Category: Australia

Why elect governments if they don’t care about the people? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

What about Australia?

Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have similarly ransacked our national wealth for nine years. They have weakened Medicare, lowered taxes on the rich, stolen taxpayers’ funds to fund obscenely rich private schools at the expense of public schools, and gutted our universities.

They also spent billions adding to the fossil fuel companies’ ill-gotten gains, hamstrung climate change mitigation for a decade, and attacked our national cohesion with deliberate trashing of our international treaty obligations, especially regarding refugees, dog-whistling attacks on minorities, started an unnecessary war of words with China, and essentially destroyed our biodiversity so that land clearing can proceed.

But, I hear you say, we threw them out on their ear. We elected a reformist government, in whose DNA flows liberty, equality and fraternity.

We did change governments, but we are still on track to lower taxes to our richest minority. We still subsidise fossil fuel companies. We will not tax them for their ill-gotten gains, and we won’t even consider increasing the welfare payments of the poor.

Even though we know that it causes Australian children to go to bed hungry, and a recent finding that the average rent increase for the last year was $3000. That is, on average, $60 a week in rent alone. Then factor in energy cost rises, higher food costs due to shortages caused by floods, and you have a perfect recipe for a human disaster.

So there have been changes for the better, but this government is seemingly intent on ‘doing a Truss’, and going ahead with stage 3 tax cuts. Spare me from inhumane governments. They need to wake up as to why they exist, at all.

Source: Why elect governments if they don’t care about the people? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australians will miss a once in a century opportunity if we shirk a referendum on an Indigenous Voice – » The Australian Independent Media Network

It is possible. So this is not just the “time to listen to the Voice and act”. It is the time to tell the powers-that-be what sort of Australia we want. We all have a lot to lose if we shirk this referendum and politicians and dissenters should be held to account if they intercede to prevent the emergence of a constitutionally enshrined Voice.

Australians will miss a once in a century opportunity if we shirk a referendum on an Indigenous Voice – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The 60 millionaires who paid no tax and the richest and poorest postcodes revealed – ABC News

Key points:

  • ATO data shows 60 Australians who earned more than $1 million in 2019-20 did not pay a cent of income tax
  • Eight of the nation’s highest-earning postcodes were in Sydney, while five of the lowest-earning postcodes were in regional NSW
  • Doctors continue to dominate in terms of highest incomes, while apprentices and food workers struggle

The 60 millionaires who paid no tax and the richest and poorest postcodes revealed – ABC News

AUKUS, Technology and Militarising Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia is the paying receiver of product that will not be delivered. The cost will be substandard subs not delivered on time, cash, in the form of capital and rent and the forgoing of sovereignty.

From the Australian Strategic Policy Institute to the US Studies Centre, we are meant to celebrate the prospect of Australia as a military annexe to US power in the Asia-Pacific, its sovereignty status subsumed under the ghastly guff of freedom lovers supposedly facing oriental barbarians. The analysis is then crowned by the praise of former US defence and security officials who ingratiatingly speak of Australian potential as they would mineral deposits. The lie, packaged and ribboned, is duly sold for public consumption. Australian sovereign capability becomes the supreme fiction, while its subservience is hidden, only to be exposed by heretics.

Source: AUKUS, Technology and Militarising Australia – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Research reveals fire is pushing 88% of Australia’s threatened land mammals closer to extinction

About 100 of Australia’s unique land mammals face extinction. Of the many threats contributing to the crisis, certain fire regimes are among the most pervasive.

In a new paper, we reveal how “inappropriate” fire patterns put 88% of Australia’s threatened land mammals at greater risk of extinction – from ground-dwelling bandicoots to tree-climbing possums and high-flying microbats.

Our research also identifies what type of fires are most damaging to threatened mammals, and shows some mammals are suffering due to a lack of fire.

Source: Research reveals fire is pushing 88% of Australia’s threatened land mammals closer to extinction

Australia needs a Bill of Rights – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia is at a crossroads. The decade of Coalition government showed how vulnerable our rights and freedoms could be in the face of a political party radicalised by anti-democratic and illiberal ideas. The Republican Party in America is displaying how quickly rights can be destroyed, even after it was removed from government; we need to protect vulnerable groups within our nation from copycat attacks.

Source: Australia needs a Bill of Rights – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Freezing indoors? That’s because Australian homes are closer to tents than insulated eco-buildings | Philip Oldfield | The Guardian

Freezing young woman in warm clothes sitting on couch and hugging cushion

Compared with other OECD countries Australia has been a free for all when it comes to housing. Architects aren’t required. So, hit with climate change the reality of our low standards of housing compared with other nations is staring us in the face, and revealing why we are pp the world’s biggest domestic emitters of CO2.

