Showing posts with label right wing politics. Show all posts
Showing posts with label right wing politics. Show all posts

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

A NSW Northern Rivers perspective on the 18 May 2019 Australian federal election results

A political and social perspective in thirteen tweets........

Monday, 13 May 2019

This move by Murdoch’s News Corp has Scott Morrison’s political paw prints all over it

Standing in the shadows pulling the strings of those willing to make spurious or defamatory claims about a political opponent worked so well for the interim Prime Minister and Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison in the past that he appears to be doing it again.

Last time the efforts of his political puppets cost News Corp tens of thousands of dollars in legal costs and like last time The Daily Telegraph is the Liberals vehicle of choice.

The smear campaign revealed……..

The Saturday Paper, 11 May 2019, excerpt:

Midweek, Murdoch’s Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph went for broke. On page one, it ran a story under the headline “Mother of invention”, and set out to destroy what it said was hailed as Shorten’s “election-winning moment”. It accused him of omitting the fact his mother went on to enjoy an illustrious career as a barrister. The paper said he had failed to disclose that his mother graduated law later in life “and [practised] at the bar for six years”. It said the Labor chief had only told half the family story. If that were the case, however, he left out the half that gives even more potency to his mother’s legacy.

One senior Liberal wondered who was the genius on their side who thought it a good idea to prompt the Telegraph’s ill-considered and cockamamie attack. Gallery journalists confirm the “Libs were shopping the story around on Tuesday”. 
Melbourne’s Herald Sun, unlike its Brisbane stablemate, The Courier-Mail, refused to take it. Scott Morrison played the innocent bystander. He told reporters it was a “very upsetting story” and he can understand that Shorten would have been “very hurt by it”. That was an understatement. The opposition leader was furious.

For 10 minutes during a half-hour press conference on Wednesday, Shorten spoke of his mother’s achievements. Fighting back tears, he told of a woman in her 50s with grey hair, who, even though she topped her law school, could not get a law firm to take her on for articles. When she eventually got to the bar, she struggled for briefs – “she got about nine briefs in her time”. Far from fulfilling her dream, as the Murdoch hatchet job claimed, she went back to education. The partisan attack on the Labor leader opened the way for him to hit back at one of the Liberals’ biggest vulnerabilities: their failure to promote more women through their parliamentary ranks. Their most high-profile and credible woman, Julie Bishop, has quit. She won’t be at the party’s Mother’s Day launch on Sunday to support Morrison, the man who blocked her run for the leadership. Shorten says the experience of his mother – “the smartest woman I’ve ever known” – is why he believes in the equal treatment of women.

News Corp sources say the Tele has another story on their news file to throw at Shorten. It is highly defamatory and legally dubious. The desperation that led to the attack on Shorten and his mother’s memory may give them pause to think about running it. As one Labor campaign worker says, “It’s difficult to know where the government ends and News Corp begins.” [my yellow highlighting]

Phase Two of the smear campaign.......

A scurrilous, below-the-radar whispering campaign has broken through onto social media.

Friday, 10 May 2019

“Welfare-to-work” is now a billion-dollar industry which consistently fails vulnerable jobseekers

The Guardian, 4 May 2019:

“Welfare-to-work” is now a billion-dollar industry. Providers compete for the lucrative contracts, worth $7.6bn to the taxpayer over five years when the last round was signed in 2015.

Proponents for the privatised system argue the model is much cheaper and boasts a better cost-to-outcome ratio.

But myriad reports – including recent findings from a Senate committee and a government-appointed panel – have found the most disadvantaged jobseekers are being left behind.

In 2002, a Productivity Commission report that was largely supportive of the then-new privatised model still warned “many disadvantaged job seekers receive little assistance … so-called ‘parking’”. That practice still occurs under this name today, according to employment consultants who spoke to Guardian Australia for this story.

When a person applies for Newstart, they are assigned a Jobactive provider and placed into one of three categories ordered by the level of assistance they might need: streams A, B and C.

The outlook for the most-disadvantaged jobseekers is bleak: only a quarter will find work each year. Overall, 40% of those receiving payments will still be on welfare in two years. While Jobactive has recorded 1.1 million “placements” since 2015, one in five people have been in the system for more than five years.

