Daily News Review – Friday 30 July

Each day this service is sourced by CCO from the excellent work done as ‘The Dawn Patrol’ for over a decade now by ‘BK’ at Poll Bludger. See; pollbludger.net

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While putting this together I have been watching Joe Biden deliver, at length, a stunningly clear message to Americans about the current “pandemic of the unvaccinated” and how he is mandating the use of masks in federal facilities. He has declared that he will fight head on against misinformation. He is also putting sticks and carrots into play to complete the vaccination program. Biden means business! If Only Morrison could be so clear and direct. – BK.

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Anthony Albanese and Jim Chalmers decided months ago to use the dead of winter to drop Labor’s old tax policies into a deep crevasse so they could lighten their load on the march to the next election. David Crowe says it was the ruthless decision Albanese had to make.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/the-ruthless-decision-albanese-had-to-make-20210729-p58e6g.html
And Michelle Grattan says Anthony Albanese this week sent a clear message – he intends to use John Howard’s 1996 model as his strategic guide to the election.
https://theconversation.com/grattan-on-friday-albanese-lightens-his-boat-ahead-of-the-battle-of-the-grey-men-165331
Waleed Aly provides us with a sobering assessment of where we are in the Covid situation.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/our-anger-is-focused-on-vaccination-but-is-it-fed-by-a-dangerous-mythology-20210729-p58dw7.html
Both big parties are vying to be a smaller target than the other, reducing the next election to a referendum on the pandemic and the road out, opines Phil Coorey.
https://www.afr.com/politics/federal/politics-is-now-the-show-about-nothing-but-the-virus-20210729-p58dx6
In a measured contribution, CEDA’s Melinda Cilento writes that every tool must be deployed to suppress this outbreak.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/every-tool-must-be-deployed-to-suppress-outbreak-20210729-p58dwp.html
New modelling from the Grattan Institute found Australia could ease restrictions and end lockdowns when 80 per cent of the entire population has been vaccinated. A similar report from the Doherty Institute will be discussed today at national cabinet as will whether snap lockdowns on low coronavirus case numbers are the best way to handle Delta variant outbreaks, given their success in Victoria and South Australia.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/australia-likely-to-have-80-per-cent-vaccinated-by-march-next-year-20210729-p58e17.html
The Grattan Institute’s Brendan Coates goes into detail about the report, saying it shows that fully vaccinating 80 per cent of all Australians, and 95 per cent of the over-70s, will give us the best chance of gradually returning to normal life – with open borders and no lockdowns. Anything less, and we risk a rapid surge in COVID cases that overwhelms our hospitals. He concludes with, “State governments have led the way in managing COVID. Now they need to lead again on the way out.”
https://www.theage.com.au/national/it-s-a-race-to-80-per-cent-for-our-best-shot-at-living-with-covid-20210728-p58dn0.html
More on this from Stephen Duckett.
https://theconversation.com/australia-shouldnt-open-up-before-we-vaccinate-at-least-80-of-the-population-heres-why-165073
Long-awaited vaccination modelling from the Doherty Institute will finally be revealed on Friday, with national cabinet to discuss the number of jabs Australia needs to give before COVID restrictions and lockdowns can finally end. But Josh Butler tells us that Greg Hunt says it won’t be as simple as a “magic number” being tacked on Scott Morrison’s ‘four-stage plan’ for reopening.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/2021/07/30/vaccination-modelling-roadmap-out/
Christopher Knaus reveals that the public health orders needed to enforce the vaccine mandate on aged care workers in Australia have still not been made and no risk assessment on the potential disruption to care has been completed, more than a month after the prime minister Scott Morrison announced the policy.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/30/six-weeks-before-deadline-australian-government-has-no-plan-for-enforcing-aged-care-worker-vaccinations
The vaccine rollout is a race. It always has been, writhes Anthony Albanese in this op-ed in The Canberra Times.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7363043/the-vaccine-rollout-is-a-race-it-always-has-been/?cs=14264
