Category: LNP Government

Senior Republican senator Marco Rubio slams Beijing for ‘bullying’ Australia

Republican Senator Marco Rubio says other democratic countries need to stand up for Australia.

So much for “we stand alone” stance insisted by Morrison. Broadsides coming from America suggest otherwise. (ODT)

Senior United States Senator Marco Rubio has lashed the Chinese government for its “economic coercion” against Australia, saying it is important for a global alliance of democracies to speak up in support of Canberra. The intervention from the former Republican presidential candidate followed a sharp escalation in rhetoric from Beijing as it doubled down on its claim that the Morrison government is solely to blame for deteriorating relations between China and Australia.

Senior Republican senator Marco Rubio slams Beijing for ‘bullying’ Australia

Scott Morrison’s office met freedom of information deadlines in just 7.5% of cases | Freedom of information | The Guardian

Prime minister Scott Morrison and deputy prime minister Michael McCormack

Morrison’s On The Water Matters Department is excelling itself (ODT) Scott Morrison’s office complied with legally imposed deadlines in just 7.5% of the freedom of information requests it received last year.

Scott Morrison’s office met freedom of information deadlines in just 7.5% of cases | Freedom of information | The Guardian

Where the bloody hell is it? Did Scott Morrison lie about the report that saved his bacon at Tourism Australia? – Michael West

What the national audit office found was a carbon copy of the criticism that a 1999 New Zealand audit report had levelled at Scott Morrison when he was head of NZ’s Office of Tourism and Sport. Morrison had moved to NZ in 1998, reporting directly to the NZ tourism minister, as the inaugural director of the office. The NZ minister, Murray McCully, and Morrison were locked in a power struggle with the independent NZ Tourism Board. The NZ audit office report devoted a whole chapter to Morrison’s deceptive behaviour, which involved changing the focus of a consultant’s review to align it with Morrison’s political agenda and without conferring with the board or his minister. Morrison mysteriously departed the NZ Office of Tourism and Sport one year before the end of his contract term. Morrison’s disdain for transparency and the shirking of accountability, so evident during his tenure at Tourism Australia, persists to this day, with his continual deflecting and “move along, nothing to see here” attitude to journalists asking questions. Given the importance of the KPMG report the question can surely be posed “So where the bloody hell is it?”

Where the bloody hell is it? Did Scott Morrison lie about the report that saved his bacon at Tourism Australia? – Michael West

Fears Rachelle Miller may lose new job after speaking out over affair with Alan Tudge on Four Corners | Australia news | The Guardian

Alan Tudge in federal parliament

Scott Morrison won’t do anything!

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2020/nov/10/scott-morrison-wont-take-action-over-christian-porter-and-alan-tudge-inappropriate-conduct-allegations

The senior ministerial media adviser who went public with her workplace treatment following her intimate relationship with her boss at the time, Alan Tudge, may have lost further work after speaking out about her experience. Rachelle Miller had been due to start a contract with a defence contractor, but Guardian Australia has confirmed a tweet from Louise Milligan, the ABC journalist Miller told her story to, that the offer was now under consideration. Miller declined to comment further.

Fears Rachelle Miller may lose new job after speaking out over affair with Alan Tudge on Four Corners | Australia news | The Guardian

Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE – Michael West

Defence investigates itself How “independent” or effective a review is it when a department secretly investigates itself and its contractors by appointing an existing contractor to conduct the review, does not make public the review’s existence or its terms of reference, and keeps any resulting report secret?

Defence says the review found “no evidence” of inappropriate excess charges. This is despite three stories the same day in The Weekend Australian containing detailed allegations. So serious were the allegations, they were escalated up to Defence’s assistant secretary of fraud control who reportedly then referred several matters to the Independent Assurance Business Analysis and Reform Branch of Defence. Is Defence saying multiple audit and fraud officials, including at the most senior levels, all got it wrong? Are we being asked to conclude that senior Defence fraud officials cannot accurately identify inappropriate excess charges? It seems there is a serious problem then, no matter which way we look at it.

