Hope this works:
I (Billie) would like:
1. Workforce Australia abolished along with Mutual Obligation.
2. Cancel contracts of Job Network providers who engage in illegal activity even if it’s one unqualified junior counter staff in remote WA.
3. Covid showed poverty is a policy choice, raise the rate to pandemic levels, $750 per week??
4. Fix NDIS, get rid of the rorters.
5. Fix Medicare.
6. Build social housing, use pre-fab and modular.
7. Stop logging native forests.
8. Fix Murray-Darling water allocations.
9. Get cracking on NACC.
10. Rebuild Public Service.
305 thoughts on “Budget Measures to Address Poverty”
Terrific thread from Ronni Salt and Jommy Tee on Scollum’s now defunded “Australian Future Leaders Program”. What a con job!
‘Gaetjens report’ that led to Bridget McKenzie’s ministerial resignation in Feb 2020 has finally been released by govt, following 2.5yr FOI battle.
Twitter thread explainer by AAP journalist here
Full report here
Razz is back in hospital. I don’t want the phone to ring. Watched the Robodebt event that happened to day, played question time, so I guess I’d better get some shuteye. Hope everyone is enjoying the momentarily lovely weather.
News, Razz is responding this morning. Will go in soon to see for myself.
I’ve just seen this. My thoughts are with you both.
Good morning Dawn Patrollers
Legal concerns over what became the robodebt scheme were “watered down” but still included in briefing documents prepared for Scott Morrison, a royal commission has heard. Luke Henriques-Gomes reports that the inquiry into the botched Centrelink debt recovery scheme had previously heard the Department of Social Services in late 2014 held damning internal legal advice warning the key method used to raise those debts may be unlawful.
The AFR tells us that the Albanese government will consider scaling back superannuation tax concessions for wealthy Australians as it seeks to repair the cash-strapped federal budget and crack down on loopholes. It says Financial Services Minister Stephen Jones will tell The Australian Financial Review Super & Wealth Summit in Sydney today that Labor is gearing up for a debate on tax concessions once the government outlines its definition of the purpose of superannuation and puts it into legislation.
The Treasurer wants a national conversation about how best to repair the Budget. But that conversation will only help if it is based on a realistic analysis of the difficulties involved in achieving lower spending and therefore why tax increases must be on the agenda, opines Michael Keating.
Suspected visa scams have brought up to 100,000 workers into Australia using false claims that have choked the system, fuelling fears about illicit labour as the government launches a sweeping review of the migration regime. David Crowe reports the schemes have left Australia with a growing underclass of workers who are waiting on a legal system that takes 812 days on average to decide each case, according to a new warning about labour trafficking.
Energy giants who double as generators and retailers could be put under the microscope over pricing by the South Australian government, which is considering a royal commission or similar probe to identify price gouging.
Peter Martin writes that leading economists are backing the federal government action to curb rising gas and electricity prices.
Jordan Beazley explains how Australians turning to buy now, pay later schemes for groceries are getting stuck in a revolving door of debt.
Dominic Perrottet has fired a warning shot at the powerful lobby group representing the state’s clubs, saying he will not sign any pre-election commitments with the industry until it agrees to move on recommendations from the NSW Crime Commission.
The SMH editorial says that NSW Labor’s portable bond plan – to have the rental bond board directly transfer a deposit from one property to another – makes good sense to help prevent the need for renters to scramble for cash to secure a new rental property.
Max Maddison tells us that seat-by-seat polling suggests the NSW Coalition is in danger of losing several electorates to teal independents at the March election, with the primary vote of Environment Minister James Griffin perilously low, leaving him at significant risk of being bundled out of parliament.
“I don’t live in Victoria and I don’t vote in Victoria but from a distance it appears to me that the two main contestants in the upcoming state election are the current Premier representing the ALP, Dan Andrews and Newscorp although, in the latter case it is not clear if it is the dirty digger himself standing or the prodigal son who may be living on his yacht in Port Phillip Bay – but is he on the Victorian electoral roll ?”, writes Terrence Mills.
Ewin Hannan writes that Employment Minister Tony Burke will need to make more concessions to get the Albanese government’s industrial relations reforms passed before Christmas after changes Labor made to its bill failed to win over the Senate crossbench and business groups.
The Coalition had grown so used to the Senate estimates role it played in government – one that involved thwarting scrutiny – it probably stopped rehearsing its lines and committed its non-answers to muscle memory. Now it has to learn an entirely new way of doing the hearings, if it wants to wield them to full political effect, says Doug Dingwall.
When it comes to strident political hyperbole, few can match the Liberals’ workplace relations shadow minister Michaelia Cash. Yesterday she warned that Labor’s industrial relations reforms, especially multi-employer bargaining, could “potentially close down Australia”. “Think about that!”, exclaims Paul Bongiorno.
Snowy Hydro’s giant expansion is a year behind schedule and the official budget has jumped by $800m to $5.9bn, the latest crunch for an energy project deemed critical to replace coal in the power grid. Roger Whitby, Snowy’s acting chief executive, told a parliamentary hearing on Monday that the government-owned energy operator remained hopeful of reducing the delay but the setback could imperil the target of first power by mid-2025 and delivering the facility by early 2026.