Our national building standards need to be overhauled to fight climate change and energy poverty – and improve our lives

Source: Freezing indoors? That’s because Australian homes are closer to tents than insulated eco-buildings | Philip Oldfield | The Guardian

Requiem for a lost country | The Shot

Scott Morrison is gone. Although he isn’t dead, something is gone all the same.

He’s alive, but he is gone. Gone from our television screens. Gone to pack the barbecued barramundi lifestyle of Kirribilli House he lived in at our expense. Gone from our news cycle. Gone from the front pages of his fawning tabloids. Gone from our mouths.

Gone from the Australian government. Gone from the Prime Minister’s plane that will never carry his swindling, lying, masquerading bulk again. Gone from our conscience. Gone from our lives, from our daily grind. Gone from our souls. Gone.

A greater fraud and malcontent never disgraced the mantle of Prime Minister. That he was disliked throughout Australia goes without saying. That he was despised as well is truly extraordinary.

Source: Requiem for a lost country | The Shot

Climate, deportations on Aust-NZ agenda

New Zealand Australia agenda

Watch Dutton keep the divide he and Morrison created between Aus and NZ

International and regional concerns will be on the agenda as NZ’s Jacinda Ardern becomes the first world leader to visit Anthony Albanese as Australian PM.

Should the Australian government cede ground, they can expect a fiery pushback from Opposition Leader Peter Dutton, who as immigration and home affairs minister oversaw increased deportations.

“It was right to deport them and we’re safer because of having done so,” he told Sydney radio station 2GB on Thursday.

“I don’t want to see the Albanese government walk it back.”

Another major shift is that climate change is back on the agenda, with senior NZ government figures telling AAP the issue was declared a no-go zone under the previous coalition government.

“It’s a huge relief,” one source said. “It hasn’t caused problems in the relationship per se, but it’s just been such an anomaly in that Australia hasn’t been interested.”

Source: Climate, deportations on Aust-NZ agenda

How the rest of the world has followed Australia’s election campaign

The rest of the world has been watching Australia's election.

Observers as far away as Europe and the US have their eyes on seats like Kooyong and Wentworth. But unlike Australia’s two prime ministerial candidates, the world also has its eye on our role in addressing climate change. Here are the key takeaways from what the rest of the world thinks about our election.

Source: How the rest of the world has followed Australia’s election campaign

Why controversy continues to follow the Australia Day honours

Australia Day honours

Australia Day honours will be announced this week, and, if recent announcements are any indication, they are likely to generate considerable public debate. In 2014, there was the re-establishment of knighthoods and damehoods in the Order of Australia under then prime minister Tony Abbott. The next year, Prince Philip was infamously awarded one of the revived titles. The past decade has seen increasing scrutiny of the gender balance in the awards, while individual honours, such as those given to writer Bettina Arndt and tennis champion Margaret Court, have also drawn criticism. This is not necessarily out of keeping with the longer history of the honours system.

Source: Why controversy continues to follow the Australia Day honours

There are three approaches to climate, Australia is choosing the wrong one

climate change

There are three ways to approach climate change – one, do nothing and hope; two, dig in, and go slow, because it’s ‘the economy, stupid’; or three, step into the change and maximise the opportunities it presents.

Source: There are three approaches to climate, Australia is choosing the wrong one

Today’s Evangelicalism Was Forged in the Fight Against Communism and Feminism

To some, it seemed hypocritical for evangelicals to support Donald Trump — not exactly a Christian-family-values figure. But his strong evangelical support was the culmination of the embattled cultural politics that gave rise to the modern evangelical movement.

THE ELECT

Evangelicals’ identities are rooted in their calling, their task, which is to return America to its Christian origins, because only then will God give this nation his blessing. Evangelicalism, remember, has been this way since World War II. They’ve always had this special mission.

Of course, they will never achieve their task, because their version of America was never real to begin with. But it is an incredibly powerful way to rally the troops, mobilize conservatives, and make them feel like they have lost something that is rightfully theirs — that this is our country, we were once at the center of things, and what needs to happen is that we need to be back in charge because then we can Make America Great Again.

 

Source: Today’s Evangelicalism Was Forged in the Fight Against Communism and Feminism

Australia and France international relations: ‘It’s embarrassing to be an Australian in France right now’

France in 2022 may not be so welcoming to Australians.