Department of Defence captured by foreign weapons makers Thales, BAE – Michael West

Confession time for Lendlease as Tax Office bears down on humungous tax rort – Michael West

Lendlease, ATO, tax

Nine Entertainment chief Hugh Marks dumped for having sex, Christine Holgate chopped at Australia Post over $20,000 in bonuses. Meanwhile, the top brass at Lendlease, having presided over a billion dollar tax scam, nonchalantly claim they are “continuing to engage with the ATO and await the finalisation of its draft determination”. Michael West reports.

Confession time for Lendlease as Tax Office bears down on humungous tax rort – Michael West

Benefits of Coalition’s ‘gas-led recovery’ overstated and declining usage inevitable, report finds | Environment | The Guardian

brightly lit gas plant against a blue sky

The gas industry will inevitably decline as an energy source for industry and homes due to both economic and environmental issues, and will not deliver the Morrison government’s promised “gas-led recovery”, a new report finds.The gas industry will inevitably decline as an energy source for industry and homes due to both economic and environmental issues, and will not deliver the Morrison government’s promised “gas-led recovery”, a new report finds.

Benefits of Coalition’s ‘gas-led recovery’ overstated and declining usage inevitable, report finds | Environment | The Guardian

Some bonk ban: Ministers in the sack Morrison won’t sack

Some bonk ban: Ministers in the sack Morrison won't sack

AS THE QUESTION of behind-the-scenes bonking within the Federal Government came to the fore once again this week, Morrison provided evidence – in case anyone thought more was needed – of the dismissive culture towards women that characterises his prime ministership.

Some bonk ban: Ministers in the sack Morrison won’t sack

Morrison’s Trumpist dilemma: A credible revisionist narrative is impossible

WHEN JOE HOCKEY, former cigar-chomping Australian Treasurer in Tony Abbott’s government and Australian ambassador to the USA between January 2016 and January 2020, made it clear that he agreed with his golfing buddy Donald Trump that fraud “for sure” characterised Democratic Party voting and that “there’s plenty of good reason to have litigation, I mean it is a complete dog’s breakfast right across the country,” he did more than jump into the unaerated, putrid goldfish bowl. He inadvertently shone a light on the real nature of the relationship between the current Australian Government and the Trump White House, a relationship which exposed the Australian Government as a kind of ex-officio branch of the Trump Republican Party.

Morrison’s Trumpist dilemma: A credible revisionist narrative is impossible

What’s in the ‘public interest’? Why the ABC is right to cover allegations of inappropriate ministerial conduct

Why should Christian Porter be given the benefit of silence when Australians aren’t. Why shouldn’t MP’s practice what they preach and their pasts remembered. The ABC informs us Morrison wants it shut down. So does Rupert.

The Australian’s editor-at-large, Paul Kelly, said on Q&A that Porter was “trashed” by the program, adding

What’s in the ‘public interest’? Why the ABC is right to cover allegations of inappropriate ministerial conduct

The ABC has exposed the sordid side of Canberra in the public interest

Christian Porter class action lawsuits

The rush by the government and its media supporters to attack last night’s Four Corners as not in the public interest is not merely wrong, but offensively so.

The ABC has exposed the sordid side of Canberra in the public interest

Trump’s greatest trick? Monopolising our attention

A Trump supporter shouts at crowds celebrating Biden's win.