A new body will oversee the culture of the construction industry in a fresh government concession to its controversial industrial relations bill as it races to woo crucial crossbenchers and pass the reforms this year, explains Angus Thompson.
“Can juries still deliver justice in high-profile cases in the age of social media?”, asks professor of law and criminal justice, Rick Sarre.
Uncertainty and volatility are rife in markets and economies across the world and the risk of major shocks to these systems are on the rise, warns Stephen Bartholomeusz.
A secret report by the former Coalition government into the sports rorts scandal slammed the decision-making process behind the grants scheme and its “lack of transparency”. The investigation by former prime minister and cabinet department secretary Phil Gaetjens also found there were significant shortcomings when Coalition senator Bridget McKenzie awarded a community sporting grant to a gun club she was a member of.
It’s a Sports Rorts whitewash. Scott Morrison’s former chief-of-staff and top bureaucrat Philip Gaetjens fortuitously found “no evidence” of pork barrelling by Senator Bridget McKenzie. Rex Patrick explains how disappearing documents and political double-speak converged for an artful cover-up.
Satyajit Das explains why Australia is stuck with such low productivity rates.
Information that showed the Commonwealth Bank of Australia may have committed “law-breaking on a grand scale” by breaching anti-money laundering laws should have been disclosed to the market by the bank, a court has heard.
Wellbeing and politics have collided in the past couple of weeks. Federal Treasurer Dr Jim Chalmers has started a conversation about measuring the ‘wellbeing’ of the nation as a result of the measures in the budget. The Opposition, as you would expect, has poured scorn on the idea, writes the AIMN’s 2353NM.
Kevin Rudd’s staff accused an Australian government department of taking a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to News Corp after finding the media company did not need to register under the foreign influence scheme. Documents obtained by Guardian Australia reveal the Attorney General’s Department dismissed two cases that the former prime minister suggested may require News Corp to disclose activities under the scheme.
Victoria’s gambling regulator has fined Crown casino after the organisation breached gambling laws and allowed customers to play its machines and tables for more than 24 hours straight.
Anointing yourself the guardian of free speech is one thing. Living up to it is something else altogether, as Elon Musk is quickly discovering, writes Ben Marlow about Musk’s “dud deal”.
Nigel Farage’s Australian tour featured speeches with no substance and failed to inspire anyone other than elderly conservatives, writes Henry O’Sullivan.
Matthew Knott writes that one of the world’s leading war experts has said it is in Russian President Vladimir Putin’s interests to prolong the Ukraine conflict as long as possible to stave off a reckoning by his citizens over the invasion.
While Republicans have nudged ahead against the Democrats in many polls in numerous races, the issues driving the elections are unpredictable, says Chris Zappone.
Meanwhile, a political confidant known as Vladimir Putin’s “chef” appears to have made the first chilling admission of Russian “pinpoint operations” to interfere in US elections, ahead of the upcoming midterm vote.
Glen Le Lievre (including a gif)
From the US
David Pocock needs to distance himself from Jacqui Lambie. Being linked with this nutter does nothing for his reputation.
Nic Stuart has something to say about the Albo government’s closeness to the US and it’s not good news for the government.
Nic Stuart | We’ve never been closer to Washington than today
Now read this – in fact read anything published by Pearls and Irritations. They seem to be a lone voice in the wilderness on Australia’s toadying to the US.
Why Labor can’t be trusted with Australia’s security. It started with US Marines in Darwin
Australia needs to get over our attachment to the US and declare itself neutral before the US drags us into another pointless war which they will lose and which we cannot hope to survive.
Seth Meyers –
Stephen Colbert –
Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow et al panel show –
Brian Tyler Cohen –
Jimmy Kimmel –
And yes, it’s still getting uglier
Latest from John Crace
Blood moon starts totality 21:16 Canberra time.
Lunar Eclipse ? Looking like it is going to be a dud in Perth. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. It will rise about now already ‘total’ . But there is a lovely layer of cloud . The Moon close to the horizon means there would be more colour and the illusion of it being a lot larger. Also good for silhouetting buildings/trees with the bigly moon behind it. Camera ready, lenses selected, tripod ready to go and…………………………pfft
Oh well out to see if it peeks through if only momentarily thought the thin gray clouds.
I would just like to take this opportunity to say..FAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARK at high volume. I got to where I intended to take pics of the eclipse, camera,, lens, tripod at the ready and waddayano. Clear sky over 80-90% of the sky here in The Cave …………………. except for a strip running north south along the horizon. Just where the totally eclipsed moon would rise. Then the cloud started to sloooooowly move away but just to rub it in they did not clear until just after the total eclipse had ended.
Razz has left us to go to the moon where she can watch over us. Her name is Lynnette. She loved The Pub and when she wasn’t well I had to tell her about everything that was happening here. Lynnette had M.S., or what she called a minor set back. Her laughing and joking was any every day event. She brightened everyone’s lives that she met.
No matter how bad she was feeling on any given day, she just had to do the dishes, and I could never find the dish cloth as she was forever wiping everything, and if you didn’t move out of the road, she’d wipe you too.
Hunter and I are now left with a big hole. Thankfully, although she had been unwell over the last month, Sunday night she said was very very tired, so I gave her her meds. and she fell asleep. She never really woke up bar for few minutes early yesterday morning, so she was unaware of what was happening, and they kept her as pain free as they could.