Scott Morrison Change the world and asked “Where the bloody hell are you?”

When we lived in Paris, the French always loved us once they realised we weren’t British. “Kangoooroo!” they’d exclaim, and it was a compliment. I can’t even imagine what they’re calling us now.

Source: Australia and France international relations: ‘It’s embarrassing to be an Australian in France right now’

Zoe Daniel: How Australia squandered its world-leading pandemic position

Scott Morrison and Zoe Daniel

Australia was in a world-leading position on managing COVID last year and squandered it.

And now continues to do so with small-minded, inward-looking debate while the world moves forward.

Fortress Australia is not just physical, in the form of all but closed borders, but mental and emotional, as we and our leaders choose to reinvent processes and debate that have already been had elsewhere.

Instead of taking advantage of international advances and knowledge that may allow us to accelerate towards normality, we choose to argue among ourselves.

Source: Zoe Daniel: How Australia squandered its world-leading pandemic position

Australia: To where are we advancing? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Morrison’s Evacuation

This is far too good not to share, and a big hearty thank you to Jaqueline for giving us the opportunity to do so. Let’s help this go viral. PS: Play video with sound turned on.

Source: Australia: To where are we advancing? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Covid Australia vaccine rollout tracker: total number of people and per cent vaccinated, daily vaccine doses and rate of progress | Australia news | The Guardian

Covid-19 in Australia

Active cases *

increasing
decreasing
NSW 2562 QLD 42 WA 16
VIC 205 NT 7 SA 25
TAS 0 ACT 0

Vaccinations

14.1% fully vaccinated
17.8% only one dose
37/38 ranked in OECD

How does Australia’s coronavirus vaccine rollout and schedule compare with other countries, when will Australia be fully vaccinated and when will you be eligible to get your dose? We bring together the latest numbers on daily new Covid-19 cases, as well as stats and live data on total vaccination figures in Victoria, NSW, Queensland and other states Follow our Covid live blog for the latest updates Restrictions: NSW; Vic; Qld; SA; border restrictions Hotspots: NSW map; Vic list; Qld; SA Get our free news app; try our weekend edition app; get our morning email briefing

Source: Covid Australia vaccine rollout tracker: total number of people and per cent vaccinated, daily vaccine doses and rate of progress | Australia news | The Guardian

‘Corruption’ can thrive in a space where weak regulation is parked

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Health Minister Brad Hazzard, Police Deputy Commissioner Gary Worboys and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant on Friday.

Depending on who the key stakeholders are, who makes donations to your political party, the decisions follow. In Victoria, it is unions that keep ALP Premier Dan Andrews in power and were therefore top of the list for consultation and action. In NSW, business interests keep the Liberals in power and it was business consulted first and whose needs were prioritised. This is not corruption. It is politics. You reward your backers, but maintain good relationships with diverse interests. It is simply pragmatic. Corruption involves the acquiring of a personal benefit. Corruption was how an eminent retired judge described the carpark and sports rorts that will follow Scott Morrison all the way to the next election. Although no individual minister or MP was personally pocketing a direct financial benefit, using public money to improve prospects with the voters and to try to hold on to power is a form of corruption of the electoral process.

Source: ‘Corruption’ can thrive in a space where weak regulation is parked

Gerry Harvey Is an Emblem of Australia’s Corrupt Economic System

Australian retail billionaire Gerry Harvey has rightly been vilified for describing COVID-19 as an opportunity for profitmaking. But Harvey was just stating the facts: the pandemic has enabled his class to get even richer off the backs of the working class.

Source: Gerry Harvey Is an Emblem of Australia’s Corrupt Economic System

WA’s first governor James Stirling had links to slavery, as well as directing a massacre. Should he be honoured?

Today, councillors in Perth’s City of Stirling will vote to decide whether to change their city’s name. This follows a residents’ motion arguing a new name would better “reflect the long standing and relevant history of this land in such a way that is inclusive and in recognition of the Nyoongar community”. This is not about erasing history, said Whadjuk Noongar Elder Len Collard. It is about extending history, “so that all experiences are reflected”.

Source: WA’s first governor James Stirling had links to slavery, as well as directing a massacre. Should he be honoured?

