Showing posts with label #MorrisonGovernmentFAIL. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #MorrisonGovernmentFAIL. Show all posts

Sunday, 18 August 2019

CLIMATE CHANGE 2019: The Morrison Government and much of the media are obviously not listening, so ordinary Australians have to

Media Matters (USA), 14 August 2019:

In the early hours of August 8, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a report detailing climate change’s effects on land and agricultural practices. The next morning, on August 9, a majority of top newspapers in each of the top 10 agricultural producing states failed to mention this report on their front pages. Additionally, neither NBC Nightly News nor any of the Sunday political news shows discussed the report.

According to the new IPCC report, climate change is drastically altering the planet’s agricultural land and humankind’s ability to survive from it. Land use accounts for about 23% of human greenhouse gas emissions, and practices like deforestation and intensive farming are adding more stress to it. Fertilizer emissions have risen sharply since the 1960s, and soil is being lost at an almost unprecedented rate. Land is heating up faster than the oceans, and the consequences -- more droughts, floods, coastal erosion, and melting permafrost -- have major food security implications. Food insecurity will hit people from developing and lower-income countries the hardest.

The IPCC has laid out a number of solutions to this crisis, including cutting food waste, adopting smarter farming methods, and protecting forests. Ultimately, the report states that humanity needs to become better stewards of its land if we want to tackle the climate crisis.

In Australia the mainstream media response to the UN report was almost as desultory, with only the AAP wire service and three print mastheads running articles in the first two days.

For those who have not yet read the 43 page IPCC summary or started on the much longer full report, here are some of the predictions set out below.

As of June 2019 the world population is an est. 7.7 billion men, women and children. This figure is too high to guarantee that people will not die of thirst, starvation, heat stress, severe cold, infection or natural disaster as climate change intensifies.

A1.5. About a quarter of the Earth’s ice-free land area is subject to human-induced degradation (medium confidence). Soil erosion from agricultural fields is estimated to be currently 10 to 20 times (no tillage) to more than 100 times (conventional tillage) higher than the soil formation rate (medium confidence). Climate change exacerbates land degradation, particularly in low-lying coastal areas, river deltas, drylands and in permafrost areas (high confidence). Over the period 1961-2013, the annual area of drylands in drought has increased, on average by slightly more than 1% per year, with large inter-annual variability. In 2015, about 500 (380-620) million people lived within areas which experienced desertification between the 1980s and 2000s. The highest numbers of people affected are in South and East Asia, the circum Sahara region including North Africa, and the Middle East including the Arabian peninsula (low confidence). Other dryland regions have also experienced desertification. People living in already degraded or desertified areas are increasingly negatively affected by climate change (high confidence). {1.1, 1.2, 3.1, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, Figure SPM.1}

A2.5. In some dryland areas, increased land surface air temperature and evapotranspiration and decreased precipitation amount, in interaction with climate variability and human activities, have contributed to desertification. These areas include Sub-Saharan Africa, parts of East and Central Asia, and Australia. (medium confidence) {2.2, 3.2.2, 4.4.1}

A4.5. Changes in forest cover for example from afforestation, reforestation and deforestation, directly affect regional surface temperature through exchanges of water and energy27 (high confidence). Where forest cover increases in tropical regions cooling results from enhanced evapotranspiration (high confidence). Increased evapotranspiration can result in cooler days during the growing season (high confidence) and can reduce the amplitude of heat related events (medium confidence). In regions with seasonal snow cover, such as boreal and some
temperate, increased tree and shrub cover also has a wintertime warming influence due to reduced surface albedo28 (high confidence). {2.3, 2.4.3, 2.5.1, 2.5.2, 2.5.4}

A. Risks to humans and ecosystems from changes in land-based processes as a result of climate change
Increases in global mean surface temperature (GMST), relative to pre-industrial levels, affect processes involved in desertification (water scarcity), land degradation (soil erosion, vegetation loss, wildfire, permafrost thaw) and food security (crop yield and food supply instabilities). Changes in these processes drive risks to food systems, livelihoods, infrastructure, the value of land, and human and ecosystem health. Changes in one process (e.g. wildfire or water scarcity) may result in compound risks. Risks are location-specific and differ by region

