The Blame Game

Time for a new topic.

I’ve spent all day looking at comments on Facebook and Twitter and in the media from deadheads who say the whole bushfire catastrophe was entirely the fault of the Greens and/or “greenies”, depending what you read. They all seem to believe the Greens have been in government for years because they all rave about Greens policies “locking up” national parks. Some idiot on Twitter assured me Tony Burke and Adam Bandt had personally “locked the gates” of all our national parks. I pointed out the federal government controls only six national parks, none of which are in NSW and none of which are on fire. The states control all our other national parks. He then started blaming the Queensland government for the fires in both Queensland and NSW.

I was going to write a thread starter on this, but then I found something which says it all far better than I could have.

I found this letter on Facebook, I think it’s brilliant. I have corrected the spelling, fixed capital letters, but I have not changed the words. It’s exactly as Bruce Walker of Wytaliba RFS wrote it.

Hi everyone.

My name is Bruce Walker, you might remember me from ABC TV yesterday, I’m one of the survivors of the Wytaliba fires of last Friday, 8th November 2019, responding to this well informed fuckwit here – Anthony ×××××××

So mate – first up, I’ve been an RFS volunteer for close to 20 years, and am part of the highly regarded Wytaliba RFS – one of the most respected and hardened crews on the Northern Tablelands and beyond. Our crew number over 50 and include decorated vets of Ash Wednesday and many other national disaster catastrophic level fires.

Regarding hazard reduction. let me fill you in.

For my time here, we used to do managed hazard reduction whenever it was viable in winter. However – sadly, the moment Gina and Rupert went halves and purchased the LNP wholesale, we saw a MASSIVE increase in wholesale industrial logging across the nation.

Tell me, Anthony – do you garden? Do you use MULCH?

Compare a mulched garden to a non-mulched garden. You’ll see a near instant difference. If you’re not schooled on how soil works, try standing all day in the sun with no hat on. What happens?

That’s right, Anthony. Your head gets fucking hot.

That’s what’s happened to the planet. Now as anyone who’s dabbled in, you know… physics, will spell out better than I can – an increase of just one degree is quite significant.

Another neato thing physics talks about is the water cycle, Anthony.

You see, part of the water cycle is this cool thing called “transpiration”

It’s part 4 of this essential way in which trees send up moisture to meet clouds, creating low pressure troughs which draw rainfall inland In fact, it’s physically impossible to get rain on the lee side of a mountain, without trees doing this very thing. Impossible. Ask the residents of the Atacama Desert in Chile – who haven’t had rain for one THOUSAND years. Why? No fucking trees, Anthony.

So anyway, back to the Greens enacting a ban on burnoffs – that time we elected them to majority government and they had the final say.

When was that again, Anthony? I’ll wait.

Nah. lets move on, since we ALL know this was never a thing . Ever.

So anyway – here in Wytaliba, we used to have an incredibly green lush valley – right up until industrial loggers finally broke in to compartments to our north. Right about this time there was a near instant and significant drop to our vital streamflow.

This happened again after each and every highland logging operation – and with LNP slashing and burning every national park in sight, well… you know, let’s not go there. Climate change is a hoax, right?

So wholesale burn quotas came in with LNP too. This… well.. I just want to pause here and say “wow” because this did indeed make us say wow.

In recent years, we’ve seen hazard reduction burns take place completely surrounding our once green, lush valley. So much so that after the last July burn of an area once supplying most of our water – well… 27 years of no burn had left a healthy and regenerating semi-arid rainforest. Now it’s simply arid nothing.

Despite this burn and 3 more last year, we got the following result – fires flared up in this dry, mulchless wasteland and burned for 6 weeks, destroying 2 more former rainforest areas, leaving them also tinder dry and unable to transpire – hasn’t actually rained a drop since then. Weird. almost like cause and effect took place.

Clouds pass over, for sure. they get rain on the tablelands even – but – as physics reminds us, when air drops, it warms, expands, and rather than raining, sucks even more moisture from trees and soil.

Oh well.

I mean, this is normal for Australia, isn’t it? Watching 200 or more year old trees slowly wither and die right in front of you. That’s normal. Happens all the time. Rivers dry up too, even though ours is home to platypi – who aren’t known for travelling much – and hasn’t dried up in probably 100,000 years minimum.

Until last summer, and it’s been bone dry since August.

This has never happened in my entire 25 or so years here. No local elders remember such a thing. Wow!

Now, we all know about the Bees Nest and Kingsgate fires and the hundreds more around the state. My crew and many other heroic RFS volunteers have been fighting them for months on end.

Yet another backburn actually got lit up about a month ago, on our south side, just half an hour before high southerly winds were due. The responsible paid agency then ran out of paid hours, packed up and left it to spot onto our property and threaten 80 homes.

We’re like the Mujahadeen of firefighting though, so we got it after about 10 days nonstop hectic battle.

This brings us up to date, Anthony. We’ve got bare, blacked-out dust for 50 km in all directions. Right up to the actual eaves of half the homes here, which is why Friday’s hellstorm caught all of us by surprise, Anthony

A mushroom cloud went up at 3 pm, 20 or so km away. Within 30 minutes, high winds turned that into a 20 km long front – strangely, this front was on ground burnt black as recently as 3 weeks ago. Crown fires too, since every tree was literally a giant matchstick with dead leaves and nothing else.

This then switched to 80km/h southerlies and rained hell on 3500 acres of already blacked out ground.

Well… you can’t say we didn’t prep or do hazard reduction redneck style, can you, Anthony? Or can you?

Curiously, within 1 hour we’d lost 20 homes, a school, a fire shed, and a concrete fucking bridge – meaning only 2 outside units even got in to help. Falling trees in the hundreds blocked the old Grafton road, so no one could even help neighbours.

By dawn, of 80 homes in our community, 52 were lost, 2 dead (one a Sex Party voter, the other apolitical – this one is for you, Barnaby fucking Joyce. 😉 We had many injured, thousands of local animals died, and it looks like a war zone here. Which it did almost before, except we had homes.

So, Anthony ××××××× and ALL you fucking armchair experts out there, tell me again. How was this the Greens fault?

Thanks. Looking forward to your well thought out response.

Bruce Walker, Wytaliba RFS member and survivor. 🙊🙉🖕”

602 thoughts on “The Blame Game

  1. Good morning Dawn Patrollers on Sparse Sunday.

    The former boss of Australia’s second largest private hospital operator has backed health insurers’ claims they are being gouged by medical device manufacturers. He reckons we are being played for suckers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/australia-a-treasure-island-for-medical-device-giants-ex-hospital-boss-20191129-p53fci.html
    Peter Whish-Wilson opines that the Westpac scandal has shown us that nothing short of serious structural reform will deliver the kind of change that the Australian people deserve.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/the-banking-royal-commission-has-failed-westpac-is-proof-20191128-p53f38.html
    Matt Wade looks at all the things we are delating in life and why it is so.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/buying-a-house-is-not-the-only-major-milestone-australians-are-delaying-20191129-p53fjb.html
    Jacqui Maley thinks Australia is being governed by bloke-ism.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/bring-in-the-bins-and-get-on-the-blower-to-the-commissioner-it-s-government-by-bloke-ism-20191129-p53fgj.html
    In the National Party’s final days in 1989, a plot of land in the Brisbane CBD was purchased by the Queensland Government for a price far above its worth, writes Steve Bishop.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/queenslands-national-party-525-million-land-scandal,13366
    The American health system gets so many things wrong, but we can learn from its in-home care writes Helen Pitt.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/a-hospital-at-home-would-help-us-all-it-certainly-helped-my-dying-husband-20191129-p53fej.html
    Here is an excellent contribution from palliative care physician Kathryn Mannix on how we must learn to face and deal better with death.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/30/talk-about-death-openly-dying-bereaved
    While the climate-deniers in power continue to burn our country, they still have no contingency plan to help those affected, writes Chad Satterlee.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/time-is-running-out-for-a-climate-adaptation-plan,13365
    “Is there anything sadder than a chump who thinks he’s a champ?” asks Barbara Ellan as she analyses Trump.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/30/donald-trump-is-there-anything-sadder-than-a-chump-who-thinks-hes-a-champ

    Cartoon Corner

    Reg Lynch has an opinion on Morrison.