Michael Pascoe reckons Gladys Berejiklian is giving us the COVID definition of insanity.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2021/07/30/gladys-berejiklian-lockdown-sydney/
As Sydney Covid infections spiral out of control, the efficiency of NSW’s lauded “gold standard” contact tracing system has become ever more critical. Cracks are appearing. Luke Stacey reports.
https://www.michaelwest.com.au/nsw-contact-tracing-gold-standard-or-just-more-covid-spin/
The Herald Sun says that if Victoria had applied Sydney’s outbreak settings after NSW removalists brought Covid to town, we would be awash in virus instead of exiting lockdown.
https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/opinion/patrick-carlyon/patrick-carlyon-nsw-covid-response-beset-by-torpor-and-denial/news-story/81e7e6e0ea9b161a5c841ce542c58d4f
Professor Greg Dore, an infectious diseases expert with Sydney’s Kirby Institute, this week said Australia would look back at “anti-AstraZenecism” as one of the greatest public health failings in many years.
https://www.theage.com.au/world/europe/astrazeneca-creator-says-australia-s-mixed-messages-on-vaccine-may-cost-lives-20210730-p58e8v.html
Matthew Knott explains how breakthrough COVID infections in the US represent a reality check on the road to normality.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/breakthrough-covid-infections-a-reality-check-on-road-to-normality-20210729-p58dwq.html
A COVID ‘ring of steel’ around Sydney would play havoc with Australia’s supply chains, warns Flavio Romero Macau.
https://theconversation.com/a-covid-ring-of-steel-around-sydney-would-play-havoc-with-australias-supply-chains-165313
When Australians once again take to the skies for overseas trips they won’t just need a ticket, but also a vaccine passport. Qantas is set to introduce digital COVID-19 vaccine passports, paving the way for what some say will be a more ‘seamless’ travel experience, writes Isabelle Lane.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/life/travel/2021/07/29/qantas-vaccine-passports-travel/
The SMH advises that as households remain one of the main drivers of COVID-19 transmission, the ADF has accepted a request to help NSW ensure people stay home and don’t mix with extended family.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/army-to-enforce-stay-at-home-orders-as-delta-spreads-through-children-20210729-p58e3r.html
A Sydney law firm that was admonished by the regulator for urging civil disobedience during Victoria’s winter lockdown has been accused of spreading misinformation on social media with suggestions that COVID-19 vaccination does not work and testing is nonsense.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/sydney-law-firm-praises-civil-disobedience-over-lockdowns-20210728-p58do0.html
Zoe Samios reports that News Corp’s Sydney tabloid The Daily Telegraph will stop publishing columns from controversial broadcaster Alan Jones after weeks of anti-vaccination and anti-lockdown commentary.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/alan-jones-column-pulled-from-the-daily-telegraph-amid-anti-lockdown-covid-19-controversies-20210729-p58dxd.html
And Michaela Whitbourn tells us that Sky News has paid $40,000 plus legal costs to avoid a defamation suit being filed against it by Sarah Hanson-Young after the broadcaster wrongly aired claims she involved her young niece in a dangerous environmental protest.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/sky-news-pays-40-000-plus-costs-to-avoid-hanson-young-defamation-suit-20210719-p58azi.html
The Guardian tells us how Alan Jones has rejected the premise that he ‘no longer resonates with readers’.
https://www.theguardian.com/media/2021/jul/29/alan-jones-column-ended-daily-telegraph-covid-anti-lockdown-commentary
Five weeks into the greater Sydney lockdown, the rules are eye-glazingly complicated, complains Anne Davies.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/29/five-weeks-into-the-greater-sydney-lockdown-the-rules-are-eye-glazingly-complicated
Police have released images of four men suspected of throwing pot plants at mounted officers during the anti-lockdown protest in Sydney’s CBD.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/police-hunt-cbd-protesters-suspected-of-throwing-pot-plants-at-mounted-officers-20210729-p58e44.html
Covid is facing a resurgence in the US, and so is Trumpian politics, writes Robert Reich who says that after a moment of hope, much is sliding backwards. It’s not Biden’s fault; it’s Trump’s legacy.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/29/covid-coronavirus-delta-variant-trump-politics