New data provided to Guardian Australia by the Department of Jobs and Small Business shows about 1.9 million people have participated in Jobactive between July 2015 and 31 January 2019. In that time, 350,000 – or 18% – have been recorded gaining employment and getting off income support for longer than 26 weeks.

And of those 350,000, only 35,852 – or 10% – had been classified as disadvantaged in Stream C.

Since Lanyon was placed on Jobactive, he’s had eight job interviews and sent in about 150 applications. Eighteen months ago he says he slept in his car and showered at a homeless shelter after finding work close enough to take but too far away for a daily commute.

He knows his chances of getting back into work diminish each day he’s out of the workforce.

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

The Liberal & Nationals answer to all the water policy mistakes they have made in the past. Full speed ahead to make some more!

In 2006 the Howard Coalition Government’s then Minister for Water Malcolm Bligh Turnbull attempted an under-the-radar progression of a proposal to dam and divert water from the Clarence River system into the Murray Darling Basin. He was sprung and it lost his government the seat of Page in 2007.

When Tony Abbott was prime minister he was all gung-ho for damming east coast rivers, but was by then wary of the mood of Clarence Valley communities.

Despite a certain coolness on Tony Abbott’s part and Turnbull's silence once he followed Abbott as prime minister, the wannabee water raiders within the Basin have never given up on the idea of destroying the Clarence River in order to continue lucrative water trading for profit and inappropriate levels of farm irrigation in the Basin.

This is a mockup of what these raiders would like to see along the Clarence River. 

North Coast Voices, 1 March 2013
On 30 April 2019 Scott Morrison and Co announced the proposed creation of the National Water Grid which in effect informs communities in the Northern Rivers region that our wishes, being “political” because we are not their handpicked ‘experts’, will be ignored when it comes to proposed large-scale water diversion projects including dams if they are re-elected on 18 May 2019.

The Daily Examiner, 4 May 2019, p.10:

“Just add water” is the Nationals’ answer to “unleashing the potential” of regional Australia but it would come at a cost to areas flush with the precious resource.

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced on Tuesday at the National Press Club that a returned Coalition government would establish an authority, the National Water Grid, to manage water policy and infrastructure.

“We know the key to unlocking the potential of regional Australia is simple – just add water,” he said.

The announcement of the National Water Grid has sparked fears the Clarence and Nymboida rivers may be dammed to irrigate drought-stricken areas of the country – a prospect the Clarence Valley community has faced before.

The Nationals’ Page MP, Kevin Hogan, said there were “no plans to dam the Clarence River”.

“There are proposals in other drought-affected areas of the country,” he said…..

The planned National Water Grid would ensure water infrastructure would be based on the best available science, “not on political agendas”, Mr McCormack said.

It would “provide the pipeline of all established, current and future water infrastructure projects and then identify the missing links”.

Mr McCormack said dams were the answer to “create jobs”, “back agriculture and back farmers”.

“While we are being bold and building big, we are often stopped at the first hurdle when it comes to short-sighted state governments that choose politics over practicality, and indeed science,” he said…..

Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Morrison Government signed off on a controversial uranium mine one day before calling the federal election

ABC News, 26 April 2019:

The Morrison Government signed off on a controversial uranium mine one day before calling the federal election, and did not publicly announce the move until the environment department uploaded the approval document the day before Anzac Day.

The Yeelirrie Uranium mine, located 500 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia, requires both federal and state approval.

The state approval of the proposed mine is still being fought in the state's Supreme Court by members of the Tjiwarl traditional owners.

In 2016, the West Australian Environment Protection Agency advised the mine not be approved, concluding it posed too great a risk of extinction to some native animals.

The former Liberal Barnett government controversially approved the mine in 2017, just weeks before it lost the West Australian election.

Canadian company Cameco, the world's largest uranium producer, is seeking to develop the uranium mine, which would cover an area 9km long and 1.5km wide.

It would involve the clearing of up to 2,422 hectares of native vegetation.

It is also approved to cause groundwater levels to drop by 50cm, and they would not completely recover for 200 years, according to Cameco's environmental reports.

A spokesperson for Environment Minister Melissa Price said the approval was subject to 32 strict conditions to avoid and mitigate potential environmental impacts.