A5.2. With increasing warming, climate zones are projected to further shift poleward in the middle and high latitudes (high confidence). In high-latitude regions, warming is projected to increase disturbance in boreal forests, including drought, wildfire, and pest outbreaks (high confidence). In tropical regions, under medium and high GHG emissions scenarios, warming is projected to result in the emergence of unprecedented29 climatic conditions by the mid to late 21st century (medium confidence). {2.2.4, 2.2.5, 2.5.3, 4.3.2}

A5.3. Current levels of global warming are associated with moderate risks from increased dryland water scarcity, soil erosion, vegetation loss, wildfire damage, permafrost thawing, coastal degradation and tropical crop yield decline (high confidence). Risks, including cascading risks, are projected to become increasingly severe with increasing temperatures. At around 1.5°C of global warming the risks from dryland water scarcity, wildfire damage, permafrost degradation and food supply instabilities are projected to be high (medium confidence). At around 2°C of global warming the risk from permafrost degradation and food supply instabilities are projected to be very high (medium confidence). Additionally, at around 3°C of global warming risk from vegetation loss, wildfire damage, and dryland water scarcity are also projected to be very high (medium confidence). Risks from droughts, water stress, heat related events such as heatwaves and habitat degradation simultaneously increase between 1.5°C and 3°C warming (low confidence). {Figure SPM.2, 7.2.2, Cross-Chapter Box 9 in Chapter 6, Chapter 7 supplementary material}

A5.4. The stability of food supply30 is projected to decrease as the magnitude and frequency of extreme weather events that disrupt food chains increases (high confidence). Increased atmospheric CO2 levels can also lower the nutritional quality of crops (high confidence). In SSP2, global crop and economic models project a median increase of 7.6% (range of 1 to 23%) in cereal prices in 2050 due to climate change (RCP6.0), leading to higher food prices and increased risk of food insecurity and hunger (medium confidence). The most vulnerable people will be more severely affected (high confidence). {5.2.3, 5.2.4, 5.2.5, 5.8.1,, 7.3.1}

A5.5. In drylands, climate change and desertification are projected to cause reductions in crop and livestock productivity (high confidence), modify the plant species mix and reduce biodiversity (medium confidence). Under SSP2, the dryland population vulnerable to water stress, drought intensity and habitat degradation is projected to reach 178 million people by 2050 at 1.5°C warming, increasing to 220 million people at 2°C warming, and 277 million people at 3°C warming (low confidence). {3.5.1, 3.5.2, 3.7.3}

Thursday, 15 August 2019

The controversial carbon credits Australia wants to use equals around 8 yrs worth of fossil fuel emissions of all its Pacific neighbours, including NZ

The Australia Institute, media release, 13 August 2019: 

Morrison’s Pollution Loophole Will Weaken Pacific Climate Change Action 

Prime Minister Morrison is undermining Pacific action on climate change, with new analysis from the Australia Institute revealing that his pollution loophole is equivalent to around 8 years fossil fuel emissions for the rest of the Pacific and New Zealand. 

The Government plans to use Kyoto credits to meet emissions targets – a loophole that means Australia will count controversial past reductions to meet current targets – and essentially be able to keep pollution at the same level. 

New research from The Australia Institute shows that if Australia uses this loophole, it would be the equivalent of around eight years of fossil fuel emissions of all its Pacific neighbours.
Australia intends to use 367 Mt of carbon credits to avoid the majority of emission reductions pledged under its Paris Agreement target, meanwhile the entire annual emissions from the Pacific Island Forum members, excluding Australia, is only about 45Mt. 

By using this loophole, the federal government is giving the green light to pollution equivalent to: 

• Annual emissions of 77,919,000 cars on the road 
• Emissions from 95 coal-fired power plants for a whole year 

“If Australia is to be a climate leader at the Pacific Island Forum, the federal government needs to show with meaningful action – and that begins with ruling out the use of Kyoto credits to meet climate change obligations,” said Richie Merzian, Director Climate Change & Energy at The Australia Institute. “The Government’s policy to use Kyoto credits is an insult to Pacific leaders. You can't "step up" in the Pacific while stepping back on climate action. “The Pacific Island Forum is focused on securing our future in the region – and there is no future without a secure and safe climate. “Scott Morrison has a choice – Australia can be a leader in the region and a partner in combatting the impact of climate change, or we can continue to completely undermine any efforts by our Pacific partners by using these dodgy credits.” 