    A downcast Mark David bursts into poetry.

    Two good ones from Peter Broelman.


    Zanetti and a querulous Morrison.

    From the US



  2. Greg Jericho –

    Cult that defines Trump’s power is just a few scratches away from the surface in Australia
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/30/cult-that-defines-trumps-power-is-just-a-few-scratches-away-from-the-surface-in-australia

    Added extra – what that cult is doing to the women of the US –

    Ohio bill orders doctors to ‘reimplant ectopic pregnancy’ or face ‘abortion murder’ charges
    Ohio introduces one of the most extreme bills to date for a procedure that does not exist in medical science
    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/nov/29/ohio-extreme-abortion-bill-reimplant-ectopic-pregnancy

    Not even Gilead came up with a horror like this.

  3. Nine has come up with a doozy of a puff piece about Jenny FauxMo’s fashion choices, published in the dead-tree version of the paper as “Fashion Influencer for the Quiet Australians” with a photo of Mrs FauxMo wearing an absolutely dire, baggy, unflattering frock.

    ‘She’s natural and authentic’: Jenny Morrison, the unlikely fashion influence
    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/she-s-natural-and-authentic-jenny-morrison-the-unlikely-fashion-influencer-20191127-p53ene.html

    It’s actually more of a commercial for the purveyors of the frocks this useless woman wears. We are treated to a load of sugary gushing about her allegedly “dazzling” outfits.

    I’ve been critical of her fashion choices before, and I’m going to keep on criticising, because this woman has almost no dress sense at all. She represents Australia on the international stage, we pay for her outfits, we have every right to expect her to be a good ambassador for Australian fashion, but she is no such thing.

    The frock she chose for her visit to Buckinghuge Palace (also worn to last year’s Melbourne Cup, accessorised with a dreadful hat) was so dreary I assumed she had run it up herself as part of a Home Sewing for the Good Pentecostal Wife course. (I’ve been making most of my clothes since I was a teenager, for years I made dance outfits and formal dresses for local clients, I know poor design and poor sewing when I see it.)

    She had not made it herself, I don’t think she knows how to sew. It came from her favourite – Ginger & Smart

    https://www.gingerandsmart.com/

    Nothing I have seen her wear from that place has looked good on her. They design outfits for tall, extremely thin women so on the short, dumpy Mrs FauxMo the outfits are always too long and too baggy. The Ginger & Smart outfits she wore on her US trip were ankle-length on her and looked dowdy, but on the website photos the actual length on the models was much shorter. Why didn’t anyone think to shorten the dresses before she wore them?

    She even ruined the very nice Carla Zampatti gown she wore to the White House state dinner by covering up her bare shoulders with a chiffon cape. Why?

    The article proudly states she does not have a stylist, she just buys stuff. Well, it shows, and in the worst possible way. The woman is no fashion influencer, she needs help, she needs a stylist, she needs good advice not conning by designers eager to get their name in the papers as a source of Mrs FauxMo’s clothes.

  4. Religious freedom laws will not be introduced to federal parliament until 2020 after hundreds of submissions were made to the draft bill.

    The government will also be issuing a revised draft of the Religious Discrimination Act before the end the year to take into account issues that have been raised during the consultation process.

    The prime minister, Scott Morrison, said the decision was made last week and would allow further engagement opportunities for concerned parties.

    “We’re about listening and getting this right,” Morrison said in a statement on Saturday.

    “Our government takes the issue of discrimination against Australians for their religious beliefs very seriously.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/01/scott-morrison-puts-off-religious-discrimination-bill-until-2020

    But against atheists, those of “non-standard” sexual orientation and asylum seekers (to mention just some), not so much.

  5. Proof coal mining outside Sydney is damaging the city’s water supply.

    ‘Shocking’ metallic sludge contaminating Sydney dams that supply drinking water

    Western Sydney University scientist Ian Wright, who specialises in research into urban water quality, described the results as “shocking” and “unnatural”.

    He said the pollution was caused by metallic sediments — deep in the dams’ catchments — dissolving into the water.

    The sediments are a by-product of coal-mining activity, which over many decades has damaged Sydney’s rock beds, swamps and streams.

    The records show samples from Cataract and Cordeaux dams have exceeded acceptable limits more than 90 times in three years.

    By comparison, neighbouring Avon Dam has breached just three times in three years.

    Dr Wright said that while small doses of iron are safe to drink, an elevated level usually indicates more dangerous contaminants in the dams.

    The deepwater samples also showed levels of aluminium were unusually high in both dams

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-12-01/sydney-dams-being-contaminated-with-metallic-sludge/11751202

  6. Hi Leonetwo

    I haven’t seen much about the bushfires for the last couple of days, so I hope the air quality is improving in your area.

    The so called conservative governments are absolutely brilliant at stuffing things up, unfortunately on a global scale.

    I’m glad I was around in 1972 and 2007 when there were ‘adults’ in charge and the women and men in government could achieve so much for Australia and for so many Australians, and make contributions globally.

    I’m glad I was there to know what it’s like to respect many of the people in charge.

    I’m glad I could feel proud of many things.

    While I’m not denying, of course, that there were stuff-ups and mistakes (I don’t remember anything in particular because life was getting in the way a bit) I can say categorically that those Labor governments had very significant positive effects on my life on a personal level, and they still do.

    Many of their actions on a national and a global scale made me feel optimistic about what good things might be achieved.

    But, more and more, I see that many politicians (federal and state) don’t even pretend they’re interested in anything but themselves, their bank accounts, their power and the potential usefulness of their networks of contacts.

    They don’t seem too concerned about us knowing that their incomes and rorts are what they really care about. I do see evidence that they are happy to treat with utter contempt many of ‘us’, all of our country, and everyone and everything else on the planet.

    As a 74yo woman in robust health (mostly) I hope I’m around long enough to see the election of politicians who genuinely can see what needs to be done after the next election, and who actually try to do what they’re paid to.

    End of rant.

    Helen

    • Hi Helen

      We are the same age.

      The air quality up here has improved a lot. Fires are still burning but we have had a little – very little – bit of rain and that has cleaned the air a bit.

      The fires still burn, not that you’d know from the Sydney-centric media. The NSW south coast is now the real danger spot, not that you’d know that either because the media don’t say much. Maybe they all have orders to tone down the fire coverage. Who knows, anything is possible with the current dire state of the media.

