NSW fire ban bushfire

FIRE BAN RECORD

NSW has declared its earliest total fire ban on record, with hundreds of South Coast residents forced to flee their homes amidst a massive blaze.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that fire crews battled at least 83 fires across the state, following stronger-than-expected winds, creating fire bans that beat the previous record by two weeks. Compounding problems was the fact that, according to The Daily Telegraph ($), two huge water bombers were not in action because they had not yet arrived from the US ahead of Australia’s summer season.

In related news, The Australian ($) reports that Liberal MP Keith Pitt, the Assistant Minister to Deputy Prime Minister, is considering resigning from the frontbench in order to “cross the floor” and oppose the NEG. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has held a second set of crisis talks with rebel MPs demanding a “price guarantee”, which Turnbull supports in principle but was reportedly dismissed as a target by Treasurer Scott Morrison.

MANUS AND NAURU INQUIRY

The Greens will today move to set up a Senate inquiry into avoidable deaths, physical and mental health issues, abuse and neglect of people seeking asylum and refugees detained on Manus Island and Nauru.

Greens senator and immigration spokesperson Nick McKim posted the motion to social media yesterday, following comments in the Senate in which he criticised bipartisan condemnation over Senator Fraser Anning‘s inaugural speech “while children in offshore detention are catatonic because of a bipartisan policy of torture and deliberate cruelty.”

McKim’s comments refer to recent reports byBuzzFeed in which a minimum of six children detained on Nauru were found to have a rare “resignation syndrome” causing them to, effectively, stop functioning.

JACKPOT

The Powerball is up to a record $100 million tonight, in what is set to be the biggest jackpot in the Australian lottery’s 22-year history.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the odds of taking home tonight’s top prize are 1 in 134,490,400. While that sounds next to impossible considering Australia’s population, we can still take pride in knowing that, on average, we have all lost more money on gambling than any other developed country. But, uh good luck.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

I write to you in regard to your [sic] twitter post of today’s date where you state, amongst other things, I suggested the Coalition Government ‘re-introduce a white-Australia discriminatory immigration policy’… I require an immediate retraction and apology from you posted on your twitter account or similar social media or media account. If a retraction and apology is not issued by close of business today, I will instruct lawyers tomorrow.

Peter Dutton

The Minister for Immigration threatens legal action against Victorian MP Philip Dalidakis. That sound you hear is thousands of people scrubbing their Twitter feeds.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“What’s happened is that this cultural/identity politics has fused with an overarching idea of Australia that has some features of the ‘New Britannia’ model in calling on a mythical Australia to damn the present one. This is the chorus of people telling anyone who will listen that they are ashamed of their country, that Australia is a uniquely evil, racist nation, abolish the national day, they don’t deserve it, and so on. This in turn becomes a target for the right, and their kitsch about ‘western civilisation’, and then we get into what one might call the ‘Blainey calculus’, in which we keep a balance sheet of Aussie pros and cons: stump-jump plough, +5 points; Tasmanian genocide, -4 points, etc.”

“In addition to its village idiot approach to undermining end-to-end encryption in new surveillance laws, the government is also seeking a blunt-force trauma approach: it wants to jail people for a decade if they refuse to give up the password to their devices.”

“Despite this, Fairfax Media did employ a full-time archivist, and in 2009, the entire business archive, covering the activities of the organisation and its employees, from the 1840s to the 1990s, was donated to the NSW State Library. According to the library, it is the most significant and comprehensive media business archive in the country.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Leyonhjelm’s assisted suicide bill narrowly defeated in Senate

‘Most brazen’: Last-ditch bid to halt roll-back of marine protection

Victorian households on standard energy offers losing hundreds a year

Territorians owe $84.4 million in unpaid fines ($)

‘Shine the spotlight’: small companies risk gender-based diversity targets

New tax on foreign property buyers will hit house prices, Libs claim

US border breach: Australian Sarah Branch faces five years jail ($)

‘Afraid to use Medicare’: citizenship queue blows out 300%

Emma Husar on the hunt for source of leaks ($)

Gupta launches 1GW renewable plan at Cultana solar project

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Melbourne

  • A banking royal commission superannuation hearing will turn to AMP Superannuation, after completing evidence from an ANZ executive.

  • Jimmy Barnes will attend the world premiere of a new film about his life at the Melbourne International Film Festival.

  • Opera Australia’s 2019 season will be launched with a donation of 30 costumes worn by Australian great Dame Joan Sutherland to the Australian Performing Arts Collection, for display at Arts Centre Melbourne.

  • Historian Professor Geoffrey Blainey AC will speak on “Our Nation: What’s right. What’s wrong” at the Hotel Windsor.