All the medical staff, doctors, nurses, paramedics have been quadruple gold star, and she would have given them half a dozen elephant stamps, throw in some giraffe stamps and all stamps that she could.
Lynnette is now out of pain and at peace.
I am so sorry that you have been left alone to cope without Lynnette. She is, as you say, now free of pain and at peace.
What a brave lady she was, to remain cheerful while suffering a major auto-immune disease, although she probably would have hated me referring to MS in those terms.
Vale Lynette, virtual hugs to you 2g –
Good morning Dawn Patrollers. We have a midweek monster here.
Rachel Clun writes that more than 100,000 people drove the cost of the pandemic-era HomeBuilder program out to $2.3 billion, an analysis of the scheme has found, leading to an overheating of the building sector and adding to inflation pressures that have forced interest rates to a nine-year high. Quite interesting.
The Reserve Bank board would be stripped of its power to set interest rates and forced to explain why it fails to hit its inflation target, while senior staff would be barred from holding shares or government bonds under sweeping proposals put to the inquiry examining the institution, explains Shane Wright.
“Every revelation from the robodebt royal commission shows there were clear warnings it would harm people like me”, writes Nathan Kearney who would like apologies for robodebt, but really wants Australia to abandon punitive welfare.
Patrick Commins reports that the head of Treasury has backed direct intervention to push down coal and gas prices and redistribute the super profits earned by energy companies to poorer households, as a temporary relief measure to address soaring power bills.
The schism between the lifters and leaners in corporate Australia has deepened. BHP, Rio and the banks are tipping in massive tax while tax paid by fossil fuel giants remains paltry, abjectly failing to merit a social licence to operate in Australia. Callum Foote peruses the latest tax data.
The same business lobbyists who have successfully campaigned for laws that suppress wages since the 1980s are issuing familiar warnings on multi-employer bargaining, writes Josh Bornstein in a well-formed argument.
The Albanese government and Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke have an imperative political interest to secure their Fair Work industrial relations bill – defeat would constitute a devastating policy and psychological blow exposing the depth of Labor’s misjudgement, pontificates Paul Kelly.
The AFR tells us how superannuation fund chiefs have rallied around calls to scale back tax concessions for $5 million-plus retirement savings accounts, but the Albanese government is under pressure to curb benefits for an additional 70,000 high-income earners by imposing an even lower limit of $2 million.
And the AFR editorial argues why super needs a tightly defined purpose.
The culture wars are over, but the news hasn’t reached Liberal HQ, writes Michael Buckland who says, “Anthony Albanese was a left-wing warrior who realised it was a dead-end. Peter Dutton should follow suit on right-wing cultural issues.”
Building trust in government is as important as catching wrongdoers, argues professor of public safety, Adam Graycar who examines the roles of anti-corruption activities n other countries.
As we watch the outward aggression and consolidation of several autocratic regimes coupled with diminishing confidence within democratic bastions such as the US and Britain, it’s evident that contemporary economic challenges and other crises are testing faith in our democratic institutions for increasing numbers of citizens, writes former Speaker Tony Smith who bemoans a marked reduction in civility in public debate and discourse, be it in the sewers of social media, on the stages of public debates or from the seats within our parliaments.
State Labor MPs have invoked an ugly campaign waged against Julia Gillard more than a decade ago amid the battle to reform NSW poker machines, warning that taking on powerful clubs and pubs risks an unnecessary stoush with the election just months away.
A ransomware group has begun posting client data it says it has stolen from Australia’s largest health insurer Medibank Private on the dark web. Hundreds of names, addresses, birthdates and Medicare details were being posted under “good-list” and “naughty-list” on a blog belonging to the group.
Eryk Bagshaw reports that Penny Wong has spoken to China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi for the third time in five months, paving the way for a meeting between Xi Jinping and Anthony Albanese at the G20.
Lawyer Sanmati Verma posits that Australia can’t blame criminals and fraudsters for the migration crisis. She laments that successive governments have shifted the focus of the migration program towards “enforcement” activities and away from actually facilitating migration. She makes many good points.
Ross Gittins says Jim Chalmers is right. There’s much more to life – to our wellbeing – than just working and spending. If that’s all governments are doing for us, they’re not doing nearly enough. Gittins tells us how the revered GDP measure does not indicate wellness. He also says Chalmers’ wellness budget still has a long way to go.
After years of earning next to no interest, savers are finally being offered better returns. But the banks aren’t passing higher rates through to everyone, opines John Collett.
Oh dear! Australia’s largest plastic bag recycling program has collapsed amid revelations hundreds of millions of bags and other soft plastic items dropped off by customers at Coles and Woolworths are being secretly stockpiled in warehouses and not recycled.
If you want maximum bang for your buck, you need to claim as much as possible on your health insurance policy, urges Joel Gibson.
Few political organisations are as consistently baffling as the Victorian division of the Liberal Party. Since Labor’s upset election win under Steve Bracks in 1999, which ended the Kennett era, the Liberals have been waiting for Victoria to return to their version of normal, writes Shaun Carney who says the fact that the party turned to Matthew Guy when Michael O’Brien’s leadership ran out of road last year tells us much about the condition of the Liberal Party since Jeff Kennett left the parliament 23 years ago.