      I long for a decent government that cares about all of us, not just “working families” or the top income earners, but Labor has moved so far away from the party it was under Whitlam and Hawke I really don’t have much hope. The current leadership seems to be focusing on all the wrong things. No-one cares about the most disadvantaged Australians now.

  7. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Ross Gittins calls on Philip Lowe to rescue a PM lost in the Canberra bubble.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/rba-s-lowe-should-rescue-a-pm-lost-in-the-canberra-bubble-20191130-p53fo2.html
    Greg Jericho draws some worrying parallels between Trump and Morrison.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/30/cult-that-defines-trumps-power-is-just-a-few-scratches-away-from-the-surface-in-australia
    George Christensen has objected to the release of key documents relating to the year-long police “assessment” of his pattern of travels in south-east Asia. What have you got to hide George? Or what is it you are ashamed of?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/nationals-mp-george-christensen-vetoes-release-of-afp-travel-inquiry-documents-20191201-p53fs0.html
    Eryk Bagshaw reports that the former chief of staff to Minister for Indigenous Australians Ken Wyatt has accused the minister of fostering a culture of bullying in his office, saying he ignored “outrageous and unconscionable” behaviour.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/minister-oversaw-culture-of-bullying-says-former-chief-of-staff-20191129-p53fhk.html
    Shane Wright explains how the budget is taking a revenue hit while the government prepares to lift spending in key areas including aged care and in response to the drought. Slow wage growth alone will punch an $8 million hole in it.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/surplus-taking-a-hit-as-wages-and-drought-hit-bottom-line-20191129-p53ff7.html
    A prominent gay rights campaigner has written to the Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW to accuse ex-Wallaby Israel Folau of homosexuality vilification.
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/homosexuality-vilification-complaint-lodged-against-folau-20191202-p53fvh.html
    The AFR reports that rich listers and some of Australia’s wealthiest families face tough new scrutiny from the ATO, part of a dramatic expansion of its tax avoidance crackdown and a bid to collect $3.6 billion in new revenue.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/tax-and-super/rich-listers-targeted-by-ato-in-cash-push-20191129-p53ffz
    Anna Patty writes that a class action lawsuit against Woolworths over the $300 million underpayment of workers has begun in the Federal Court with claims the case will expose “industry-wide” problems.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/woolworths-class-action-estimates-underpayment-bill-as-high-as-620m-20191126-p53ec2.html
    Plenty of former prime ministers are giving Scott Morrison advice on China but the difficulties of managing the relationship are only becoming more obvious writes Jennifer Hewett.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/foreign-affairs/australia-s-uneasy-balancing-act-with-china-just-gets-harder-20191201-p53ftf
    Sam Maiden tells us how now Morrison has dragged the A-G into the Angus Taylor sandal.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/12/01/christian-porter-scott-morrison/
    The SMH editorial points out that the idea of linking international commerce to emissions control is growing Ain popularity – and has serious implications for Australia.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/trade-deals-may-be-an-effective-method-of-enforcing-climate-action-20191129-p53fj1.html
    Matt Wade reports that, according to an Ipsos poll, the environment has for the first time surpassed healthcare, cost of living and the economy to be the number one concern for Australians.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/environment-is-prime-worry-for-the-first-time-poll-20191201-p53fu5.html
    Australian businesses are calling on governments around the world to develop international accounting rules for carbon trading, saying such a framework could lead to a carbon credit export boom.
    https://www.afr.com/policy/energy-and-climate/businesses-call-for-global-carbon-trading-rules-20191201-p53frz
    Fergus Hunter tells us that the NBN is experiencing a major surge in data consumption by households and businesses, with total downloads on the network rising 25 per cent over the past year and the average customer’s monthly use up to 258 gigabytes.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/video-streaming-drives-25-per-cent-surge-in-nbn-downloads-20191201-p53fs5.html
    Wholesale relief isn’t likely to bring lower NBN retail prices, writes Paul Budde.
    https://independentaustralia.net/business/business-display/government-must-step-in-to-fix-nbn,13367
    Bourke Street killer James Gargasoulas could have been stopped before his murderous rampage if the police’s elite critical response Team had been driving more powerful, four-wheel-drive vehicles. The elite forces’ VW vans get quite a pasting.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/slow-vans-hindered-gargasoulas-pursuit-says-internal-police-report-20191201-p53ft6.html
    According to Bevan Shields Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn will enter the final days of the general election campaign with radically different positions on terrorism.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/ridiculous-and-repulsive-leaders-trade-blows-over-terror-laws-as-election-polls-tighten-20191201-p53fur.html
    Tony Walker has had enough of the culture warriors.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/down-with-political-correctness-unless-of-course-20191129-p53ff5.html
    The IPA reckons more regulation is not the solution to the Westpac revelations,
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/more-regulation-is-not-the-solution-to-westpac-revelations-20191129-p53fe5.html
    A former advisor to Julie Bishop explores why we are seeing more and more that citizens are the first responders to such attacks, and in increasingly innovative ways.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/taking-the-terror-out-of-terrorism-why-citizens-confront-low-tech-attackers-20191201-p53fsk.html
    Ben Butler explains why Australia lags in policing its financial sector.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/01/banks-behaving-badly-why-australia-lags-in-policing-its-financial-sector
    Nicole Hemmer writes about the practice of turning the disgraced into war heroes.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/turning-the-disgraced-into-war-heroes-20191130-p53fm3.html
    Jennifer Duke is intrigued with the changes at the top of News Ltd.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/changes-at-the-top-of-news-corp-s-papers-spark-industry-intrigue-20191201-p53fpr.html
    The royal family is braced for more revelations about the Duke of York’s connections with Jeffrey Epstein, as the BBC prepares to air a Panorama interview with his accuser Virginia Giuffre on tonight.
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/dec/01/bbc-to-screen-interview-with-prince-andrew-accuser
    Trump won’t lose his job – but the impeachment inquiry is still essential says Robert Reich.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/30/trump-impeachment-inquiry-removal
    John race describes Boris Johnson as a one-trick pony straight out of the political wild west. Some nice prose in this contribution!
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/01/boris-johnson-a-one-trick-pony-straight-out-of-the-political-wild-west
    America is not the land of the free but one of monopolies so predatory they imperil the nation opines Will Hutton.
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/dec/01/america-is-not-the-land-of-the-free-but-one-of-monopolies-so-predatory-they-imperil-the-nation

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe has a lot going on in Morrison’s bedroom.

    From Matt Golding.

    Pat Campbell

    Mark David and yet another warning system.

    Johannes Leak also ventures into Morrison’s bedroom.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/a987b68ed3cb39d34dd5354cdf597a05?width=1024

    From the US


  8. Well who would have thought – a journalist conspiring with a PR consultant to create a very fake story about Jenny FauxMo’s alleged influence on fashion retailing.

  9. Bushfire survivor Melinda Plesman has delivered the remains of her burnt-out home to Parliament House. She begged politicians to take immediate action on climate change and had this message for FauxMo –

    “I want direct climate action and I want it now, I don’t want prayers. I don’t want glib comments about the cricket.”

    Ouch!

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/dec/02/jacqui-lambie-to-meet-with-scott-morrison-on-medevac-repeal-bill-politics-live

  10. Leonetwo,

    Thank you – I can’t believe I left out PM Hawke – he is certainly not forgotten.