Tuesday, 13 August 2019

An as yet unconfirmed rumour about the Indue Cashless Welfare Card

Indue Limited (ABN 97 087 822 464) is a bank and Authorised Deposit-Taking Institution (“ADI”) that is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority. Indue is owned by financial institutions, each of which is also an ADI. Indue provides transaction processing and settlement services to credit unions, building societies, church funds, mortgage originators, commercial clients and the Australian government.

via @CartwheelPrint

Facebook, The Say NO Seven, 9 August 2019:


Whistle blower testimony sent to the SNS has confirmed the LNP agenda for Indue Cards.

As long time members are aware, the SNS operates an encrypted mail service and drop box specifically for those people within the system to speak out in relative safety.

A rarely used resource, this week and we assume as a direct result of the the muzzling of certain sectors, we have received information from two independent sources attached to the department and public service that corroborate our concerns.

The LNP Agenda is clear. They are "confidant" that regardless of whether ALP support/do not support further expansions, that with Cross Bench support, they will reach this target prior to the next Federal election.

We do not send this notice to generate groundless fear. We send it to inform you and to inform those within our government who feel themselves above the law and the will of the people, that we *will* and will continue to resist.

We have deliberated deeply about presenting this information, which should come as no real surprise to those are literate in card matters and current political machinations.

We concluded it was necessary to post, despite being unable to provide documentation to you at this time, as has been our standard thus far and will continue to be. The risks are simply too great to not speak out now, while we still can, and are as great as the risks whistle blowers face if we provide any further detail.

We can confirm the sources are credible, reliable, are informed, and have been vetted.

⚠ We must reiterate that AT THIS TIME there are NO Bills before parliament that would permit ANY further roll out in ANY location nor are there any current Bills before parliament to expand payment captures to include aged pension aka under the Act as Mature Aged Payment. 

We must continue to remain steadfast and take one step at a time, and take each presentation to parliament as it comes.

Information sharing over several weeks along with these new posts has confirmed that four Bills concerning or including cashless cards are in progress and that these Bills may arrive as a single Omnibus Bill. We are informed that the writing of these Bills has been outsourced to partisan legal interests.

Even so, as we said, we must remain steadfast and take each presentation to parliament as it comes and not allow fear to dictate or determine *our* outcomes decisions or directions.

We send this to you for 'the grace of time' - for your emotional and mental preparation and for wider general awareness of what we are likely to be facing over the next three years.

We will post over the next week on just what this agenda, if successful, could mean for Australians and our nation and economy; on the utilization and role of religious groups as relates to LNP's social welfare policy as a whole; and we will also speak on issues of effective resistance.

Now we know. Time to wake the masses.

Heads up..eyes fear. ✊

- SNS🌿

Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Under Prime Minister Scott Morrison's own peculiar mix of politics & social engineering the 'haves' are relentlessly screwing the 'have nots' into the ground

ABC News, 2 August 2019: 

Whistleblowers are warning a $351 million Government program aimed at getting parents back to work is exploiting vulnerable single mothers, and even the homeless. 

Key points: 

ParentsNext is a $351 million scheme to get parents on welfare to meet work and study goals, then return to the workforce 

Employment service providers receive $600 for every client who is on ParentsNext 

Whistleblowers say service providers have kept parents in the scheme who should be exempt. 

At the centre of the controversy is ParentsNext, a program some people must take part in to receive parenting payments from Centrelink. 

It is also the first Australia-wide program to allow private employment service providers to decide who must participate. 

Background Briefing has interviewed current and former employees in Australia's lucrative employment services sector who claim some caseworkers are pressured to sign up and retain people who face significant personal crises, even though departmental guidelines stipulate they should be exempted. 

Homeless but signed up anyway Mel, 33, is one of more than 3,000 homeless Australians who've been signed up to the compulsory employment training program ParentsNext despite having no fixed address to take a shower or prepare a warm meal for her kids. 

A mother of four, Mel's spent more than two years on Tasmania's public housing waiting list. 

She was furious when she received a letter demanding she undergo an eligibility assessment for ParentsNext or else her parenting payments would be cut off. 

 "It's degrading, it's making us feel like we're lazy, like we're not doing nothing for our kids," said Mel, whose last name is being withheld for privacy reasons. Guidelines from the Department of Jobs specify Centrelink could have exempted her from participating on the grounds of her homelessness. 

Mel was instead referred to a local not-for-profit community provider, Workskills, which were paid a government fee just for her turning up. Under ParentsNext, employment service providers are paid $600 for each new recipient they take on. 