Traditional owner of the area, Tjiwarl woman Vicky Abdullah, said she was surprised by the announcement, and was hoping for the project to be rejected.

"It's a very precious place for all of us. For me and my two aunties, who have been walking on country," she said.

Mine approval a controversial move ahead of caretaker mode
Simon Williamson, General Manager of Cameco Australia, told the ABC he was pleased Ms Price had approved the mine before calling the election.

"Yeah, that's likely to raise questions about rushed decision and all that stuff, but the state [government] made their decision in January 2017," he said.

"The timing was such that all of [the assessment] was completed to allow her to sign off before the election. I think it's quite appropriate and I think the minster would want to sign off on projects on her plate before she goes to an election……

Dave Sweeney, an anti-nuclear campaigner at the Australian Conservation Foundation said the timing suggested the decision was political.

"We need decisions that are based on evidence and the national interest, not a company's interest or not a particular senator's or a particular government's interest," he said.

"This reeks of political interference rather than a legal consideration or due process."

The approval is one of several controversial moves the Government made before entering caretaker mode, where such decisions would be impossible, including approving Adani's two groundwater management plans for it's proposed Carmichael coal mine.....

The Guardian, 27 April 2019:

A multinational uranium miner persuaded the federal government to drop a requirement forcing it to show that a mine in outback Western Australia would not make any species extinct before it could go ahead.

Canadian-based Cameco argued in November 2017 the condition proposed by the government for the Yeelirrie uranium mine, in goldfields north of Kalgoorlie, would be too difficult to meet.

The mine was approved on 10 April, the day before the federal election was called, with a different set of conditions relating to protecting species.

Environmental groups say the approval was politically timed and at odds with a 2016 recommendation by the WA Environmental Protection Authoritythat the mine be blocked due to the risk to about 140 subterranean stygofauna and troglofauna species – tiny animals that live in groundwater and air pockets above the water table.

A Cameco presentation to the department, released to the Greens through Senate estimates, shows the government proposed approving the mine with a condition the company must first demonstrate that no species would be made extinct during the works.

Cameco Australia said this did not recognise “inherent difficulties associated with sampling for and describing species”, including the inadequacy of techniques to sample microscopic species that live underground and challenges in determining whether animals were of the same species. It said the condition was “not realistic and unlikely to be achieved – ever”.

The condition did not appear in the final approval signed by the environment minister, Melissa Price, which was made public after being posted on the environment department’s website on 24 April…..

Saturday, 13 April 2019

What a difference twenty-two months makes to that textbook hypocrite, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

A little over twenty-two months out from a federal election this was then Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison's voting down the creation of a Royal Commission into the abuse and neglect of people with a disability........ 

Less than six weeks out from a federal election Morrison will have to fight very hard to win we have tears being shed by the Prime Minister.....

* Snapshots by Highlighter‏ @tvdc99

Monday, 8 April 2019


With Murdoch’s News Corp mastheads dominating the local newspaper landscape in the NSW Northern Rivers region this should interest readers…….

The New York Times, 3 April 2019:

Rupert Murdoch, the founder of a global media empire that includes Fox News, has said he “never asked a prime minister for anything.”

But that empire has given him influence over world affairs in a way few private citizens ever have, granting the Murdoch family enormous sway over not just the United States, but English-speaking countries around the world.

A six-month investigation by The New York Times covering three continents and including more than 150 interviews has described how Mr. Murdoch and his feuding sons turned their media outlets into right-wing political influence machines that have destabilized democracy in North America, Europe and Australia.

Here are some key takeaways from The Times’s investigation into the Murdoch family and its role in the illiberal, right-wing political wave sweeping the globe.


Fox News has long exerted a gravitational pull on the Republican Party in the United States, where it most recently amplified the nativist revolt that has fueled the rise of the far right and the election of President Trump.

Mr. Murdoch’s newspaper The Sun spent years demonizing the European Union to its readers in Britain, where it helped lead the Brexit campaign that persuaded a slim majority of voters in a 2016 referendum to endorse pulling out of the bloc. Political havoc has reigned in Britain ever since.

And in Australia, where his hold over the media is most extensive, Mr. Murdoch’s outlets pushed for the repeal of the country’s carbon tax and helped topple a series of prime ministers whose agenda he disliked, including Malcolm Turnbull last year.

