Tuesday 30 November 2021

COVID-19 Delta & Omicron State of Play: Morrison goes to battle against any threat to his plan to throw open Australia before the 2022 federal election campaign


IMAGE: Courier Mail, 29 November 2021

Genomic testing has confirmed two more overseas travellers, who recently arrived in New South Wales, have been infected with the Sars-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern. The total number of confirmed cases of Omicron Variant infection is now four individuals in this state within two days.

The Omicron Variant first entered NSW when two infected individuals flew into Sydney International Airport on Qatar Airways QR908, Doha to Sydney, at 7:06 pm on 27 November 2021, after travelling from an unspecified country or countries in southern Africa. Both people had previously been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

The second two infected people arrived on Singapore Airlines SQ 211 at Sydney International Airport at 9:20pm on 28 November 2021 – after travelling through an unspecified country or countries in southern Africa.

A fifth individual infected with the Omicron Variant had flown into Darwin Airport from Johannesburg, South Africa on 25 November 2021, presumably on a Qantas international flight.

All five people were taken into quarantine – four at Special Health Accommodation in the Sydney area and one at the Centre for National Resilience in the Darwin area.

Out of the 11 SARS-CoV-2 variants being monitored, to date Australia has only reported 5 surfacing in this country:

B.1.1.7 (Alpha ) B.1.351 ( Beta) P.1 (Gamma ) B.1.617.2 (Delta) B.1.1.529 (Omicron). Only Delta and Omicron remain cause for concern.

As yet little is known about the Omicron Variant's reproduction rate, incubation period, or the level of illness it is likely to cause those it infects. 

Australian Prime Minister & Liberal MP for Cook Scott Morrison states he plans to call a meeting of state and territory leaders today or tomorrow to discuss how to respond to the Omicron variant, but it is "too early" to make decisions about reinstating quarantine before Christmas.

I rather think there will be a mixed reaction from States and Territories to his urging them to rigidly adhere to his own reopening timetable for internal & international borders, as well as for lessening of public health measures and the cessation of hotel quarantine.

Only Queensland & the Northern Territory have the luxury of a basic quarantine station each. For the remaining states and territory it’s hotel or home quarantine, with the difficulties these bring.

In fact, NSW was still using the COVID-19 hotel quarantine system from 21 to 27 November 2021 and, is hardly likely to feel comfortable with home quarantine until it knows more about the virulence and transmissibility levels of Omicron.

Australian Dept. Of Health table showing the number of cases (predominately involving Delta Variant) and source of infection between 22 November and 28 November 2021:

Australian former professional boxer & former rugby league footballer, Anthony Mundine, fights public health order fine

The Daily Examiner online, 25 November 2021:

Mr Mundine was fined in July last year for failing to comply with public health orders and failing to comply with a noticed direction.

He was subsequently issued with a court attendance notice for charges of not complying with a noticed direction and failing to comply with a public health order.

The charges came after police investigated reports the 46-year-old had attended a licenced premises in Yamba, NSW.

At the time of the incident, travel outside of Sydney, where Mr Mundine lives, was banned under strict lockdown measures unless people had an exemption.

Mr Mundine pleaded not guilty to not complying with a noticed direction, while the second charge was later withdrawn.

Mr Mundine’s matter was mentioned in Maclean Local Court on Thursday.

His lawyer John Giang applied for the matter to be adjourned a further three weeks to December 16.

Mr Mundine did not appear in court for the matter. 

Monday 29 November 2021

Five days after Australia became aware Omicron B.1.1.529 was creating infection clusters across southern Africa & three days after it had been designated a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern, this new viral strain literally flew into Sydney Airport



NSW Health, media release 28 November 2021:

Omicron variant in confirmed NSW cases

NSW Health can confirm urgent genomic testing undertaken today shows two overseas travellers have been infected with the new Omicron B.1.1.529 COVID-19 variant of concern.

Both passengers came to Sydney from southern Africa on the evening of Saturday November 27. They underwent testing on arrival and tested positive for COVID-19 late last night.

The two positive cases, who were asymptomatic, are in isolation in the Special Health Accommodation. Both people are fully vaccinated.

The two passengers were amongst fourteen people from southern Africa who arrived on Qatar Airways QR908, Doha to Sydney, which arrived around 7pm, Saturday November 27.