Mel was exempted at her first meeting with Workskills, but will be re-examined for eligibility in 12 months. She says she can't understand why the Department did not exempt her at the outset.

Despite being exempted from ParentsNext, last week Mel's parenting payment was cut off after she forgot to tick a box declaring her zero income to Centrelink.

ABCBackground Briefing, "Welfare to Worse", 2 August 2019 podcast here.

Sunday, 4 August 2019

'We told you so!' echoes around social media as Australian police found to have exceeded lawful authority in accessing citizens' metadata

Recalling the many social media voices which expressed concern when legislation was before the Australian Parliament, none of this comes as any surprise......

The Guardian, 23 July 2019:

In addition to one instance of the Australian federal police accessing a journalist’s data without a warrant reported in 2017, the ombudsman discovered two instances where the WA police applied for – and obtained – a journalist information warrant from a person not authorised to provide it. 

“This occurred due to a lack of awareness by WA police regarding to whom an application for a journalist information warrant could be made,” the report said. “In response to this issue, WA police took steps to quarantine all information obtained under the invalid warrants.” 

The Guardian, 24 July 2019:

The home affairs minister Peter Dutton has claimed “there are consequences” for unlawful metadata searches but conceded he doesn’t know if any action has been taken after revelations of widespread breaches by law enforcement agencies. 

On Wednesday the ACT’s chief police officer, Ray Johnson, brushed off the fact his officers accessed metadata at least 116 times without proper authorisation in 2015, labelling it an “administrative oversight”. 

The revelations were contained in a commonwealth ombudsman’s report which also found Western Australian police twice obtained invalid warrants targeting journalists’ data and the department of immigration received data outside the authority’s parameters in 42 cases. 

Labor’s home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally said the report shows metadata powers “have been abused to allow illegal searches and to target journalists”. 

ZDnet, 25 July 2019:

The Commonwealth Ombudsman report [PDF] into how 20 agencies across federal and state levels government agencies across Australia handle stored communications and metadata over the period of the 2016-17 financial year has been released, with Home Affairs being the only agency that was handed recommendations. 

Home Affairs was called upon to ensure it could "accurately account for the number of telecommunications data authorisations it issues in any given period" to comply with its record keeping obligations, and have a central system to store or monitor telecommunications data once it had been handed to investigators. 

The recommendations were a result of the former Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) having 8 record keeping issues identified, as well as a statistical issue, and 42 instances of telecommunications data being accessed outside the parameters of authority. The Ombudsman explained that 41 of those instances were due to an automatic input from DIBP's database which has since been resolved. 

Also falling under the Home Affairs banner following its transferral into the Peter Dutton-helmed superministry is the Australian Federal Police, which disclosed that between October 13 to 26, 2015, all authorisations by ACT Police were not authorised, due to the AFP Commissioner failing to authorise any ACT officers for that period. 

The Guardian, 26 July 2019:

ACT Policing has admitted it unlawfully accessed citizens’ metadata a total of 3,365 times, not 116 as previously disclosed in an explosive commonwealth ombudsman’s report on Monday. 

The new disclosures include a total of 240 cases that resulted in information valuable to criminal investigations and two that “may have been used in a prosecution”. 

In a statement on Friday, ACT Policing revealed the 116 unlawful metadata requests detailed in the report tabled in parliament on Monday are the tip of the iceberg, with a further 3,249 requests made from 11 March to 13 October 2015 under an invalid authorisation. 

The revelation comes as Western Australia’s top cop has said there have been no consequences for police who unlawfully accessed a journalist’s metadata,

contradicting Peter Dutton’s suggestion they might be penalised. 

Police made illegal metadata searches and obtained invalid warrants targeting journalists Read more In the statement ACT Policing revealed it is still seeking legal advice about how to deal with two cases where invalidly obtained metadata was used in “a missing persons case and a criminal matter where the data in question may have been used in a prosecution”. 

“It is not appropriate to identify particular cases,” it said.

 See remainder of statement and full article here.

Saturday, 3 August 2019

Tweet of the Week

Thursday, 1 August 2019

Every journalist,political commentator, blogger & tweeter who has ever been critical of government - be afraid, be very afraid

The Mercury, 29 July 2019: 

Last week the rise of authoritarian government was confirmed with the Morrison Government, aided by the as usual spineless Labor Party, passing legislation which would allow the Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton to block any Australian from returning to this country for up to two years on the grounds they are associated with terrorism, even in the most tangential way. And as Crikey, a news site, revealed last week, the Morrison Government revealed its complete contempt for the rule of law and independent scrutiny of the power Mr Dutton now has vested in him. 

