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Kaye describes herself as a middle-aged woman in jammies. She knew Tony Abbott when they both attended Sydney University where she studied for a Bachelor of Science. After 20 years teaching mathematics, with the introduction of the GST in 2000, she became a ‘feral accountant’ for the small business that she and her husband own. Kaye uses her research skills “to pass on information, to join the dots, to remember what has been said and done and to remind others, and to do the maths.”

Today I am supposed to feel proud – so why am I so angry?

Today I am supposed to feel proud.  I am supposed to celebrate what it means to be Australian – how we treat each other, our contribution to global efforts to do what is right, our pristine environment and our unique flora and fauna.

A safe place to raise our children where all are given the opportunity to be their best selves.  A rich country that offers help when people need it.

Except I can’t get the picture of the Biloela family incarcerated on Christmas Island out of my mind.  We are paying tens of millions to keep this gentle family locked up.

And I am tormented by pictures of incinerated wildlife.  And infuriated that the warnings were ignored.  Our government would rather buy squadrons of dud jet fighter planes than boost our aerial fire-fighting capability.

I am devastated that we are killing one of the seven natural wonders of the world and that my grandchildren may never get to see the Great Barrier Reef as we knew it.  We ignore the role we are playing in heating our oceans because of a few jobs in a dying industry.

I am ashamed that one in eight adults and more than one in six children are living in poverty in this wealthy country.  The Defence White Paper committed to spending $400 billion on war toys over the next twenty years but we can’t find the money to increase Newstart or provide housing for the 120,000 people who have nowhere to sleep.

I am dismayed, but not surprised, by the ongoing revelations of pork-barrelling, jobs and awards for the boys and girls, preferential treatment for political donors, and questions of corrupt conduct.

I am dumbfounded by what our government thinks are priorities – union-bashing, religious freedom, increasing erosion of privacy laws, sick asylum seekers, military spending, deregulation, industrial relations reform (read winding back of workplace protections and entitlements).

As the scientists warn us that we are at 100 seconds to midnight and that we must stop burning fossil fuels, our government approves new coal mines in the Galilee, oil-drilling in the Great Australian Bight, and pushes for moratoriums on gas exploration and extraction to be removed.

On the day commemorating the European invasion of their country, Aboriginal people still have no Voice, no treaty, no self-determination, no constitutional recognition, and, for many of them, no control over their own finances.

Little progress has been made in Closing the Gap but we do have an announcable – Scott Morrison has pledged $1.5 million towards an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander data project, which will be used to help with decision making in order to achieve the Closing the Gap targets.

This obsession with “collecting data”, or having inquiries, or commissioning reports, or appointing new bureaucrats, is a wonderful way to avoid doing anything whilst looking like you give a fuck.  The data is there.  We need action, not some paltry amount, which is less than one Minister’s yearly travel bill, to gather more information to ignore.

I am astonished by politicians with no expertise, who are often pre-selected because of their fund-raising or factional connections, who then ignore or contradict expert advice.

I am appalled by the lack of transparency and accountability, and by the rank incompetence displayed by the people who make the laws that govern my life.  They are using the treasury as their personal piggy bank and do not feel the need to explain to us what they are spending it on.

But most of all, I hate being lied to.

So no, I don’t feel proud today.  I feel angry at how a great country is being destroyed by political hacks whose only goal is to keep their nose in the trough.

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Giving our children a start in life

Most people facing parenthood do so with some trepidation, others with great joy.  All of us hope to be able to give our children a good start in life.

But that means such vastly different things to people.

For some, it means giving them a job in the family business, setting up trust accounts, giving them the money to buy their first property, paying for the best education possible, buying them a car, using your network to help get them started.

For others, it means an endless struggle trying to provide food and shelter, taking whatever part-time job you can whenever you can, and being able to do nothing about the erosion of your workplace entitlements or exploitation by your employer.  Or trying to get by on Newstart or Youth Allowance if you can’t live with your parents.

For many around the world, it means fleeing war, oppression, intolerance, famine and abject poverty.

But there will be one great leveller – global heating.

Sure, some will be able to afford their air-conditioned mansions and the ever-increasing price of food – but how will their businesses go as supply chains and distribution and communications networks are devastated by what should no longer be described as natural disasters?  What happens when their customers can no longer afford to spend money?  Or when their seaside homes are washed away by storm surge?

Those that advocate short term greed are not giving their children a good start in life.  They are threatening them with an apocalypse that will be ever-increasingly expensive and difficult to avoid.

Now is not the time for deregulation.  It is not the time for more fossil fuel subsidies and environmental approvals waived through.  It is not the time for pointing at the other guy.

If we care about our children, every one of us must contribute to a global effort to reduce emissions in whatever way we can.  We must collaborate in a collective endeavour.

Deniers say the climate has changed in the past.  Well so has the economy.  To think we can continue to use up finite resources and use the world, its waterways and atmosphere, as rubbish dumps, is beyond selfish – it is madness.

Our government’s excuses can no longer be accepted.

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The consequences of a callous, incompetent government

A quick scan of today’s news paints a very sorry picture of a callous, incompetent, ideologically-driven, and arguably corrupt, government.