The remaining 12 passengers from southern Africa are undertaking 14 days of hotel quarantine in the Special Health Accommodation.

Around 260 passengers and air crew on the flight are considered close contacts and have been directed to isolate.

It is an offence not to comply with a Public Health Order and penalties can apply. Close contacts will be contacted regularly, and compliance checks will be undertaken.

In line with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and the Seychelles during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status.

All travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours, pending further health advice.

All flight crew who have been overseas during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 14 days or until their departure on another flight that leaves Australia, consistent with the current rules for unvaccinated flight crew.

Anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the nine African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call NSW Health on 1800 943 553.

Current as at: Sunday 28 November 2021


NSW recorded 185 new cases of COVID-19 in the 24 hours to 8pm Saturday 27 November 2021.

A total of 2,703 COVD-19 cases are still considered active. Included in this figure are 165 COVID-19 cases currently hospitalized, with 24 people in intensive care, 9 of whom require ventilation.

Across NSW, only 92.5 per cent of people aged 16 and over are fully vaccinated.

Of the 185 cases reported to 8pm on Saturday 27 November, 51 were from South Eastern Sydney Local Health District (LHD), 41 from South Western Sydney LHD, 18  from Western Sydney LHD, 15 from Hunter New England LHD, 14 from Northern Sydney LHD, 12 from Sydney LHD, 9 from Western NSW LHD, 6 from Illawarra Shoalhaven LHD, four from Murrumbidgee LHD, 4 from Southern NSW LHD, 3 from Mid North Coast LHD, 3 from Nepean Blue Mountains LHD, 2 from Central Coast LHD, 1 is in hotel quarantine and 2 are yet to be assigned to a LHD.

Fragments of the virus that causes COVID-19 in sewage samples collected from Cobar, Smithtown and Gladstone where there are currently no known or recent cases.

Both confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant who entered Australia around 7pm on 27 November 2021 aboard Qatar Airways flight QR908 from Doha had been fully COVID-19 vaccinated and, a third person recently arriving in Australia who had travelled briefly into Victoria before returning to NSW is of interest and is being traced.

On the same day the confirmed cases of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant entered the country, Australian Minister for Health & Liberal MP for Flinders Greg Hunt issues a media release concerning changed travel restrictions stating in part:

These actions are taken on the basis of prevention and are considered proportionate to the risk and consistent with actions being considered by other countries.

  1. Effective immediately, anyone who is not a citizen or permanent resident of Australia, or their immediate family including parents of citizens, and who have been in African countries where the Omicron variant has been detected and spread – within the past 14 days – will not be able to enter Australia.

    The countries are: South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, Lesotho, Eswatini, Seychelles, Malawi and Mozambique.

  2. Australian citizens and permanent residents, immediate family members including parents arriving from these countries will need to go into immediate supervised quarantine for 14 days subject to jurisdictional arrangements. 

It is noted that, in a fast moving situation, the travel prohibition which includes these 9 countries does not appear to have been expanded to include other countries with confirmed cases of the new highly infectious variant known to have an reproduction rate of 2.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald on 28 November 2021:

Just weeks after opening the borders, health authorities on Sunday night were scrambling to track down hundreds of overseas passengers who have arrived in NSW over the past fortnight to determine if they are carrying the new COVID-19 variant. A senior member of the government said border settings mean it is possible the strain is already circulating through Australia’s east coast.

As of 28 November 2021 this new SARS-CoV-2 variant has been found in 18 countries:

South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia,

Eswatini, Malawi, Seychelles, Israel, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany,

Czech Republic, United Kingdom, The NetherlandsItaly and Australia.

Genomic sequencing to date apparently links all cases outside of the African continent back to travel through southern Africa in November 2021. According to WHO the Omicron Variant was first identified on 22 November in South Africa, from a sample collected from a patient on 9 November.

CSIRO study found forest fires linked to climate change: 9 out of the 11 fire years, each with more than 500,000 km2 burned, occurred since 2000.

And the bad news for rural and regional Australia just keeps on coming.....

Lead author and CSIRO chief climate research scientist Pep Canadell said the study established the correlation between the Forest Fire Danger Index – which measures weather-related vegetation dryness, air temperature, wind speed and humidity – and the rise in area of forest burned since the 1930s.

