can see is smoke.

    There are fires burning across more than 350,000 hectares in NSW. There are more than 800 firefighters on the ground. The RFS warns conditions could change very quickly today. More than 70 fires remain on Watch and Act across the NSW with an extreme fire danger rating in three states.

    Have a look here to see what we are facing today and over the weekend –

    Last night there was heavy smoke here, the worst I’ve known in the forty years I’ve lived here. It will be the same tonight, and then every night until we get some rain. We might get a thunderstorm some time next week, let’s hope it brings rain. The largest fire here, right on the edge of town, was caused by a lightning strike, so now the mention of thunderstorms sends everyone into a panic. That fire is still burning though almost inaccessible bush, parts of it spread last night after a very hot day. Firefighters here are hard-pressed and doing a wonderful job.

    Just referring back to my comments about heroes – firefighters are true heroes, they risk their lives for others.
    Without their work over the last week this town would be in dire straits.

    • It is amazing what can happen in a country when it is a Rupert Free Zone and the “right wing” party is not a branch of NewsCorpse..

      The passage of the bill, with overwhelming support, is so unremarkable in NZ that after being reported yesterday NZ’s national newspaper has no mention of it today on their front page. Just another day, no reports of sightings of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse etc etc.

  29. Hang on a minute. Mordor Media’s loss is apparently the fault of Australia’s ‘sluggish economy’ yet Scrott and Fraudenberg keep telling us it is ‘strong’ and going gangbusters. Now which one is bullshitting , Rupes or Scrott and if it is sluggish why do Rupes’ orcs keep propping up Scrott’s ‘strong’ bullshit ? What a dilemma , which total bullshit artiste to ‘trust’ 🙂

  30. Something bad must be happening with the fires close to town here. The light is orange, it’s all very apocalyptic. Never seen anything like it in my whole life.

    I’m not worried for me, I’m perfectly safe, but others are not, I’m very worried for them

    This is an accurate picture of what everything looks like here – taken at the airport, not too far from me.

  31. Doug Cameron on Labor’s review, to which he was not invited to contribute.

    He’s not happy with the policy direction Labor seems to be taking now.

    The Review into Labor’s election loss will receive much comment and analysis. For the record, I did not make a submission, nor was I asked for my views on the election loss by any of the review members.
    Many of the conclusions and recommendations are sensible and align with my previous comments on Facebook.
    There is obviously much work to be done to ensure that we learn from the defeat and are in a position to win the next election.
    I am troubled by the recommendation and view that we should “adopt the language of inclusion, recognise the contribution of small and large business to economic prosperity, and abandon derogatory references to the “big end of town”.
    Of course we should be inclusive, we should start by defending our policies to reduce inequality and give the most disadvantaged Australians a fair go and an opportunity for economic and social inclusion, not by defending the big end of town.
    As recently as April the Murdoch rag, The Australian was editorialising about “the big end of town”. It is a phrase in common use and has been the subject of academic analysis. It beggars belief that the review felt it should mention this on nine separate occasions when inequality is only referenced on three occasions. I am of the view that Labor needs to maintain a focus on inequality rather than obsessing about the use of an irreverent, typically Australian, and accurate use of the term the big end of town. The big end of town will be retreating to their elite, exclusive business clubs around Australia to down a gin and tonic or even a Moët to celebrate this aspect of the report.
    The assertions on page 38 of the report that; “the social democratic project is in a mature form. The public provision of education, health, housing disability and aged care and income maintenance are well developed “
    Is beyond belief.
    This is building an excuse to reduce Labor’s focus and funding commitment to these vital areas of public good.
    I vehemently disagree with this political capitulation.
    Maintaining unsustainable tax breaks for wealthy and so called “aspirational” Australians when hundreds of thousands of our fellow citizens are in rental or mortgage stress and at least 120,000 are homeless is not consistent with our so called core values.
    Ask those waiting for hours for treatment, or days in temporary beds in hospital emergency department corridors if health services are well developed.
    Ask TAFE students if the high fees and lack of equipment and teaching staff represent a well developed and mature social democratic project.
    Ask the parents of public school kids who will never in their wildest dreams have access to the facilities, privileged networks, and opportunities available to the children of wealthy Australians.
    Ask working class Australians waiting for month after month to access hospital
    Ask the loved ones and children with parents in aged care who are denied common decency and respect if they feel we have a properly funded, mature and well developed aged care system. Ask poor Australians on Newstart.
    I suppose some in Labor believe that $8b a year of publicly funded tax breaks on dividend imputation to “aspirational Australians” means we have just got to suck it up!
    I could go on, let the debate for the heart and soul of the Labor party continue. I know who’s side I’m on and it’s not the big end of town


  32. It’s Liberal day at the Gladys Liu/Frydenburg court proceedings.

    Doesn’t fit with the admission the other day from Simon Frost that the signs were meant to look like AEC signs.

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