At the center of this upheaval sits the Murdoch family, a clan whose dysfunction has both shaped and mirrored the global tumult of recent years.

The Times explored those family dynamics and their impact on the Murdoch empire, which is on the cusp of succession as its 88-year-old patriarch prepares to hand power to the son whose politics most resemble his own: Lachlan Murdoch.

A key step in that succession has paradoxically been the partial dismemberment of the empire, which significantly shrunk last month when Mr. Murdoch sold one of his companies, the film studio 21st Century Fox, to the Walt Disney Company for $71.3 billion.

The deal turned Mr. Murdoch’s children into billionaires and left Lachlan in control of a powerful political weapon: a streamlined company, the Fox Corporation, whose most potent asset is Fox News…..

The Murdoch empire has also boldly flexed its muscles in Australia, which was for many years Lachlan’s domain.

In Australia, Lachlan expressed disdain for efforts to fight climate change and once rebuked the staff at one of his family’s newspapers, The Australian, for an editorial in support of same-sex marriage (He says through a representative that he is in favor of same-sex marriage). He also became close to the politician Tony Abbott, whose 2013 election as prime minister was given an assist by Murdoch newspapers.

The Murdoch family changed Australian politics in 2016 when it took control of Sky News Australia and imported the Fox News model. They quickly introduced a slate of right-wing opinion shows that often focused on race, immigration and climate change. The programming became known as Sky After Dark.

Last year, Mr. Turnbull and his staff accused Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch of using their media outlets to help foment the intraparty coup that thrust him from office in August. Mr. Turnbull, a moderate and longtime nemesis of his friend Mr. Abbott, was replaced by the right-wing nationalist Scott Morrison.

The Murdochs have denied any role in Mr. Turnbull’s downfall.....

The night after his arrival, Lachlan invited a small group of Sky employees and managers to his $16 million mansion in Sydney for drinks. With its new prime-time lineup of hard-right opinion hosts, Sky had become a force in Australian politics. Its audience was still small by American standards, but it was the network of choice in the capital, Canberra, and it was finalizing a deal to expand its reach into the Australian Outback — demographically speaking, the equivalent of Trump country.

It was a mirror of Fox News, with its fixation on race, identity and climate-change denial. Night after night, Sky’s hosts and their guests stirred anger over the perceived liberal bias of the media, “suicidal self-hatred” of Western civilization and the Australian equivalent of the Central American “caravans” that were dividing the United States: asylum seekers coming to the country by boat from Indonesia and Malaysia, many of them Muslim. Days before Lachlan’s arrival, a national neo-Nazi leader, Blair Cottrell — who had recently been fined for “inciting contempt for Muslims” — appeared on one of the network’s shows. Cottrell had been interviewed on Australian TV before, but his deferential treatment by Sky caused a national outcry. Under gentle questioning, he called on his countrymen to “reclaim our traditional identity as Australians” and advocated limiting immigration to those “who are not too culturally dissimilar from us,” such as white South African farmers. (Sky apologized and suspended the program.)

Inside Lachlan’s living room, the talk turned to national politics. “Do you think Malcolm is going to survive?” Lachlan asked his staff. Malcolm was Malcolm Turnbull, the relatively moderate Australian prime minister who took office a few years earlier. Inside the government, a small right-wing uprising had been brewing over his plans to bring Australia into compliance with the Paris climate accord. It is well established among those who have worked for the Murdochs that the family rarely, if ever, issues specific directives. They convey their desires indirectly, maybe with a tweet — as Murdoch did in the spring of 2016 when he decided to back Trump — or a question, the subtleties of which are rarely lost on their like-minded news executives.

In the days that followed, Sky Australia’s hosts and the Murdoch papers — the newspaper editors had their own drinks session at Lachlan’s mansion — set about trying to throw Turnbull out of office. Alan Jones, a Sky host and conservative radio star, called for a party “rebellion” against him on his program. Days later, the Murdochs’ major paper in Sydney, The Daily Telegraph, broke the news that a leadership challenge was in the works. Cheering on the challenge, Andrew Bolt, the Murdoch columnist who was once convicted of violating the country’s Racial Discrimination Act, told his Sky viewers that Turnbull’s “credibility is shot, his authority is gone.” Peta Credlin, the commentator who was Tony Abbott’s former chief of staff, chewed out a member of Parliament for the chaos inside Turnbull’s administration. The Australian, the Murdochs’ national newspaper, was soon declaring Turnbull a “dead man walking.”......