Aboriginal youth are being detained at a rate of more than 20 times that of non-indigenous young people in the justice system.

There is rising unmet demand in Australia for accommodation for people who are homeless, new figures show.  The Productivity Commission report showed 33.8 per cent of Australians needing access to accommodation services in 2018-19 were not getting them.

Older Australians are waiting longer to enter residential aged care, with most waiting about five months after being approved for a spot by a health professional.  The median waiting time was 152 days for 2018/19, an increase from 121 days from the year before, according to a Productivity Commission report released on Wednesday.

More pensioners than ever are having to work part-time just to get by according to new research, with nearly 5 per cent of people on the pension now doing paid work.

In Australia in 2019, politicians spent more time discussing how best to punish environmental protesters than they did devising legislation that might protect the climate.  In part, the pivot away from climate represents a simple bait and switch. After the world recorded its second-hottest year ever, conversations about hazard reduction help drown out conversations about climate.  But the new focus also shifts the debate in a direction the government likes.

If environmental bureaucracy had prevented hazard reduction (it didn’t), the answer lies in slashing green tape, an easy extension of an already existing ideological commitment to deregulation.  More importantly, the identification of (a largely bogus) arson outbreak transforms an ecological crisis into a law and order problem, paving the way for new legislation and fresh penalties.

A legal challenge against plans to drill for oil in the Great Australian Bight has been launched in the Federal CourtThe Wilderness Society is taking the national regulator — the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority (NOPSEMA) — to court after it granted conditional environmental approval to Norwegian oil company Equinor to conduct drilling.

Nationals deputy leader Bridget McKenzie is facing an investigation into whether she breached ministerial standards as part of a sporting grants scandal.

Councils and sports clubs in Tony Abbott’s seat of Warringah received more than $1m in grants under a controversial federal program, including a $70,000 grant to a surf lifesaving club of which Abbott was a member.  Trent Zimmerman did not declare to parliament that he was a patron of the Hunters Hill Rugby Club, which received a $500,000 grant just before the election.

The office of Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton was suspected of leaking information it was told was classified about the cost of medically evacuating refugees to Taiwan, as the Government geared up to campaign against newly passed medevac legislation last year.

And that’s just today’s news … so far.

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How much will it cost – the ridiculous hypocrisy of Morrison and Frydenberg

When Bill Shorten couldn’t put an exact figure on how much Labor’s climate policies would cost 11 years out from the deadline of 2030, Scottyfrommarketing and our work experience Treasurer, ably abetted by a compliant media, excoriated him.

It was a ridiculous question to ask in the first place to which Shorten gave the best answer possible – the costs of not acting far outweigh any mitigation costs.  We do not have a choice and the longer we leave it, the more it will cost when we finally admit that we are cooking the planet.

Yet when asked if the surplus they had supposedly already delivered – “we are back in black” – was threatened by the bushfire crisis, Frydenberg answered, “I’m not in a position to give a firm answer to that question because the full economic impact is still uncertain.”

So if the economic impact of something that has already happened is hard to assess, how could they possibly expect Labor to have an exact costing of what the next 11 years would look like?

“When you are responsible economic managers, you have the financial flexibility to respond to crises and economic shocks whenever they may occur,” Mr Frydenberg said.

Oh you mean like when Labor steered us through the Global Financial Crisis emerging as the strongest economy in the world?

“This is a time when the Australian people know that their government is there to spend on the things that they need most,” says Frydenberg whose projected surplus came from a huge underspend on the NDIS and whose government has overseen blowouts in the waiting time for home care packages for the elderly.  Many people have died whilst waiting years for the paperwork to be processed.

Even now, Scotty is sticking to the same theme to criticise a target of zero net emissions by 2050 – a target he promised to “look at” when under heavy criticism at the Pacific nation’s forum last year –saying that he doesn’t know the cost it would have on the economy.

“What troubles me is that there are plenty of people at the moment who will go out and make a glib promise about that and they can’t look Australians in the eye and tell them what it will mean for their electricity prices, what it will mean for their jobs,” Mr Morrison told reporters in Canberra.

I seem to remember the Coalition telling me that my electricity bills would go down by $550 a year when they axed the price on carbon.  Instead, they have skyrocketed.

So if Scotty can’t work out the cost and effects of what he is doing right now, how on earth does he expect anyone to predict what will happen in 2050?

This bullshit focus group marketing crap has to stop, Scotty.  As does the statistical manipulation to try and hide your woefully inadequate management of the existential threat facing our country.

We need leadership and action, not political posturing and buck-passing.

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The Climate Solutions Packapooticket

Whenever government Ministers are asked to expand on how we will achieve our emissions reduction targets beyond the “meet and beat” catchphrase, they bring up the $3.5 billion grandiosely named “Climate Solutions Package”.

So let’s unpack that packapooticket.

“The Government will provide $3.5 billion over 15 years from 2018-19 for a Climate Solutions Package to deliver on Australia’s 2030 climate commitments”

Ummm…that takes us out to 2032-33 with only $233.3 million on average spent each year.

