Western Sydney Aerotropolis rezoning submissions detail heartbreak after homes rendered 'worthless' Angela Spagnol wrote the submission from her hospital bed.
"I sit helplessly in hospital literally fighting for my life. "My husband is on one salary trying to pay off our home that they want to declare worthless, instead of being able to be at my bedside possibly exchanging limited time together. " Just weeks later, she died, aged 40, after battling with pulmonary hypertension. Her submission was in response to the NSW government's plans for the new Western Sydney Aerotropolis. It proposed that much of the Bringelly home she had lived in with her husband Chris and young son since 2018 would be rezoned. The Spagnols were among the Western Sydney residents who made submissions on the draft Aerotropolis blueprint, which are due to be made public in early April.
Many of them claim the rezoning has made their properties worthless. Chris Spagnol said Angela was "horrified" by what the proposed rezoning — released in September 2018 — had done to the value of their property. What are 'zombie mines'? What do they have to do with Malcolm Turnbull? NT Government shaves $120 million off McArthur River Mine environmental security bond. The NT Government has quietly reduced the environmental rehabilitation bond for a major Top End mine by more than $100 million after controversially approving a significant expansion of the site.
Key points: The McArthur River Mine's environmental security bond was reduced by $120 millionThe Environment Centre NT says taxpayers could become liable for environmental damageA proposal to double the size of the zinc and lead mine was approved on Thursday Glencore's McArthur River Mine, a lead and zinc mine near Borroloola in the Gulf of Carpentaria, now has a security bond of about $400 million instead of $520 million.
Mining and Industry Minister Nicole Manison announced approval for a doubling of the size of the project's mine pit and waste rock dump earlier this week. Security bonds are a risk-based payment made to the NT Government to cover any costs of dealing with mining-related environmental harm. Mine expansion could be invalid: ECNT. Environment groups raise concerns about Pardoo donations. Environmentalists have raised concerns about how Pardoo Beef Corporation made large donations to the major political parties in WA while seeking a land clearing permit in the East Pilbara region.
Key points: Pardoo Beef Corporation donated more than $180,000 to major parties during land clearing applicationPBC denies donations linked to applicationEnvironmental groups call for tighter regulations of political donations. Former Labor MP Kate Ellis leads group of female politicians lifting lid on 'toxic workplace culture' in Parliament House. It was a cause for celebration when 30-year-old Kate Ellis was appointed as the youngest Australian to ever become a federal minister.
But within 18 months things had turned ugly and her career was on the line. Key points: Former Labor MP Kate Ellis has gathered accounts of a large number of female politiciansFormer Liberal MP Julia Banks says the workplace culture in Parliament House is the "most unsafe in Australia"Ms Ellis expects there are "hundreds more stories" of misogyny In November 2009 she found herself in the "ridiculous" position of telling a national newspaper editor, "I promise I've never even kissed him," as she pleaded for her political life.
Queensland Public Trustee denies making profit from clients, despite report criticising high fees and charges. People on disability support and aged care pensions with assets will continue to be charged up to 40 per cent of their low incomes for financial administration services by the Public Trustee of Queensland, despite a report criticising the practice.
Key points: The Public Trustee says a review on fees and charges is already underway but would not be completed for at least six monthsThe government has not yet set a timeframe for when a board to oversee the Public Trustee will happenThe opposition is calling for an independent audit of the Public Trustee Queensland Attorney-General Shannon Fentiman tabled the Public Advocate's report into the Public Trustee in state parliament earlier this month. It documented high fees for asset-rich pensioners, fees for no service and charging multiple sets of fees on managing the same funds, like superannuation. In response, the state government announced that a board would oversee the Public Trustee. A new power has risen in Australian politics — and it's not coming quietly.
What we're seeing right now in federal Parliament is something you very rarely get to see: The emergence of a new head of power.
Power shifts in politics are not rare. They happen all the time, in ways either big or small. Someone gets promoted or resigns in disgrace; that's a small shift. A minor party acquires the balance of power in the Senate, and suddenly the members of that party go from "Random Nutter" status in the Prime Minister's Rolodex to "Invite to Lodge Immediately". That's a biggish shift. As are tectonic rearrangements of factions in major parties, which occur at a subterranean level away from the public eye but sometimes burst forth in spumes of spectacular red-hot lava in the periodic events known as leadership spills. White supremacist group The Base should be banned in Australia, federal Labor MP Anne Aly says. Federal Labor MP Anne Aly is calling on the federal government to ban a global white supremacist network, following revelations the group has been recruiting Australian men.
