Tag: Australia

We could be a superpower: 3 ways Australia can take advantage of the changing geopolitics of energy

Australia should embrace the opportunity to become a renewable energy power. If we don’t act now, with the global energy transition gathering pace, Australia could be exposed to a hostile international energy environment with profound economic, security and diplomatic consequences.

Source: We could be a superpower: 3 ways Australia can take advantage of the changing geopolitics of energy

India travel ban: Australia hasn’t banned flights from any other country

An Indian doctor wearing PPE examines a patient at a hospital in Delhi on 13 April 2021

Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, an infectious diseases expert at the University of New South Wales and member of the WHO’s COVID-19 team, said a Guardian analysis of data showed India had fewer cases per capita than either the United States or the United Kingdom during their COVID-19 peaks. She said the data suggested the ban for India was likely an “act out of fear” and said it should be reversed “to ensure there is no misconception the ban is in any way racist”. While other countries have suffered horrific virus surges, Australia’s response hasn’t been to put up an impenetrable wall. Here’s a quick look at what we’ve done instead.

Source: India travel ban: Australia hasn’t banned flights from any other country

Jacinda Ardern savaged as UK Parliament declares treatment of Uighurs genocide

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

London: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been savaged for allegedly sucking up to China and turning her back on the Five Eyes alliance during a historic debate in which British MPs unanimously declared that China was carrying out genocide and crimes against humanity.

Source: Jacinda Ardern savaged as UK Parliament declares treatment of Uighurs genocide

Church of Scientology accounts show it shifts millions to Australia

The international Church of Scientology has shifted tens of millions of dollars into Australia.

The Church of Scientology has shifted tens of millions of dollars into Australia, which has become an international haven for the controversial religion where it makes tax-free profits with minimal scrutiny.

Source: Church of Scientology accounts show it shifts millions to Australia

Australia’s ambassador to China blasts Beijing’s ‘vindictive’ trade behaviour

Australia’s ambassador in Beijing has labelled China’s campaign of economic punishment against Australia “vindictive” as the diplomatic relationship between the two countries remains stuck in a rut.

Australia’s ambassador to China blasts Beijing’s ‘vindictive’ trade behaviour

The world’s electric cars are leaving Australia for dust

The Volkswagen ID.4 is set to the be first mainstream electric vehicle in the US, but not here.

If you ask Scott Morrison about electric vehicles he throws poor, and inaccurate, marketing lines at you, such as they will “end the weekend”, they “won’t tow your trailer – it’s not going to tow your boat”, as he did when former Labor leader Bill Shorten backed fairly modest objectives concerning the electrification of our vehicle fleet in the run-up to the last election.

The world’s electric cars are leaving Australia for dust

Texas was a warning. Australia needs to rethink the design of its electricity market

Australia’s electricity market is unsustainable. Texas shows us why. A week ago Texas experienced a bout of severe weather as arctic air reached deep into the state, driving temperature down to levels that had not been experienced for 30 years. The full human toll is yet to be counted, but 20 deaths have so far been associated with motor accidents, from fires lit for warmth and from carbon-monoxide poisoning after residents used their cars to try to warm their homes. At the peak, 4.5 million people were without power in many cases for extended periods. The Texas Poison Centre received 450 calls about carbon monoxide poisoning.

Texas was a warning. Australia needs to rethink the design of its electricity market

January 26, 1788: The day the white men came and plundered – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day Never allow racism to disguise itself in the cloak of nationalism.( John Lord)

January 26, 1788: The day the white men came and plundered – » The Australian Independent Media Network

News Corp Kept Lying About Climate Change After The Summer Fires

A new report shows that over the last 12 months — following the Black Summer bushfires — nearly half of all climate coverage in four News Corp publications cast doubt on or completely rejected climate science.

News Corp Kept Lying About Climate Change After The Summer Fires

Far-right groups have used COVID to expand their footprint in Australia. Here are the ones you need to know about

Sky News commentators were only too eager to give them air time

The commissioners confirmed the convicted terrorist behind the attack that killed 51 people had been active in Australian extremist groups before moving to New Zealand.