Keeping the draft findings of an anti-corruption probe secret would not interfere with the public’s right to know, even in the middle of a state election campaign, the Supreme Court of Victoria has said.
A secret government report into the sports rorts scandal has slammed the decision-making process behind the controversial $100 million grant scheme. The investigation by former Prime Minister and Cabinet department secretary Phil Gaetjens found there were significant shortcomings by Coalition senator Bridget McKenzie in awarding a community sporting grant to a gun club to which she belonged. Mr Gaetjens said there was an “actual conflict of interest” for Senator McKenzie in the grant.
Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said a decade of climate wars and energy policy failure, more than Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have left Australia without affordable and reliable energy.
Mike Foley reports that Water Minister Tanya Plibersek has said the planned $1.3-billion upgrade of the Dungowan Dam in Barnaby Joyce’s NSW seat of New England as well as other dam proposals backed by the former federal government need “careful examination”.
Land sales in Australia’s city-fringe housing estates are plummeting as interest rates, falling house prices and cost of living pressures put off buyers, explain Simon Johanson.
Liam Mannix writes about the lack of knowledge about long Covid and how to treat it.
Australia’s rental housing is a national disgrace – and improving it will combat the energy crisis, argues Tristan Edis.
Australian officials are investigating further allegations of war crimes as they prepare to hand over the first evidence brief to begin the prosecution of special forces soldiers. The Office of the Special Investigator has been tasked with examining allegations of war crimes committed by Australian special forces soldiers in Afghanistan.
Zoe Samios writes that the Australian government official responsible for policing bullying and abuse online has expressed concerns that billionaire Elon Musk’s plans to change the verification system on Twitter may lead to an explosion of misinformation on the internet, including from state-based actors.
Female staff at the high-fee Catholic boys’ school have made anonymous testimonies about sexual harassment and incidents amounting to sexual assault at work by male colleagues and students, reports Wendy Touhy.
Meanwhile, former Pope Benedict XVI plans to defend himself in a civil lawsuit lodged at a German court by a man who accuses him of helping to cover up historical abuse, a court spokesperson said yesterday. He could be I a trouble at the pearly gates!
Just as Western interests have been forced to pull out of Russia, chief executives must rapidly assess ties with China. Doing business there is now fraught with huge financial, commercial and reputational risk, explains Ben Marlow in quite an eye-opening contribution.
The SMH editorial rightfully declares that today’s midterms pose a threat to the future of US democracy. It says that most worrying is the possibility that the midterms will legitimise Trump. His actions on and leading up to January 6, 2021, showed that he was fundamentally unfit to be president of a great republic.
Nations holding their breath for democracy may suffocate. If the US is still the leader of the free world, its followers are dwindling, as several summits in November will show, writes Alison Brionowski.
The obvious problem with Australia’s defence policy is the confusion between defence of Australia and fighting wars far from Australia. The argument for pursuing the former is incontestable; this is a key obligation government has towards taxpaying citizens. The latter is of questionable justification, writes Mike Scrafton who says that US National Defence Strategy reveals Australia’s nuclear deterrence role.
Farrah Tomazin tells us that Donald Trump has boasted about ending the career of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, branding her as an “animal” as he laid the groundwork for another bid for the presidency in 2024. Such class!
Among the myriad offices gaining attention on the ballot today in the US the normally obscure post of secretary of state stands out. In most states, that position is the top election official who oversees the state’s voting system. In some of the nation’s pivotal swing states, Republicans have nominated candidates for that office who supported overturning the 2020 presidential election to keep Donald Trump in the White House.
Donald Trump 2024? It looks like it’s happening – but there’s a silver lining, writes Arwa Mahdawi who says, “The former president has been dropping heavy hints that he’s going to attempt a comeback. With luck he and arch-rival Ron DeSantis will rip the Republicans apart”.
Trump and Elon Musk are dangerous narcissists tailored to 2022 America, declares Robert Reich.
Cronyism, donors, wily MPs: Johnson’s honours glorify all that is wrong with his party, says Marina Hyde.
Glen Le Lievre
From the US
Excellent article from Nathan Kearney. It’s about time this government apologised to all social security recipients for the abuse they have suffered over decades, especially during the Howard years when Australians lucky enough to have full-time work and own a home – usually with a mortgage – were actively encouraged to hate anyone on any form of social security.
Unfortunately the Albo government has continued this bashing with their refusal to increase payments across the board, but especially whatever the dole is now called, on the grounds increasing payments would be “inflationary?. Shades of the Gillard government there, trying to be meaner and nastier than the Howard government when it came to depriving the most needy of an income that would allow them to live with dignity, eat properly and afford a roof over their heads.
Leone, Lynnette just called it a minor setback, but it didn’t bother her what other people called it. Thanks for your lovely words.
2gravel at 4:03 AM Edit
Saddened to hear such news about Lynette. You ,’Razz’ , even Hunter, have become part of Pub life and that gives a sense of loss. You and Lynette have my admiration for the fortitude shown in such an unfair fight.. Best wishes to you and Hunter during this difficult time.
Even the Moon
The Batammaliba of Togo believe the Blood Moon is a time to make peace , Lynette has in a way honored that tradition.
This deliberate cruelty drives me nuts. Why can’t refugees work or study once they are in Australia?
