Daily News Review – Thursday 29 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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Rob Harris reports that the nation’s peak organisation on affordability and secure housing for Australians on low incomes has accused federal Labor of rejoining a “list of enemies” against increasing home-ownership in favour of benefiting wealthy landlords.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/list-of-enemies-affordable-housing-advocates-say-labor-abandoned-them-20210728-p58dsc.html
Jess Irvine says that young Australians should score Labor’s housing policy gymnastics harshly.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/young-autralians-should-score-labor-s-housing-policy-gymnastics-harshly-20210728-p58dse.html
National cabinet will start creating the path out of lockdowns this week when the country’s leaders look at how many Australians must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to end economically damaging restrictions. (What’s so different with the situation now compared to a year ago?)
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/vaccine-push-to-pave-the-way-for-country-to-reopen-20210728-p58dtb.html
The Australian’s Yoni Bashan begins this assessment with, “Something appears to be profoundly broken with Gladys Berejiklian’s crisis cabinet. Dysfunctional, deeply fractured, these guardians of the state’s pandemic response have spent the past month dithering over numerous strategies that have yielded higher case numbers, further restrictions and the pain of prolonged lockdowns.”
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/nation/politics/covid19-nsw-cabinet-is-the-crisis-as-it-dithers-and-dallies/news-story/5986431a933a6416a47a25c28e9a434b
The state is going to take a long, long time to recover from its current crisis. It’s just no one wants to concede that publicly yet, writes Jennifer Hewett who says NSW has crossed the line from commendable optimism to unjustified delusion.
https://www.afr.com/policy/economy/nsw-faces-months-in-lockdown-not-weeks-20210728-p58dsh
Alexandra Smith criticises Berejiklian over her offering little comfort to those struggling because of the lockdown. And she’s had enough of Gladys’s “green shoots”.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/nsw/berejiklian-offers-little-comfort-to-those-struggling-because-of-lockdown-20210728-p58dsm.html
Excluding the most vulnerable from Covid payments isn’t just cruel – it jeopardises public health, argues Alison Pennington.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/28/nsw-must-quash-the-covid-outbreak-and-it-cant-without-fair-and-just-income-support
The Conversation wonders if the Morrison Government’s COVID-19 vaccination rollout program is one of Australia’s biggest ever public policy failures.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/public-policy-failure-of-coalitions-vaccine-rollout,15345
A new study has shown that the Pfizer vaccine had a sky-high efficacy rate of about 96 per cent against symptomatic COVID-19 for the first two months, but then declined about 6 per cent every two months after that.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/pfizer-biontech-s-covid-19-vaccine-gets-slightly-weaker-over-time-20210729-p58dvm.html
Clinical immunologist Graeme Stewart believes that we can boost confidence in AstraZeneca by minimising the already tiny risk.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/we-can-boost-confidence-in-astrazeneca-by-minimising-the-already-tiny-risk-20210723-p58cdu.html
Major banks are warning up to 300,000 jobs in Sydney will be lost due to extended lockdowns, as prices for staples rise at double the rate of wages growth.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/one-in-10-workers-to-lose-job-in-sydney-as-food-prices-surge-20210728-p58dor.html
Worrying signs as non-urgent elective surgery has been suspended in at least three major Sydney hospitals with COVID-19 exposures taking their toll on staff numbers and facilities work to free up resources for a potential surge.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/icu-cases-reach-highest-level-as-non-urgent-surgery-suspended-at-major-hospitals-20210728-p58dq1.html
Sarah Martin reports that NSW is lagging behind many other states and territories when it comes to vaccinating its elderly population with fewer than 40% of over-70s fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/29/just-39-of-nsw-residents-over-70-are-fully-vaccinated-against-covid-despite-push-for-jabs
Economist Stephen Hamilton declares that the new federal government support is JobKeeper in all but name.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/new-government-support-is-jobkeeper-in-all-but-name-20210728-p58dsj.html
And the SMH editorial says that the federal government’s disaster payments will cut down on the multibillion-dollar waste in last year’s economic response to the pandemic.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/new-covid-disaster-payments-are-better-than-jobkeeper-20210728-p58dsw.html
Michelle Grattan says that Morrison has shaken the money tree again in a bid to avoid a second recession.
https://theconversation.com/view-from-the-hill-morrison-shakes-money-tree-again-in-bid-to-avoid-second-recession-165245
Now that Australia’s inflation rate is 3.8%, John Hawkins wonders if it time to worry. He think not.
https://theconversation.com/now-that-australias-inflation-rate-is-3-8-is-it-time-to-worry-165098
Liam Mannix explains how new modelling from multiple sources suggests Sydney’s lockdown is still not tight enough to stop the case numbers from growing.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/nsw/scientists-split-over-whether-sydney-s-lockdown-is-tight-enough-to-tame-outbreak-20210728-p58dpk.html
Dr Cressida Gaukroger argues that the vaccinated should have more privileges. She says it might feel unfair, but vaccine passports are a good idea – even if you can’t get one.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/why-the-vaccinated-should-have-more-privileges-20210727-p58d8m.html
We’ve heard of R numbers and moving averages. But what are k numbers? And how do they explain COVID superspreading? Biostatistician answers the questions for us.