It’s so tight, it’s so strong that clearly when we have these big fire events, they’re run by the climate and the weather,” Dr Canadell said…

Almost regardless of what we do the overall extent of the fire, really, is dictated by those climate conditions,” he said.

Climate scientists have found climate change is exacerbating the key fire risk factors identified by CSIRO’s study, with south-eastern Australia becoming hotter, drier and, in a particularly worrying trend, more prone to high wind on extremely hot and dry summer days.

The weather system that drove a blast furnace’s worth of westerly wind across NSW and Victoria’s forests, sparking some of the worst fires of the Black Summer in 2019-20, will be up to four times more likely to occur under forecast levels of global warming.’ [The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 November 2021]

Nature.com, Nature Communications, 26 November 2021, article excerpt:

Multi-decadal increase of forest burned area in Australia is linked to climate change”

Josep G. Canadell, C. P. (Mick) Meyer, Garry D. Cook, Andrew Dowdy, Peter R. Briggs, Jürgen Knauer, Acacia Pepler & Vanessa Haverd

Received 24 July 2020

Accepted 03 November 2021

Published 26 November 2021

Download PDF


Fire activity in Australia is strongly affected by high inter-annual climate variability and extremes. Through changes in the climate, anthropogenic climate change has the potential to alter fire dynamics. Here we compile satellite (19 and 32 years) and ground-based (90 years) burned area datasets, climate and weather observations, and simulated fuel loads for Australian forests. Burned area in Australia’s forests shows a linear positive annual trend but an exponential increase during autumn and winter. The mean number of years since the last fire has decreased consecutively in each of the past four decades, while the frequency of forest megafire years (>1 Mha burned) has markedly increased since 2000. The increase in forest burned area is consistent with increasingly more dangerous fire weather conditions, increased risk factors associated with pyroconvection, including fire-generated thunderstorms, and increased ignitions from dry lightning, all associated to varying degrees with anthropogenic climate change.


The extraordinary forest fires in Australia in 2019 and 20201 have brought further interest in detecting changes in fire activity, the possible role of anthropogenic climate change and their likely future trends both in Australia and globally 2,3,4,5,6.

Terrestrial ecosystems in Australia are among the most fire prone in the world, with fire regimes varying widely 7,8. Fire activity is dominated by savanna and rangeland fires in the northern and western parts of the continent characterized by fire return intervals of less than 5 years 7,9. Forests in the east and south have fire return times of decades to more than a century, with subtropical and tropical forests in the northeast burning rarely or not at all 9. Fire, including cultural burns by indigenous people, has shaped the function and structure of most Australian ecosystems for millennia 10,11.

Against this background of fire activity, Australia’s mean temperature has increased by 1.4 °C since 1910 with a rapid increase in extreme heat events, while rainfall has declined in the southern and eastern regions of the continent, particularly during the cool half of the year 12,13,14. These changes can affect the four components that must simultaneously come together for fire to occur: biomass production, its availability to burn (fuel loads), fire weather, and ignition 7, making Australian forests vulnerable and sensitive to changes in fire activity.

Previous studies showed increased fire danger due to changes in weather conditions over past decades in Australia 5,15,16, climate change fingerprinting to individual fire events and trends 17,18,19, and predicted increases in fire danger under future climate change due to increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases 2,20,21. Although these studies indicate more dangerous weather conditions for wildfires in a warmer world, studies also suggest that trends due to climate change might not be clearly detectable until later in the coming decades owing to the high natural variability and extremes of the Australian climate 4,22,23,24.

Fuel loads and trends, as effected by climate, human activity and time since the last disturbance, also play a role in determining fire risk 25,26. This link is a central motivation for using prescribed burning to reduce fuel availability 27, which in Australia is managed through changes in the frequency of prescribed burns 28. Although there is some debate on their value to reduce fire risk 29, particularly during extreme fire weather conditions 2,30, fuel loads and their distribution and structure are key determinants of fire spread, intensity and severity 7.

Here we analyze trends of the burned area in forest ecosystems in Australia, which are dominated by temperate forests extending over the southern and eastern regions of the continent. We use a high-resolution (1.1 km x 1.1 km) burned area satellite record available based on NOAA-AVHRR (32 years), the NASA-MODIS burned area at 500 m resolution (19 years), and the fire histories from State and Territory government agencies (90 years). In addition, we analyze trends of nine wildfire risk factors and indices that relate to characteristics of fuel loads, fire weather, extreme fire behaviour, and ignition, which together with the burned area enable us to infer the causal influence of climate change on fire activity.