Morrison has sought to weaken institutions. He was happy for Parliament not to sit at times during this crisis. Under his leadership, misleading Parliament no longer seems an important offence. After the Audit Office criticised the government’s sports rorts, its funding was cut back. Morrison has put the ABC board on notice, more or less told public servants to get back in their box and mocked international bodies. Secrecy dominates. On a surprising number of occasions, Morrison has made claims that are not, by any measure, true – that, for example, he has not said things he is on record as having said. A lot has been written about the war on truth, the loss of a common set of facts from which we can proceed. I am concerned just as much with something slightly, but significantly, different. Politics is not just based on facts; it is, at its heart, a collective quest to discover what the facts are, and then to act on them. Morrison addresses the media on Sunday outside Kirribili House. Morrison addresses the media on Sunday outside Kirribili House.Credit:Edwina Pickles It is this idea, of politics as a search for truth, that we are on the cusp of losing; the idea that, together, we can muddle towards consensus on what issues are real and pressing, and in this way make a better world, or at least a better country – and hopefully both. This is the role of the institutions our Prime Minister doesn’t like; this is why it is important that our politicians tell the truth and that the media holds them to that standard.

Trump’s greatest trick? Monopolising our attention

Senator Eric Abetz stirs controversy with racist questions to Chinese-Australians

Trumpist Australia

Senator Eric Abetz has been criticised for asking Chinese-Australians to denounce the Chinese Community Party during a Senate Committee, writes Peter Henning.

Senator Eric Abetz stirs controversy with racist questions to Chinese-Australians

Jim Chalmers says two-thirds of the debt in the budget was borrowed before the start of the pandemic. Is he correct? – ABC News

jim chalmers's claim is correct

The claim Both the Coalition and Labor have in the past argued that paying off Commonwealth debt is a benchmark of economic success in Australian politics. But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg recently warned Australians that his July budget update was going to contain “eye watering numbers around debt and deficit”, saying: “The coronavirus has required the Government to spend unprecedented amounts of money to support people in need”. The following day, in an interview with ABC News Breakfast, shadow treasurer Jim Chalmers said the Government must not be allowed to “pull a swiftie” by pretending the red ink in the budget was a consequence of the virus when the vast majority of the debt had piled up beforehand.

Jim Chalmers says two-thirds of the debt in the budget was borrowed before the start of the pandemic. Is he correct? – ABC News

A new normal – yeah, right – » The Australian Independent Media Network

If the Coalition was serious about helping those who have a go, they would be giving larger tax cuts to those who would value the extra $20 or thereabouts a week and spend it on fixing the car, paying the outstanding bills or going away for the weekend for the first time in years, rather than those who really won’t even notice the extra $20 a week in their bank accounts. Morrison and Frydenberg had the perfect opportunity to make a real change for the better. Did they take it? – nope, of course they didn’t.

A new normal – yeah, right – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission would be an LNP weapon

The delayed Integrity Commission proposed by the Government is drawing criticism for its possibility to make parliamentary corruption worse. Investigations editor Ross Jones reports.

Proposed Commonwealth Integrity Commission would be an LNP weapon

Coalition, conservatives duck for cover on calls for US democracy – Michael West

US 2020 election Donald Trump claims victory

While US Republican politicians and conservative commentators were quick to condemn President Trump, not so Australian conservatives, despite their professed love for freedom. Bernard Keane reports.

Coalition, conservatives duck for cover on calls for US democracy – Michael West

Asleep at the Wheel: why Australia’s emissions policy debacle puts hundreds of communities at risk – Michael West

Paxton, NSW, coal

Hundreds of communities across Australia are hurtling towards the coal and gas cliff as politicians obsess over Cartier watches and pandemic politics. Michael West reports on the spectre of plunging demand for fossil fuels and the savage effects it will reap on regional communities.

Asleep at the Wheel: why Australia’s emissions policy debacle puts hundreds of communities at risk – Michael West

Tamed estate: Scott Morrison, the master magician – Michael West

mainstream media
Systemic Graft and Corruption revealed daily and Morrison reacts to AUS Post watches

Prime Minister Scott Morrison swung the spotlight away from the mounting evidence of the misuse of taxpayer funds and on to AusPost’s CEO Christine Holgate. The media was only too happy to oblige. Michael Tanner reports.

Tamed estate: Scott Morrison, the master magician – Michael West

Pressure mounts on government to pass federal ICAC plan

A crossbench plan to implement a federal anti-corruption commission has lit a fire under the federal Coalition and upped pressure on Scott Morrison to act on mounting government rorts.