We have huge labour shortages now yet we refuse to allow people to participate. Why?
This teenager has offers from three Australian universities but can’t accept any
As young people in Australia anxiously wait for offers to study at university, one talented student doesn’t have the same opportunities as her peers.
I see the odious Peter Reith has died, apparently he had Alzheimer’s. All I can say is Good Riddance and may he soon be joined by Howard.
Honest government ad –
Nothing else to post as most of it is live for the midterms.
A day of RoboDebt dixers in the HoR.
It’s very, very quiet as tale upon tale is being retold.
Luke’s on the job
The US Midterm election isn’t going as badly as I thought it would be for the Democrats. It’s still very close, but not the Republican wipeout I was fearing.
It’ll probably be a few days before a solid result can be determined though.
Where do the Tories get them from!
and John Crace
Quelle surprisement. A word search of the online front page of Mordor Media’s flagship national newspaper ‘The Australian’ finds zero instances of ‘robodebt’ or ‘royal commission’ . What about their ‘The Nation’ section ? Nope. Surely it has to be in their ‘Political Commentary section………………… nope. Not a sausage.
They will keep on refusing to mention it because it would be damaging to the Libs if they did.
Would someone explain to me how damaging art works is anything to do with climate change. Why does one particular group believe causing damage to expensive works of art is going to change anyone’s thinking? This tactic is going to turn people away from this group, not attract more supporters.
I do know these works are behind glass – so far.
I found a message on Twitter from Gravel, telling me about Lynnette’s death. We talked for about 10 minutes. She – obviously – sounds shocked/numbed – but she’s surrounded by family and friends.
I had the privilege of meeting and staying with Gravel and Lynnette in January 2014.
And I’m so glad Lynnette seems to have had an easy death.
I’m so sorry to hear about that, Fiona. All I can say is that I’m relieved that she didn’t suffer. May she rest in peace.
“Tickets and hospitality for self and four (4) other guests from Tabcorp to the 2022 Melbourne Cup carnival race day at Royal Randwick Racecourse on Tuesday 1 November 2022.”
“Pakistan won by 7 wickets (with 5 balls remaining)”
So now I have to barrack for the Poms in the Hit-and-Giggle.
Good morning Dawn Patrollers. Cop THIS lot!
Matthew Knott writes that Anthony Albanese is pushing to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping next week, raising expectations of a diplomatic breakthrough as the nations strive to stabilise their relationship after years of turbulence. As he prepares for a series of back-to-back summits in Asia, Albanese said he would welcome a meeting with the leader of Australia’s biggest trading partner during the G20 forum in Indonesia or the APEC leaders meeting in Thailand.
A new policy dispute is looming over plans to set up a federal corruption watchdog after experts said it could gag the media and repeat a highly contentious move by a similar commission in Victoria to stop the disclosure of an inquiry. David Crowe writes that Greens senator David Shoebridge has warned against giving the national commission the power to punish the media if it obtained information about an investigation, as a parliamentary committee prepares to release its findings on the federal plan today.
The Reserve Bank believes inflation may be about to peak but households and businesses hoping for financial relief will have to wait, with warnings interest rates will continue to rise and higher electricity and gas prices hitting consumers into 2024, reports Shane Wright.
Without any real fanfare and certainly no great coverage, the Reserve Bank of Australia last week let us know that Australian households are about to be smashed. Other than during exceptional times, such as a pandemic, the RBA or the government don’t usually forecast a recession, thus it is always a bit unsettling to see a central bank suggest bad times are coming. And that is what the Reserve Bank did last Friday in its latest statement on monetary policy, writes Greg Jericho who points out that, “The problem isn’t that household incomes are going to fall in real terms below the artificial high of the pandemic stimulus. No, the problem is that incomes are set to fall below the level they would have been expected to be prior to the pandemic.”
The generous tax concessions for super put more tax pressure on overburdened wage earners to pay for spending on pensions, aged care and health, writes John Kehoe who tells us why the super tax breaks for retirees can’t go on like this.
Mike Foley and Nick Toscano describe how Australia’s largest fossil fuel industries have clashed over who is to blame for soaring east coast electricity bills as the federal government considers imposing unprecedented price caps on domestic coal and gas sales.
Meanwhile, Sarah Martin reports that Australians overwhelmingly back government intervention in the energy sector to bring down prices, with a new poll finding support for limits on exports and a super profits tax on gas companies. As the government confirms that “all options are on the table”, new polling from the Australia Institute shows that 86% of those surveyed support the government stepping in, either through export controls or a windfall profits tax, or both.
Australia needs a windfall profits tax – but our government seems to fear the gas lobby, opines Richard Denniss.
Mark Conroy reveals that in NSW a special task force, Strike Force Guard III, has been established to target environmental groups in a concerted state attempt to silence anyone they view as a threat to the prevailing fossil-fuel driven political order. Conditions imposed on activists are now more severe than those meted out to some perpetrators of domestic violence or members of bikie gangs.
Risks relating to the robodebt scheme were understated while benefits were oversold, the royal commission has been told. A senior official also said departments overseeing the scheme were faced with a “demanding and difficult leadership environment” which potentially contributed to a breakdown in communications.