Trends in area burned

At a continental scale, total annual burned area (fire year defined as July to June to include the Austral summer of December to February) using the NOAA-AVHRR dataset (“Methods”: Burned area data), significantly increased over the past 32 years albeit with large interannual variability (Fig. 1a; Linear fit, p value = 0.04, Supplementary Table 1). The high variability is in part driven by large-scale modes of atmospheric and oceanic variability such as El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Annual Mode 31,32 that influence fire weather conditions 16,22. Nine out of the 11 fire years, each with more than 500,000 km2 (>50 Mha) burned, occurred since 2000.

Forest ecosystems also show increased burned area over time (Fig. 1b, linear fit, p value = 0.02, Supplementary Table 1; Fig. 2). The increasing trend is statistically significant with and without the 2019 fire year, indicating a robust increasing trend even before the extraordinary large burned area of that year (Supplementary Table 1). Forests in Australia experienced an annual average increase of 350% in burned area between the first (1988-2001) and second (2002-2018) half of the record, and an increase of 800% when including 2019. The 2019 fire year burned about three times (60,345 km2) the area of any previous year in the 32-year AVHRR-Landgate record (Fig. 3, Supplementary Fig. 1, “Methods”: Burned area). The burned area of the 2019 fire year was estimated at 71,772 km2 based on State and Territory agencies (NIAFED) and 54,852 km2 based on NASA-MODIS, with an average for the three products of 62,323 ± 8,631. Ten out of eleven fire years with at least 5000 km2 (>0.5 Mha) burned have occurred since 2001. These trends are broadly consistent across the three burned area products (Supplementary Fig. 1).

Fig. 2: Monthly burned forest area for fire years (July to June). 

Sunday 28 November 2021

NSW Perrottet Government takes precautionary steps in response to SARS-CoV-2 Omicron Variant - immediate 14 day hotel quarantine for travellers from Omicron hotspots irrespective of vaccination status & 3 day isolation if entering Australia from elsewhere overseas

NSW Government takes precautionary steps in response to Omicron variant

Published: 27 Nov 2021 

 Released by: The Premier, Minister for Health and Medical Research

The NSW Government has taken precautionary steps in relation to quarantine arrangements for overseas arrivals following the introduction of additional national border security measures by the Australian Government.

Premier Dominic Perrottet said the new measures would help keep people safe as we work through this latest development with COVID.

“Authorities around the world are still investigating the risk posed by this new variant,” Mr Perrottet said.

“As a result, the NSW Government will continue to put community safety first by taking these precautionary but important steps until more information becomes available.”

The new measures, which will take effect at midnight tonight, are:

  • In line with Commonwealth measures, all travellers arriving in NSW who have been in South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, and the Seychelles during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must enter hotel quarantine for 14 days, irrespective of their vaccination status;
  • All travellers who have been in any other overseas country during the 14 day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 72 hours, pending further health advice;
  • All flight crew who have been overseas during the 14-day period before their arrival in NSW must travel directly to their place of residence or accommodation and isolate for 14 days or until their departure on another flight that leaves Australia, consistent with the current rules for unvaccinated flight crew;
  • Anyone who has already arrived in NSW who has been in any of the nine African countries within the previous 14 days must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days, and call NSW Health on 1800 943 553;
  • All unvaccinated travellers from any overseas country will continue to enter hotel quarantine.

Minister for Health Brad Hazzard said no cases of the Omicron variant have been identified in NSW to date, but urged everyone to stay vigilant.

“I remind the community that vaccination, social distancing and hand hygiene remain our best defence against COVID,” Mr Hazzard said.

Public health advice on quarantine arrangements and isolation requirements will be provided as soon as new information emerges on the risk posed by the new variant and the extent of its international transmission.

People can get the latest information by visiting nsw.gov.au.

The Morrison Government is also applying Omicron Variant state & territory isolate &/or quarantine restrictions to people, for instance international students and skilled migrants, arriving from the safe travel zones established with New Zealand, Singapore, Japan and Republic of Korea, who have been in any of the nine countries within the past 14 days.

As well as suspending all flights from the nine southern African countries for a period of 14 days as a matter of precaution.