    You sum up my feelings so well.

  11. Mandy said it so much better

    Dutton, a former police officer, was asked whether he would have appreciated such a call.

    “I said at the time last week I thought the prime minister’s call was entirely appropriate,” he said. “The prime minister has obligations under the ministerial code of conduct and the alternative view would have been that he didn’t avail himself of the information and, therefore, he couldn’t fulfil his obligation under the ministerial code of conduct.”

    He said nobody had “sought to impede” NSW police’s investigation.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/dec/02/jacqui-lambie-to-meet-with-scott-morrison-on-medevac-repeal-bill-politics-live#comments

  12. 😆 I too had a “Mandy moment” when reading this bit.
    .
    I note with respect to his call, he said the Prime Minister didn’t ask any questions that were inappropriate.

  13. I really thought the ABC was better than this.

    Referring to a woman by her status as a child bearer, not as just a woman or as a bushfire survivor.

    Men can just be men, women are still classified as “mother of …. ” or “grandmother”. Isn’t it time we got past this stupid sexist nonsense?

  14. There must be an arsehole award for him

    Author [Naomi Wolf] says she was not at Oxford with Australia’s energy minister, and his implication she was part of an ‘elite’ attacking Christmas is an ‘antisemitic dogwhistle’

    Sadly, like the rest of his tribe, his special topic is lies.

  15. So much pork. So few barrels

    Labor has raised concerns that a new round of government drought grants could be politically exploited, as parliament’s audit committee agrees to examine the Coalition’s troubled regional jobs and investment scheme.

    On Monday, the Joint Committee of Public Accounts and Audit announced it had agreed to commence an inquiry into the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages (RJIP) program, along with the Australian Research Council’s administration of the national competitive grants program.

    Labor had written to the audit committee asking it to look into the program’s administration after the auditor general released a scathing report into the Coalition’s handling of the $220m regional jobs scheme.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/02/labor-warns-200m-drought-package-may-be-open-to-political-exploitation

  16. Christian is just so basic and simple

    The attorney general, Christian Porter, has told parliament he did not need to seek advice from his officials or agencies, or give advice to the prime minister, before witnessing a controversial call between Scott Morrison and the New South Wales police commissioner, Mick Fuller, last week.

    Porter was forced to shrug off persistent questioning about his judgment as the first law officer of the land on Monday. “It was not the sort of phone call, because it was so basic and simple, that required any advice to be sought or given,” the attorney general said.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/02/christian-porter-did-not-seek-advice-on-pms-controversial-call-to-nsw-police-chief

  17. I think I need a little bit of help here for a domestic problem.

    First thing, I live in Victoria, so Victorian laws apply.

    Next thing, I live next door to incredibly anti-social neighbors that let their dogs bark at all hours of the day.

    I was pretty much at my wit’s end last week when I had to put up with constant barking for 2 hours from 3am.

    I have sent 5 complaints about them to the council so far over the past 2 years, along with details on each time they let their dogs bark uncontrollably.

    It seems their strategy is to restrain their dogs slightly while the complaints are in effect, but once they expire, they just let them go all-out. And my local council does nothing about that.

    So, I’m wondering, what are possible options here? One thing I’m considering is to set up a permanent audio surveillance thing that records each and every time they let their dogs bark constantly and keep me awake, but I don’t know how I could set that up since I live in a flat complex, next door to the full household property that is the home of these perpetually barking mongrels.

    • Oh yeah, I’ve been keeping a barking diary for years. Every time they go off, I open my Excel Spreadsheet and record the times they bark.

      I also have to initiate the complaint process in the first place by providing at least 13 days of barking records.

      I’ve done that at least 5 times already, and the strategy stays the same – while the complaint is in effect, restrain them. But once I don’t have any further evidence of them barking, the council ends the complaint, and they allow their dogs to resume barking as usual.

    • Sounds as if your neighbour has friends in the “right” places.

      Would a missive to each council member with mention of a “letter to the editor” help? You know your councillors better than I.

    • I wish I knew the answer.

      There’s nothing worse than constantly barking mutts, especially at night. The only thing worse is their owners. The poor dogs are probably bored out of their minds. I’d bet they are never taken for walks or even played with in the yard.

      There’s not much you can do apart from complaining to council over and over again.

    • I know all about neighbours and their dogs. New neighbours here with 2 big dogs. One whole night the owner let them stay out. They barked all night. I went out and yelled at them. They barked even more. OH went to complain next morning but the owner said it was the dog next door to him. Liar! I was a fence away from them, telling them to shut up. These dogs lifted a paling and managed their way inside my garden. They chased my poor cat up the top of the jacaranda tree. It’s a nightmare.

    • In Port Phillip you can’t do anything about a barking dog unless every neighbour complains. If one neighbour won’t complain then nothing happens

      In Bayside they issue noise measuring devices when people site their pool pumps on the fence line

  18. Politics are going great guns in the UK. One comment “If you or anyone else were in hospital on a life support machine, the likes of Johnson, Patel or others of their ilk would unplug you in order to change up their mobile phone.”

  19. On George Christensen and that FOI denial –

    Serkan Ozturk of True Crime News Weekly had all the sordid details of what George had been up to in Manila back in April. The media still have not caught up.

    HOLD ON TO YOUR PONYTAILS! Anti-gay LNP MP George Christensen & his Filipina fiancée with the sexy lesbian past who the “member for Manila” met while allegedly trawling sex bars in the Philippines

    https://truecrimenewsweekly.com/hold-on-to-your-ponytails-anti-gay-lnp-mp-george-christensen-his-filipina-fiancee-with-the-sexy-lesbian-past-who-the-member-for-manila-met-while-allegedly-trawling-sex-bars-in-the-philippines/

    I suppose some lazy fool of a journalist will eventually steal Serkan’s story and win a Walkley for it. Would not be the first time.

