Naomi Klein: how power profits from disaster. Here have been times in my reporting from disaster zones when I have had the unsettling feeling that I was seeing not just a crisis in the here and now, but getting a glimpse of the future – a preview of where the road we are all on is headed, unless we somehow grab the wheel and swerve.
When I listen to Donald Trump speak, with his obvious relish in creating an atmosphere of chaos and destabilisation, I often think: I’ve seen this before, in those strange moments when portals seemed to open up into our collective future. One of those moments arrived in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, as I watched hordes of private military contractors descend on the flooded city to find ways to profit from the disaster, even as thousands of the city’s residents, abandoned by their government, were treated like dangerous criminals just for trying to survive. I started to notice the same tactics in disaster zones around the world. And this is part of a much larger trend. And there was more. OPINION: When inaction can become genocide. A golden opportunity has been squandered.
The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, has once again failed to douse the flames that endanger the Australian people before they have spread. This time, from the Prime Minister's perch atop the nations political hierarchy, he has watched as the COVID-19 pandemic flared in China, burning its way through the peoples of the world. As the embers of disaster landed on our island continent months later, he delayed social distancing measures.
"Next week. Too little, too late now, for too many Australians. It has been reported that under the best-case scenario of a 20 per cent infection rate, about 50,000 people out of 5 million infected with COVID-19 would die. COVID-19 will not discriminate but in such a crisis, the effects of inequality will disproportionately impact the most disadvantaged. How could Scott Morrison live with himself if he knows this? Coronavirus COVID-19 testing levels in the United States are the lowest per capita. Here's why. Analysis Updated Mon at 12:05pmMon 16 Mar 2020, 12:05pm The United States, a nation with a population of 327 million, has tested roughly 11,000 people for coronavirus.
South Korea, population 51 million, tests nearly 20,000 people per day. WA Premier rejects doctors' call to halt interstate travel in WA to fight coronavirus - ABC News. Updated 13 minutes agoTue 17 Mar 2020, 6:02am West Australian Premier Mark McGowan has rejected a call from some of the state's top doctors to effectively shut down interstate travel to and from WA in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Key points: Calls for an interstate travel ban come as east coast cases increaseAn aged care worker is among the cases diagnosed this weekThe Education Minister concedes school shutdowns are likely. 'Senseless cruelty': peak welfare body pushes for $95-a-week increase to Newstart. People on Newstart now receive only 75% of what is needed just to afford basic living costs, analysis shows, prompting a new call from campaigners for a nearly $100-a-week boost to the unemployment benefit.
Citing new analysis of the wage index between 2016 and 2018, the Australian Council of Social Service (Acoss) will reveal on Thursday that it is now calling for a $95 boost to the $279.50 weekly payment, up from a previous demand of $75 a week. The proposal, contained in Acoss’ federal budget submission, aims to address the widening gap between the combined rate of Newstart and rent assistance and what the organisation says a single unemployed person needs to afford essentials such as food and shelter. Sick or disabled people on Newstart face 'unrealistic' obligations to find work. The growing number of Newstart recipients who are sick or have disabilities face “unrealistic” mutual obligations to find work and sometimes have their impairments exacerbated while struggling on welfare payments, a new research paper says.
The qualitative study – released as seperate government data reveals new details of the ageing profile of people with a “partial capacity to work” – suggests those unable to access the more generous disability support pension live in poverty and are “unable to afford basic necessities such as food, baby formula and sanitary pads”. Researcher Louise St Guillaume, of Western Sydney University, conducted in-depth interviews with more than a dozen participants in the western Sydney area who had a range of conditions such as anxiety, severe depression and schizophrenia, and physical impairments and injuries such as back injuries and heart conditions. “They felt unsupported on [Newstart] and felt that their mutual obligations were unrealistic. Inside Melissa Price's decision to approve Adani's groundwater plan. Analysis Updated 11 Apr 2019, 3:58amThu 11 Apr 2019, 3:58am In terms of the careful language used by scientists and bureaucrats, the assessment was damning.