Far-right groups have used COVID to expand their footprint in Australia. Here are the ones you need to know about

Revealed by the Wikileaks exposé: The fragile, thieving ‘un-Australian’ lie

No one knows what a right-wing politician means when they say ‘un-Australian’ in the present, least of all the politician saying it. It is not even a negation, but blanker than that. It reduces the meaning of Australian-ness down to whatever might, or might not, live inside the unconscious borders of the speaker at that particular time. ‘This is so postmodern’, I thought, the first time I heard one of the crazies say it, and I could almost smell the stale Union beer.

Revealed by the Wikileaks exposé: The fragile, thieving ‘un-Australian’ lie

Revealed: radical escalation in US war machine funding for Australian Government “think tank” ASPI – Michael West

ASPI foreign funding

Scott Morrison says Australia’s position has been wrongly interpreted as siding with the US over China. Yet two of the main funders of the Federal Government-owned think-tank ASPI, a constant critic of China, are the US State Department, whose secretary Mike Pompeo has led the charge of global anti-China sentiment, and foreign weapons makers. Marcus Reubenstein investigates.

Revealed: radical escalation in US war machine funding for Australian Government “think tank” ASPI – Michael West

China to target Australia’s human rights record on Indigenous issues and aged care

Chinese President Xi Jinping.

China’s foreign ministry plans to target Australia’s human rights record on Indigenous affairs and aged care as it ramps up its dispute with the Morrison government. The escalation follows a sharp rejection of China’s threats by Prime Minister Scott Morrison who on Thursday said Australia would not compromise on national security or freedom of speech after the Chinese embassy released a list of 14 grievances with Australia that threatens up to $20 billion in trade.

China to target Australia’s human rights record on Indigenous issues and aged care

Australia’s newspaper ownership is among the most concentrated in the world | News | The Guardian

exterior of News Corp building with advertiser and sunday mail signs
If not for the ABC what hope for Democracy?

The results show that in 2011 Australia had the most concentrated newspaper industry out of any country studied with the exception of China and Egypt:

Australia’s newspaper ownership is among the most concentrated in the world | News | The Guardian

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

For better or for worse, we are much like America – » The Australian Independent Media Network

My thought for the day The purpose of propaganda is to make you feel good about the wrongs being perpetrated on you.

For better or for worse, we are much like America – » The Australian Independent Media Network

China to crush Australian economy for anti-Chinese sentiments 

China to crush Australian economy for anti-Chinese sentiments

Beijing has banned importы of Australian coal. The move came as China’s response to Australia’s support for its geopolitical ally, the United States. Why doesn’t Moscow learn from Beijing?

Russia needs to learn a few lessons from China on how to twist Europe’s arms

With ‘great concern’ Germany watching Australia-China relationship

Germany's ambassador to Australia, Dr Thomas Fitschen.

Dr Fitschen said Germany would diversify its political and economic relations in Asia so that it did not fall into a dependency on China’s market. “Diversification does not mean decoupling. Diversification means China plus X,” he said. “The German government and the EU must put in place the necessary conditions for this.”

With ‘great concern’ Germany watching Australia-China relationship

Culture clash: has Australia miscalculated in its feud with China? | Australia news | The Guardian

Wang Xining told the National Press Club the Chinese people had seen Australia’s call for an inquiry into the origins of coronavirus as ‘shocking’.

China has complained about our media’s fanning of the negativity towards it countless times yet the government has supported the media. News Corp has been spreading anti- Chinese sentiment since Abbott. Yet nobody seems to listen. The Chinese kicked Murdoch out because they regarded his organization not just critical but toxic why is it the LNP and IPA don’t? (ODT)

“How do you think the United States would feel if somebody were to jump up and say we need an independent international inquiry into how badly President Trump has mishandled the coronavirus leading to nearly 200,000 American deaths? Everybody would think that was a very high-handed thing to do.” Despite the backlash, China ended up supporting the European Union-drafted, Australia-backed, heavily negotiated motion that sailed through the World Health Assembly the following month. But the diplomatic dispute shows no signs of abating.

Culture clash: has Australia miscalculated in its feud with China? | Australia news | The Guardian

ASIO questioned Chinese journalist in Australia over Shaoquett Moselmane

AFR journalist Mike Smith with ABC journalist Bill Birtles as they prepared to leave China on Monday night.