Right-wing group The Base has been targeting young Australian men Last month Canada listed the group as a terrorist organisationAnne Aly wants to see the Australian government take similar action The ABC's Background Briefing program published secret recordings revealing how the right-wing organisation, The Base, had been targeting young Australian men, including a One Nation candidate from WA who stood for Federal Parliament. Dean Smith ran for the federal seat of O'Connor as a candidate for Pauline Hanson's One Nation in 2019. Last month, The Base was listed in Canada as a terrorist organisation and in the United States, three of its members are facing charges of conspiracy to murder. Why aren't Australian authorities banning more far-right extremist groups? This week, Australia's Department of Home Affairs formally added the far-right extremist Sonnenkrieg Division to the list of designated terrorist groups.
It was a milestone moment; the first time a white supremacist organisation had appeared on a list overwhelmingly dominated by Islamist groups such as Islamic State and Jemaah Islamiyah. But it also raised some big questions. Why has it taken so long? Shareholders reap millions from top companies pocketing JobKeeper, new analysis finds.
As JobKeeper winds up this weekend, more than a million workers will find themselves cut off from the lifeline that kept them employed during coronavirus.
But fresh analysis comparing how much some listed companies received in JobKeeper with what they paid in dividends has shown Australian shareholders also substantially benefited from the taxpayer-funded wage subsidy. Analysis from advisory firm Ownership Matters shows at least half the dividends paid by seven multi-million-dollar firms was the equivalent of what they received in JobKeeper payments from July to December. All the companies received JobKeeper within the rules, having suffered a downturn in revenue, but then bounced back to return to profit. Under JobKeeper rules, they are not required to pay the subsidy back despite their financial turnaround, though a number of companies including Qube, Dominos and Iluka Resources have volunteered to do so. Federal government's 1,000 Jobs Package delivers fewer than 350 jobs. A generous federal government payment worth tens of thousands of dollars has only created a third of the jobs promised in remote parts of Australia.
The 1,000 Jobs Package, designed to help get Australians in remote locations into jobs, is under-subscribedSome have reported bureaucratic delays and a lack of communicationThe minister responsible has blamed COVID-19 for the slow take-up The 1,000 Jobs Package offers employers wage subsidies of up to $57,000 to hire participants in the government's controversial work for the dole program in full-time jobs in places like the Northern Territory and Western Australia. Applications opened in late 2019, but the government has confirmed only 341 jobs had been created by the end of January. The figures are far from surprising for people like Birri Gubba woman Lara Watson, an Indigenous officer with the Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU).
Ms Watson said that connection to country was similar to how some people experienced religious faith. NT government postpones changes to Aboriginal homelands funding following concerns. The Northern Territory government has delayed planned changes to the way it funds Aboriginal homelands after service providers criticised the process as rushed, ineffective and lacking consultation.
Service providers were told last week the homelands funding model would change on July 1The three-month deadline triggered a critical response from service providersThe government has now postponed the changes, promising further consultation In January, the government released a review of policies affecting more than 500 small homelands across the NT, whereas many as 10,000 Territorians live during the year. In response, the government committed to 11 of the review’s 13 recommendations, including revising the homelands grants program to "reduce red tape". "We have prioritised the development of a new homelands policy which is fit-for-purpose and has input from key stakeholders," Remote Housing Minister Chansey Paech said at the time. As the NDIS moves to independent assessments, these companies stand to profit from the change. At first glance, the healthcare company Allied Care Group looks like just another small business trying to make its way in a crowded market.
Key points: The NDIS is moving to a new model of eligibility testing called independent assessmentsCompanies are not allowed to carry out assessments in areas where they provide other NDIS servicesSeveral companies with the same parent company as NDIS service providers have won contracts to carry out assessments Its headquarters is listed as an office suite above a bank branch in sleepy Kingscliff, just south of Tweed Heads.
The company seems an unlikely candidate for a massive federal government contract worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars over the next five years. Mick Gooda says NT government 'backing away' from youth detention royal commission findings. Mick Gooda, the co-commissioner of the Northern Territory's youth detention royal commission, has accused the NT government of backing away from commitments it made after the inquiry. Contentious bill over child adoptions passes in Queensland Parliament despite concerns. Parliament has approved a contentious bill that will see adoption considered for children in state care who can't be reunited with their parents, despite concerns raised by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island services.