Who are the 75 Australian 'scientists and professionals' who say there is no climate emergency? - Fact Check. RMIT ABC Fact Check Updated Thu at 12:34amThu 27 Feb 2020, 12:34am Periodically, petitions containing the signatures of "scientists" who are sceptical of human-induced global warming emerge, which seek to counter the views of climate scientists.
Liberal backbencher Craig Kelly highlighted one such recent petition on Facebook in October. "WHY ARE THEY IGNORING 500 SCIENTISTS & PROFESSIONALS? " Mr Kelly's post began, which reproduced in full a petition known as the European Climate Declaration, declaring there is "no climate emergency". Mr Kelly went on to say that Labor "denied the science and joined the climate crazies declaring a 'climate emergency'". A letter to the UN Secretary General which accompanied the petition introduced the signatories as "knowledgeable and experienced scientists and professionals in climate and related fields".
Emails-reveal-morrison-office-s-role-in-100-million-sports-grants-program-20200226-p544n5. Weeks after a scathing audit report on the program, the Auditor-General shed new light on the contact between Mr Morrison's office and the ministerial staff who created a colour-coded spreadsheet to help decide grants.
Labor has declared the scheme corrupt on the grounds the spreadsheet tracked applications according to their electorate and thereby used taxpayer funds to help the Coalition win seats at the last election, a claim the government denies. Mr Morrison has rejected claims his office ran the program, arguing Senator McKenzie was the decision-maker and responded to suggestions from his advisers. "All we did was provide information based on the representations made to us as every prime minister has always done," Mr Morrison said last month. Challenged by Labor in Parliament on Wednesday, Mr Morrison cited a former grants scheme overseen by Mr Albanese to argue Labor had been worse. Related Article David Crowe is chief political correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Smoke screen: how Australia's biggest polluters have been free to increase emissions. For nearly 40 years, black coal has been mined at Myuna, an underground operation a short drive south-west of Newcastle.
Each year about 2 million tonnes is dug up, dropped on to an overland conveyor and sent to the Eraring power plant next door to be burned. Although the New South Wales mine isn’t new, its operation under owner Centennial Coal has changed over the past couple of years, leading to a dramatic increase in greenhouse gas escaping its coal seams. Emissions at the mine in 2017-18 were 65% above the government-agreed limit for the site. New data published just before Christmas show Centennial was also in breach last financial year, with carbon pollution at Myuna 47% above its limit. In an era in which political battles are fought over how to meet climate targets, an emissions rise of this proportion – nearly half a million tonnes at one site over just a couple of years – is noteworthy. It was not supposed to be this way. How did we get here? It-s-time-we-clipped-the-ministerial-wing-of-its-protected-species-the-advisers-20200213-p540j0. Related Article Both ministerial offices displayed basic incompetence.
Both have evaded full scrutiny. This is often the way in Parliament House, where attention falls on ministers while advisers stand in the background. But it is time for advisers to be held to account. What happened in Taylor's office reveals the flaws that need fixing. Old conventions would hide this forever. Another convention is that advisers remain anonymous. Freedom of Information law cannot do enough to shed light on these corners of the blue carpet wing of Parliament House.
Good advisers know the problems here. Fossil-fuel industry doubles donations to major parties in four years, report shows. The fossil-fuel industry has doubled its donations to the major parties in the past four years, new analysis suggests. A new Australian Conservation Foundation report examining last week’s dump of donations data suggests the coal, oil and gas industry gave $1.9m in 2018-19. That’s more than double the $894,336 it gave in 2015-16, the ACF says.
The three biggest donors in 2018-19 were the oil and gas behemoth Woodside Petroleum, the coalminer Adani, and industry lobby group the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. Across the four years, the largest donors were Woodside ($1m), Santos Limited ($567,537), Chevron ($452,017), Mineral Resources ($373,650), Origin Energy ($360,047), and Bluescope ($337,655). Morrison-s-top-bureaucrat-defends-his-report-on-sports-rorts-20200214-p540yw. While the Auditor-General concluded applications in marginal and target electorates were more successful, Mr Gaetjens said his analysis of the underlying data led him to a different conclusion. Related Article “The evidence I have reviewed does not support the suggestion that political considerations were the primary determining factor in the minister’s decision to approve the grants,” he wrote on Friday to the Senate committee. “On this basis, and while there were shortcomings in the administration of the program, I concluded Senator McKenzie did not act in breach of the standards with respect to fairness.”