Pressure mounts on government to pass federal ICAC plan

Australia’s leaders don’t even try to understand the working poor | Poverty | The Guardian

Australia poverty

Scott Morrison’s ‘have a go, get a go’ mantra was untrue when he first said it but its invocation in recession is even more absurd

Australia’s leaders don’t even try to understand the working poor | Poverty | The Guardian

NBN battle between the ACCC and the Government

In my opinion, what this means is that the Government would like the ACCC to facilitate NBN Co to increase their prices. I will come back to this in a bit more detail. But in essence, the Government would like to create a better financial position for the NBN to put it up for sale. The alternative I have advocated now for many years is to write down some of the NBN costs.

NBN battle between the ACCC and the Government

BossKeeper: how JobKeeper lined the pockets of top ASX directors, executives and shareholders – Michael West

JobKeeper rorting by business

New Zealand and the US compile public registers to ensure their Jobkeeper-type subisidies are not rorted by businesses. But no such transparency for Australians. As the Government singles out bureaucrats such as Australia Post chief Christine Holgate for corporate excesses, Tasha May shines the torch on pandemic rorting at the top end of town. JobKeeper is the single largest piece of government spending in the country’s history. Yet despite taxpayer funding this hundred billion dollar wage subsidy, there is no public database to see whether JobKeeper is being used appropriately. From the limited information that has come to light, it seems clear that it is not. A report from governance advisory service Ownership Matters reveals four kinds of appalling activity by business.

BossKeeper: how JobKeeper lined the pockets of top ASX directors, executives and shareholders – Michael West

Murder, corruption, bombings – the company at centre of Australia’s submarine deal – Michael West

submarines weapons systems

The arms company at the centre of a deadly criminal saga and numerous global corruption scandals, Naval Group, was selected by the Australian government to build our new fleet of submarines – a deal heralded as ‘one of the world’s most lucrative defence contracts‘. How did this happen? In this special investigation Michelle Fahy discovers significant gaps in anti-bribery and corruption measures on this massive procurement project. The message communicated far and wide is that our standards are lax; grey areas are tolerated; and we’ll bend the rules and look the other way.

Murder, corruption, bombings – the company at centre of Australia’s submarine deal – Michael West

Government wants military response to climate change breakdown – Michael West

climate change disaster

The hypocrisy is extraordinary. On the one hand the Coalition Government reluctantly concedes that climate change exists at all and does little of substance to try to counteract it . Yet on the other hand it is dedicating substantial resources to establish a wide-ranging and powerful authority to tackle what it sees as the perceived threats of disaster from climate change. A bill being rushed through parliament – the Defence Legislation Amendment (Enhancement of Defence Force Response to Emergencies) Bill 2020 – is raising concerns that the Government is preparing for a militarised response to climate breakdown. Freedom of Information requests show that Defence is already planning towards extreme climate change impacts. References are made in the document of the need to “prepare for significantly more disaster support operations and potentially operations involving support to the civil power such as policing the population under exaggerated stresses such as food and water security”.

Government wants military response to climate change breakdown – Michael West

Morrison wants Victoria lockdowns over, says Andrews should open faster

Morrison who has no faith in science and readily cuts back on research prefers to get his political advice from God and his only son Lachlan. which miraculously appears on the front pages of Australia’s media. Wh would anyone intentionally sabotage Victoria’s lock-downs by sending 55 NZers across the border to simply flout the States efforts to save lives and then blame the State? Simply because he can and has Ruperts blessing (ODT)

The frosty relations between the federal government and Mr Andrews continued on Sunday, with Mr Morrison and his two most senior Victorian ministers – treasurer Josh Frydenberg and health minister Greg Hunt – saying the easing of rules needed to go further.