  20. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Oh dear! Eryk Bagshaw reveals that Ken Wyatt awarded a $2.2 million contract to a company connected to prominent Liberal Party donors and a former candidate to conduct Indigenous eye surgeries at double the market rate.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-minister-the-ex-liberal-candidate-and-the-2-2-million-contract-20191202-p53g0c.html
    George Christensen. What HAVE you done?
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/george-christensen-a-regular-at-philippines-adult-entertainment-bar-manager-20191202-p53g57.html
    Greg Jericho is of the opinion that ahead of the latest GDP figures to be released on Wednesday has come a range of economic data suggesting that from sales to investment to productivity the fundamentals of the economy are in a pretty bad state of affairs.
    https://www.theguardian.com/business/grogonomics/2019/dec/03/when-you-get-right-down-to-the-fundamentals-the-economy-is-looking-pretty-crook
    Every month there is more evidence that Australia’s local economy is deteriorating — this month it’s wage rises, as Alan Austin reports.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/the-coalitions-global-headwinds-excuse-as-wage-growth-hits-22-year-low,13371
    David Crowe writes about how Labor is ramping up its attack on Angus Taylor, this time over further non-disclosure of financial interests. It’s funny how a lot of his interests have a relationship with water.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/angus-taylor-rejects-new-claim-he-failed-to-disclose-shareholding-20191202-p53g5n.html
    Katharine Murphy on Taylor’s part in the phone call saga.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/02/christian-porter-did-not-seek-advice-on-pms-controversial-call-to-nsw-police-chief
    The prudential regulator has slammed health insurers for failing to arrest the exodus of young people in what has been described as a “death spiral”, accusing some funds of expecting the government to fix the industry’s problems.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/regulator-warns-health-insurers-over-death-spiral-hints-at-new-capital-rules-20191202-p53g5i.html
    Rob Harris writes that Scott Morrison has hinted he is not prepared to revive an offer from New Zealand to resettle offshore asylum seekers to gain the critical vote his government needs to repeal the contentious medevac laws.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/scott-morrison-not-for-turning-on-new-zealand-resettlement-deal-20191202-p53g35.html
    Now Nick Xenophon has been retained as an Australian mouthpiece for Huawei.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/false-and-totally-unsubstantiated-xenophon-goes-after-huawei-s-critics-20191202-p53g1r.html
    Peter Hartcher explains how the Morrison government finally is putting some teeth into the gummy mouth of Australia’s foreign interference laws.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/test-of-morrison-s-anti-influence-laws-will-be-whether-we-see-arrests-and-deportations-20191202-p53g1i.html
    The SMH editorial states that repealing the existing medevac legislation will inflict needless pain on asylum seekers.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/repealing-medevac-will-inflict-needless-pain-on-asylum-seekers-20191202-p53g5f.html
    And the Canberra Times wonders why at all the legislation needs to be repealed.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6522420/medevac-legislation-battle-a-mystery/?cs=14258
    Katie Burgess outlines Kristina Keneally’s contribution to the Senate debate on the medevac repeal bill.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6520743/department-disregarded-doctors-on-medical-transfers-keneally/?cs=14350
    Mathias Cormann’s miscalculations were once again exposed as the Morrison Government lost its Ensuring Integrity Bill in the Senate, writes William Olson.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/defeating-the-ensuring-integrity-bill,13370
    The father of a London Bridge victim has lashed out at Boris Johnson for using the death to “perpetuate an agenda of hate”.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/europe/jack-would-be-livid-father-of-london-bridge-victim-condemns-johnson-s-response-20191203-p53g7t.html
    A parliamentary committee will run the ruler over a $220 million regional grants program dubbed the “regional rorts” scheme by Labor.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6520671/regional-grants-program-to-undergo-parliamentary-probe/?cs=14350
    Shane Wright reports that the RBA board will hold its last meeting of the year today as it faces renewed pressure over its interest rate settings after the biggest surge in Australian dwelling values in 16 years.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/rba-faces-tough-questions-as-house-prices-surge-but-job-ads-slow-20191202-p53g2f.html
    House prices surged 1.7% across Australia in November, the rapidly reviving market recording the biggest monthly rise since 2003, according new figures.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/02/australian-house-prices-record-biggest-monthly-rise-since-2003
    Jenna Price has had enough of the inaction on climate change.
    https://www.smh.com.au/environment/climate-change/as-a-grandma-to-be-i-can-no-longer-stay-out-of-this-debate-20191202-p53g5e.html
    Victoria’s largest gas power generator won’t be back online until the end of December, escalating concerns about blackouts.
    https://www.theage.com.au/business/companies/victorian-gas-plant-delays-deepen-fears-of-summer-blackouts-20191202-p53g4e.html
    Is Fred Nile’s party imploding? Apparently he is accountable to God only.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/pure-dictatorship-fred-nile-sacks-members-as-party-in-turmoil-20191202-p53g3d.html
    Sam Maiden reports that Tony Abbott has visited the jail where convicted paedophile George Pell is being held in Melbourne, declaring he was “simply visiting a friend”.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/12/02/tony-abbott-george-pell-jail-visit/
    Economist Angela Jackson says that money laundering crooks are being given too much freedom and concludes her article with, “The Prime Minister was right to hold the chief executive and board of Westpac to account. But he should expect the same level of accountability if he continues to allow Australia to be a facilitator for international crime and corruption. The time for judgment is over, the time for action is now.”
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/banking-and-finance/money-laundering-crooks-are-being-given-too-much-freedom-20191202-p53fyz.html
    The Coalition Government has argued that the surge in asylum applications from Chinese and Malaysian citizens is just part of normal growth in the caseload. Nothing could be further from the truth writes Abul Rizvi.
    https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/visa-applications-from-china-and-malaysia-surge-due-to-poor-policy,13369
    The head of the banking regulator has warned it could disqualify Westpac directors and managers following the money-laundering scandal that has engulfed the bank.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/banking/2019/12/02/westpac-apra-directors/
    It is tasked with tiding over unemployed Australians until they can find work, but new research suggests Centrelink is putting vulnerable people at risk of homelessness reports The New Daily.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2019/12/03/homeless-centrelink-newstart/
    Urban expert Chris Johnson is concerned that an inefficient and biased planning bureaucracy is having a negative impact on the NSW’s productivity. He says Berejiklian needs to make sure the people who understand that tough decisions are required now to ensure a quality future for the next generation are supported and put into key positions.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/how-red-tape-is-killing-sydney-s-future-as-a-city-20191202-p53g1k.html
    Agricultural forecasters have warned that NSW grain producers will bear the brunt of devastating drought conditions, but it’s a more upbeat outlook for Victoria.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/winter-crop-forecasts-slashed-as-armageddon-drought-bites-20191202-p53g2p.html
    Stephen Bartholomeusz has an update on the progress of the US-China trade war. He says it is US companies and US consumers that are being taxed at that $US40 billion rate, not (as Trump routinely claims) China.
    https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/as-trade-truce-looms-china-s-key-manufacturing-sector-starts-to-lift-20191202-p53g0q.html
    Islamophobic attacks mostly happen in public. Here’s what you can do if you see it or experience it.
    https://theconversation.com/islamophobic-attacks-mostly-happen-in-public-heres-what-you-can-do-if-you-see-it-or-experience-it-127807
    James Valentine writes that Queensland LNP senator James McGrath had so much to work with when insulting the ABC, but he failed miserably.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/out-with-the-basket-weavers-and-in-with-the-negroni-sucking-naysayers-20191202-p53g0t.html
    A defiant Mark Zuckerberg has defended Facebook policy to allow false ads, saying people should be able to judge for themselves the character of politicians and compares alternative to censorship.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/dec/02/mark-zuckerberg-facebook-policy-fake-ads
    Meanwhile Google and YouTube have pulled hundreds of ads for Donald Trump over the last few months.
    https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/dec/02/google-youtube-trump-ads-pulled-report
    The woman who claims she slept with the Duke of York when she was a teenager has urged the British public to “stand by her” and “not accept this as OK” in her first UK television interview.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/royal/2019/12/03/prince-andrew-accuser-interview/

    Cartoon Corner

    A classic from David Rowe at the crime scene.

    Cathy Wilcox points the finger.

    From Matt Golding.



    John Shakespeare and what has happened to TAFE training.

    Zanetti rolls out his pet CFMMEU.

    Dionne Gain with China’s influence.

    Johannes Leak toes his employer’s line here.
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/43bb5eb30e816747a39655906a328328?width=1024

    From the US









  21. The father of a London Bridge victim has lashed out at Boris Johnson for using the death to “perpetuate an agenda of hate”.

