Daily News Review – Tuesday 28 September

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


Mike Foley says Morrison’s attendance at major global climate talks is likely to hinge on whether he can get the Nationals to agree to support net zero emissions by 2050, as key allies and Liberals in inner city seats put pressure on him to deliver more ambitious climate action.
And Rob Harris tells us that the Nationals have warned that they won’t be a pushover on net zero as the party room debate is delayed.
The Age’s editorial begins with, “It would be overstating it to say that the Nationals are once again in crisis. Theirs is a broad and often fractious church, acting at times more like an affiliation of like-minded independents than a single, unified political party. The result has been a series of public squabbles and several leadership changes in recent years. Age reporter Rob Harris described them as “an ungovernable rabble” who were “so divided, resentful and dysfunctional that if [leader Barnaby] Joyce manages to hold them together until the election it will be with Band-Aids”.”
Scott Morrison should give the COP 26 gabfest in Glasgow on greenhouse gas emissions targets at the start of November a wide berth, says Greg Sheridan.
Katherine Murphy writes that Liberal MPs in metropolitan seats have declared the Morrison government needs to adopt both a net zero target, and a roadmap demonstrating how that commitment will be met, because one doesn’t work without the other.
Phil Coorey writes that Bridget McKenzie has taken aim at Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and other Liberals pushing net zero emissions by 2050 before offering any detail, saying it was easy for them to advocate the change because there would be little impact on their “affluent constituents”.
“The National Party has no environmental credibility whatsoever, so why do they act like they are the sole arbitrator of the process?”, asks John Lord.
Barnaby Joyce is right, the UK is in an energy crisis – but is it relevant to Australia? Adam Morton has a close look at this.
This time four years ago, when Australia’s first grid-scale battery was being constructed in South Australia’s Far North, it was not just novel, but controversial. Now, with more than 20 large-scale battery storage projects under construction or having reached financial close across the nation, many of which are much larger than the SA project – at the time the largest in the world – the industry shows all the signs of having matured rapidly, Writes Cameron England in The Australian.
Net zero is not the real issue: we need to focus on our carbon budget, says Greg Jericho.
Paul Bongiorno says that the government has much to learn from George Washington’s cherry tree.
Government budget deficits are ballooning – and the mega-wealthy are becoming increasingly anxious that they’ll end up being forced to pay more, writes Karen Maley.
Josh Frydenberg has given the green light for regulators to crack down on high-debt home loans to reduce financial risks from record-low interest rates and surging property prices.
Ken Henry writes that the interests of the most disadvantaged are not being served by our tax system.
Katina Curtis writes that Australia’s freedom of information tsar was not consulted on the federal government’s bid to protect national cabinet deliberations from public scrutiny and doesn’t think special exemptions are needed.
Australia’s peak legal body has savaged the federal government’s plans to block national cabinet meetings from scrutiny, saying there was no justification for the move. Other esteemed constitutional lawyers have slammed the Morrison government’s plans as “bizarre”, while even the federal commissioner responsible for upholding freedom of information laws has questioned if the changes set a dangerous precedent, reports Josh Butler.
Mary Ward writes that the protection offered by immunisation could see the state’s intensive care cases peak well below numbers predicted by the Burnet Institute last month.
Anna Patty describes how the Fair Work Commission has backed the right of a business to sack an employee who refused to get a flu shot as required under a public health order.
Lucy Cormack tells us that the architect of the state’s pandemic QR code system said it should be turned off on December 1, if health advice allows, as the government revealed the final stages of its road map out of lockdown. And POOF! There goes contact tracing.
Epidemiologist Katherine Bennett says that Berejiklian’s road map is safe and sensible.
A leading epidemiologist has expressed concern at the number of Covid-positive people dying at home in Australia without having a test for the virus. Associate Prof Sanjaya Senanayake from the Australian National University said there had been multiple deaths from Covid due to people developing severe symptoms at home without being tested and receiving medical assistance.
The performance of Victoria’s contact tracers and the latest COVID numbers has provided some cause for optimism as the state nears an important vaccine milestone, explains Paul Sakkal. He says that fresh outbreak data shows Victorian contact tracers are performing optimally – better than their NSW counterparts – and vaccines have caused fewer COVID-infected Victorians to end up in hospital than during last year’s outbreak.