Entry Into Australia Is Only for the Rich

Australia stood absolutely alone among democratic nations with its ban on citizens returning from India. It is notable, too, that at the time of Australia’s ban, India had fewer COVID-19 cases per capita than either the United States or UK at their peaks — countries against which travel bans were never implemented. Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his part rebuffed accusations that the policy, which was lifted in mid-May following the backlash, was racist, claiming that “it’s got nothing to do with politics, this is a virus” and that “there’s no politics or ideology in a pandemic.” Amid all this, Australian elites like Nicole Kidman and Lachlan Murdoch, as well noncitizens like Natalie Portman and Viggo Mortensen, have reentered the country at whim, bypassing quarantine altogether. This at a time when tens of thousands of Australians remain stranded abroad due to strict quotas on reentry, which have in turn produced a hyperinflated market for the scarce commodity of airfare, with tickets prices often soaring into five-digit figures.

Source: Entry Into Australia Is Only for the Rich

Gough Whitlam’s Government Was the Victim of a Right-Wing Coup

In 1975, an Australian constitutional coup brought down Gough Whitlam’s reforming Labor government, with the Queen’s governor-general delivering the fatal blow. Whitlam’s fate was a crucial lesson for left-wing movements everywhere: capitalists will only allow so much democracy before pushing back.

Source: Gough Whitlam’s Government Was the Victim of a Right-Wing Coup

Bigotry, racism and the power of the Israel lobby

Bigotry is bad and no one form of bigotry is any worse or more justified than another. This attitude should taken by all levels of government. To treat one form of bigotry as more important than another is, in itself, a form of bigotry.

Bigotry, racism and the power of the Israel lobby

Stories From The Dreaming – » The Australian Independent Media Network

What is the Aboriginal interpretation? Again this is concise. During The Dreaming, spirit beings emerged from the water or the land and took (for our purpose) human form. These beings were the ancestors of all living beings, travelling over the earth performing the same activities that are still performed by the Aboriginal people today. These creatures started human society and Aboriginal people believe in this.

Of the two views of knowledge, only The Dreaming interpretation is solid. Archaeology with its scientific and analytical approach has not provided enough evidence to support its theories. Their description of, say, the Mungo Lady, provides an informative narration of her lifestyle, yet her origins and most of her past remain a secret. Perhaps in the future, other remnants that now lay buried in the land may emerge and science will provide an interpretation – while the First Australians will provide an answer.

via Stories From The Dreaming – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Debt, House Prices and the Virus: How prepared are Australians really? – Michael West

House auction

Before the coronavirus, property market pundits were tipping their usual, regulation, 10% rise in house prices. They have been quiet in recent days. Callum Foote reports on the impact of the virus on an already weak economy, racking up the present crisis against the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Australians are unprepared. The ratio of household debt to household disposable income is now at an all-time high, suggesting the risk to property is also at an all time high.

via Debt, House Prices and the Virus: How prepared are Australians really? – Michael West

We’ll Never Advance Australia Fair Until We Face Our Black Past – New Matilda

Grow Up Australia Wake Up! (ODT)

January 26 – ‘Australia Day’ – is a political project forced upon the nation by born-to-rulers. They want consensus for the wealth amassed through theft of Aboriginal peoples’ land and resources, and through the convict transportation system of slave labour. We will hear stories of triumphant ‘discovery’, and ‘progress’, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

So decrepit was the first New South Wales colony that the military controlled all economic activity (the Rum Corps) – a beacon of reaction against even liberal capitalists across the world.

Why on earth did the flatpack colony set up here? Eight years prior to the Fleet’s arrival Captain Cook (the bloke we have memorials for across the country) was given urgent orders by London to find suitable land to establish a penal colony. After hundreds of years of wreaking absolute havoc on the peoples of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, British prisons were bursting at the seams.

Crime was a construction of the empire – a new and experimental time for creating systems of control. Political dissidents, peasants and workers attempting to defend themselves since the Enclosures and now facing violent industrialisation, were locked up in their thousands for crimes of theft, treason, riot, incitement, seditious libel and more.

via We’ll Never Advance Australia Fair Until We Face Our Black Past – New Matilda

Making America Hated Again: Tens of Thousands of Iraqis Chant “Death to America” at Soleimani Funeral in Baghdad

https://media.juancole.com/images/2020/01/baghdad-740x400.png

America dragging Australia into fighting 2 wars one against Nature and the other Iran. The ADF hasn’t the capacity for both. Will the LNP require the rural unemployed to enlist? Morrison thanks God for an ally like Trump.  (ODT)

via Making America Hated Again: Tens of Thousands of Iraqis Chant “Death to America” at Soleimani Funeral in Baghdad

Filed under:

Making sense of Australia’s bushfire crisis means asking hard questions – and listening to the answers

When the immediate threat of these fires has passed, many bigger questions will remain. The Conversation will continue to bring you the responsible, evidence-based journalism you need to be properly informed. Thank you for your continued support.

via Making sense of Australia’s bushfire crisis means asking hard questions – and listening to the answers

Witness J: How to hide a criminal trial from the public despite Australia’s principle of open justice – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A woman sits under a coat of arms with a blurred face

Revelations about a man being tried and imprisoned in secrecy, and the fluke discovery of the case, have revived calls for Australia’s secrecy laws to be reviewed.

