here’s where it gets truly concerning.
In what could be construed as a calculated insult to environmentalists, the scientific community and everyone who actually cares about the future of the Great Barrier Reef, the Foundation’s “partners” make up a veritable “Who’s Who” of big business and the mining industry, including Qantas, Boeing, Rio Tinto, BHP, Peabody Energy, Shell, Downer EDI Mining, Worley Parsons, Wesfarmers and Aurizon — the very ones, arguably, responsible for the Reef becoming bleached in the first place.
And the chair of the Foundation? The one who was in that 9 April meeting with Turnbull and Energy and Environment Minister Frydenberg? That was former BHP director and Esso Australia CEO John Schubert. Esso is the Australian subsidiary of ExxonMobil — not only the world’s biggest oil company, but also the world’s biggest funder of climate change denial. They also sank the Exxon Valdez oil tanker off Alaska, causing one of the most devastating environmental disasters in human history — so they do have some experience dealing with damaged coastlines.
Malcolm Turnbull has shown he’s Abbott’s Equal(ODT)
This week, we learned that $443 million of taxpayer funds were gifted to a charitable Foundation heavily supported by the fossil fuel industry without proper due diligence. As political editor Dr Martin Hirst writes, it might not save the Great Barrier Reef, but it might just sink Malcolm (Captain Bligh) Turnbull.
MALCOLM TURNBULL has been MIA for most of the past week, but he emerged on Friday to defend his “captain’s call” decision to grant a business lobby group over $440 million in funds without, it seems, any due diligence at all.
The Prime Minister claims the funding process was above board and transparent, but this has not satisfied anyone outside of the Liberal Party.
In trying to defend the indefensible, she struggled to cut through with anything that was remotely beneficial to her party’s credibility. If anything, it highlighted what a nasty piece of work they are.
Everything she said, stood in stark contrast to her party’s persistent opposition to it, for so long. Meanwhile, revelations during last week’s hearings that customers were given poor financial advice, were charged fees for no service, that a dead person was charged ongoing fees, that the corporate watchdog was deliberately misled for years, makes us salivate over what might be revealed when things resume next week.
Client theft, more compromised financial advice, financially ruining peoples’ lives; who knows what other surprises are in store.
This government’s actions in cutting funding to a multitude of community services shows us only too well, how concerned it is for the welfare of its constituents.
Third is that Turnbull has created a determined new enemy in the Coalition’s ranks. Joyce is furious that Turnbull condemned him so publicly, and is convinced that Turnbull’s office went on to leak against him. Joyce will now join Tony Abbott on the backbench and on a mission to destroy Turnbull.
Turnbull had his 10 minutes of virtue-signalling and his 15 minutes of publicity. Now he will have a lifetime enemy inside his own Coalition. Another one.
Firstly, the 26th of January does not mark the formation of the nation of Australia. The Federation, when all state colonies came together to form the Commonwealth, happened on 1 January 1901.
Secondly, the 26th of January has not always been the date for Australia Day.
Thirdly most Australians don’t care about the date.
So much for “uniting Australia” — divide and conquer is the Liberal way. It takes a pretty special leader to use the national day to drive a deeper wedge into the nation in an effort to bolster his languishing political fortunes….
The picture this week was of a leader prepared to lose battles without even fighting them.
Malcolm Turnbull says he is confident his party has the numbers to form a majority government, but is not concerned about whether he’ll retain the keys to the Lodge or not, given he has a property manager to look after that sort of thing.
“Look, for me it’s never been about retaining the keys to ‘property 28’. As I’ve explained before, my property manager has responsibility for that. He keeps them in an orderly filing system of some description, on hand whenever he needs to run a property inspection for a tenant or the like,” Mr Turnbull said today.
“What’s important, or at least what he tells me is important, is to get a second set cut for every property, should the first set be misplaced, or a burglary occur. It’s a very straightforward system really, so I’m not sure why people ask me about it all the time”.
Mr Turnbull said he and Lucy had enjoyed their time at ‘property 28’ and look forward to totally re-decorating again for the coming term of government.
ANALYSIS: Unemployed and underemployed Australians can be issued with on-the-spot fines by privately owned job agencies under a tough new Government proposal, writes Owen Bennett. Later this month the Turnbull Government will be asking the Senate to support one of the most devastating attacks launched against poor and vulnerable Australians in recent memory. The BillMore
After almost doubling growth in under a year, Malcolm Turnbull today laid out plans for an IPO of the preferred Prime Minister status.
Since taking over the post in September, Mr Turnbull has increased the Preferred Prime Minister Index (PPMI) from 42 to 80.