Morrison wants Victoria lockdowns over, says Andrews should open faster

Eric Abetz refuses to apologise for demanding Chinese-Australians denounce Communist party | Australia news | The Guardian

File photo of senator Eric Abetz
German Australian Abetz challenges Chinese Australians on loyalty

The veteran Liberal senator has been accused of subjecting three Senate inquiry witnesses to ‘race-baiting McCarthyism’

Eric Abetz refuses to apologise for demanding Chinese-Australians denounce Communist party | Australia news | The Guardian

I was born in Australia. Why do I need to renounce the Chinese Communist Party?

Osmond Chiu is a research fellow at Per Capita, a progressive think tank.
McCarthyism in the US is Abetzism in Australia

I have sometimes wondered how people felt when they were dragged in front of the House Committee on Un-American Activities with Congressmen demanding that they prove their loyalty. Never did I imagine I would be placed in a similar situation. I have followed the debate about our relationship with China, but I did not fully appreciate how toxic it had become until I appeared before the Senate inquiry into issues facing diaspora communities on Wednesday. Osmond Chiu is a research fellow at Per Capita, a progressive think tank. Osmond Chiu is a research fellow at Per Capita, a progressive think tank. I spoke to the committee about the underrepresentation of multicultural communities in Australian politics. Australia’s Parliament is significantly less representative of cultural diversity than Canada, the United Kingdom and New Zealand. Instead of being asked about complex issues facing multicultural communities or how Australia could benefit from a more diverse Parliament, I was asked by Senator Eric Abetz to “unequivocally condemn” the Chinese Communist Party. Presumably, the association trying to be made was that, by virtue of my ethnicity, there was some likelihood of divided allegiances. Advertisement

I was born in Australia. Why do I need to renounce the Chinese Communist Party?

The federal budget reveals an ideology that is set to kill any recovery just as it is getting started | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Prime Minister Scott Morrison during Question Time in the House of Representatives at Parliament House on October 08, 2020 in Canberra, Australia.

The ideology was present by absence – no extension of jobseeker payments, nor any mention of climate change other than in a footnote

The federal budget reveals an ideology that is set to kill any recovery just as it is getting started | Greg Jericho | Business | The Guardian

Religious profit: Expanding the cashless welfare card ties in with Morrison’s beliefs – » The Australian Independent Media Network

The philosophy of the cashless welfare card is the perfect marriage of neoliberal ideology and evangelical Christianity, both of which pathologise, criminalise and individualise poverty as a lifestyle choice.

Religious profit: Expanding the cashless welfare card ties in with Morrison’s beliefs – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Josh Frydenberg’s Budget Takes From the Poor to Give to the Rich

Instead of providing sorely needed stimulus, the 2020 budget from Australia’s Coalition government transfers wealth toward millionaires and big business and away from the poor, the unemployed, women, and the government’s ideological enemies.

Josh Frydenberg’s Budget Takes From the Poor to Give to the Rich

Budget 2020: Morrison government cuts thousands of refugee places

Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge  says the change to the humanitarian intake is needed.
The Covid Cover Excuse

The Morrison government has slashed the maximum humanitarian intake by thousands on the basis it is too difficult to bring refugees into Australia in the same numbers as before the coronavirus pandemic. The humanitarian intake was reduced from 18,750 places to 13,750 over the next four years in Tuesday’s budget.

Budget 2020: Morrison government cuts thousands of refugee places

Morrison Defends Lack Of Money In Budget For Women: “It Simply Isn’t Possible To Cater For Every Single Minority Group” | The Shovel

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has responded to claims that women were the losers in Tuesday night’s budget, saying it is an unfortunate reality that not all special interest groups can be catered for.

Morrison Defends Lack Of Money In Budget For Women: “It Simply Isn’t Possible To Cater For Every Single Minority Group” | The Shovel

Australia to block visa for partners if they don’t speak English

Chelsea Sonkar with her husband Sanjay and their one-year-old son Milo.