But wait…that’s actually “$2.0 billion over 15 years from 2019-20, including $189.1 million over four years to 2022-23, to establish a Climate Solutions Fund that will allow for expanded investments in low-cost abatement currently underway through the Emissions Reduction Fund”

To put that in perspective, the government spent $185 million reopening the Christmas Island detention centre in a hissy fit after the Medevac bill passed. Then they closed it.  Then they reopened it to house that enormous risk to security, the family from Biloela, costing a further $30 million to house four people, two of whom are little girls.

The government also plans to spend “up to $1.38 billion in equity over six years from 2019-20, to support the delivery of the Snowy 2.0 project, subject to Snowy Hydro Limited (SHL) achieving financial close on the project and the commencement of the main project works, expected in 2020.”

When this project was first announced, Snowy 2.0 was to cost $2 billion, be completed in 4 years, entirely funded by Snowy Hydro Ltd. Two years later, Prime Minister Morrison announced Government approval of the Business Case, at an estimated cost of $3.8 billion (with an upper limit of $4.5 billion): “following Snowy Hydro Board’s final investment decision on 12 December 2018, the Government has reviewed the project’s business case and is satisfied that the project stacks up” – so much so that the government will now be kicking in $1.38 billion.

Snowy Hydro hasn’t released its (partial) Business Case, claiming it contains commercially sensitive information. Nor has any financial information been provided – quelle surprise.

The National Parks Association of NSW has released an extensive paper showing why this project doesn’t stack up.

We are also paying a lot for oversight of the project.

“$5.5 million over four years from 2019-20 (and $0.8 million per year ongoing) to the Department of the Environment and Energy, and $4.3 million over four years from 2019-20 (and $0.7 million per year ongoing) to the Department of Finance, to support Commonwealth oversight of SHL and the Snowy 2.0 project.”

Moving on, the government will provide “$61.2 million over four years from 2019-20 to establish the Energy Efficient Communities Program, which will provide grants to businesses and community organisations to improve energy efficiency practices and technologies to better manage energy consumption” and a further “$18.0 million over six years from 2019-20 for households and businesses to improve energy efficiency and lower energy bills.”

Well, that’s great, if you forget about all the similar programs that the Coalition government have axed, like the one million more solar roofs across Australia and at least 25 solar towns, the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund, the National Low Emission Coal Initiative, Energy Efficiency Programmes, the National Solar Schools Plan, Energy Efficiency Information Grants and Low Carbon Communities.  They also tried to get rid of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation (CEFC) and were successful in reducing the Renewable Energy Target (RET).

The government also budgeted “$56.0 million in 2018-19 for a feasibility study to accelerate the delivery of Marinus Link, a second interconnector between Tasmania and the mainland, to unlock pumped hydro storage potential in Tasmania and provide more affordable and reliable electricity for homes and businesses.”

However, a feasibility study into the project released in February last year, funded by a $10 million grant by federal government agency ARENA, warned that the costs will probably outweigh the project’s benefits unless about 7000 megawatts of coal-fired generation capacity in the east coast electricity market is prematurely retired.

This rate of closure assumes Australia adopts a target to cut emissions by 52 per cent by 2030, based on 2005 levels – far higher than the government’s 26 per cent target.

The last part of their “Climate Solutions” is to provide “$0.4 million in 2019-20 to develop a National Electric Vehicle Strategy to ensure a planned and managed transition to new vehicle technology and infrastructure.”

Which is rather at odds with Scotty’s impassioned opposition to the Labor party’s support for electric vehicles when he said in April last year that electric vehicles were unaffordable and were “not going to tow your trailer. It’s not going to tow your boat … Bill Shorten wants to end the weekend when it comes to his policy on electric vehicles.”

It’s also less than the $530,000 Bridget McKenzie spent fitting out her new office in Wodonga.

On this most important of issues, the greatest threat to our nation, the government is having as much impact as a ping pong ball bouncing around from one announceable to the next.

Our very survival depends on turfing these self-serving incompetents and replacing them with a government who recognises the risks we are facing and is willing to act to mitigate the worst of the catastrophe that awaits us if we fail to act decisively like yesterday.

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We won’t be lectured to about anything – and we make no apology for screwing the country

Any pretence at transparent, accountable government has been abandoned.  Evidence based policy making and expert advice are no longer necessary for the Coalition who seem to think they are there by God’s grace and are therefore beyond scrutiny let alone reproach.

Freedom of information has become a farce.  The excuses for not providing information are ridiculous.  The amount of time and money spent fighting court orders is contemptuous and wasteful.  The length of time to comply when forced, and the material that is then redacted, makes the whole exercise futile.

The Coalition don’t need advice from anyone.  Infrastructure Australia, Sports Australia, the Human Rights Commission, the panel who shortlists board appointments at the ABC, The Australia Council for the Arts – what would they know?

Surely they realise that infrastructure is most important where it might win you votes, sports grants are photo opps for aspiring or struggling candidates, the AHRC are soft on borders, the ABC is full of woke capital-city greenies, and what arts are there beside ballet and opera?

They got rid of the Australian National Preventive Health Agency and the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility.  We don’t need forward planning when we have Special Envoys like Barnaby Joyce, Tony Abbott, Warren Entsch and Jim Molan on the ground telling it like it is to the boys in the bar.