On announcing the offering, Mr Turnbull said there were solid prospects for agile investors. “We’ve seen strong growth in recent months from the low forties, into the low eighties. I can certainly see growth continuing well beyond 100”.
Mr Turnbull – who has significant experience investing in small cap companies – said the ASX listing was the next logical step to continue the growth momentum. “This will provide the extra capital we need to gain additional market share and move the PPMI beyond 200,” he said.
Saying it was a victory for the true believers – or “pro victoria orthodoxos” – the new Prime Minister today gave a stirring speech in lingua antiqua Romae to an adoring crowd who pretended to understand every single word.
Mr Turnbull carefully laid out his plans for health care policy, environmental policy, and education policy, in plain Latin.
“Bonum regimen incipit hodie!” he said to rapturous applause.
Mr Turnbull follows in the footsteps of Kevin Rudd, who often delivered speeches in Mandarin. It is unclear what language Tony Abbott used for his speeches.
A US study has delivered an unwelcome finding about Australian internet speeds, finding that they are well behind the international pack.
One engineering expert said the nation would continue to tumble down in world rankings if the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBN) continues in its current form.
The State of the Internet Report from cloud service provider Akamai ranks Australia 44th for average connection speed.
The US-based company produces the quarterly report looking at connection speeds and broadband adoption around the world.
Dr Mark Gregory, a network engineering expert from RMIT University, said the Akamai report was a reputable review.
“In the latest report, Australia has dropped a couple of places down to the 44th position, which is a pretty big drop really over such a short period of time,” he said.
Media player: “Space” to play, “M” to mute, “left” and “right” to seek.
Dr Gregory said Australia’s relative decline was because many other countries were moving forward apace with new and upgraded networks.
“The drop is happening because a lot of other countries over this period are moving towards fiber-based access networks, or they’ve already completed rollouts of what we would call the multi-technology mixing/mixed networks,” he said.
“Whatever way you look at it, what it means is that the average speeds that Australians are enjoying are slowly becoming less than most of our competitors around the world.”
Copper-based network slowing Australia down: expert
Dr Gregory said the Federal Government’s decision to switch from fibre-to-the-home to a mixed fibre/copper network was part of the reason for the decline.
“One of the reasons is that we’re falling down the list [is] that we’re moving towards utilising a copper-based access network,” he said.
“Whereas previously, under the Labor government, we were moving towards an all cyber-based network, which is what most of our competitors are now doing.
Average connection speed by country
1. South Korea
2. Hong Kong
9. Czech Republic
“And we’re also seeing this drop because, as we keep changing direction with the NBN, we’re putting in large delays before the rollout is actually occurring.”
New Zealand is one of the nations now ranked ahead of Australia, with faster average internet speeds.
Dr Gregory said that was largely because it has stuck with a fibre-to-the-home network.
“The key difference between New Zealand and Australia is that New Zealand made the decision to do fibre-to-the-premise, they’ve stuck with that decision,” he said.
Even though Australia is much larger geographically, Dr Gregory said fibre-to-the-home should be financially viable for a network to cover the vast bulk of the population.
“Fibre-to-the-premise is viable in Australia, mainly because most Australians are clustered around the coast,” he said.
“If you look at the density of Australians, then really we don’t differ very much from most other countries in the world, we’re just a large country, but with the technologies that we’ve got today to actually roll out fibre systems, the cost is not that different from most other countries in the world.”
Quality of streamed video ‘much lower’ than overseas
Dr Gregory said many households will notice the deficiencies in Australia’s internet when they try to watch television over the internet, such as through the Netflix service coming to Australia this year, or its local rivals.
“Even though the suppliers say they are giving us high definition of 4K steaming, to actually be able to stream over Australia’s connection and our connections will be a lot slower than the rest of the world,” he said.
“What they will do is that they will increase the compression ratio on the video.
“Even though they are saying that we are getting high definition, or 4K TV, the actual compression will be far more in other countries and therefore the quality of the video that we are viewing at home will be much lower.”
Dr Gregory added that another development may push Australia even further down the rankings for internet speed.
“The most important change is occurring in the United States where the FCC chairman – and that’s their body that looks after telecommunications – has decided to redefine broadband to 25 megabits per second download speed,” he said.
“So what that means is that, in Australia, the Government has been saying that they’re going to provide every Australian with high-speed broadband.
“In the future they’ll be able to say that they’re providing Australians the bare minimum broadband under the new FCC determination on what broadband will be called.
“For many other countries around the world of course, they’re moving towards gigabit broadband now and that is super-fast broadband under the new definitions.”