The findings are at odds with the testimony from Auditor-General Grant Hehir and senior auditor Brian Boyd to the Senate inquiry on Thursday night, when they contradicted the government’s key claim that no ineligible projects were funded. Scott Morrison says the government is acting on emissions. Is it true? The prime minister says the Coalition is acting on emissions, meeting its targets and doing more than Labor did when in power. What’s the reality? A 60% rise in industrial emissions points to failure of Coalition's 'safeguard mechanism' Industrial greenhouse gas emissions in Australia have risen 60% in the past 15 years, putting the country on a path that, if it continues, will lead to it missing the target set at the Paris climate conference. That is the conclusion of an analysis by energy and carbon consultants RepuTex, which examined the rise in industrial carbon pollution – including from oil and gas extraction, mining and large-scale transport – in the period covered by Australia’s 2030 emissions target, starting in 2005.
The resulting report highlights the failure of the Coalition government’s “safeguard mechanism” policy, which was promised to limit carbon pollution rises so cuts paid for by taxpayers through the emissions reduction fund, the main national climate policy, were not just wiped out by increases elsewhere. RepuTex found emissions in sectors covered by the safeguard mechanism had grown from 89m tonnes in 2005 to 142m tonnes in 2019, and were projected to reach 187m tonnes by 2030. Trevor St Baker says Collinsville coal plant would need shielding from climate policy change. Politically connected power baron Trevor St Baker says there is no way a new coal-fired power plant will proceed at Collinsville unless the Morrison government agrees to shield the project from a change of climate policy.
A day after Scott Morrison left open the option of his government indemnifying a new coal plant in Collinsville from future carbon risk, St Baker told Guardian Australia no project at that scale could proceed without an indemnity from the commonwealth. Fossil-fuel industry doubles donations to major parties in four years, report shows. Canavan delayed releasing documents about coal lobby interactions before resigning. Former resources minister Matt Canavan repeatedly delayed releasing documents about his interactions with coal lobbyists until he resigned his post, rendering a freedom of information request void. New-resources-minister-calls-for-more-coal-gas-and-uranium-exports-20200211-p53zu5. "Of course with any new gas development we must ensure that our precious water resources are protected, that high value farm land is protected and that local communities and local business get real benefits and real jobs," he said.
Related Article Mr Pitt also slammed the Victorian government's moratorium on onshore gas exploration as a threat to jobs. "If we don't explore and develop new gas supplies, we are consigning a lot of our manufacturing sector to outsourcing overseas and making families and businesses pay more for energy supplies," he said. He added that farm land and water resources had to be protected and that local communities gained real benefits and jobs from the gas developments.
Matt Canavan leaves two properties worth more than $1m off 2019 declaration of interests. The Nationals senator Matt Canavan omitted two properties worth more than $1m from his current declaration of interests, declaring “nil” interests in real estate despite owning two houses in Yeppoon, Queensland and Macquarie in Canberra. The former resources and northern Australia minister – who quit last week to support a bid by Barnaby Joyce to return to the Nationals leadership – has claimed he was not required to declare the interests in the 46th parliament because he had already done so in the 45th.
But the registrar of senators’ interests, Rachel Callinan, told Guardian Australia that “senators are required to declare the interests that they hold as at the relevant date”, a fact which suggests that Canavan misinterpreted advice to senators. On his register of interests dated 29 July 2019 Canavan declared “nil” interest in real estate despite disclosing a “mortgage on investment property” with the Commonwealth Bank as a liability on the same declaration.