The Guardian UK, 27 November 2021:

B.1.1.529 has a very unusual constellation of mutations, which are worrying because they could help it evade the body’s immune response and make it more transmissible, scientists have said. Any new variant that is able to evade vaccines or spread faster than the now-dominant Delta variant may pose a significant threat as the world emerges from the pandemic.

Dr Susan Hopkins, the chief medical adviser to the UK Health Security Agency, said the R value, or effective reproduction number, of the B.1.1.529 variant in the South African province of Gauteng, where it was first found, was now 2 – a level of transmission not recorded since the beginning of the pandemic, before restrictions began to be imposed. For an R of anything above 1, an epidemic will grow exponentially.....

How does B.1.1.529 compare with other variants?

Senior scientists on Thursday evening described B.1.1.529 as the worst variant they had seen since the start of the pandemic. It has 32 mutations in the spike protein, the part of the virus that most vaccines use to prime the immune system against Covid. That is about double the number associated with the Delta variant. Mutations in the spike protein can affect the virus’s ability to infect cells and spread, but also make it harder for immune cells to attack the pathogen.

As of 28 November 2021 this new variant has been found in 15 countries - South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Namibia, Eswatini, Malawi, Seychelles, Israel, Hong Kong, Belgium, Germany, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, with limited genomic sequencing to date apparently linking all cases outside of the African continent back to travel through southern Africa.


Global Climate Change Response 2021": Advice that Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg & the rest of the Cabinet Ministers, are determined to ignore


Moody’s Investor Services, Research Announcement, 12 October 2021:

Moody's - Financial firms that take rapid, predictable pace to zero financed emissions will win the race

Singapore, October 12, 2021 --

  • Financial firms are under rising regulatory and commercial pressure to support the global sustainability drive

  • Those that take a rapid, well-communicated and measurable pace to net zero financed emissions will be able to preserve their credit quality

As the race to net zero emissions accelerates, banks, insurers and asset managers will need to ramp up climate risk assessments and set clear goals for reaching net zero in their financed emissions, says Moody's Investors Service in a new report. A delayed and disorderly carbon transition would pose the greatest risk to financial firms, while a rapid, well-communicated and measurable transition would keep risks lower.

"Financial firms will lend to and invest in green businesses and new technologies as the transformation to a low-carbon economy creates vast financing opportunities. At the same time, they will help fund the capital needs of corporate clients in carbon-intensive sectors who are aligning their business strategies with low-carbon business models," says Alka Anbarasu, a Moody's Senior Vice President.

Across the G-20, financial firms hold $22 trillion in loans and investments subject to carbon transition risk. Green lending and investments will bring major commercial opportunities to financial firms, but the credit impact of carbon transition will begin to hit home in the second half of this decade when scrutiny of their interim climate goals is likely to intensify.

"A scenario in which concerted action to achieve carbon transition is delayed beyond the end of this decade by uncoordinated government and regulatory policies poses the greatest threat of losses for the financial industry. It risks triggering sudden, large-scale and drastic action in later years by governments, firms, and regulators to limit climate change, hurting the quality of loans and invested assets," says Sean Marion, a Moody's Managing Director. [my yellow highlighting]

Financial firms adopting a rapid but predictable shift towards climate-friendly finance will best preserve their credit quality. In this scenario, financial firms integrate climate risk considerations into their strategic decisions, business processes, governance structures and risk management frameworks, while setting out clear goals for reaching net zero in their financed emissions.

Subscribers can access the report "Financial institutions - Decarbonizing finance: Financial firms need to rise to the challenge of supporting carbon transition" at: http://www.moodys.com/researchdocumentcontentpage.aspx?docid=PBC_1298854

Saturday 27 November 2021

Friday 26 November 2021

La Niña's arrival in the tropical Pacific may herald high flow river levels on the NSW coast during December 2021

Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM):

Climate outlook overview, 18 November 2021:

  • December to February rainfall is likely to be above median for the eastern half of the eastern States, with highest chances along eastern Queensland.

  • There is an increased chance of unusually high rainfall (in the top 20% of historical records) for December to February for parts of the eastern States (1.5 to 2.5 times the usual chance).

  • December to February maximum temperatures are likely to be above median for much of northern and western Australia, as well as parts of the south-east. Below median daytime temperatures are likely for eastern NSW.