This article seems to be misinformed saying the Chinese forced two Australian journalists out. The left on the advice of the Australian government which has had an increasingly tenuous relationship with China since Abbott came to power. A relationship politicized by the demands of the USA and domestic politics. Australian Foreign policy has shifted dramatically in the last 7 years noticeably for the worse. The LNP cut in foreign aid and Abbott’s eagerness to be more involved in Europe created a vacuum and opportunity for China which they now seem to be paying the price.(ODT)

The Chinese Communist Party’s international state media mouthpiece, Xinhua, published a report overnight claiming the Australian intelligence agency recently raided the residences of Chinese journalists in Australia, questioned them and seized their computers and smartphones. Current Time 0:45 / Duration 2:10 Two Australian journalists rushed home from China Two Australian journalists rushed home from China Scott Morrison wants ‘graphic’ TikTok video taken down Two Australian journalists rushed home from China Two Australian journalists have landed in Sydney after being pulled out of China by their news organisations for fear they were no longer safe. Scott Morrison wants ‘graphic’ TikTok video taken down 2:06 Up next Scott Morrison wants ‘graphic’ TikTok video taken down LIVE: Marise Payne addresses the media Greg Hunt addresses the media Treasurer outlines changes to JobKeeper PM and Home Affairs Minister address the media LIVE: PM and Home Affairs Minister address the media Senior Australian government sources confirmed questioning took place, but said it was normal procedure and it shouldn’t be compared with the treatment of Smith and Birtles who had been forced out of China.

ASIO questioned Chinese journalist in Australia over Shaoquett Moselmane

TikTok furore exposes data privacy hypocrisy in Australia and the U.S.

Microsoft is currently in talks with TikTok to buy out operations in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand and Australia. Considering Bill Gates and Microsoft’s massive failure with the Windows phone and in the battle with Android, they would be absolutely salivating at the prospect of owning a mobile app with over a hundred million young consumers. But will they protect private data? That prospect is highly doubtful. In early August, the Washington Post reported that Microsoft could use the data from TikTok for research and development in artificial intelligence. The only way forward is legislation that is both national and global in application and places democracy and the protection of privacy ahead of corporate interests and invasive security measures. Though with the governments of Trump, Scott Morrison and Xi Jinping, I don’t like our chances of that.

TikTok furore exposes data privacy hypocrisy in Australia and the U.S.

Coronavirus Australia: More companies to get JobKeeper from September in $15 billion backflip

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will announce changes to the JobKeeper scheme to allow more companies to take it up.Image may contain: text that says 'WE ARE NOT ALL IN THE SAME BOAT BUT WE ARE ALL IN THE SAME STORM SUPPORT EACHOTHER #DONTJUDGE #BEKIND'

Note what Ch9 doesn’t say a broken Australian economy once saved by Victoria before Covid-19 now need to lend a hand and fix itself. Dan Andrews has saved Australia by locking his borders and taking on the pain for Morrison’s lack of attention to aged -care. Besides, there is no guarantee that the 2nd wave isn’t coming to the other states. So why isn’t this simply an Australian problem? After all if it’s the LNP’s China virus then it follows it’s the Dutton/Ruby Princess or LNP virus? Come on Australia don’t let the media and politics divide us the engine room is on fire. (ODT)

via Coronavirus Australia: More companies to get JobKeeper from September in $15 billion backflip

Coronavirus: Trump criticises Australia as US COVID-19 cases soar

Healthcare worker Dante Hills, left, passes paperwork to a woman in a vehicle at a COVID-19 testing site in Miami..

The Insanity of Trump: HE”S YOUR PRESIDENT AMERICA

Florida alone, which has a population of about 22 million people, set a single-day record for coronavirus-related deaths for a third day in a row on Thursday, recording 253 new deaths and just under 10,000 new cases. Statewide, 6585 residents are now dead after contracting the virus.

By comparison, Australia, with a population of almost 25 million, recorded 14 deaths and 747 new cases by Thursday night, driven mostly by Victoria’s spike in infections. Friday’s numbers were lower with 649 new cases in Victoria and eight deaths. Overall, 196 people in Australia have died from the virus.

via Coronavirus: Trump criticises Australia as US COVID-19 cases soar

News Corp tears down Murdoch’s ‘silos’ – and then harvests journalists’ jobs | Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

News Corp papers

There was just one tiny detail omitted by media editor Leo Shanahan. Tearing up the silos necessarily meant destroying dozens of journalists’ jobs. Instead of having four reporters covering a round you would have just one, and the story would be syndicated.