    A good cartoon dealing with that

  22. Q&A: former Tuvalu PM says Scott Morrison denies climate change is happening in Pacific
    Special episode of the ABC show featuring Pacific leaders was dominated by climate crisis and Australia’s response

    The former prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, who hosted Pacific leaders including Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern at the Pacific Islands Forum in August has told a special Pacific edition of Q&A he was “taken aback” by Scott Morrison’s behaviour in the diplomatic meetings.

    “Unfortunately prime minister Scott Morrison of Australia [was] expressing views that completely denies there is climate change happening already in the Pacific. As chairman I was taken a little bit aback,” he said

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/03/qa-former-tuvalu-pm-says-scott-morrison-denies-climate-change-is-happening-in-pacific

    Alex Hawke, Hillsong acolyte and Pentecostal climate change denier was also on the panel. FauxMo just loves surrounding himself with scum who share his phoney beliefs, they all eagerly await the end of the world.

    What hope does this country have with a Pentecostal PM and a ministry stacked with like-minded loons? Our international reputation is in ruins thanks to this bunch of cultists.

  23. How low and despicable is our Reichspud ? I heard on RN this morning some epic bottom of the barrel scrapping from Dutton re Medevac. He was concerned that fair dunkum true blue Aussie battle cobbers might miss out on state housing accommodation because it would be taken by those crim reffos . He had the same concern for said battlers waiting for treatment at public hospitals. Voters in his electorate need to take a good hard look at themselves.

  24. Ah the pleading voice asking “If you leave me, can I come too?” , it always gave me a smile. Easily amused i suppose 🙂 Vale.

  25. Leone

    Yesterday you complained re reporting of women and the “grandmother” . Well check this out and repare for your gob to be smacked 🙂 . Truly FMD !! and the reporters were women !!

    Live reports from the live coverage of Claremont murder trial in Perth. Spot the difference between the ladies and chap intros!

    We thought it was a taxi’: Woman recounting encounter with Telstra car
    The next witness is Natalie Clements, 47.

    She has long, light brown hair and is wearing a light-coloured, button-up blouse.

    She is being asked about a dinner she had with five female friends in Cottesloe before Christmas in 1996.

    .

    ‘Some Telstra fleet records from 1990s were destroyed’: Telstra manager
    The next witness is Lynda Eldridge.

    She has long, light-brown, greying hair, and is wearing glasses a black and white patterned top.

    She was a veteran employee at Telstra between 1980 and 2019, mostly managing finance.

    Ah a chap witness, now how was he introduced. Spot the difference !!!!!!

    Sleep doctor who treated Mr Edwards in 1997 called as first witness
    Today’s proceedings have commenced.

    The first witness called by the prosecution is Dr John Philpott.

    He is a sleep doctor at Hollywood Private Hospital.

    In 1997 he saw Bradley Edwards at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital although he has no individual memory of the appointments

    • They would have done the same with a female PM, as they did with Julia Gillard. The respect went to Abbott while they talked about Julia’s nose and earlobes.

    • Typical, really.

      With women it’s all about their clothes, their marital status and their child-bearing history but with men it’s always about their occupation. At least Ms Eldridge had a mention of her job, and that’s unusual.

      Female reporters are so easily sucked into this sexist discrimination. Maybe they are after jobs writing fashion columns at awards shows.

  26. Senator Murray Watt with a long and very interesting thread on racism in the Queensland LNP, especially among young members, and connections with FauxMo, James McGrath and Luke Howarth.

  27. Strong winds today have caused fires close to town and some major fires a bit further away to flare up again. It’s back to smoke haze and dull light. Let’s hope we don’t get a repeat of what is now known as “Red Friday”.

    • I dread Xmas and the fireworks. Not just the big Sydney Celebration but the small fireworks here and there. All the silly people having a go at them and terrorising the dogs.

    • We were supposed to have town fireworks here last Thursday, after the annual Christmas parade. Council decided to cancel them and give the money to the RFS.

      I’m hoping all the other local fireworks planned from now until Australia Day will also be cancelled due to the drought.

      In “normal” weather we have fireworks every weekend and many weeknights as well from the end of November until the Australia Day long weekend. Fireworks to welcome Santa to a shopping centre, fireworks after the Christmas parade, a local club always has a pre-Christmas fireworks display, there are fireworks after Carols by Candlelight, fireworks when the annual visiting carnival opens and more when it has its last night, fireworks for New Year (two sessions), fireworks for Australia Day and more in between all those. It’s like living in a war zone with constant shelling. I will be delighted if all of them are cancelled.

  28. What a barefaced liar!

    Emergency services minister David Littleproud addressed his meeting with former chief of NSW Fire and Rescue Greg Mullins a little earlier at a press conference:

    What I said to Mr Mullins and the other former fire chiefs … [was] that they can take great comfort and great pride in the new breed of fire commissioners. They have planned meticulously for this fire season. I’ve only been emergency services minister since June and the first advice I got is we would expect to see the fire season start in August and be severe.

    Littleproud said the peak council of fire commissioners had advised that Australia has “sufficient assets” in the form of 100 fire-fighting aircraft. If the season is extended and is more severe the federal government will “continue to be agile with the states” which have primary funding responsibility to provide them.

    It has always been the responsibility of states to look after emergency management but we support them and the federal government has proven that – we topped up last year’s [funding]

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/dec/03/liberal-labor-party-medevac-repeal-bill-jacqui-lambie-ken-wyatt-politics-live

    Since April Greg Mullins and the other members of Emergency Leaders for Climate Change have been asking the PM to meet with them to discuss, among other urgent issues, \ early planning for the fire season now well under way. FauxMo wasn’t interested.

    I doubt anyone told Little-to-be-proud-of that they were happy with 100 aircraft. Last summer we had 143, and that wasn’t enough. Now we only have 100?
    http://nafc.org.au/?page_id=168

    The need for more large air tankers was made very clear, but the government refused to listen.

    As for funding – the NSW government has cut funding for the RFS, Fire and Rescue and NPWS rangers, all the people who are front-line during fires. If the feds have topped up funding then it’s too little too late. Promises made on the run during fly-in-fly-out visits to fire areas are too little too late. That funding increase was needed months ago, for planning and for equipment.

    Someone should start a class action to sue this government for neglect of their responsibilities and for billions in compensation for lost housing, stock, farm buildings and crops.

    • Also – FauxMo did not attend today’s meeting, he left it to Littleproud and Anus. The urgent need to address climate change was mentioned by Mullins but not acknowledged by Littleproud.

  29. Honest government ad (engadine macca’s makes an appearance at the end, could someone please educate me on the significance. I’ve heard and seen many references to it but I’m at a loss)

    • Thanks folks I’m thoroughly edumicated now on said incident and will be able to join in the laughter from this day on. Ta muchly.

    • I doubt that story is true – FauxMo didn’t live in the Shire when it allegedly happened and I don’t think he even knew what the Sharks were until he became the member for Cook.

      But – it’s too good a story to ignore and now everyone thinks it really happened. The photo of an incontinent, piss-stained, boozing FauxMo in Fiji (while Frank Bainimarama looked on in horror) only makes everyone more certain it really happened.

      I’ve never understood why anyone would schlep all the way to Engadine for Maccas when, if as alleged, FauxMo had been attending a do at Shark Park at Woolooware. It’s a long way and you’d drive past at least two Maccas on the way to Engadine.