While the Counter-Terrorism (Temporary Exclusion Orders) Act, to give the law its formal name, is designed to stop Australians who have fought in Syria, Iraq or elsewhere for organisations deemed to be terrorist, from returning to this country, one section in the Act appears so broadly drafted it could be used to prevent whistleblowers, journalists and others who reveal the secrets of the US, Australia and other allies in the so-called war on terror from re-entering Australia. 

Section 10 of the Act gives Mr Dutton the power to prevent a person, aged 14 or over, from coming back to Australia for up to two years at a time on a number of grounds. 

One of those grounds is that “the person has been assessed by the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation to be directly or indirectly a risk to security … for reasons related to politically motivated violence.” This provision is extraordinarily broad. How might ASIO think that a person is “directly or indirectly a risk to security” because of some link to terrorism, which is what politically motivated violence means. 

Does it include a whistleblower who reveals US and Australian misconduct in the context of the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan or Iraq? 

Or what about a journalist and publisher who lets the world see cables, emails and other forms of communication to and from Australian security and defence agencies and which relate to terrorist activity? 

The answer is yes, it could apply in both cases. When whistleblowers, media organisations and journalists have published material such as in the case of WikiLeaks, the Iraq War Logs, or the trove of materials that former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden smuggled out in 2013 such exercises have been labelled as irresponsible and assisting terrorism…... 

If ASIO answers yes, and of course its reasons for the assessment cannot be challenged because they are secret, then the loose wording of section 10 suggests that Mr Dutton would be prepared to issue an order preventing those individuals from entering Australia for up to two years. 

To give a minister such enormous power to interfere with the right to freedom of speech and free movement is indicative of a mindset that cares nothing for the rule of law or democracy. 

Even the parliamentary committee which looks at security legislation, and which is chaired by a Liberal MP Andrew Hastie and includes Tasmanian Liberal senator Eric Abetz, was ignored by the Morrison Government in this case. 

The committee in question, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security, is a highly regarded bipartisan committee that routinely looks at security legislation and whose recommendations are adopted by government because of its expertise. 

Bernard Keane writing in Crikey last Thursday revealed that the committee had recommended that an independent person be given the role of considering banning returning citizens. 

But Mr Dutton justified ignoring the committee’s recommendation in what can only be described as an exercise in gross manipulation of the facts….. 

The Morrison Government would only accept the bipartisan committee’s recommendation if “it was in the national interest” to do so. 

In other words, Mr Dutton and the Morrison Government generally do not believe in a fundamental premise of the rule of law. It is anathema to democracy for ministers to have unbridled power when it comes to dealing with people’s lives. 

Another bad week for Australian democracy. [my yellow highlighting]

Wednesday, 31 July 2019

Best explanation of the digital disaster that the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has inflicted on Australian industry, businesses and consumers of digital products/services, by requiring mandated government access to all encryption keys

"Barr is calling for crypto that "achieve(s) a 99 percent assurance against cyber threats to consumers". We don't know how to build that... As the graphs above show, we only know how to build either 100% or 0%" [@ErrataRob, 26 July 2019]

"How hard is it to break this [end-to-end] encryption, for data encrypted to an up-to-date standard? It has been estimated to take 6,400,000,000,000 years using a 2009-era desktop computer. Supercomputers like China’s Sunway TaihuLight are up to three million times faster than that, and can perform 93 quadrillion calculations per second, so cracking a message might be possible in only 2 million years." [Australian Parliamentary Library, 3 October 2018]

This Twitter thread contains the best explanation of the digital disaster that the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has inflicted on Australian industry, businesses and consumers of digital products/services, by requiring government access to all encryption keys - mandated through the Telecommunications and Other Legislation Amendment (Assistance and Access) 2018 which became law on 9 December 2018. 

The thread explains why there is no safe 'backdoor' to bypass up-to-date encryption on the basis of perceived national security or law enforcement needs.

Show this thread

Thursday, 25 July 2019

Australian Politics in 2019: the betrayal

Echo NetDaily, 15 July 2019:

Thus Spake Mungo: The betrayal

Scott Morrison really likes quiet Australians – as quiet as possible. So it was really no surprise that his response to his minister, Ken Wyatt’s modest and tentative proposal to consider reviving an Indigenous Voice through the Uluru Statement from the Heart was simple and direct: bloody well shut up and do what you are told.