Water management has morphed into a lucrative trade, as Angus Taylor can attest.  Despite towns running out of water and farms turning into baked earth, we can always find plenty of water for mining and large cotton farms and plenty of money for non-existent flood water or land flow trapped by unnapproved earthworks.

Apparently we have something called the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience (AIDR).

“AIDR is supported by its partners: the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs, the Australian and New Zealand National Council for fire and emergency services (AFAC), the Australian Red Cross and the Bushfire & Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre.”

One would have thought they would be front and centre during this crisis…except they are part of Peter Dutton’s mega-portfolio and Poida don’t need no stinkin’ advice from alarmists.  Sick refugees invading our shores is by far the greatest risk to our nation.

Everybody, including the RBA, the Business Council and ACOSS have pleaded with the government to raise Newstart – to stimulate the economy, to help people get job ready, and to lift people out of abject poverty.

But that’s not the way of the party who will give a go to those that have a go.

Who cares if property tax concessions have skewed investment away from more productive enterprises and made housing unaffordable.  Who cares if excess franking credit refunds result in companies paying no tax.  If they didn’t give it to their shareholders they would be hiding it offshore anyway.  Who cares if wages are stagnant, workers are exploited and their rights eroded.  The only reason they have a job is because the Coalition gives their employer a helping hand.

Religious freedom and freedom of speech are extremely important to a government who has no clue how to govern.  Except religious freedom seems to mean that religious people have the right to discriminate against anyone they don’t like and they are to be protected from anyone calling them out on it.  Likewise, freedom of speech will be afforded to bigots but not to protesters or journalists.

The government has great respect for our First People – look, they even finally gave the portfolio to an Aboriginal man.  But don’t think that means constitutional recognition, a voice to Parliament, self-determination, a treaty, changing the date of Australia Day, the right to manage your own financial affairs, or even to receive utilities or services.  Being disadvantaged is a lifestyle choice.

The Auditor-General has written countless scathing reports about grants without due process, contracts without tender, a lack of value-for-money assessment, poor record-keeping, no follow-up appraisal, and a myriad of other concerning issues – so the government even gagged him when he produced a report they didn’t like about their huge cash splurge on military equipment.

But make no mistake – they are taking a methodical approach to screwing this country and they will make no apology for it!

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If Scotty-from-Marketing was fair dinkum about reducing emissions, he would drop the spin

It’s all over the news.  Morrison is finally thinking about maybe allowing the word emissions to be said.

Not that he is going to increase our target or not rely on accounting tricks to meet it, or anything reckless like that.  When asked for specific policies, the answer seems to be “technology”.

Only Labor puts jobs and growth at risk, like with their “uncosted, ineffective” 50% renewable energy target for 2030.

As bobbing head Kate Carnell told us, “A 50 per cent RET will put jobs and growth at risk,’’ further stating that modelling showed the existing RET pushed up electricity prices, costing the economy up to $28 billion and a net loss of 5000 jobs.

Yet today, The Australian is reporting that the government “is set to release a draft technology roadmap later this year, [which] lays out an investment blueprint and includes more than 100 new technologies and hopes for at least 50 per cent of energy sources to be renewable by 2030.”

A bit like their turnaround on electric vehicles.

Michaelia Cash screeched her valiant defence of tradies’ utes before the election, but when the government produced their glossy brochure, Climate Solutions Package, we find that they are claiming emissions reduction of “up to 10 million tonnes by 2030” for their as yet to be determined “electric vehicles strategy”.

They make these announcements but they have no plan, as bemoaned by Energy Security Board chairwoman Kerry Schott, who said the lack of national leadership to coordinate the sector is putting electricity security and reliability at risk, adding that the National Energy Guarantee – the plan that cost Turnbull his job – would be a good option.

Aside from the continual flip-flopping and lack of a coherent direction, Morrison’s spinning of the numbers shows this is all still a PR exercise for him rather than any genuine acceptance of the urgency of the problem we are facing.

The Coalition talking points advise all government politicians to parrot-like repeat the phrase “Emissions today are 50 million tonnes less on average each year under our government than under the previous government.”

What he neglects to add is that was thanks to the large drop in emissions under the Labor government.

The talking points also insist that the government will “meet and beat” its Kyoto targets.

Just to show what bullshit that is, on page 8 of the government’s recently released “Australia’s emissions projections 2019”, Table 3 shows that emissions in 2000 were 536 Mt CO2-e and are projected to be 534 in 2020 – that is less than a 0.4% reduction, a far cry from our commitment to reduce emissions by 5% from 2000 levels.

The report also states that “Emissions are projected to decline to 511 Mt CO2 -e in 2030 which is 16 per cent below 2005 levels.”  That too is a long way from the 26-28% reduction we promised to make.

Would it be too much to ask that we drop the “talking points” crap and actually tell the truth about the current situation so we can make a plan that actually reduces emissions without having to resort to accounting dodges and PR spin designed to make it look like you give a shit?

Enough of the lies!

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Lies and videos won’t cut it any longer, Scotty

2019 was Australia’s warmest year on record.  It was also our driest year on record.