https://theconversation.com/weve-heard-of-r-numbers-and-moving-averages-but-what-are-k-numbers-and-how-do-they-explain-covid-superspreading-164858
Thousands of residential aged care workers are at risk of missing their mid-September deadline for vaccination, nearly six months after they were given priority in the vaccine rollout, reports Rachel Clun.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/thousands-of-aged-care-workers-at-risk-of-missing-mandatory-vaccine-cut-off-20210728-p58dt6.html
Police are monitoring the online planning of further anti-lockdown protests and are pre-emptively approaching organisers to warn them against going ahead with the “selfish” events.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/police-track-plans-for-more-anti-lockdown-protests-organisers-warned-20210728-p58dqy.html
George Christensen and Craig Kelly, amongst others, have been spruiking false information about the pandemic, about vaccinations and about the lockdown, giving comfort to those who have proved more than a little capacity for anarchic behaviour. Given these exponents of controversy in service of self-promotion sit on government benches, one might have expected censure from the Prime Minister. There has been none, writes George Browning.
https://johnmenadue.com/rights-law-breakers-scott-morrison-sky-news-and-the-covid-lockdown/
COVID-19 health restrictions that limit gatherings at Parliament House have thwarted a new plan to challenge Michael O’Brien for the state Liberal Party leadership, writes Annika Smethurst.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/liberal-leadership-challenge-stalls-as-plotters-forced-to-keep-their-distance-20210728-p58drd.html
New energy market rules intended to ensure the lights remain on while ageing coal generators exit the market have triggered a backlash from Australia’s renewables sector, report Katherine Murphy and Adam Morton.
https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2021/jul/28/renewables-industry-blasts-unacceptable-australian-energy-market-rules-it-says-will-prolong-coal-plants
Australian farm profits could be slashed by up to 50 per cent over the next three decades without more climate change adaptation. A new Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics and Sciences report has modelled the potential impacts of climate change on farmers, explains Paul Coughlan.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2021/07/29/climate-change-damage-farm-profits/?breaking_live_scroll=1
CommSec’s latest State of the States report scores Tasmania in first place over eight key indicators – economic growth, retail spending, equipment investment, unemployment, construction work done, population growth, housing finance and dwelling commencements. This is the sixth quarter in a row that Tasmania has taken the top spot. By now, it clearly isn’t a fluke, says Michael Pascoe.
https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/2021/07/28/tasmania-economy-art-mona/
Anthony Galloway writes that Australia’s biggest unions have joined with business groups to oppose the federal government’s new laws overhauling the management of critical infrastructure, saying the bill in its current form is poorly designed and will cost jobs.
https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/laws-to-protect-critical-infrastructure-are-attack-on-workers-actu-20210728-p58dqt.html
Michaela Whitbourn writes that an Afghan villager giving evidence in war veteran Ben Roberts-Smith’s defamation trial has told the Federal Court he will tell the truth even if he dies, as a second villager supported his account of an incident in the village of Darwan involving a “big soldier”.
https://www.smh.com.au/national/second-afghan-villager-tells-roberts-smith-defamation-trial-about-big-soldier-20210728-p58dpl.html
And she tells us that the South Australian Coroner’s Court has been granted access to suppressed parts of the ABC’s written defence to a defamation claim brought against it by federal Liberal minister Christian Porter, as the court investigates the death of a woman who accused him of raping her in the 1980s.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/abc-defence-in-porter-defamation-case-can-be-given-to-sa-coroner-court-orders-20210728-p58drk.html
IKEA pays no tax in Australia despite surging sales in the pandemic. IKEA versus Nick Scali. Both sell furniture, only one pays tax. Michael West looks at the quintessential case of multinational tax bludging.
https://www.michaelwest.com.au/bludging-off-australia-ikea-versus-nick-scali-both-flog-couches-one-is-robbing-us/
John Frew tells us that the ABC is continuing to deny a right-wing bias by The Drum.
https://johnmenadue.com/the-abc-continues-to-deny-right-wing-bias-by-the-drum/
In a move to provide affordable broadband to customers, the CBA has acquired stakes in two telco providers, paving the way for other businesses, reports Paul Budde.
https://independentaustralia.net/politics/politics-display/commonwealth-bank-moves-into-nbn-market,15341
Rio and BHP will shower their shareholders with cash, again, this year. But there are clouds appearing as a more threatening future moves rapidly towards the mining giants, warns Stephen Bartholomeusz.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/rio-and-bhp-shareholders-should-enjoy-the-cash-deluge-while-it-lasts-20210728-p58dn3.html
Her’s Peta Credlin’s weekly offering of bile.
https://www.theaustralian.com.au/commentary/conservative-vote-splinters-as-senior-liberals-walk/news-story/551b95c4103a02d38093a29d18254d01
The Washington Post tells us the opening day of the House select committee investigation into the January 6 attack on the Capitol proved to be as clarifying as it was compelling, with emotionally powerful testimony from four officers who felt the fury of the mob and who called for a full examination of the role that former president Donald Trump played in fomenting the riot.
https://www.smh.com.au/world/north-america/on-january-6-committee-hearing-law-officers-became-truth-seekers-20210728-p58dj2.html
The ‘Boris effect’ is a symptom of Britain’s decaying political system, opines Rafael Behr.
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2021/jul/28/boris-effect-britain-political-prime-minister-voters
The extreme heat currently scorching and burning through the western United States has sparked a debate in Washington about the capacity of centralised power grids to deal with the exigencies of climate change.
https://independentaustralia.net/environment/environment-display/microgrid-power-for-a-greener-future,15342
Our universities are in crisis and Richard Fine examines if they are no longer fit for purpose.
https://johnmenadue.com/our-universities-are-in-crisis-they-are-no-longer-fit-for-purpose/
Duncan Fine writes that calls have been getting louder to ditch the daily prayer in the Victorian parliament, led, not for the first time, by the Reason Party’s Fiona Patten who argues that as parliament represents a modern, multi-faith society it should not be so powerfully and symbolically tied to one small group.
https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/parliament-s-paradox-does-your-work-day-begin-by-reciting-the-lord-s-prayer-20210727-p58d8k.html

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