It was always difficult to separate the personal from the financial and the ideological with the Murdochs. All appeared to be in evidence in their decision to turn against Turnbull. To begin with, he took office a few years earlier by ousting Lachlan’s friend Tony Abbott, and it was Abbott who helped lead the Turnbull uprising. Turnbull’s policies were also not perfectly aligned with the Murdochs’ interests. For instance, he had expedited the construction of the country’s national broadband network, which directly threatened the family’s highly profitable cable business by giving Netflix a government-subsidized pipeline into Australian homes.

The small number of Australian media outlets that the Murdochs did not own portrayed Turnbull’s ouster as a Murdoch-led “coup.” Kevin Rudd, a former prime minister whom the family had helped push out of office years earlier, described Murdoch in an op-ed in The Sydney Morning Herald as “the greatest cancer on the Australian democracy.”

Turnbull was replaced by the right-wing nationalist Scott Morrison, who quickly aligned himself with Trump. The two met in person for the first time in late 2018 at the G-20 summit meeting in Buenos Aires. “I think it’s going to be a great relationship,” Trump said afterward. With a national election scheduled for May 2019, Morrison quickly staked his party’s prospects on the polarizing issue of immigration, promising a new hard-line approach. It dovetailed with Sky’s regular prime-time programming. Andrew Bolt, who previously warned of a “foreign invasion,” said in one segment, “We also risk importing ethnic and religious strife, even terrorism,” as the screen flashed an image of Australia’s potential future: rows of Muslims on a city street, bowing toward Mecca. When the opposing Labor Party managed to muscle through legislation that would allow doctors to transfer severely sick migrants in detention centers on the Australian islands of Nauru and Manus into hospitals on the mainland, Sky Australia’s prime-time hosts went on the offensive.

Read the full article here.

Friday, 5 April 2019

Nationals MP for New England Barnaby Joyce throws a tantrum….

Barnaby in full throttle in Australian House of Representatives
Image: AIMN Network, 1 April 2019:

Barnaby Joyce has been forced to issue a grovelling apology to Channel 7 staff who copped his wrath during an expletive-laden backstage tantrum.

It has been revealed the former deputy prime minister was in a foul mood on the night of the New South Wales election, during which he sat on the network’s broadcast panel.

Viewers criticised his aggressive attitude on screen, including his treatment of a female Labor senator, but it paled in comparison to his antics in the green room.

The Australian newspaper today reports Mr Joyce has apologised for his “behaviour and demeanour” off screen after details were leaked by insiders.

It’s understood the former leader of the National Party — who resigned his position last year after it was revealed his mistress and staffer Vicki Campion was pregnant with his child — was furious about how brief his appearance was scheduled to be.

“There were four-letter words aplenty when Joyce first arrived on set and saw his schedule for the night,” The Australian reported.
An unnamed insider told the newspaper: “He had the sh*ts supreme about whether he should even be there.”

A network source told word of Mr Joyce’s behaviour had begun to spread last week, and it was only a matter of time before it leaked.

The firebrand politician’s beef was that he was due to appear on screen for just 10 minutes, despite having flown from his home in Armidale.

He was accompanied by his partner, Ms Campion — he broke off his marriage just prior to the scandal erupting — and their toddler.

“I saw the schedule on the (green room) wall,” Mr Joyce told the newspaper. “Then I saw the closest human being, and I told them what I thought.”

He apologised for his conduct and said he was tired. After the tantrum, Mr Joyce was used for the live coverage broadcast for more than two hours.

On election night, he was criticised by viewers for his rude treatment of Labor Senator Jenny McAllister, including talking over her.

“I am surprised that you’d not put water on the list of concerns,” Ms McAllister said about the National Party’s poor electoral performance in the state’s west.

“You’ve got these western NSW seats with massive fish kill and a very active conversation …” she continued before being cut off.
“That was because of the Greens … you can’t take water to the south, not have it come to the north and not expect something to die in the middle. It’s the bleeding obvious,” Mr Joyce said as his fellow panellist tried to get her point across.