The country is on fire and water is running out.

Our annual national mean maximum temperature was 2.09 °C above average, smashing the previous record of +1.59 °C in 2013.  The annual national mean temperature was 1.52 °C above average.  Not looking good for us to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Record low rainfall of 277.6 mm also smashed the previous record of 314.5 mm set in 1902.  It’s been much drier than both the Federation and Millenium droughts, except for parts of Queensland who got enormous amounts of rain in a very short period early in the year causing catastrophic devastation.

Whilst Scotty may admonish us that it would be “absurd” to link any one fire to climate change (does he actually know how many fires are burning?), it would be criminally absurd to ignore the fact that all the years since 2013 have been amongst the ten warmest on record for Australia. Of the ten warmest years, only one (1998) occurred before 2005.

Stop saying we can’t make a difference and bloody well work out how we can both through our own actions and through global leadership.

If I hear any more crap about meeting our emission reduction targets “in a canter”, when everyone knows that it is only being achieved by fiddling with land use change figures and carry over credits, I will scream.

Your own report says that, since 1990, transport emissions have increased by 63.5%, fugitive emissions by 51.4%, stationary energy excluding electricity by 53.1%, electricity by 38.8%, and industrial processes and product use by 33.3%.

The only way we can even pretend we have reduced emissions is by claiming that Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) emissions have reduced by 110.4% – a figure that is notoriously difficult to verify and that conveniently ignores bushfires.  We may not be cutting down as many trees but we have just burnt down millions of hectares.

80,000 people packed out the Domain for the School Climate Strike last September.  Another 30,000 marched this evening in Sydney.

Lies and promotional videos won’t cut it any longer, Scotty.

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Behind Twiggy’s headline

It’s amazing how much money can be found to respond to a disaster when people seem so unwilling to spend anything to avoid one.

Remember how emissions reduced when we had a price on carbon?  And how our power prices were supposed to tumble when it was removed?

It’s also fascinating how innovative companies become when sticking with the old polluting ways may hurt the bottom line as well as the environment.

Not to be outdone in this flurry of philanthropy, up steps Twiggy Forest to announce he is donating $70 million towards relief efforts and to building the nation’s long-term resilience to bushfires.

Except he’s not really donating it so much as deciding how he will spend it.

His charity, Minderoo Foundation, “has committed to mobilise volunteers from Western Australia”, for whom he will pay interstate travel and accommodation expenses.  He is calling for “at least 1250 volunteers – including firefighters, medics, tradespeople, mental health workers and ground clean up personnel.”

These volunteers will be deployed “in response to direct requests from relevant authorities and communities.”

Another logistical headache?  And what about employing the locals?

Twiggy will give another $10 million to a recovery fund.

“The initiative will provide funds directly to communities, in collaboration with organisations such as Australian Red Cross and The Salvation Army, with all administration costs covered by Minderoo.”

Why not just give it to the Red Cross Appeal?

But the bulk of the funds – $50 million – will go towards “convening leading experts to develop a globally relevant national blueprint for fire and disaster resilience.”  Is such a thing even possible?

“With the support of leading international non-profit environmental organisation Conservation International, these efforts will draw on existing research and expertise in Australia and overseas and accelerate innovation to develop new approaches to mitigate bushfires.”

Who is Conservation International you may ask?

They are an American “environmental charity” who have no connection to Australia and nothing to do with firefighting.

A 2011 report questions their credibility as well as their “close links with controversial companies, including Cargill, Chevron, Monsanto and Shell.”

“A leading environmental charity has been accused of corporate ‘greenwashing’ after a senior employee was secretly filmed by undercover reporters discussing ways in which the organisation could help an arms company boost its green credentials, the Ecologist can reveal.

The female CI employee was recorded describing how the organisation could help the arms company develop key environmental messages, identify target audiences and craft a communications plan as part of one package offered by the charity.”

In their 2018 report, What If, Conservation International discuss part of their strategy to combat climate change.

“Fortunately, nature can provide at least 30% of the annual emissions reductions needed. We work to confront climate change by protecting and restoring the forests and mangroves that absorb and store carbon.”

Oops.  Too late.

This ‘what if’ approach appeals to Twiggy’s Minderoo Foundation.

We begin with a sense of curiosity – is there a better way to solve this intractable problem? We form and test ideas, then seek to implement and analyse them. Once evidence bases exist, we work to ensure these new approaches are embedded in mainstream policy and practice. Success is doing ourselves out of business. We want to find sustainable solutions to the challenges we are tackling.”

The old trial and error method?  Or damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead?

Speaking about his foundation to the AFR Magazine in May 2018, Twiggy said “We are prepared to lose, to come second, to fail, in order to explore what systemic change looks like.”

Or you could read all the research by the myriad of experts in the various fields and listen to their advice,

And maybe stop making a fool of yourself before you even begin by saying, whilst global warming might be a thing, “the biggest part” of the devastation was caused by arsonists.

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The mates in faith that Scott Morrison admires

In 2008, Scott Morrison used his first speech in parliament to tell us how he had been “greatly assisted by the pastoral work of many dedicated church leaders”, specifically mentioning “pastors Brian Houston and Leigh Coleman.”