Daniel Andrews says unvaccinated Victorians will not be granted equal freedoms by Christmas, as GPs and pharmacies in Melbourne’s hardest-hit suburbs are allocated grants to set up or increase in-house Covid vaccination capacity.
The Victoria and New South Wales roadmaps to reopening have been criticised for failing to include details about increasing freedoms for those in aged care. While both states have outlined extra freedoms vaccinated people can enjoy once 70 and 80% vaccination targets have been achieved, there is no mention on what will happen to the aged care sector, such as allowing visitors again.
Insisting people get vaccinated in exchange for jobs or services risks entrenching disadvantage, with some experts warning it should not be a long-term feature of Australia’s COVID-normal future, write Farrah Tomazin and Liam Mannix.
Attempts by anti-vaccination protesters to rally again on Monday fizzled out quickly, after an alleged organiser behind one of Melbourne’s largest protests was arrested and charged with inciting others to breach public health directions. Now the clown is looking to crowd funding for his legal defence.
The Therapeutic Goods Administration has the power to stop misleading advertising. So why can’t it stop Craig Kelly’s texts, asks Christopher Rudge in The Conversation.
People with disability lost trust in the federal government after the Department of Health failed to adequately communicate changes to the vaccination rollout to the community, as a damning report found the plan to vaccinate NDIS workers and participants was “seriously deficient”, reports Rachel Clun.
And The Age tells us that opposition NDIS spokesman Bill Shorten has called for independent oversight of vulnerable National Disability Insurance Scheme participants living in poorly regulated accommodation in what he says is a “wild west” part of the industry.
Recent protests in Melbourne underline that Australia has a serious problem with economic inequality, writes Duncan Storrar.
Scott Morrison’s department has come under fire for continuing to try to keep deliberations of national cabinet secret, as legal experts blast a proposed law as an affront to democracy., reports Sarah Martin.
Time and time again, Scott Morrison has demonstrated that he is ill-equipped to serve in a position of power, writes Paul Begley.
Labor claims it’s a safety issue, Liberals say it’s a drafting issue. The bigger issue is how both major political parties have capitulated to the oil and gas industry again, this time voting to keep offshore petroleum production data secret. Callum Foote reports.
One of Australia’s main port operators says COVID-battered small and medium retailers will bear the brunt of “ugly” disruptions to stock supplies as Melbourne wharfies prepare to strike for much of October, but the wharfies union denies that their campaign will “cancel Christmas”.
Peter Hartcher tells us why Washington was so ecstatic about Morrison’s AUKUS pact.
Anthony Galloway reports that the nation’s peak union body has lashed the federal government’s decision to dump a $90 billion submarine contract with France and instead build a nuclear-propelled fleet, warning it has put thousands of jobs at risk.
There has been so much commentary on the new AUKUS arrangements, especially the cancellation of the long-running submarine contract with the French. It’s timely to strip back all the hype and examine more closely what it all means, writes Mack Williams.
The old coal giants of Victoria’s power generation belt are dying fast, but fear of job losses is deep. Many in these communities know they must move to a new future. The question is how, writes Miki Perkins in this feature article in The Age.
Eliabeth Knight writes about the decades-long “pharmacy war” and how it is coming to a head with Westfarmers’ latest move.
Alexandra Smith reports that Gladys Berejiklian has not ruled out a conscience vote for Liberals MPs on voluntary assisted dying and says she will consult her colleagues before a decision is made on how her party deals with the issue.
Sydneysiders will be encouraged to consider the use of purified sewage for drinking water to help diversify supplies as the population grows and rainfall patterns shift under climate change, reports Peter Hannam.
The executive in charge of Telstra’s sprawling network and information technology division has laid out an ambitious plan to overhaul all the ageing applications remaining on its systems to underpin its new T25 growth strategy, which could mean customers never having to call the telco with complaints again, writes Paul Smith.
Australian researchers have shown an unconventional cancer treatment that costs $20, has the ability to shrink tumours and make patients more comfortable. Jill Margo reports that, led by the Australian National University, the treatment injects dead bacteria into tumours which then helps to kick-start the immune system.
Doctors Alex Wodak and Colin Mendelsohn say that the crackdown on vaping set for October 1 will drive smokers back to their old habit.
Natural gas prices surged to a fresh seven-year high in the US as the expiration of October options added momentum to a rally fuelled by escalating concerns about tight winter supplies.
China’s Evergrande is not a ‘Minsky moment’ or the next Lehman Brothers, says Jess Irvine.
“Arsehole of the Week” nomination goes to US celebrity R Kelly (whoever he is!).

Cartoon Corner


Cathy Wilcox

David Pope

David Rowe

From the US

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