Adam Morton reports that Labor has asked the Morrison government to explain why a Great Barrier Reef-focused charity received jobkeeper despite still having hundreds of millions of dollars remaining from a nearly $500m grant it received three years ago.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/jul/30/coalition-criticised-after-great-barrier-reef-foundation-receives-351000-in-jobkeeper-payments
The repercussions of New South Wales Deputy Premier John Barilaro’s defamation lawsuit against Friendlyjordies are no laughing matter, writes Michelle Pini.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/friendlyjordies-v-john-call-me-pork-barilaro,15347
Hamish McDonald provides us with a detailed look at Marise Payne’s career and examines if she has done enough to pull the government in the right direction. He has questions, too, about the appointment of Kathryn Campbell to head up DFAT.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7363203/has-marise-payne-done-enough-to-pull-the-government-in-the-right-direction/?cs=14264&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews
“Whenever Scott Morrison claims we are at the front of the queue, that we have gold standards, that it is “not a race” but a chase for gold medals, I start to panic. Not once has any claim like this been true. Not once”, begins Jenna Price in this article in which she examines the government’s response to the Foster report on the processes and procedures relating to serious incidents in the parliamentary workplace. Price questions its independence.
https://www.canberratimes.com.au/story/7363260/to-make-it-a-safe-house-take-this-process-out-of-the-house/?cs=14264&utm_source=website&utm_medium=home&utm_campaign=latestnews
A decision will be made soon as to whether or not the already massive legal debt accumulated by One Nation’s James Ashby will increase, writes Ross Jones.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/date-looming-for-james-ashby-debt-decision,15351
The SMH editorial says that the pandemic has delayed progress on the new national plan for closing the gap between Indigenous Australians and the rest of the community, but it should not be used as an excuse.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/pandemic-is-not-an-excuse-to-go-slow-on-closing-the-gap-20210729-p58e3j.html
One of Adelaide’s wealthiest mining executives allegedly defrauded $38.5m from the Australian Taxation Office over a 15-year period, police say. Keith Robert “Bob” Johnson has been charged with two counts of defrauding the commonwealth and 13 counts of obtaining a financial advantage by deception.
https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/truecrimeaustralia/police-courts-sa/mining-identity-and-maptek-founder-dr-bob-johnson-charged-with-defrauding-385m-in-taxes-over-15year-period/news-story/2723bca456b019a89b5c95253f7fc357
Ben Butler reports that competition watchdog Rod Sims has called for curbs on state and federal government privatisations, saying the public has lost trust after seeing prices rise following asset sell-offs.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/30/prices-going-up-competition-watchdog-tells-governments-to-limit-asset-sales-as-public-loses-trust
Rupert Murdoch’s role in a secret project jointly financed by the US government and wealthy backers in the private sector to influence public opinion demands the attention of Australian lawmakers, argues investigative journalist Marshall Wilson.
https://johnmenadue.com/how-reagan-and-us-agencies-made-murdoch-a-king/
Nick Toscano reports that energy billionaire Trevor St Baker’s electric vehicle-charging company Evie Networks and fuel giant Ampol are among the winning bidders for the first round of Commonwealth grants to boost the roll-out of fast-charging stations across the country.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/canberra-tips-in-25m-to-roll-out-400-ev-charging-stations-20210729-p58e03.html
The industrial umpire has confirmed it will explore new ways to recover $175,550 in court-ordered penalties from disgraced former Labor MP Craig Thomson, a week after his NSW Central Coast home was raided by federal police.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/industrial-umpire-working-on-fresh-plan-to-recover-craig-thomson-s-debt-20210728-p58dqi.html

Cartoon Corner

Mark Knight


A cracker gif from Glen Le Lievre – see https://twitter.com/i/status/1420641544634126337

Matt Golding

Alan Moir

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