      Plus there’s the fact Cronulla did not play in the Grand Final in 1997, they played in the Super League Grand Final. The game was played in Brisbane and the Sharks lost to the Broncos. (No 1 Son is a keen Sharks fan and confirmed all this trivia.)

      FauxMo didn’t live in the Shire in 1997, he moved there after he became the member for Cook in 2007.

      FauxMo wasn’t an MP back in 1997, so the story about driving back to Canberra just doesn’t hold up.

      He admits he was not a Sharks fan until he moved to the Shire in 2008, the same year he bought the house in Dolans Bay.

      FauxMo won’t deny the story – I think he believes it makes him seem “normal”,more relatable to average suburban drunks.

  30. The debate on the Migration Amendment (Repairing Medical Transfers) Bill 2019 (the medevac repeal bill) was been adjourned earlier tonight when the Senate decided to start the adjournment debate at 7.20.
    https://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Dynamic_Red?autorefresh=1&track=0&scrollto=newest

    FauxMo says he will not agree to Jacqui Lambie’s condition of taking up the NZ offer, so who knows when the debate will resume, or if it will resume at all.

    Scott Morrison has shut down any prospect that he will cut a deal with Tasmanian senator Jacqui Lambie on medevac to send refugees to New Zealand, even if it means the laws fail in the Senate

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/12/02/pm-no-deal-lambie-medevac/

  31. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Chris Uhlmann explains how a perfect storm is brewing for a Coalition that lacks coherent policy.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/perfect-storm-brewing-for-coalition-that-lacks-coherent-policy-20191203-p53gce.html
    Well how would you be! Liberal MP Gladys Liu secured access to the federal government for a company and Liberal Party donor endorsed by the Chinese Communist Party and later implicated in a major organised crime probe into $1 million in suspected drug money. Oh Gladys!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/gladys-liu-linked-to-donor-at-centre-of-cash-drop-probe-20191202-p53g1x.html
    Michael Pascoe, after yesterday’s decision to hold interest rates steady, says that it’s common to talk of the RBA running low on ammunition but now the quality of the ammunition needs assessment as well.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2019/12/03/rba-summer-rates-delay/
    According to Rob Harris Kristina Keneally was to be appointed Australia’s ambassador to the US if Labor had formed government this year.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/kristina-keneally-was-headed-to-washington-under-secret-plan-with-bill-shorten-20191203-p53giz.html
    It was hardly the venue for violence, the Joint Parliamentary Inquiry into Regulation of Audit in Australia. The Committee transcripts have now dropped and we can report on an extraordinary day in the history of audit, the day when, finally, there were calls for violence. Michael West reports.
    https://www.michaelwest.com.au/uppercut-call-for-violence-at-parliamentary-inquiry-into-accountants/
    Ross Gittins expresses his opinion that as long as girls continue making themselves better educated than boys it’s only a matter of time before women are calling the shots.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/women-are-making-themselves-at-home-in-the-workforce-20191202-p53fyf.html
    Euan Black writes that leading economists have warned low interest rates aren’t enough to give Australians a decent pay rise, after the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held interest rates at 0.75 per cent.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/finance-news/2019/12/03/interest-rates-low-wages/
    Educational professor Geoff Masters tells us how the declining performance of Australian school students is in the spotlight again and he wonders what government can do to arrest the decline.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/focus-on-basics-leaves-schoolkids-short-in-essential-deep-thinking-20191203-p53gd6.html
    Shane Wright looks underneath the expected headline trade figures and doesn’t like what he sees.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/rba-tipped-for-deeper-rate-cuts-in-2020-even-as-economy-lifts-20191203-p53ghc.html
    NSW has outlined its demands for the Murray-Darling Basin Plan but remains committed to walking away if they are not met reports Alexandra Smith. And the federal government has responded using the dreaded word “flexibility” and we all know what that means!
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/nsw-gives-details-of-ultimatum-over-water-sharing-plan-20191203-p53gd9.html
    A leading medical journal is launching a global campaign to separate medicine from big pharma, linking industry influence to the pelvic mesh scandal that injured hundreds of women.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/cannot-be-trusted-causing-harm-top-medical-journal-takes-on-big-pharma-20191203-p53ggj.html
    Katie Burgess reports that the Coalition is set to press reset button on its union-busting bill.
    https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/6525006/coalition-to-press-reset-on-union-busting-bill/?cs=14350
    The national energy market operator has warned extreme heatwaves, a heightened bushfire risk and the deteriorating reliability of ageing coal-fired power stations will imperil the energy grid and raise the threat of blackouts this summer, especially in Victoria.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/extra-pressure-on-energy-grid-as-scorching-summer-looms-20191203-p53gf9.html
    Charlie Lyons says that China’s leadership is making the country unsafe for many. It’s time that Australia publicly recognised this unfortunate reality.
    https://www.smh.com.au/national/australia-must-recognise-unfortunate-reality-in-china-and-issue-travel-warnings-20191203-p53gc4.html
    The lawful but “barbaric” use of chemical and mechanical restraints on people with disability should spark public outrage, but instead their use is widely overlooked, a royal commission hearing has been told.
    https://www.theage.com.au/national/restraining-people-with-disabilities-is-barbaric-royal-commission-hears-20191203-p53gg6.html
    Dana McCauley reports that thousands of Australians with mental health conditions like depression, anxiety and bipolar have taken advantage of changes to health insurance rules to fast-track their hospital psychiatric treatment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/thousands-fast-track-private-mental-health-treatment-after-insurance-reforms-20191202-p53fxe.html
    Meanwhile fewer than 40% of the population will be covered by private health insurance by 2030 unless reforms are made, according to a report from the public policy thinktank the Grattan Institute.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/04/up-to-60-of-australians-will-drop-private-health-by-2030-without-reform-report-finds
    Rob Harris reports that none of the 180 asylum seekers transferred under the contentious medevac legislation are currently being treated in a hospital, with the majority now living in community detention in Australia.
    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/most-people-transferred-under-medevac-law-now-living-in-community-detention-20191203-p53gjo.html
    Dozens of Iraqi interpreters who have served the Australian Defence Force alongside Australian diggers battling Islamic State are seeking to come to Australia, but say they have been prevented from applying for visas.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/04/iraqi-interpreters-who-served-beside-australians-say-theyre-prevented-from-applying-for-visas
    Matthew Kott writes on how the democrats have laid out the case in a scathing landmark report before the forthcoming articles for Trump’s impeachment.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/worse-than-nixon-democrats-lay-out-impeachment-case-in-landmark-report-20191204-p53glm.html
    A US appeals court has handed President Donald Trump another defeat in his bid to keep his financial records secret. Will Trump try to hang out until it gets up to the Republicans’ stacked Supreme Court?
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/banks-told-to-hand-over-donald-trump-s-tax-records-20191204-p53gl5.html
    Israel’s Supreme Court has rejected an appeal by a former educator accused of sexually abusing students in Australia, paving the way for a new psychiatric evaluation to determine her fitness to stand trial for extradition. What a shocking effort from Israel for all these years.
    https://www.smh.com.au/world/middle-east/israeli-court-rejects-appeal-from-teacher-accused-of-sex-crimes-20191204-p53glt.html
    A day after more allegations about his links with Jeffrey Epstein were aired on the BBC, Prince Andrew was a notable absentee from the first royal gathering since the sex scandal that has seen him exiled.
    https://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/celebrity/royal/2019/12/04/prince-andrew-donald-trump-royals/
    Today’s nomination for “Arsehole of the Week” goes to this little darling.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/03/young-liberal-national-party-leader-suspended-over-video-denigrating-indigenous-culture

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe with Trump descending on the UK.