Luke Henriques-Gomes takes us through yesterday’s dramatic robodebt royal commission hearing. He concludes by telling us how it is set up for a very interesting appearance from Kathryn Campbell this morning. “Asked if there was something she was “fearful” of, Wilson said the work environment under her new boss, DSS secretary, Kathryn Campbell, was “more authoritarian”. She had a “less mutually respectful” relationship with Campbell, Wilson said.”
In an uncharacteristically constructive contribution, Peta Credlin writes, “An NDIS that remains out-of-control would be a good idea gone badly wrong. To make it sustainable, both sides of politics, and all levels of government, must work together. Still, if anyone can pull off this contemporary political miracle, it’s Shorten and Bonyhady, given that neither could be accused of bad faith given their history with its creation.”
The mess left by the Coalition is (almost) overwhelming, says Michael Pascoe who chronicles a sorry collection of malfeasances.
The national anti-corruption commission inquiry will recommend parliament pass the government’s bill, paving the way for Labor’s model for the integrity body to be legislated in the final parliamentary sitting fortnight of 2022. Paul Karp tells us that the joint select committee will report consensus today underscoring support across the political spectrum for the integrity body, despite crossbench and Coalition attempts to amend Labor’s model.
Elizabeth Knight declares that it is time to dismiss the corporate speak of Medibank and Optus which casts them both as simple victims. Their deficiencies as custodians of customer data have allowed criminals to infiltrate their digital systems. And for that, they must take appropriate responsibility. She says companies that have enjoyed the benefits of the digital revolution – particularly the productivity gains that technology has provided, must now work harder to deal with the downside.
The cybercriminals who stole a vast trove of sensitive customer data from Medibank appear to have had unfettered access to the insurer’s data for at least several weeks, emails and WhatsApp messages between Medibank officials and the criminal gang suggest.
Criminals are expected to release more sensitive Medibank Private customer data after the first dump targeted people with cocaine and opioid addictions and mental health conditions from well-heeled suburbs.
Australians should think twice before handing their personal data over to companies as corporate hacks drive a surge in scam reports, outgoing ACCC deputy chair Delia Rickard says. Richard Elmas tells us that she has called for a “major review” into the massive quantities of data businesses are collecting on customers and how they’re storing it, saying the hacks of Medibank and Optus should be a wake-up call as millions face having their private lives exposed by criminals.
As a hostage in the Medibank hack, Peter Lewis provides his list of demands which are difficult to argue with.
Australia’s long COVID clinics are so under-resourced patients are waiting almost a year for treatment, as the Victorian government warns it will struggle to care for the growing number of patients without extra federal funding. Liam Mannix reports that, in a submission to a federal inquiry, the Victorian government revealed the first official modelling of long COVID, and said the disease affected 218,000 Victorians, of whom 41,000 had a severe form. This is a bit of a worry.
One of the NSW government’s most senior ministers, Rob Stokes, has delivered a blistering attack on the reliance clubs have on poker machines, warning gambling generates demonstrable social harm with no community benefit. Alexandra Smith reports that in a powerful intervention as the debate over gambling reform in NSW intensifies, Stokes — a close ally of Premier Dominic Perrottet — said the “once friendly familiar local club, a traditional locus for thriving community, has been distorted and disfigured”.
Clubs and pubs make billions of dollars each year from gambling and alcohol, two of the state’s biggest contributors to harm, including mental ill-health, suicide and family violence. The lobby group ClubsNSW, in its endeavour to maximise profits, seeks to prevent common sense measures that would protect community health and safety, complains Caterina Giorgi, CEO at the Foundation for Alcohol Research and Education. She says that when the interests of lobby groups are given priority over health and safety, communities lose.
The ground is shifting but more work needs to be done on pokies reform, declares the SMH editorial.
Chris Vedelago explains how the collapse of the popular nationwide Coles and Woolworths plastic bag recycling program was set in train nearly five months ago when a fire at a suburban Melbourne factory destroyed the Australian waste industry’s ability to recycle soft plastics.
Government lawyers have threatened legal action to stop the publication of a secret report into the workplace culture of the controversial building watchdog after employees criticised it as a stats-driven agency that focused too much on litigation. Angus Thompson says that a confidential staff survey of the NSW and ACT region of the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC) found it was racked by “contagious negative morale” and a “culture typified by active mistrust”.
The state government expects it to take until 2031 before the second stage of Parramatta’s multibillion-dollar light rail line opens to passengers, about five years later than originally planned. Matt O’Sullivan tells us that an environmental assessment of the project also shows that construction of two bridges over Parramatta River for the light rail line will disrupt ferry services for months due to temporary closures of navigational channels. Hundreds of on-street car parks in fast-growing suburbs will also be permanently removed.
Ross Garnaut thinks Australia can become a low-carbon superpower; Clive Hamilton is not convinced.
The Albanese government must make an important strategic decision on how to fund the voice referendum. One option is to let the Yes and No cases pay their own way without government support. An alternative is to establish official Yes and No campaigns, along with funding for neutral community information. George Williams says that the choice is important because it may have a major impact on the result. The government will no doubt weigh up the need for a fair poll while doing everything it can to make a majority Yes vote more likely.