Exactly how the case of “Witness J” came about remains a mystery.

Mr Moses also argues there should be no secret trials, and the nature of the offence and the provision under which the defendant was charged should be released.

“At the end of the day, justice is administrated in the name of the people, so basic information should be provided in order to enable the public to know why this has occurred,” he says.

via Witness J: How to hide a criminal trial from the public despite Australia’s principle of open justice – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

‘The quiet person you pass on the street’: Secret prisoner Witness J revealed – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

An illustration of a man with his head in his hands in a cell

 

“The quiet person you pass in the street. Tonight, I want to do my best to answer your questions, but as a secret prisoner from a secret trial who worked for a secret organisation, I am limited.”

via ‘The quiet person you pass on the street’: Secret prisoner Witness J revealed – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Australia Talks National Survey reveals the country we most want to move to – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A man with a fern leaf flag draped over his shoulders stands in front of a house with a New Zealand flag.

Australian lack of education is making us less imaginative (ODT)

via Australia Talks National Survey reveals the country we most want to move to – Analysis & Opinion – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Despite being PM for more than a year, Scott Morrison has never been invited to China — why? – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

A composite image of Xi Jinping and Scott Morrison against red backdrops

Abbott/Trunbull/Morrison and America;s Cold War took us to war against Vietnam. Now they are asking Australians to sacrify their relationships in the Pacific again. (ODT)

Key points:

Scott Morrison hasn’t been able to secure a bilateral meeting with Xi Jinping
He has however been invited to a state dinner with US President Donald Trump
The failure to net a bilateral meeting with Mr Xi stems from Australia and China’s icy relations

via Despite being PM for more than a year, Scott Morrison has never been invited to China — why? – Politics – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

U.S. and Australia — joined at the hip

Making Australia the American Base and Target in the region and have us pay for it.(ODT)

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wants us to join with the U.S. in tackling the problems which Donald Trump created with Iran and presumably to soften us up to host missiles to protect the U.S. marines and port facilities in Darwin, writes John Menadue.

U.S. and Australia — joined at the hip

After the hype, our economy’s grim reality setting in

Illustration: Matt Davidson

It laughs at Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s claim in the April budget – and Scott Morrison’s claim in the election campaign – to have returned the economy to “strong growth”, which will roll on for a decade without missing a beat.

Why is the immediate outlook for the economy so weak and uncertain? Not primarily because of any great threat from abroad – though a flare-up in Donald Trump’s trade war with China could certainly make things worse – but primarily because of one big and well-known problem inside our economy: five years of weak growth in wages.

via After the hype, our economy’s grim reality setting in

Vale Bob Hawke: how the newspapers reacted to death of former PM | Australia news | The Guardian

Australian papers pay tribute to Bob Hawke.

The front pages of Australia’s papers all pay tribute to Bob Hawke today, calling him a larrikin, a legend, a fearless reformer and the people’s PM.

Even News Corp didn’t dare do an Abbott. This country was once at one with itself

via Vale Bob Hawke: how the newspapers reacted to death of former PM | Australia news | The Guardian

Bob Hawke death: Tony Abbott Twitter statement stirs controversy

Bob Hawke and Paul Keating transformed the Australian economy.

Mr Abbott’s statement on Twitter, released an hour after Mr Hawke’s death was announced, said the former head of the ACTU and Labor’s longest-serving prime minister, “had a Labor heart but a Liberal head”.

via Bob Hawke death: Tony Abbott Twitter statement stirs controversy

‘Defied all odds’: Australia’s sharemarket continues to shock

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Housing Crashes Stocks Boom, Stocks Crash Housing Booms, Swings and Merry-go-Rounds how to stop them taking your money (ODT)

Despite a backdrop of troubling economic signals, the nation’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index rallied almost 10 per cent in the first quarter — its best-ever performance to begin a year in data going back almost three decades. Strong commodity prices and promises of easy monetary policy from central banks are working in the gauge’s favour even as Australia’s property slump deepens and its economy continues to wane.

via ‘Defied all odds’: Australia’s sharemarket continues to shock