    From Matt Golding.






    A cracker from Alan Moir.

    I think Mark David might be having a go at News Ltd here.

    Another from Mark David.

    Fiona Katauskas and the government’s priorities.

    Zanetti with Morrison’s senate problems.

    From a dispirited Glen Le Lievre.

    Johannes Leak and the very worst of the rag he works for!
    https://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/93ad951b65bd8b3aa1b6c84602600190?width=1024

    From the US













  32. On with the waterworks an claim ‘national security’ Lambiei going the whole hog

    Lambie breaks down, refuses to say why she has given support
    I’m not being coy or silly when I say I genuinely can’t say what I proposed. I know that’s frustrating to people and I accept that.

    When I say I can’t discuss it for national security concerns, I am being 100% honest with you.
    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/dec/04/coalition-nationals-umurray-darling-basin-pisa-results-gdp-economy-medevac-lambie-politics-live

    • If the deal was so secret Lambie can’t talk about it then why did the entire government vote for something they are not permitted to know about?

      The media decided the secret deal was about sending refugees to NZ, we really have no idea if it was actually that or something entirely different..

      Knowing what a dumbarse Lambie is it was more likely something about allowing US nuclear weapons to be based in Australia, or a new US base in Tasmania.

      Whatever it was FauxMo went for it, He would never have agreed to send refugees to NZ. That goes against everything he has said and done for the last six years. I’d love to be proved wrong on this, but I don’t think FauxMo has a human heart, just a lump of coal.

  33. This sums it up very neatly.

  34. In BK’s links today were two items from Nine journalist (so-called) Rob Harris. One put the boot into Labor and one was blatant lies about medevac.

    The first, about an alleged plan to make Kristina Keneally the US ambassador if Labor had won the election was utter bullshit. Why would a new PM want to send his second-best (after Penny Wong) senator to the US?

    The purpose of the article was to tell readers Labor, especially Albo, has problems.

    Ed Husic was “forced” to stand aside so Keneally could be a minister, Don Farrell was “forced to stand aside. Really? “Forced”?

    No mention of FauxMo forcing what passes among Coalition ranks for capable ministers out so he could have fellow Pentecostals Stuart Robert and Alex Hawke on board. No mention of anyone being forced out so Sussan Ley could return to the ministry. No mention of these ministers being considered too corrupt to stay in the ministry by Turnbull but perfectly OK by FauxMo.

    The second Harris piece is concocted rubbish and lies about those who have successfully been transferred to Australia for medical treatment not being in hospitals. Who said they all had to be hospitalised? Many suffer from mental illnesses brought on by the trauma of being incarcerated for six years, they don’t need to be sitting in hospital beds, they just need treatment and care.

    This article was clearly an attempt to denigrate all the senators – including Labor ones – who voted for the medevac amendment earlier this year and an attempt to support senators voting for repeal by giving readers the impression we had been conned by malingerers. It is despicable work by Harris.
    Here’s a good response to the lies –

    Helen Davidson
    Pauline Hanson is repeating the fact (which we’re also seeing in a lot of newspapers) that people brought here under medevac aren’t in hospital.

    It’s worth noting (again) that the purpose of medevac is to bring people to Australia for medical care or assessment which is unavailable in PNG and Nauru. That does not necessarily equal hospitalisation. And a lack of hospitalisation does not equal a scammed medevac.

    Hanson then says a bunch of stuff that are not facts

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/dec/04/coalition-nationals-umurray-darling-basin-pisa-results-gdp-economy-medevac-lambie-politics-live

    Obviously Hanson was basing her lies on this rubbish – she would not have read it herself because she seems barely literate, she probably relied on Chinese whispers or office hearsay to form her opinion.

    The standard of journalism (if you can call it journalism at all) at Nine is disgusting.

  35. Just when you thought Dutton and this foul government could not get any nastier, any more racist, this happens–

    Citizenship test: court to decide whether Indigenous people can be deported from Australia
    Australia’s government contends that those who are not citizens are aliens and the minister has the power to cancel their visas

    The high court of Australia will this week examine a complicated question: can Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islanders be deported as aliens if they don’t hold Australian citizenship?

    The federal government says yes.

    But lawyers for two Indigenous men facing removal from the country, backed up by the Victorian state government, say there is another option: non-citizen non-alien.

    The special case hearing on Thursday before the full bench will examine a series of propositions, which were unusually put forward by the high court itself, and which go beyond the contentious issue of deportations.

    The Australian government contends it is an issue of binary definitions and that, because the men are not citizens, they are therefore aliens and the minister has the power to cancel their visas

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/dec/04/citizenship-test-court-to-decide-whether-indigenous-people-can-be-deported-from-australia

  36. So all Lambie got, according to Cormann, was a briefing on “national security”.

    That seems to be all she asked for – a briefing on something so secret she can’t talk about it.

    For that she sold out a few hundred human beings with medical needs.

    The blood of the next person who dies on Manus Island or Nauru from medical neglect or suicide due to mental illness or despair will be on Lambie’s hands.

  37. Statement from David Burke, Legal Director of the Human Rights Law Centre –

    Today is a shameful day for Australia.

    The Morrison Government has repealed the Medevac laws – lifesaving laws that allowed doctors to decide when seriously ill people detained in Nauru and PNG needed to be transferred to Australia for medical treatment.

    We have seen our politicians once again disregard the safety of the women and men it has deliberately kept trapped in offshore detention for more than six years.

    For the last two weeks, I have been in Canberra with our partners doing everything in our power to convince our politicians to stand up for humanity.

    We have fought hard to keep the Medevac laws in place because they worked. They put medical decisions back where they belong – in the hands of doctors, not politicians or bureaucrats.

    We are deeply disappointed that today, the Morrison Government chose to terminate this lifeline. But this cruel and cynical move to keep innocent people trapped in limbo will not go unanswered.

    We will redouble our expert legal action, we will amplify our advocacy in coalition with NGO allies and we will rally the support of thousands of people, like you, who are appalled by Australia’s cruel and inhumane refugee policies.

    Because when we stand together, we have an incredible impact – as we saw when the last remaining child was brought to safety from Nauru.

    There are still over 500 women and men who the Government continues to detain offshore after six long years.

    Together, we will fight for these people. We will stand up for compassion and dignity. And we will not stop until every person is rebuilding their life in safety and freedom

    https://www.facebook.com/HumanRightsLawCentreHRLC/

    • I’m almost to the point where the next time I see an LNP pollie, I’ll be very tempted to ask if they might be ready to use a previously successful “final solution” for those poor sods on Manus, Narue, and TPVs as it would go a very long way to improving the so called “budgetary surplus” we have been promised by this so called “government”

      And as for suggesting that indigenous Australians might not be citizens … it just makes me want to vomit!
      I can’t believe how cross I’m starting to get over all this stupidity! Christmas is definitely not a happy time of year for me any more.

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