Most people are aware of Brian Houston, leader of the Hillsong Church, after he was censured by the Royal Commission into Child Sex Abuse for his failure to report to authorities his father’s confessed serial sexual abuse of children, and for the grave conflict of interest in dealing with the sex claims himself.

This is the man that Scotty wanted to bring to dinner at the White House.

But you may not be aware of Leigh Coleman, another former Hillsong executive who, two years before Scotty’s confession of admiration, was investigated for allegedly ripping off government funded Indigenous charities, as reported by The Australian.

“The Government has admitted that Hillsong Emerge chief Leigh Coleman received $80,000 of federal indigenous development funds to top up his salary, despite having only indirect involvement in the projects.

It also paid Hillsong Emerge $82,500 to fit out its office in the Sydney suburb of Redfern. Mr Coleman uses the office to run the Christian Business Directory, which touts for advertising worth up to $2000 an item.

The new material shows Mr Coleman received $80,000 in annual salary for his part in administering two indigenous business development programs. Hillsong Emerge’s federal funding in both programs, by Indigenous Business Australia, was discontinued this year after revelations in federal parliament that only a tiny portion of the millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money reached the Aboriginal community.

The vast majority of the funds went to employing Hillsong Emerge staff, including $315,000 to cover the salaries of seven workers in Redfern.

In one year, the program made just six “micro-enterprise development” loans to Aborigines, which were worth an average of $2856 each.

The discontinuation of the IBA funding programs came only weeks after Hillsong Emerge was stripped of a separate $415,000 federal grant for community crime prevention.

Liberal MP Louis Markus, a Hillsong church member who once worked with Mr Coleman, won the seat of Greenway in Sydney’s northwest at the last election with the campaign support of Hillsong members. Labor MPs have alleged in federal parliament that the commonwealth grants to Hillsong Emerge were a reward for Hillsong’s political support.”

Five years later and Mr Coleman was in the news again with this article from news.com.au

“A CHRISTIAN charity which has so far spent more than $1.3 million to generate just $330,000 in loans for Indigenous Australians is being investigated.

Many Rivers Microfinance is run by a former Hillsong executive who has already come under parliamentary scrutiny over an earlier loans program that delivered only a trickle of funds to the Indigenous community.

In 2006 Leigh Coleman’s operation at Hillsong Emerge – the evangelical group’s former benevolent arm – had its funding discontinued after revelations the vast majority of taxpayer dollars went to employing staff.

Mr Coleman’s current program at Many Rivers has since successfully raised millions of dollars from the Federal Government and some of the country’s biggest companies including Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Westpac.

But since its inception in 2007 to the end of the 2010 financial year the latest available records show it has delivered just 74 microenterprise loans worth a total of $330,000.

While declining to provide evidence as to how the reported $1.375 million had been spent delivering them, the charity said that – like the discontinued Hillsong pilot – the bulk had gone on staff salaries and training.

A presentation delivered by Many Rivers to potential donors, and obtained by news.com.au, claimed a single field officer in a “developing regional community” would cost the charity $250,000 to support per year.

Since 2010, Many Rivers has obtained an additional $1 million from the Federal Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs, $522,000 from the Federal Department of Education, Employment and Workplace relations and more from the West Australian Government.

Westpac Bank has provided $1 million over five years as well as all loan capital since mid-2010. Other private donors include Transfield, Fortescue Metals Group, Chevron, Woodside Petroleum and Exxon Mobil as well as law firms Blake Dawson and Minter Ellison.

As CEO of Many Rivers, Mr Coleman has been paid an undisclosed amount for his services on a contract basis since the charity’s creation as a legal entity in 2007 through his private firm Looking Glass Holdings, which he runs with his wife Vera.

These services were never put out to tender. Vera Coleman was listed as a member of the company in the 2007-2008 financial statements.

Vera Coleman is also a former Hillsong Pastor and, according to her CV on the Looking Glass Trust website, worked for Hillsong Emerge between 1996 and 2007 and helped initiate the pilot for the Redfern component of Hillsong’s microfinance program which her husband oversaw until it had funding cancelled.

She also helped develop the controversial “Shine” program for young women which was criticised for teaching young women self esteem through learning how to apply make-up, style their hair and walk with books balanced on their heads.”

Nikki Sava’s book, Plots and Prayers, reveals that Scotty and his fellow Pentecostal and close friend and numbers man Stuart Robert, prayed that “righteousness would exalt the nation,” in the minutes before Mr Morrison was made prime minister by the Liberal party room.  “…righteousness would mean the right person had won,” Mr Robert told Savva.

Independent Australia have an excellent article revisiting the ‘litany of transgressions’ by  the righteous Stuart Robert.  It’s a long list but it didn’t stop Scotty from promoting his mate in faith.

Pentecostalism is on the rise in Australia, particularly with the young.

“Australia’s largest churches in every capital city and in the regions are all Pentecostal churches,” said Andrew Singleton, an Associate Professor of Sociology and Social Research at Deakin University.

“Starting with Hillsong in Sydney and churches in Melbourne and Adelaide like Planet Shakers, Riverside Church, Paradise Church are all Pentecostal.