We will decide who speaks for Indigenous Australia and the circumstances in which they speak, and by we, I mean me, and Eric Abetz and Peter Dutton and the Institute of Public Affairs and Andrew Bolt – not Indigenous Australians. They can do what they are told.

So the glimmer of hope last week was extinguished as soon as it began. Wyatt knew it probably would be – when he delicately referred to ‘reticence’ within his party room, he was prepared for a backlash, but maybe not one as cynical, hypocritical and downright vicious as the one that transpired.

In nanoseconds the same old lies were trotted out, most outrageously the one about the Voice being a third chamber of parliament. If the deliberately ignorant ever thought that was the case, they have certainly been informed by now that it never was and never is – the proposal is for a Voice, an advisory body with no power to legislate or veto whatever the parliament decides.

This must have been clear even to Dutton. But this did not stop him repeating the fabrication on national television. What he actually means, of course, is that the truth is irrelevant – what matters is that it can be turned into a massive scare campaign to deceive the gullible in much the same way the coalition devised the invention of Labor’s death taxes, which worked on May 18.

And if that involves rejecting, traducing and misrepresenting the long and tortuous process that led to Uluru, well they can just suck it up. Everyone knows there are no votes in Aborigines.

So Wyatt meekly surrendered to the inevitable and will now go back to what he called pragmatism, negotiation, compromise – we must have consensus before we even think about going to a referendum, otherwise there is a risk of it failing.

And indeed there is, but only because of the intransigence of the reactionary rump that now holds sway over his government. The deep strain of latent racism that prevails throughout the joint party room and its acolytes is not confined to the fringes of the National Party – it has infected Liberals as well, some of whom call themselves the protectors of mainstream Australia.

They are worried about what they regard as causing divisions – offering rights and privileges to one group to disadvantage the rest. This is precisely what they demand for the religious zealots, but no matter. As they well know, there are no votes in Aborigines. And there is a sneaking suspicion that their predicament, while deplorable, is somehow their own fault – if they could just forget the past and get on with it, the incarcerations, the mortality rates, the unemployment, the homeless, the poverty and despair would simply disappear.

So we have the always predictable Craig Kelly say he did not want to spend money on a referendum – he would rather spend it on closing the gap (actually he would rather spend it on a coal fired power station, but let that pass). Barnaby Joyce says the solution is to break up the senate to bring in more rural members. Amanda Stoker, apparently attempting to remake herself into a transgender Peter Dutton, is against anything even vaguely progressive on principle.

And she is not the only one – come in Morgan Begg, of IPA, which by no coincidence is secretly funded by a large chunk of the mining industry, a traditional enemy of Indigenous rights. Begg sprang into the pages of The Australian (where else?) to claim that a Voice would violate all principles of racial equality. And he went back to the hugely successful 1967 referendum to boost his thesis: by agreeing to count Aborigines in the national census, Australians voted to remove race from the constitution.

But that was only part of that they voted for. They also voted to give the Commonwealth Parliament the right – even the duty – to legislate specifically for Aborigines, a considerably more substantial outcome. This was the power John Howard used in 2006 to bring in his military intervention of allegations of child abuse. There is no record of Begg inveighing against such blatant racism division, illiberalism.

And his hypocrisy is echoed by many conservatives, including Morrison, who is determined to avoid embedding any suggestion of a Voice in the constitution – the key, the non-negotiable plank in the Uluru Statement. Morrison says that if there is to be a Voice – and mind you, he is not saying there will be – an advisory body established by parliament will be quite sufficient.

But this misses the point: not only would such a body be vulnerable to political interference, in the same way Howard abolished the former Australian and Torres Strait Islander Commission in 2004, but the whole idea is that the Voice should be endorsed by the Australian people, not just by the politicians of the time.

This after all, was the argument of the conservatives over same sex marriage – the change was so important it had to go to a plebiscite. But obviously reconciliation with Indigenous Australians can be regarded as relatively trivial – there are no votes in Aborigines.

In the end, Morrison and Wyatt will probably be able to cobble together some anodyne words, some impotent tokenism he can take to a referendum

In the end, Morrison and Wyatt will probably be able to cobble together some anodyne words, some impotent tokenism he can take to a referendum which may or may not pass, and who cares anyway. But it will be a travesty of Uluru, a betrayal of the painstaking months of good faith the delegates invested in the hope that this time, at last, someone would listen.