LNP Freedom is Australia’s Shame (ODT)

Australians who fall in love with non-English speaking foreigners will be barred from bringing their partners into the country to be married if they do not speak English.

Australia to block visa for partners if they don’t speak English

Aged care facilities are homes, not prisons – Michael West

Aged care lockdowns

By locking down residents, it seems aged care providers are worried about claims for negligence. They should be more worried about being sued for illegal detention. Senior lawyer John W. Wallace reports.

Aged care facilities are homes, not prisons – Michael West

Security agencies assume greater role in Australian policymaking

The question taxing many is why are our security services and not the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) running our relationship with China? The answer is complex and begins with the onset of the Howard era in 1996 and continues to this day.

Security agencies assume greater role in Australian policymaking

Greg Hunt’s care-in-the-home plan sparks warning of US-style health model

Greg Hunt has linked his hospital-in-the-home shake-up with efforts to reduce health insurers' costs.
Doing to Health what they did to the NBN

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt’s plan to let private patients access hospital treatments at home under their health insurance has opened up a fierce debate over how much control funds should have over care, as private hospital operators warn against a shift towards an American-style “managed care” model.

Greg Hunt’s care-in-the-home plan sparks warning of US-style health model

Cuts to JobSeeker, Jobkeeper: out of the frying pan and into the fire – Michael West

Tax cuts, cuts to spending leads to austerity

Hefty cuts to income support mean that Australia now faces a potentially more deadly epidemic than Covid-19. But it is largely avoidable, writes Michael Tanner.

Cuts to JobSeeker, Jobkeeper: out of the frying pan and into the fire – Michael West

Federal Government fast-tracks grants to Foxtel

According to an ABC report, government funds were fast-tracked to Foxtel during the coronavirus pandemic. This news will raise eyebrows, as the media — like so many industries — tries to survive the pain and disruption brought by COVID-19. Why are some outlets missing out when others have their requests prioritised?

Federal Government fast-tracks grants to Foxtel

The announcement artist | The Monthly

Doing the TRUMP

He switched to an announcement-based approach to leadership, and it made complete sense. In the current environment, there are no disincentives for doing so. Press conferences are held at short notice with details postponed until later, and inconvenient questions are easily batted away, well after headlines have established an underlying narrative. Outlets rush to break the news first, follow-ups are negligible, corrections are buried, and the media as a whole paints the picture you would expect from an ecosystem increasingly dominated by supporters of Morrison and his government (most notably in the News Corp stable). It’s all working for the prime minister – he’s a ­self-styled practical dad, an optimist taking care of business. If there are objections or uncomfortable revelations, he doesn’t accept the premise of your question. Next, please. And tomorrow he’ll have another announcement.

The announcement artist | The Monthly

Feeding the Chooks: Scott Morrison’s marketing triumph over mainstream media – Michael West

mainstream media
Press release and lazy journalism turned churnalists

Scott Morrison has perfected the art of media manipulation by briefing a select club of Canberra correspondents at once, rather than leaking to individual media outlets. Callum Foote and Michael West report on the marketing genius of the Prime Minister and the increasingly meek mainstream media.

Feeding the Chooks: Scott Morrison’s marketing triumph over mainstream media – Michael West

Coalition to announce $3.5bn NBN upgrade to roll out fibre ‘deeper and closer to homes’ | Technology | The Guardian

File photo of contractors working on the rollout of the NBN network in 2017
Abbott’s Legacy Australia

“This has meant Australian taxpayers have paid more for a network that does less, and more money is now required to play catch up,” she said in a statement issued on Tuesday. “What on earth was the point of spending $51bn of taxpayers’ dollars on the Liberals’ second-rate copper network to begin with?” In 2018, the outgoing chief executive of NBN Co, Bill Morrow, admitted that the reliance on copper had led to a higher fault rate and slower internet speeds but helped deliver the network faster and more cheaply.

Coalition to announce $3.5bn NBN upgrade to roll out fibre ‘deeper and closer to homes’ | Technology | The Guardian