Key points: The bill passed Parliament on Tuesday despite several concerns raisedProtection groups fear it will lead to forced adoption of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander childrenMinister for Children Leanne Linard said "long term stable care" would be considered "only if there is no better available option" The legislation was introduced in response to a Coroner's recommendation that adoption be "routinely and genuinely" considered by child safety officers, following the death of Caboolture toddler Mason Jet Lee.
Numerous organisations expressed alarm over the amendments when a parliamentary committee examined them — including the Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Child Protection Peak (QATSICPP). 'Token acknowledgement' of submissions. Critics condemn proposed youth crime changes in NT as ineffective and politically motivated. When Michael Gunner fronted up for his regular talkback slot on ABC Darwin last month, an audience member expressed his frustrations directly to the Chief Minister. "When will you finally act to strengthen bail laws under the Youth Justice Act? " Mandatory refusal of youth bail included in NT Labor's tough-on-crime crackdown. The Northern Territory government is promising more young people will be refused bail and remanded in the youth detention system as a result of changes announced in a tough-on-crime crackdown.
The measures outlined by Chief Minister Michael Gunner on Tuesday were unveiled ahead of a push in NT Parliament by the Country Liberal opposition this week, which has ramped up its long-standing calls to axe changes made after the Royal Commission into the Detention and Protection of Children in the Northern Territory. Labor accuses Attorney-General Christian Porter of 'part-time' work arrangements. Federal Labor has criticised the arrangements being put in place for Attorney-General Christian Porter's return, arguing he will be paid his usual salary for "part-time" work. Former participants of NT rehab program say many will be left without support when funding is cut. Why closed borders mean you may finally get a bigger pay rise.
Reforming youth bail laws 'not the answer' to Northern Territory crime, retiring judge says. A Supreme Court Judge says Northern Territory politicians from across the political divide are wrong to "seize on" bail law reform as an answer to youth crime. Key points: Acting Justice Graham Hiley says the current debate about bail laws is largely irrelevantThe opposition wants to remove a presumption in favour of giving young people bailThe Labor government says it is considering a review of the Bail Act. It's been a bad week for the government's messaging —and shocking for accountability.
For a while there, people seemed to forget that the Prime Minister's nickname, "Scotty from Marketing", had been an ironic one, created by the satirical team at the Betoota Advocate. Here's a riddle: What does a Centrelink recipient have in common with Gerry Harvey? Why is a raven like a writing desk? Prime Minister Scott Morrison under fire on Q+A for comments relating to women's march and democracy. Government reviewing plan to give domestic violence victims early access to superannuation. This is why. On first glance, the government’s plan to allow victims of domestic abuse to withdraw $10,000 from their superannuation sounds like a good way to get women and children out of harm. But, dig a little deeper and many are warning it could backfire on victims, and leave women vulnerable in the long term.
This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Parliament the measure was now "under review" after women's safety and family violence organisations voiced their criticisms of the plan. A dozen children died of abuse, neglect in Queensland last year with most known to Child Safety, report finds. Government abandons bulk of industrial relations package in effort to save definition of casual work.
'Notorious' NT public housing complex at Palmerston set for demolition. Consider reclaiming Darwin Port from Chinese company Landbridge, committee advises federal government. NT Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro to propose laws to tackle youth crime. Department paid $13 million over recommended value for water buyback, Auditor-General calls for review. Why the Reserve Bank and the federal government don't see eye to eye on Australia's coronavirus recovery.
Darwin e-scooter injuries to be probed by doctors amid concern accidents are going unreported. Darling River ecology 'extinct' and Murray cod 'in real trouble', warns expert Dr Stuart Rowland. Chinese takeover of island near Australian military training area causes unease inside defence and government. Disability organisations rally against proposal to introduce independent assessments.
Australian exporters could face millions of dollars in European tariffs as EU seeks to punish polluters. Pembroke's Olive Downs coal mine approved despite department's concerns about waterways. Researchers return to find out fate of children involved in landmark FASD study. Federal government paying millions in consulting fees for advice on subsidising gas industry, documents show. Mohammad was placed on a temporary protection visa as a child — now he's seemingly stuck with it for life.