The barrister acting for a Sydney businesswoman accused of defrauding the National Australia Bank of millions has told a court that her alleged co-offender is an “accomplished liar” whose evidence should be rejected. Michaela Whitbourne reports that Helen Rosamond, owner of North Sydney-based event management company Human Group, is standing trial in the NSW District Court on charges relating to her alleged role in defrauding NAB of $15 million between 2013 and 2017.
The Joint Select Committee on Parliamentary Standards has been charged with developing a code or codes of conduct for people working in the Parliament. While the context is to address the bullying and harassment behaviour revealed by the Jenkins Report, the Committee also has the opportunity to articulate through values statements and codes of conduct, explains Andrew Podger.
China is slipping back into deflation. Factory gate prices rolled over in the spring and have been falling in absolute terms for the last three months. Annual core inflation has dropped to 0.6 per cent. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard warns that a wave of Chinese deflation threatens to come our way.
China’s economic heydays are behind it. Optimism is turning to pessimism. People are losing faith that their quality of life will improve. Urban youth unemployment has reached a record 20 per cent. The social contract is fractured, explains Yun Jiang.
More than 11,000 employees of Meta will be sacked in one of the biggest layoffs this year as the Facebook parent battles soaring costs and a weak advertising market. The company has confirmed that it would let go of 13 per cent of its workforce.
Bot armies, fake tweets and hashtags are the new front in propaganda wars. A ground-breaking study, exposing a massive anti-Russia social media disinformation campaign, has been effectively ignored by the Western establishment media, writes Peter Cronau.
Despite the best endeavours of Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, to put the relationship with China on a more even keel, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, seems determined to destabilise it, writes Bruce Haigh who exclaims, “God save Australia because America will not”.
It would require a microscope to discern any difference between this government’s foreign policy priorities and those of the last. The verbiage is cheap and empty. It’s not aligned with actions. Labor has done nothing to change the direction and momentum established by the previous government, laments Nic Stuart.
Russia’s military has announced that it’s withdrawing from Ukraine’s southern city of Kherson and nearby areas, in what would be another humiliating setback for Moscow’s forces in the eight-month-old war.
Assessing Rishi Sunak’s performance as PM, John Crace sets the scene with, “Midway through prime minister’s questions, Rishi Sunak appeared to enter an altered state. His eyes went vacant and his body inert. As if he was desperately retreating inside himself, searching for an as yet undiscovered happy place.”
Here’s Adrian Beaumont’s assessment of the US midterm elections.
Adam Creighton writes that however the political chips ultimately fall in the next few days, Republicans have been humiliated in the US midterm elections, doing much worse than pollsters and punters predicted, vindicating Joe Biden’s agenda and underscoring the unsustainable disarray of a GOP living in the shadow of Donald Trump.
Donald Trump was branded the Republican party’s “biggest loser” following the US midterms on Tuesday, while his party rival Ron DeSantis swept to victory in a landslide in Florida, giving him a strong platform to challenge the former president in 2024.
Democrats are doing far better than expected. Matthew Yglesias tries to work out why this was so.
The winner of the midterms is not yet clear – but the loser is Donald Trump, says Jonathan Freedland.
US allies should strap themselves in for another wild ride over the next two years. America’s age of disruption and distraction continues. James Curran writes that Republicans appear to have captured a majority in the US House of Representatives, though they will not have undermined President Joe Biden’s authority on foreign policy by as much as they hoped.
Americans are bracing for a new era of divided government, with Republicans favoured to wrest control of the House of Representatives from Joe Biden and the Democrats in the midterm elections – yet the prospects of a “red wave” did not eventuate, writes Farrah Tomazin.
From the US
Seth Meyers –
Stephen Colbert –
Brian Tyler Cohen –
Jimmy Kimmel –
Good morning Dawn Patrollers
Australians are about to discover whether Labor will side with the Coalition or the crossbench in a pivotal vote on the power to crack down on corruption. The most likely outcome is a landslide in parliament that uses the combined numbers from the major parties to overwhelm the calls from Greens and independents for a watchdog with more teeth, writes David Crowe.
Angus Thompson tells us that Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke has left room to raise the threshold for small businesses to be pulled into multi-employer deals ahead of a looming Senate fight over Labor’s divisive industrial relations bill after it passed the lower house despite a wall of vocal opposition.
Michelle Grattan says that the government is throwing everything at securing its workplace reforms before Christmas but Pocock keeps it guessing.
In this fascinating contribution Alan Kohler explains how, if income tax rates had not been changed in the past 40 years, and the wages at which they cut in had simply been increased with inflation, personal income tax revenue would be $170 billion more than it is now, there would be no budget deficit, structural or otherwise, and tons of money for government services.
Luke Henriques-Gomes takes us through yesterday’s illuminating robodebt royal commission hearing.
Dennis Shanahan writes that any new tax on gas and coal producers and exporters will create a fiery political response from the gas and mining industries at a time when the Albanese government is warring with business over its contentious industrial relations changes.
Sarah Martin reports that the Albanese government will receive advice on possible interventions in the energy market as early as next week, including potential price caps, bargaining provisions for smaller energy users, and a legally binding code of conduct for the gas sector.
David Crowe writes about what is now coming out about how the G-G’s $18m charity saw the light of day. He concludes by saying, “At its heart, the affair is all about Hurley wanting something and Morrison making it happen. The advocacy from the Governor-General’s office was crucial – but it was also bad judgment. There are many worthy charities in Australia, most of them starved of funds, but Hurley used his position to advance someone he knew.”