'Economic brink': Solar plants curtailed as grid links stall. "If AEMO had performed their role as the network planner properly, they would have forecast these problems occurring well beforehand, thereby avoiding pushing these projects to the economic brink after they are built. " AEMO will hold a western Murray "technical forum" on Monday to discuss how to resolve the sector's woes. "The scale and pace of inverter-based (solar and wind) generation connected in electrically remote areas of the National Electricity Market (NEM) is presenting unprecedented technical issues affecting grid performance and operational stability in those areas," a spokesman said. "This is an emerging phenomenon that has not been seen at scale in other developed power systems around the world," he said, adding that the issues were the result of the heavy concentration of new renewable energy plants "in an area that is weakly connected to the ‘backbone’ of the grid".
Indigenous-leaders-barred-from-discussing-constitutional-reform-20200211-p53zmw. Indigenous Australians Minister Ken Wyatt has set an ambitious deadline of October this year to "test options" for a voice to Parliament, in parallel with a separate process to consider constitutional recognition for First Australians. If we move on from the sports grants now as the Coalition wants, we tolerate corruption. On Sunday, the prime minister, Scott Morrison, announced that Bridget McKenzie, once the government’s sport minister, would be standing down.
This was meant to end all scrutiny of McKenzie’s mismanagement of the community sport infrastructure program. Morrison referred to the report from the head of his department, Philip Gaetjens. The report found no political bias in the minister’s decision-making, and it saw nothing wrong with McKenzie’s use of ministerial discretion. But usefully for the prime minister, it did find that McKenzie had failed to manage a perceived conflict of interest when awarding one grant. AFP’s failure to investigate Angus Taylor has corrosive consequences for our democracy. Precision matters, so let’s be very precise. Government was warned robodebt scheme was unlawful – but won't say when. The government received legal advice that debts issued under the botched robodebt scheme were unlawful, confidential documents provided to a Senate committee have revealed. Scott Morrison staffer tells Cronulla Sailing Club to ‘vote Liberal’ over an $8,400 grant – video.
Scott Morrison is facing bushfires, a grants saga and a perfect storm of political hopelessness. Analysis Updated Sat at 6:08amSat 18 Jan 2020, 6:08am. Fresh Cambridge Analytica leak ‘shows global manipulation is out of control’ Losing the woods for the trees: Green light for logging near popular hiking track. The dark side of plant-based food – it's more about money than you may think. Scott Morrison says compensation for volunteer firefighters not a priority - Politics. Think billionaires are just super-rich people? Big mistake. NSW fires: Scott Morrison cuts short his holiday amid bushfire crisis. China on the cusp of a coal-fired power boom, threatening global targets.
From disbelief to dread: the dismal new routine of life in Sydney's smoke haze. The Coalition isn't being honest about the climate crisis. But neither is Labor. Please-no-more-pollyanna-impressions-in-the-budget-update-20191208-p53hx0. Fire? What fire? It's business as usual in Morrison's Canberra bubble. IBAC hearing: Premier Daniel Andrews was 'friendly' towards developer, says offsider as another apparent meeting is revealed. Minister-oversaw-culture-of-bullying-says-former-chief-of-staff-20191129-p53fhk. Barnaby and the idiot foghorns: not everyone got the memo about 'quiet Australians'
China's brutal Muslim detention regime revealed in leaked documents to The New York Times. China-s-brutal-detention-regime-revealed-in-leaked-documents-20191117-p53bcx. Don-t-do-what-the-uk-did-aussies-sound-warning-at-dutton-s-visa-plan-20191017-p531mz. What China and Xi Jinping's crushing of the Uighurs means for the world. Please-don-t-think-about-climate-change-and-the-economy-it-may-upset-you-20191031-p536ba. Morrison-is-being-transparently-political-in-targeting-climate-groups-20191101-p536nz. Police to review tactics after violent clashes with anti-mining protesters. Police to review tactics after violent clashes with anti-mining protesters. Morrison-environmentalists-testing-the-right-to-protest-20191101-p536fl. Morrison-environmentalists-testing-the-right-to-protest-20191101-p536fl. Climate emergency e-petition gathers a record-breaking 370,004 signatures. It-is-all-part-of-the-same-disease-media-and-other-key-institutions-under-threat-20191028-p534z6.