“More people are attending Pentecostal churches than any other Christian denomination, they put bums on seats.”

If people are not concerned about the deliberate infiltration of politics by conservatives with religious backing, they should be, particularly when they are preaching their “prosperity doctrine” to our youth and our politicians.

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The Liar from the Shire, caught out again

In May 2016, when Scott Morrison was Treasurer, the National Aerial Firefighting Centre called for a “national large air-tanker” fleet to confront a growing bushfire threat.  Despite a Senate inquiry backing the proposal, the government rejected it in September 2017, “noting that bushfire responsibility is a matter for each state and territory.”

Are firetrucks or planes to come to a screeching halt at the border?  Do we ignore another state’s need to keep our resources in case we need them?

Smoko has defended his decision not to meet with former fire chiefs last year, who were also calling for more aerial firefighting capability, saying he chooses to listen to those ‘in their jobs now’.

Then up pops NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons who says the federal government has sat on a business case for a boosted national aerial firefighting fleet for at least 18 months.

Former fire chief Greg Mullins confirmed that.

“The Prime Minister keeps saying that whatever the fire chiefs request, they get, but that’s not true,” Mr Mullins said. “The business case has been on the desk for two years. Had the fire chiefs had certainty with the $25 million, we would have more aircraft in the sky.”

Last November, Mullins was saying that, not only had the government refused to meet with former fire chiefs, but those currently in the job were not included in discussions and were told not to mention global heating.

“This government fundamentally doesn’t like talking about climate change,” Mullins said. “We would like the doors to be open to the current chiefs, and allow them to utter the words ‘climate change’. They are not allowed to at the moment.”

Our leader (cough) has gotten the international attention he craved but I don’t think 2GB and the Murdoch rubbish are going to help this time.

Those who know are calling bullshit, Scotty.

And it’s only gonna get louder.

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Do the smoky hokey

Scott Morrison is trying desperately hard to find the right language to reassure Australians that he believes climate change is “real” but that he won’t do anything that might cost money to address it.

He wants us to be “patient” as he methodically changes his mind about whether volunteers should be paid since they “want to be there”, whether the ADF should be deployed, and whether we might in fact have to bring in some more aerial firefighting assets.

No “knee jerk reactions”… and certainly nothing that could possibly resemble being proactive from our PM.

He talks a lot about the funding that the Commonwealth is handing out.  Because we all know we can’t have Labor’s “unfunded empathy”.

The Messiah from the Shire seems a little flustered that people expect him to actually do something – show some leadership maybe?

He keeps saying now is not the time for politics or photo shoots.

But what else has he got?

To quote another pretender to the leadership … he’s a “bit of a weathervane“.

February 2017

 

April 2018

The treasurer, Scott Morrison, has smacked down a backbench push for the Turnbull government to back a new coal plant, arguing that high-efficiency coal does not mean cheap energy, and taxpayers would also be left on the hook.

March 2019

With the Nationals agitating for a commitment to coal, the Prime Minister also announced that a High Efficiency Low Emissions coal-fired power station in Collinsville, about halfway between Townsville and Mackay, would be considered in addition to the competition policy projects

You put your coal hat on
Take your coal hat off
Put your coal hat on
Then you give a little cough
You do the smoky hokey
Then you turn yourself around
What was that all about?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Australia’s record-breaking start to the New Year

At 10am, Canberra was again the city with the worst air quality in the world. Same as yesterday.

Australia recorded its hottest day on record on Wednesday, 17 December, with an average maximum temperature of 41.9C, beating the previous record by 1C that had been set only 24 hours earlier.

Many thousands of people have had to abandon their holiday plans and are fleeing the danger we have been told to expect on Saturday.

Australia is the worst-performing country on climate change policy, according to a new international ranking of 57 countries. The report also criticises the Morrison government for being a “regressive force” internationally.

Australians have the world’s second-largest household debts, hovering around 120 per cent of GDP.

As at December 20, gross government debt was at a record $561.8 b up from about $274 b when the Coalition came to government in September 2013.

ACOSS reminded us of the following facts during Anti-Poverty Week 2019:

Three million people are living in poverty in Australia (ACOSS & UNSW, 2018) – that’s one in eight adults and almost one in six children.

In the whole country, there were only 2 rentals affordable for a single person on Newstart, according to Anglicare Australia’s 2019 Rental Affordability Snapshot. On any given night in Australia 1 in 200 people are homeless (Homelessness Australia, 2018) and the number is growing every year.

FoodBank’s 2018 Hunger Report found four million people in Australia had experienced food insecurity in the past 12 months.

There is only 1 job available for every 8 people looking for paid work or more hours (ABS, 2018).

There were around one million people in Australia receiving Newstart, Youth Allowance or another allowances at December 2018, with half of Newstart recipients over the age of 45. More than one in four people on Newstart have an illness or disability, but do not receive the Disability Support Pension. More than 100,000 parents are on Newstart, the majority of whom are single women (as their youngest child is aged eight or more and they therefore do not qualify for parenting payment).

The Royal Commission into Aged Care described it as “a sad and shocking system that diminishes Australia as a nation… a shocking tale of neglect”.