Wyatt has been lauded as the first of his race to join cabinet as the first Minister for Indigenous Australia – Morgan Begg and Andrew Bolt would no doubt call this divisive in itself. But the task was too much for him or probably anyone else. Ken Wyatt could have been a hero – not only an Indigenous hero, but a hero for all Australians of goodwill, the majority who are willing to support the long march to real reconciliation. Instead, he has become just another casualty, yet another victim of the casual racism and cruelty of the right wing rump……

Read the full article here.

Monday, 22 July 2019

Great Barrier Reef Marine Authority makes its position clear to Australian governments

SBS News, 20 July 2019:

The agency that manages the Great Barrier Reef broke ranks with the Federal Government to call for the "strongest and fastest possible action" against climate change to save the world heritage marine wonder.
The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, a government body, said in a study released this week that an urgent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, both nationally and globally, was needed to protect the future of the reef.
Rising sea temperatures linked to climate change have killed off large areas of coral in the 2,300km reef, a UN-listed World Heritage site, that suffered back-to-back coral bleaching in 2016 and 2017.

Australia's emissions of greenhouse gases have risen for the past four years under the recently re-elected government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, which backs the country's huge coal industry.
It has refused to enshrine emission reduction targets agreed to under the Paris climate accords in its formal energy policy and experts question whether it can meet its commitment to cut greenhouse gas output by at least 26 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
On 18 July 2019, the Authority released our position statement on climate change.

Our position is:
Climate change is the greatest threat to the Great Barrier Reef. Only the strongest and fastest possible actions to decrease global greenhouse gas emissions will reduce the risks and limit the impacts of climate change on the Reef. Further impacts can be minimised by limiting global temperature increase to the maximum extent possible and fast-tracking actions to build Reef resilience.
The position statement explains what is causing the climate to change, why it’s the greatest threat to the Reef, and that caring for the Reef requires actions at all levels.
Caring for the Reef is a shared responsibility. We recognise the critical importance of strong and effective implementation of all government programs, policies and tools supporting action on climate change. We encourage others to take action to reduce the risks and limit the impacts of climate change on the Reef and coral reefs globally. Actions everyone can take can be found on our website and the Department of the Environment and Energy’s website.
Building the resilience of the Reef is central to ensuring it can withstand threats. Our approach to managing the Marine Park is adaptive and future-focused and we are committed to strengthening partnerships to build the capacity of Marine Park managers, industries and communities to adapt their activities to a changing climate....

Friday, 19 July 2019

Exodus of senior NDIS officials over the last fifteen months

When well-paid senior managementsome in the top percentile of Australia’s income earners – begins to abandon ship it’s time to consider if the Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government has finally sunk the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

The Australian, 5 July 2019:

...The NDIA has confirmed deputy chief executive Michael Francis has resigned and will leave in September to take a role “closer to home”.

A spokeswoman also confirmed chief risk officer Anthony Vella has recently departed, along with Antonia Albanese, who was head of markets, provider and market relations.

Ms Albanese and Mr Vella both directly reported to the chief executive.

The Australian has also been told the general manager of critical services issue response, Stephanie Gunn, has quit.

Mr Shorten told The Australian Mr Robert was “either oblivious or delusional” for telling parliament the scheme was being run well.

It is alarming that this group of senior executives lack such confidence in the way the NDIA is being run that they are choosing to leave,” he said. “This scheme is so important for the vulnerable but is being chaotically implemented.

Yet the minister in parliament has told the nation it’s all going swimmingly. He must be either oblivious or delusional.”

The NDIA spokeswoman said: “The NDIA is grateful to our departing senior executives, who have made significant contributions to the NDIS.

The NDIA has a strong and experienced leadership team, focused on continuing to guide the agency to deliver improved outcomes for NDIS participants. Interim arrangements with - experienced personnel have been put in place.”

The confirmation of executive departures came after Mr Shorten tweeted he was “hearing” that four senior staff resigned in the past seven days.

Former chief executive Robert De Luca suddenly resigned in May and is yet to be replaced. Former communications head Vicki Rundle is acting chief executive.

Mr Robert — a key numbers man for the Prime Minister in last August’s leadership contest — yesterday used question time to declare the NDIS was available to “all Australians on the continent”….. [my yellow highlighting]