  • Minimum temperatures for December to February are likely to be warmer than median for most of Australia, with southern WA and western SA having roughly equal chances of warmer or cooler than median nights.

  • The developing La Niña conditions in the Pacific Ocean, and the La Niña (SAM) phase are likely influencing the above median rainfall outlooks.

 Climate Driver Update, 23 November 2021:

La Niña established in the tropical Pacific

La Niña has become established in the tropical Pacific. The Bureau's ENSO Outlook has been raised to LA NIÑA. Climate models suggest this La Niña will be short-lived, persisting until the late southern hemisphere summer or early autumn 2022. La Niña events increase the chance of above average rainfall across much of northern and eastern Australia during summer.

Several indicators of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) now show clear La Niña patterns. Sea surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific are close to La Niña thresholds, with climate model outlooks expecting them to cool further. In the atmosphere, cloud and wind patterns are typical of La Niña, indicating the atmosphere is now responding to, and reinforcing, the changes observed in the ocean.

The negative Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) is approaching its end, with oceanic index values in the neutral range. However, cloud and wind patterns across the eastern Indian Ocean suggest some IOD influence remains. All models indicate the IOD will remain neutral for the coming months, consistent with its typical seasonal cycle. A negative IOD increases the chances of above-average spring rainfall for much of southern and eastern Australia.

The Madden–Julian Oscillation (MJO) is currently over the Maritime Continent region at weak to moderate strength. The MJO is forecast to progress eastwards across the Maritime Continent and into the western Pacific over the coming fortnight, increasing the chances of above average rainfall across northern Australia and the Maritime Continent, to Australia's north.

The Southern Annular Mode (SAM) has generally been positive for several weeks. It is forecast to remain at positive levels to the end of the year. A positive SAM during summer typically brings wetter weather to eastern parts of Australia, but drier than average conditions for western Tasmania.

Climate change continues to influence Australian and global climate. Australia's climate has warmed by around 1.44 °C for the 1910–2019 period. Rainfall across northern Australia during its wet season (October–April) has increased since the late 1990s. In recent decades there has been a trend towards a greater proportion of rainfall from high intensity short duration rainfall events, especially across northern Australia.

Has Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison lost the confidence of his parliamentary party and its coalition partner?

Since late October 2021 the issue of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's leadership, personal integrity and the quality of his decision making has quickly moved past the rumour mongering, onto the international stage and into both Houses of the Australian Parliament. 

The voting public were also beginning to show their disapproval.

The Conversation, 15 November 2021:

52% (up two) were dissatisfied with Scott Morrison’s performance, and 44% (down two) were satisfied, for a net approval of -8, down four points. This continues Morrison’s slump from his pandemic highs. Six months ago, Morrison’s net approval in Newspoll was +20, and last November his net approval was +36.

Members of his own backbench have gone from muttering their discontent from behind closed doors, to actively backgrounding against him and, onto openly defying him inside and outside of the Parliament. 

7am Podcast, 19 November 2021: 

The federal Coalition government holds office by the barest of margins - just one seat. Now, a popular and high profile Liberal incumbent has announced he won’t be recontesting his electorate, throwing the party’s election preparations into jeopardy. Today, Paul Bongiorno on why the Liberal MP abandoning Scott Morrison thinks Anthony Albanese might be a better Prime Minister for the country. 

John Alexander Liberal MP for Bennelong had recently announced he is not standing at the 2022 federal election. He is understood to be tired of partisan politics where winning is everything but good policy in the national interest runs a poor last. Unnamed parliamentary colleagues are saying that privately Alexander is scathing of the leadership of the government of Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg and Barnaby Joyce, believing they put the government’s self-interest above everything. 

Full audio here.

On 21 November 2021 @KafkaVoltaire released this summary of a 'backgrounding' he received from two sitting LNP MPs:

On 22 November, the first day sitting day of the short period before Parliament goes into recess until 2022 saw the Prime Minister publicly caught out knowingly misleading the House and, in the Senate members of his government were openly threatening him with political mayhem when five Coalition senators crossed the floor to vote for a bill banning mandatory COVID-19 vaccinations. 

By 23 November the news cycle was beginning to put his feet to the fire....

There is now speculation that Scott Morrison might be forced to change his preferred election date to March 2022 in order to block fellow Liberal and Minister for Defence Peter Dutton's ambitions to become prime minister.