If you've been feeling poorer over the last decade, this graph explains why. The National Museum of Australia's origins are mired in controversy, but its current director says that's all in the past. Social housing tenant could be evicted today over $260 in arrears. Greater Shepparton College plagued by 'systemic racism' and bullying culture, review finds. Anger has turned to sadness for Australia's fed-up women. Hoda Afshar documents Australian government whistleblowers in new photography and film project. Morrison's response to the allegation against Christian Porter raises uncomfortable questions.
Murray Darling Basin Plan's on-farm Water Efficiency Program axed by government. NT Government calls for action on report finding federal laws 'offensive' to Indigenous Territorians. What will the aged care royal commission recommend? We think we know, and how the government will respond. The West's leadership failure on coronavirus is only helping China usurp it. Were JobKeeper payments supposed to flow to shareholders? The government's response to Brittany Higgins's rape allegations reveals some very black ironies. Economics professor Ross Garnaut says Australia voluntarily keeps hundreds of thousands unemployed. JobMaker could pay bosses to cut wages and jobs, warns Treasury. Overcrowded prisons at 'critical tipping point', NT parole board chair calls for 'coherent' action. Legal action launched against NT Government over McArthur River Mine security bond.
'Ecocide' proposal aiming to make environmental destruction an international crime. Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack flags excluding agriculture from 2050 climate target. The Government was geared up for a party room fight over climate this week. There wasn't a peep. Shortage of public housing suitable for people with disabilities leaves people like Ethan in a 'cruel' situation. As Biden hits the accelerator on climate action, Australia remains stuck in policy paralysis. US President Joe Biden pauses oil and gas leases, cuts subsidies in 'bold' climate steps. Labor set for climate change shift with architect of emissions target Mark Butler to go. January 26 is a reminder that Australia still hasn't reckoned with its original sin. New focus on climate change adaptation but no sign of 2050 emissions commitment. Julie Bishop, Donald Trump's daughter, and the Australian Government's three-year fight for secrecy. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's views on Australia Day 'selfish' and 'lightweight', Michael Dodson says.
Medevac detainees freed from Melbourne hotel after years in immigration detention. The NT Government will introduce surrogacy laws in 2021 — but it's 'too late' for some. Northern Territory senator Malarndirri McCarthy says it's 'beyond time' for NT to make its own laws on assisted dying.
Commonwealth tips another $173 million into Beetaloo Basin gas reserve, insists emissions targets on track. Emails show Yeelirrie uranium mine approved a month before 2019 election after pressure from Cameco. Unions take Qantas to High Court over alleged misuse of JobKeeper scheme, underpayment of staff. Fifty countries, not including Australia, join global coalition at One Planet Summit vowing to protect 30 per cent of land and sea by 2030. Twitter's decision to ban Donald Trump breaks open political divide in Australia.
The NT pioneered voluntary euthanasia before the law was overruled. Now there is a campaign to restore it. Australian military's $1.3 billion Hawkei contract criticisms revealed after previously sealed by the Attorney-General. Barkly region faces new grog laws as Liquor Commission bids to reduce alcohol-related harm. Victorian Planning Minister approves controversial lead battery recycling plant in Latrobe Valley. Adelaide grandfather with motor neurone disease urges expansion of support. NT health organisations question decision to quarantine foreign military in Darwin hotel. SA Government approves drilling on sacred Lake Torrens, despite opposition from Aboriginal groups. China enters 2021 a stronger, more influential power — and Australia may feel the squeeze even more.
JobKeeper subsidy drops today before it disappears entirely in March, and some workers are worried. Seven things previously secret cabinet documents tell us about the 'last year of normality' in 2000. Ricky Grace charity loses federal funding for Girls Academy as government backs new providers. Basics Card outage leaves Northern Territory welfare recipients unable to buy food. NT Government's appeal against Indigenous housing court ruling sparks Human Rights Commission intervention. No officers permanently based at Angurugu police station, despite millions in federal funding. Coronavirus, China, climate and global crises: where Australia’s foreign relations attention will be in 2021. Family of psychology student who slipped through cracks of Victoria's mental health system wants reform.
Palmerston Council warns anti-social behaviour could rise with contentious liquor applications approved. NT licensing boss says Darwin Dan Murphy's is 'critical' for economy, Aboriginal health groups 'appalled' Intertidal permit requirement for NT fishers to be imposed by Northern Land Council from January 1. NT Government admits delay releasing problem gambling report. Vaping laws could be about to change, making it illegal to import nicotine fluid. What does the mid-year budget update mean for the economy? Natasha Fyles defends Health Department response to damning coronial findings — and other findings before it.