Australia's Buggy Automated System Suspended 1 Million Welfare Payments This Year. Pumping PFAS-contaminated water from airport expansion into ocean is 'insanity', chemical expert says. 'That's not what official figures show': Government under fire over climate claims. Centrelink accused of 'disability bullying' after man with intellectual disability receives $15,000 robodebt. Fractured-future-water-fears-as-drilling-for-gas-begins-in-the-nt-20191003-p52xfj. Big-surpluses-on-the-way-as-tax-take-from-lower-income-earners-grows-20190926-p52v75. VictorianNation's best-paid Premier Daniel Andrews will take a $46,000 pay rise but won't budge on public sector wages. Data from Nokia's interception kit for Russian telcos exposed: Large data leak exposed communications infrastructure. Abs-reveals-tactics-to-lift-census-accuracy-after-bungled-2016-effort-20190916-p52rsj.
Queensland police to get new powers to search climate change protesters. Morrison-government-to-revive-plans-to-drug-test-dole-recipients-20190905-p52odq. 'Lives are depending on it': No way but Western Highway, Allan says. 'Lives are depending on it': No way but Western Highway, Allan says. Gladys-liu-s-beijing-confession-deepens-dispute-over-loyalty-20190911-p52qec.
Workers remove tree branches as Djab Wurrung standoff continues. Special-treatment-plans-revealed-for-further-easing-of-land-clearing-rules-20190910-p52py8. NSW Liberal Party in donations scandal after handing back property developer gift. Australian government's recklessness with medical data is symptom of deeper problems. Re-identification possible with Australian de-identified Medicare and PBS open data. Public Transport Victoria in breach of Privacy Act after re-identifiable data on over 15m myki cards released. Man bashed in police anti-terror raid gets $400,000. The 2018 CBC Massey Lectures: All Our Relations: Finding the Path Forward. Australian metadata laws put confidential interviews at risk, with no protections for research. Think your metadata is only visible to national security agencies? Think again. No, it's not OK for the government to use your prescription details to recruit you for a study. No-place-for-mining-coal-mines-drain-water-from-dams-20190106-p50pu3.
Government-complicating-shift-from-coal-warns-network-giant-20190524-p51qsh. While others face climate reality, our government denies the undeniable. While-others-face-climate-reality-our-government-denies-the-undeniable-20190731-p52cdl. Queensland-towns-face-million-dollar-water-carting-bills-if-rain-stays-away-20190729-p52bro. Crown: Home Affairs had an agreement to fast-track visa applications for casino clients.
-disempowered-liberal-staffers-speak-up-after-alleged-sexual-assaults-20190729-p52bnw. Crossbenchers call for a National Integrity Commission 'with teeth' to investigate Crown. Report: US Officials Are Actively Censoring Press Statements on Climate Change. Federal Election 2019: Bill Shorten says Labor team didn't call police as AUWU protestors moved on. China-denies-ny-lease-to-amnesty-international-20190515-p51nf8. After 300 years, 'splendid' red gum will be felled for North East Link. I-have-spoken-with-joe-today-how-the-evidence-contradicts-liberal-fundraiser-over-helloworld-20190410-p51cvt.
The-fear-campaign-about-electric-cars-has-hit-a-new-level-of-utter-shamelessness-20190409-p51ch8. Chinese-donor-had-help-from-liberal-party-director-met-christopher-pyne-20190409-p51cca. Assistant-treasurer-overpaid-more-than-60-000-for-second-home-allowance-20190409-p51ccj. Coal ash has become one of Australia's biggest waste problems — and a solution is being ignored. George Christensen defends using pro-coal posts from covert Glencore campaign. Worst-ever-immigration-minister-asylum-seekers-jet-in-under-dutton-s-nose-20190302-p511d8. Vulnerability discovered in ABS algorithm designed to protect privacy of census data. Out on its own: Australia the only country to use climate funding to upgrade coal-fired plants.