The SMH editorial says that the hacks have exposed Australia as being years behind on cybersecurity.
Jenna Price unloads on what she describes as a “terrible, horrible very bad week in Australian politics”.
A Labor minister has launched an extraordinary attack on former National Disability Insurance Agency boss Martin Hoffman after he accepted a role with a tech business which sells software to scheme providers. Don Farrell accused Martin Hoffman of using his knowledge of the inner workings of the NDIS for his own financial benefit in the private sector.
“To put that in (Victorian) election speak; there is an abundance of meaty policy debates to be had. Yet, rather than attempting to meet these undeniable challenges, this election is fast becoming one characterised by anger, mudslinging and small target policies. A contest of ideas, it is not”, says Annika Smethurst.
Seven West Media’s billionaire chairman Kerry Stokes has attacked “scumbag journalists” for their reporting on decorated soldier Ben Roberts-Smith and denied the use of company funds in a high-stakes defamation case involving the Victoria Cross recipient.
Why is billionaire Kerry Stokes funding the media defamation action of Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith against Nine Newspapers? He gave the reason to Callum Foote, directly and in person at today’s Seven annual meeting.
Packaging and recycling company Visy hosted an exclusive Labor Party fundraising event attended by Premier Daniel Andrews and Environment Minister Lily D’Ambrosio while bidding for a $500 million contract to run Victoria’s container deposit scheme, reports Josh Gordon.
“As the Herald Sun sticks to News Corp’s election playbook, does it think its readers are idiots?”, asks Andrew Dodd.
Despite conservative media relentlessly campaigning against his success, Daniel Andrews’ potential re-election in November would make him Victoria’s longest-serving premier since 1972, writes Patrick Hannan.
The press has been spattered in recent weeks with hindsight wisdom about Australia’s – and particularly Victoria’s – handling of the pre-vaccine pandemic. The relatively easy time we are having with COVID now and the low numbers of people being hospitalised with COVID are being used to argue that earlier restrictions were unnecessary but it is crucial to remember what the world looked like when those decisions were made, says Lucy Hamilton.
Dominic Perrottet has told clubs and pubs that he will not back down on a cashless gaming card, stressing criminals can no longer use poker machines to wash their dirty cash. Alexandra Smith reports that in a meeting with ClubsNSW and the NSW Australian Hotels Association at Parliament House on Thursday, Perrottet “made his position clear on moving to … cashless gaming and gambling limits”.
The powerful online wagering industry should be held accountable by a national, independent regulator as well as an ombudsman, a leading anti-gambling organisation has proposed, as a federal parliamentary inquiry prepares to evaluate options for reform, writes Lisa Visentin.
This year’s COP is different, declares Simon Bradshaw Australia has shown up with a stronger emissions reduction target and a number of initiatives to accelerate its energy transformation. The government has been signing onto many of the deals it skipped last year, including the Global Methane Pledge, and we expect more announcements over the coming days.
Nothing gets a board’s pulse racing like a takeover offer sporting a knockout 55 per cent premium to the company’s share price. And that’s pretty much the situation Origin Energy’s board finds itself in, after a consortium led by the heavyweight Canadian investment group Brookfield put an $18.4 billion bid on the table, writes Elizabeth Knight. She says Brookfield clearly believes there is money to be made in turbocharging the decarbonisation journey of Australia’s power generators. While legislators and experts squabble about the pace of change and its risks, Brookfield is letting its money do the talking.
Just as Australia can be a clean energy superpower, we can be one of the few countries with a highly circular plastics economy, explains Helen Millicer.
The Vatican’s first auditor-general, Libero Milone, has launched a multi-million-euro lawsuit against the Holy See, warning he will not be intimidated or silenced by an internal power lobby that behaves like the “mafia and use every method including blackmail and dirty dossiers” to impede financial reform. Popcorn time?
China has neither the intent nor the capability to attack us, argues John Menadue.
Matthew Sussex explains why Putin’s retreat from Kherson could be his most humiliating defeat yet.
The disruptive political rise of Donald Trump may now have peaked and even gone into decline, as the Republicans’ unexpectedly modest gains in the US midterm elections suggest, says the AFR’s editorial.
There’s a big Republican winner, and his name is not Trump, writes Bruce Wolpe.
America is still on the brink of Trumpism fueling hate, paranoia and violence, declares Robert Reich.
More than 210 Republicans who cast doubt on President Joe Biden’s 2020 victory won congressional seats and races for governor, secretary of state, and attorney general on Tuesday night, underscoring the extent to which right-wing election denialism has become entrenched in the GOP and threatens to remain a noxious force in U.S. politics for the foreseeable future, writes Kenny Stancil.
Along with weak candidates and the lack of an economic plan, fears of a post-Roe rollback in reproductive rights were also behind the party’s underwhelming election result, explains Sarah Green Carmichael.
Glen Le Lievre
From the US
Seth Meyers –
Chris hayes –
Brian Tyler Cohen –
More to come later after visit to Doc’s and shops 😀
It’s the Russkies what done it
F.M and the throwing of eggs
NEW THREAD: https://pbxmastragics.com/2022/11/11/11th-hour-11th-day-11th-month-1918-lest-we-forget/
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