“I think the proposition that’s been put is that there’s been complete mismanagement of the water system”, she said, before being again interrupted.

“May I finish my remarks?” Senator McAllister said — a comment met by a shrug from Mr Joyce.

She did continue, barely finishing her sentence before Mr Joyce had his say.

“Finished? You’re wrong,” he said.

Wednesday, 3 April 2019

It is likely to be tears before bedtime for many regional communities as Berejiklian Government restructures government departments

Government News, 2 April 2019:   
The NSW government will abolish key agencies including the Office of Local Government, the RMS and Jobs NSW under sweeping changes to the structure of the NSW public service.

A memo from the Department of  Premier and Cabinet obtained by Government News says the Office of Local Government, along with the Office of Environment and Heritage, will cease to be independent entities and their functions will be absorbed by a Planning and Industry Cluster.

The cluster will cover areas such as long term planning, precincts, infrastructure, open space, the environment and natural resources.

The RMS, coming under the Transport Cluster, will also be scrapped as a separate agency and as will Jobs NSW, which will be merged into the Treasury Cluster…..

Local Government NSW President Linda Scott said the peak would be seeking assurances from the new local government minister, Shelley Hancock, and the Premier, that local governments would be appropriately resourced within the new cluster.

“We’d hope, for example, that the inclusion into a larger cluster will facilitate real analysis of the massive amounts of data collected by Government, which should be shared with the sector to help them deliver great outcomes for the public good,” she told Government News.

“Local governments welcome a new opportunity to work with the State Government to set housing targets with local governments, not for them – to rebalance planning powers by working in partnership with councils and their neighbourhoods on planning decisions that affect them.”

However she said the appointment of Ms Hancock was a stand-alone Local Government Minister was welcomed and had long been advocated for by LGNSW.....

The memo says the structure of the public service will also incorporate the following clusters: Stronger Communities, Customer Service, Health; Premier and Cabinet, Transport, Treasury  and Education.

The following clusters will cease to exist by July 1:  Finance, Services & Innovation; Industry; Planning & Environment; Family and Communities; and Justice.

The Secretaries Board will be expanded in members to accommodate more senior public servants to “effectively drive implementation of the Government’s priorities”.

New appointments under the restructure:
Michael Coutts-Trotter – Secretary, Families & Community Services & Justice
Jim Betts – Secretary, Planning and Industry
Glenn King – Secretary, Customer Service
Simon Draper – Chief Executive, Infrastructure Australia

The Grafton Loop of the Knitting Nannas Against Gas and Greed will be holding a knit-in on Thursday 4 April 2019 at 1pm to peacefully protest the abolition of the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage. It will be held outside the electoral office of Nationals MP for Clarence Chris Gulaptis at 11 Prince Street, Grafton and interested people are welcome to attend.

Tuesday, 2 April 2019

Morrison Government still refusing to tackle rising greenhouse gas emissions

The Guardian, 31 March 2019:

Cuts to carbon emissions from vehicle efficiency standards have been left out of government projections for meeting Australia’s Paris climate commitments, indicating the policy has been shelved.

The office of the transport minister, Michael McCormack, said the government had not made a decision on “how or when” standards to cut carbon pollution from vehicles might be implemented.

After almost five years of submissions a spokesman said the government “is not going to rush into a regulatory solution” with regards to vehicle emissions.

New data shows Australia’s emissions from transport are soaring and projected to be 82% higher in 2030 than they were in 1990.

Australia lags behind the rest of the world in setting vehicle efficiency standards, with most countries in the OECD adopting policies to reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of cars.

The ministerial forum on vehicle emissions was set up under the Turnbull government in 2015, and stakeholders are frustrated at the lack of progress.

Fact sheets produced by the government that set out how it intends to reach Australia’s emissions reduction targets under the Paris agreement suggest any policy on vehicle emissions standards has been abandoned.

In 2015, the government produced a graph indicating it expected to achieve cuts of about 100m tonnes between 2020 and 2030 through vehicle emissions standards.

The government’s latest climate package contains no mention of this, and projects only about 10m tonnes of abatement through an electric vehicle strategy, with no reference to vehicle emissions standards....