Daily News Review – Thursday 15 July

John Hewson holds up the St George-Illawarra Dragons as a model to teach Morrison how to deal with bad behaviour and breaching of standards within an organisation.
Sarah Martin writes that a former federal president of the Nationals, Christine Ferguson, has issued a call to arms to young women in the party, saying they need to speak up about their bad experiences to drive cultural change, while also criticising the party for losing touch with its grassroots members.
“Just who is this man named Morrison that he needs Murdoch’s defence?”, asks John Lord.
Michael Pascoe laments the poor ethical standards of the Morrison government. He goes to considerable lengths to prosecute his argument.
A major hospital in the centre of Sydney’s coronavirus outbreak has been forced to postpone all non-urgent surgery after a patient tested positive to COVID-19.
The federal government is getting quite sensitive over claims of unequal treatment of NSW and Victoria.
While Victoria bickers over the Commonwealth’s financial assistance to NSW, it too might get to test the new funding package if it can’t control a new outbreak of virus cases, says Jennifer Hewett.
Use our common sense? Use your own, Premier, and tell us what ‘essential’ means, exclaims Alexandra Smith.
The SMH editorial urges Sydney to lift its game or the lockdown could drag on forever.
Paul Karp reports that Scott Morrison’s decision to blame the government’s immunisation advisers for delays in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout has been labelled “unfair” and “disappointing” by a recent member of ATAGI.
Alan Kohler, sick and tired of the government’s unrelenting spin, says it’s little wonder the Morrison government is paying cash directly to employees stood down in the Sydney lockdown, with a cap and time limit, after the way JobKeeper was plundered last year.
Now ICU nurses from across Sydney are opening up about what it’s like working on the wards with COVID patients. They’re pleading with Australians to fight off their pandemic fatigue and take it seriously. The city is struggling under the weight of the current outbreak, and the rest of the nation is waiting patiently to see how far incursions may have spread, writes Cait Kelly.
The AFR’s editorial says there should be greater transparency about the health advice that for now is set to keep 5 million Sydneysiders locked down at least until the end of July.
Greg Sheridan sensibly declares that lockdowns work, and we have no alternative. He says suppression of the virus until we get vaccinated is the right policy. It is a mystery why even now we won’t do the most basic and obvious thing to achieve it – building dedicated quarantine facilities.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her advisers knew what this Delta variant could do long before the virus travelled from the city’s east to the west. Yet their handling of COVID-19 hotspots early in this outbreak was relaxed – until the virus hit a community that they had difficulty understanding.
According to the Burnett Institute, the emergence of the Delta variant, and future variants, will change the way Australia – and the world – contains the pandemic.
Overnight the Victorian government has tightened COVID-19 restrictions around face masks after 11 new cases emerged in Melbourne’s north and west from two separate outbreaks, and the number of potentially high-risk exposure sites swelled.
A COVID-induced rancour that has broken out between Sydney’s commercial radio shock jocks and the Sky News night-time ravers over Sydney’s lockdown would be funny if it were not so serious, writes Dennis Muller who says the current right-wing shock jock stoush reveals the awful truth about COVID, politics and media ratings.
South Australians have been put on notice to follow COVID-19 rules and regulations or face tougher restrictions in response to a potential local outbreak of the virus. Police Commissioner Grant Stevens says a meeting on Thursday will consider the current situation in SA after three exposure sites were identified linked to infected removalists who came into the state from Sydney.
Speaker Tony Smith – who has been battling to force better behaviour in the House of Representatives on MPs including Scott Morrison – has announced he will not contest the next election, writes Michelle Grattan.
Jess Irvine posits that we don’t need to resuscitate JobKeeper to protect our economy.
Instead of heeding early warnings that the reef was at risk, the government is working hard to ensure it isn’t embarrassed by an adverse UNESCO ruling next week, writes biology professor Lesley Hughes. (As usual, Morrison is treating a situation as a marketing exercise.)
Environment Minister Susan Ley says she was “blindsided” by UNESCO’s recommendation to declare the Great Barrier Reef ‘in danger’. Prime Minister Morrison was “appalled”. Their responses reflect a concern that the Reef’s political potency may be re-ignited. Then to top it off they blamed the Chinese, exclaims Rowland Hill.
Feel free to read Peta Credlin’s piece in the Australian urging against what she describes as identity politics.
Frank Brennan complains that George Brandis as Attorney-General started a round of appointments to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) and to the Federal Circuit Court which has continued to adversely impact the fair and efficient resolution of refugee and migration cases.
Victorian Liberals will force new members to provide photo identification to join as part of an internal shake-up spurred by a scathing report.
Blaming migrants for Australia’s lower wages growth is easy but too simplistic, explains Greg Jericho.
Costello exaggerated the costs of ageing. Why won’t the Coalition face up to the costs of the climate crisis, asks Richard Denniss.
David Crowe and Mike Foley say that two Liberal MPs have called on the federal government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” levels by 2050 in a new warning about climate change, taking on conservatives within the Nationals who are holding out against the target. Meanwhile, a Liberal-dominated committee has rejected consideration of Zali Steggall’s bill.
The Amazon rainforest is now emitting more carbon dioxide than it is able to absorb, scientists have confirmed for the first time. The emissions amount to a billion tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, according to a study. The giant forest had previously been a carbon sink, absorbing the emissions driving the climate crisis, but is now causing its acceleration, researchers said.
Julie Hare reports that a delegation of high-profile university chancellors was rebuffed in efforts to meet Scott Morrison to discuss the crisis unfolding in the higher education sector as international student revenues dive, with the official tally of job losses now near 15,000.
Michaela Whitbourn tells us that media outlets being sued for defamation by Ben Roberts-Smith have asked the Federal Court to hear evidence urgently from four Afghan witnesses in Kabul amid a deterioration in the security situation, but the war veteran’s lawyers say it would be too risky to hold a hearing during Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak.
Nick Toscano and Mike Foley report that manufacturers are warning the federal government is failing to deliver its “gas-fired” recovery, as rising prices of the fossil fuel put jobs at risk.
As NSW plunges back into lockdown, the banks have been warned to prepare for negative interest rates. Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank has quietly conceded the banks have not lent the $188 billion pandemic stimulus, instead parking it in their $314b war-chest at the central bank earning no interest. Michael West on looming storm-clouds.
Organisational psychologist Amy Zadow tells us how the creep of digital communications into our entire lives is not as harmless as we think, particularly as it applies to work demands.
Thousands of truckies are pushing for strike action after one of the country’s biggest transport companies proposed a new workplace agreement they say will drag down standards in Australia’s deadliest industry.
As vaccine hesitancy gave way to desperation, Malaysia renegotiated its deal with Pfizer and now it delivers more than 400,000 shots a day.
Indonesia records its highest increase in COVID cases –– and numbers are likely to rise again before they fall, explains epidemiologist Dicky Budiman.
A Catholic priest earns not only a nomination for “Arsehole of the Week”, but he gets a stay in prison.

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