“We have uncovered an aged care system that is characterised by an absence of innovation and by rigid conformity. The system lacks transparency in communication, reporting and accountability.  It is not built around the people it is supposed to help and support, but around funding mechanisms, processes and procedures.”

And the same story is emerging from the disability royal commission.

The 2019 Closing the Gap report on Indigenous disadvantage shows we are failing to meet targets in five of the seven target areas – child mortality, life expectancy, school attendance, employment, and reading and numeracy.  Yet we steadfastly resist letting them advise us on their needs in order to address these areas of continued disadvantage.

But how good is the view of the fireworks from Kirribilli House when knocking back a few coldies with the boys?

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Lucy, you are a waste of space

No doubt like many of you, I received a Christmas email and card in the post from my local member, Lucy Wicks.  She chose a very bad time to try to promote herself to me.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who backed and believed in me and the Morrison Government following my re-election for a third term in the May election.

Thank you to my supporters and all those who voted for me. I am looking forward to representing you over the next few years in Canberra and making sure your concerns, issues and needs are heard at the highest levels of government.

I also look forward to ensuring our election commitments including the additional commuter car parking at Gosford and Woy Woy stations and the $70 million Central Coast roads package are delivered.”

Seriously?  Carparks?  As we burn?

She goes on to talk about her attendance at school presentations and her Christmas card competition before mentioning that “some properties have been adversely affected” by the megafire that has threatened and choked us all for weeks.

Lucy is “so relieved there has been no loss of life or serious injuries.”  She then informed us that “the volunteers have been overwhelmed by the donations. They have enough food, snacks and drinks to last some time so residents still wanting to show their support can visit the NSW RFS Donations Page or make an online donation to the NSW RFS Trust Fund or a participating brigade” before urging us to “Be kind to each other and take care.”

Righto. Her government will do nothing other than instigate another inquiry into why the state governments aren’t dealing with this whilst urging us all to do and give more.  Meanwhile, she will endorse the underwriting of more fossil fuel burning power stations and more coal mines to funnel profits to foreign shareholders.

I normally treat Lucy with the ignore which she deserves – she is dumb as a post – but this time I just had to respond.

“Please take me off your mailing list.

Your government’s inaction on climate change, your cruelty to asylum seekers, your determination to keep unemployed people in poverty, your failure to act to reform the aged care and juvenile justice systems, your lies about emissions reduction through accounting tricks, your callous dismissal of the Uluru Statement from the Heart, your enabling of water theft…and so many other travesties….make me ashamed of my country.

You wonder why wages are stagnant when wage restraint is your admitted policy.  Your unholy war waged against workers having a voice through unionisation has emasculated any chance of workers sharing in the record profits that their labour has produced for the companies for whom they work – companies who then avoid paying any tax to compensate the country for providing a well-educated, skilled and healthy workforce and the infrastructure to support their business.

Your homophobia was writ large in your sycophantic speeches against marriage equality.  These people are our children, our brothers and sisters.  How dare you make it a priority to ensure that discrimination against them continues.

You have young children.  Does your political ambition outweigh any desire to make the world a better place for them?

Look at the bills you prioritise – they are crap.  You ignore what the country needs in order to feather your own nest and promote the greed of your donors.

And STOP sending me birthday and Xmas cards at my expense.  Don’t you people pay for ANYTHING yourselves?

Oh, and btw, we still don’t have mobile reception.  Three elections you have been promising to fix that.

You blocked me from contacting you.  I shall return the favour.  Leave me alone.

You are a waste of space.”

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Stop panicking, no crisis here

Whilst there may be some truth in asserting that “the direct connection to any single fire event” and climate change “is not a credible suggestion”, how about when hundreds of catastrophic fires are burning all over the country?  How many lives, how many homes, how many businesses must be lost?  How many animals must die?  How much forest must burn before our PM finds the link “credible”?

Does our stand-in Elvis and Deputy PM impersonator still think the warnings from experts about the catastrophe we are now enduring are “the ravings of some pure enlightened and woke capital city greenies”?

How long is the PM going to peddle the line that “We are carrying our weight. We are meeting and beating our target” when the whole world knows that is a bald-faced lie?

“We will stick to the policies we took to the election” says the PM who thinks a promised holiday for his daughters is more important than responding to a national emergency.  He won’t “act in a knee jerk, or crisis or panicked mode.”  He’s so calm about it, he won’t act at all.

Our PM is “comforted by the fact that Australians would like me to be here”.  Well I am so glad that ProMo is comforted but I think he is missing the point.

Your feelings are completely irrelevant, turkey.  You buggered off when the country was in crisis.  I bet many of the people fighting these fires, or those watching their homes burn, had holiday plans too.

And if our current excuse for leaders are not bad enough, we are once again subjected to stacks of photos of our ex PM out there posing in his fire gear, with praise heaped upon the man who destroyed any chance of this country taking any credible action to reduce the risks posed by climate change.

Both Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison have been prepared to sacrifice the world for their own brief moment on the stage.  And Morrison will follow Abbott, not with a bang but a whimper.  We can no longer indulge their selfish ambition.

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