The day after the Blunden interview was published, the axe fell. Sources say about 65 people were tapped for redundancy at the Herald Sun and the Daily Telegraph, although the company won’t confirm numbers. On Thursday it was the Oz’s turn and another 13 people were made redundant, including an editor in his 60s who had clocked up decades on the payroll and a brilliant photographer.

via News Corp tears down Murdoch’s ‘silos’ – and then harvests journalists’ jobs | Weekly Beast | Media | The Guardian

‘Wanton thuggery’: Outraged Australia to probe US police attack on its journalists covering White House protest — RT World News

‘Wanton thuggery’: Outraged Australia to probe US police attack on its journalists covering White House protest

The Australian embassy in Washington, DC will investigate an apparent assault by the US police against two Aussie journalists. The pair were roughed up live on air while covering a protest outside the White House.

A crew working for the outlet 7News was targeted on Tuesday while reporting from a demonstration in the US capital against police brutality. Correspondent Amelia Brace and cameraman Tim Myers were battered as the police cleared a protesting crowd, footage of the incident showed. Brace was hit with a baton, while Myers was attacked with a riot shield.

via ‘Wanton thuggery’: Outraged Australia to probe US police attack on its journalists covering White House protest — RT World News

Seeking the Post-COVID Sunshine: Time to Turn Consensus from the W.H.O. Assembly into a Political Charade? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Australia’s Defence Connect (20 May 2020) called for even greater loyalty to the US Global Alliance from Australia in this time of crisis over the spread of COVID-19:

“It is Australia’s indispensable relationship, the core of our national security and the key enabler, that has allowed Australia to freely engage and prosper within the post-Second World War order. However, in an era of mounting great power competition and disruption, the US-Australia relationship will become ever more important, explains retired Army officer Jason Thomas.”

Australia is being hurt commercially by its growing antagonism towards China, our best and most profitable trading partner. What is going on behind the scenes in the corridors of power in Canberra in the halls of the Defence and Foreign Affairs Departments to justify this wanton folly to protect US interests across the Indo-Pacific Basin?

Surely, the Trump Administration with the support of the Department of State and the Pentagon can fight their own battles with China. So, what is the real payoff for Australia in these difficult times? And if the war games in the South China Sea go astray, are Australians instantly at war with China through the chain of command in these joint patrols?

via Seeking the Post-COVID Sunshine: Time to Turn Consensus from the W.H.O. Assembly into a Political Charade? – » The Australian Independent Media Network

Coronavirus: US, China clash over coronavirus origins

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Australian intelligence agencies have grown increasingly concerned about the Trump administration’s efforts to link the virus to a Wuhan laboratory, saying it is hampering the push to eliminate dangerous wildlife wet markets.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said the Australian government did not have strong evidence linking the Wuhan lab to the virus.
Related Article
Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly poses with the COVIDSafe app downloaded to his mobile phone.
Coronavirus pandemic
Coronavirus updates LIVE: COVIDSafe downloads continue to rise, global COVID-19 cases top 3.6 million as Australian death toll stands at 97

US President Donald Trump last week said he had seen evidence that gives him a “high degree of confidence” that the virus began at the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

But the US government’s top infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci, has dismissed the idea, saying all the scientific evidence suggests the virus began in bats and then spread to humans.

via Coronavirus: US, China clash over coronavirus origins

Coronavirus Australia: COVID-19 origin theory about Wuhan lab tests relationship with US

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants to focus on banning exotic wildlife sales in wet markets but US President Donald Trump's administration is pushing the theory the COVID-19 coronavirus started in a Wuhan laboratory.

These very labs were refunded by Trump in 2017  after Obama had stopped. Doesn’t anybody find it odd Trump fails to mention that? Pompeo is publicising Australia’s support of American suspicions whe the opposite is true. Let’s not forget American Intel ia an Oxymoron. Iraq proved that with the lies spread by Bush/Rumsfeld and Cheney. (ODT)

For weeks the Australian government had been growing concerned about the Trump administration’s promotion of the theory that experiments on bats at a Wuhan laboratory had unleashed COVID-19. This week that anxiety peaked.

Multiple diplomatic and political sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age the suggestions by our biggest ally that Chinese lab experiments on bats had unleashed the new coronavirus would undermine Australia’s calls to ban the sale of exotic live animals at wet markets around the world.

“We can’t repeat the mistakes of the past. The WMDs fiasco was not that long ago,” one former security official said, referring to the incorrect intelligence claims of huge Iraqi weapon stockpiles that formed the basis for the Iraq War in 2003.

It is impossible to pinpoint the exact moment concerns within local security and intelligence circles morphed into genuine anxiety, but an April 14 article in The Washington Post is regarded by some as a turning point. The article quoted leaked diplomatic cables detailing how US officials had in March 2018 raised concerns about the Wuhan Institute of Virology “conducting risky studies on coronaviruses from bats”. Shortly afterwards President Donald Trump began raising the “lab theory” during his press briefings.

via Coronavirus Australia: COVID-19 origin theory about Wuhan lab tests relationship with US

Coronavirus Australia: The US and UK response should make us heed warnings about COVID-19

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

The problem no addressed here is the involvement and irresponsible incitement by Murdoch Media to incite back to work demonstrations in the English speaking world. The demand to go back to the normal rather than progress to a very different economy. The talk of 28 years of GDP growth doesn’t begin to address the increasing income and wealth gap that helped generate it and the public austerity measures that accompanied it leaving us ill-equipped to deal with emergencies we face. Yes, Australia has fared better but I’d suggest it’s more a sake of good fortune than intent. We have always been some years behind first following the British and now the Americans last in line but nevertheless over that cliff. We aren’t our own masters we do have a level of solidarity but when the Oligarchs, LNP IPA and News Corp hold the wealth and power and are now assisted by the ALP what chance is there of a progressive peoples bailout and not just a corporate one in the future? (ODT)

Morrison government setting itself for an aggressive pro-business plan for our post-pandemic economy. Specifically, that means tax breaks for businesses and even a big swing at industrial relations. It’s the road that leads to lower wages, worse conditions and limited tax revenue. And while some of that might end up being an economic necessity, if that’s not done perfectly, it’s a road of austerity and increasing inequality that has proven so destructive elsewhere.

Obviously, all that will depend on the detail. But we should take this chance to heed the warning from those nations that are presently unravelling. Sacrifice a basic level of equality for economic growth and you risk social and political fracture. There will be much we can’t afford after this, but one of them is losing the threads of social solidarity we still have left, because we’ll need them desperately when the next crisis hits.

via Coronavirus Australia: The US and UK response should make us heed warnings about COVID-19

Coronavirus Australia: For a moment, at least, our politicians are behaving like grown-ups

Illustration: Andrew Dyson

We’ve seen an impressive level of federal-state co-operation where the two tiers of government have each contributed, led and even persuaded each other. The federal government led on shutting borders, for example, while the states pushed the feds to accelerate shutdowns of restaurants, cafes and especially schools. We’ve seen a federal government that has consistently described fiscal stimulus for a flagging economy as reckless, embrace it at unprecedented levels; a government that flatly refused to increase the Newstart allowance suddenly double it; a Liberal-led government introduce a wage subsidy.
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via Coronavirus Australia: For a moment, at least, our politicians are behaving like grown-ups

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

Productivity problem? Start at the bottom, not the top

Look to Australia's largest businesses rather than government when it comes to productivity.

Since 2002, Quinn showed, the most productive Australian firms (the top 5 per cent) had not kept pace with the most productive firms globally. In fact, Australia’s ‘productivity frontier’ has slipped back by about one-third. The best of ‘Made in Australia’ hasn’t kept pace with the best of ‘Made in Germany’, ‘Made in the Netherlands’ or even ‘Made in America’.”

And then there’s the other 95 per cent. In the past two decades, their output per hour worked has barely risen. So 19 out of 20 Australian firms don’t produce much more per hour than they did when Sydney hosted the Olympics.

A Productivity Commission study has found that half the slowdown in productivity improvement in the market economy in recent years is accounted for by manufacturing. A separate survey of management practices in manufacturing firms found that Australia’s managers rank below those in Canada, Sweden, Japan, Germany and the US.

The drop we’ve experienced is “not the fault of employees: there are simply fewer good opportunities available. According to Treasury’s analysis, much of the drop in job-switching is because workers are less likely to transition from mature firms to young firms. With fewer start-up firms, it stands to reason that there are fewer start-up jobs.”

Productivity problem? Start at the bottom, not the top