  • The University of Melbourne will host an expert panel discussion on “Female Game Changers of STEM” as part of National Science Week.

  • Day one of the four-day Melbourne Home Show 2018.

Brisbane

  • The Queensland Parliament’s Education, Employment and Small Business Committee will begin an inquiry into wage theft across the state.

  • Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles will speak at a CEDA lunch on the theme of “health, ageing and social services”.

  • Global Citizen will hold their Australian launch of the #SheIsEqual campaign with a number of Australian female business and community leaders. 

  • Day one of the two-day Applied Neuroscience Society of Australasia Annual Conference 2018.

  • “Blokepedia” will present an event to discuss men’s mental health and wellness.

Canberra

  • Senator Penny Wong will give an address at the launch of “Australian Foreign Affairs #3 – Australia and Indonesia: Can we be friends?” followed by a panel discussion with essayists Hugh White, Jennifer Rayner, and Indonesia expert Greg Fealy, to be moderated by former Fairfax Indonesia correspondent Jewel Topsfield.

  • The UnionsACT Women’s Committee will hold a public forum to discuss women and work, to be MC’d by Deputy Director of The Australia Institute Ebony Bennett in conversation with co-author of the “Women and the Future of Work” report Dr Elizabeth Hill.

  • Biotext and Macquarie University will hold a Canberra launch of the Australian Manual of Scientific Style (AMOSS).

  • Captain J. Ashley Roach, chair of the International Law Association’s Committee on Baselines under International Law, will present “Excessive maritime claims: Overview and implications for the Indo-Asia-Pacific region” at the ANU College of Law.

Sydney

  • Defenders of Thompson Square at Windsor will gather to mark the beginning of the destruction of Thompson Square and Windsor Bridge.

  • UNSW Law will hold the second Mason Conversation featuring Patricia Anderson AO and Professor Megan Davis, discussing their shared leadership with the Regional Dialogues, First Nations Constitutional Convention and the Uluru Statement from the Heart, in conversation with Professor George Williams.

  • Opera Australia to launch its 2019 season with Wendy Whiteley OAM.

  • Prime Creative Media will host the 2018 Food & Beverage Industry Awards.

  • 2016 Nobel Laureate for chemistry Sir Fraser Stoddart will present the UNSW Howard Nobel Laureate Lecture “Mingling Art with Science”.

Adelaide

  • Lord Mayor of Adelaide Martin Haese will launch the Australia China Business Council’s latest event series “China here and now: communicating with the multi-billion dollar local market”.

  • The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute will hold a seminar on “It’s as Simple as Cut and Paste: The Gene Editing Generation” as part of National Science Week.

  • Uniting Communities CEO Simon Schrapel will discuss the creation of UCity, a six-star Green Star designed retirement community in the heart of Adelaide’s CBD, at an “Industry Friends of Low Carbon Living” forum event.

  • The Geological Society of Australia will hold their 2018 SA Division annual dinner and medal presentations.

Perth

  • Day one of the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development two-day 2018 Western Australian Horticulture Update.

  • The Hong Kong Australia Business Association WA will hold their 2018 Business Awards Gala Dinner.

  • The City of Belmont and 350.org will hold a seminar on “Game changer: the science of Perth’s changing climate” as part of National Science Week.

  • Tank Stream Labs will hold a panel discussion on “The Challenges Entrepreneurial Women Face” as part of Female Entrepreneur Week Perth.

Darwin

  • ABC Radio Darwin will host its Happy Hour broadcast at the Darwin Festival’s Aurora Spiegeltent.

  • ANU business lecturer Dr Stephen Dann will run a workshop using the Lego Serious Play technique to showcase the creative communication capacity of Lego pieces under controlled conditions.

Hobart

  • CLC Tasmania will hold an expert panel discussion on “Science in Court: How Scientific Evidence Can Change the Outcome of a Case” as part of National Science Week. Other festival events will include a display of restored vintage/classic cars and workshop building solar electric vehicles and electromagnetic motors.

Devonport, Tasmania

  • TasPort will hold a briefing on planned changes to Tasmania’s port infrastructure.

Australia

  • Telstra, Origin Energy, ASX and QBE post their annual results.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

  • Australian filmmaker James Ricketson will appear in court on spying charges.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Put away your ball, this is not a gameKaren Wyld (IndigenousX): “In response to the backlash of Fraser Anning’s bigoted first speech in parliament on 14 August 2018, he quickly released a statement accusing Australians of playing the man and not the ball. Put your ball away, because we are not playing. It’s not a game.”

Let’s not panic about Joko Widodo’s hardline mate ($) — Greg Sheridan (The Australian): “Excuse me for interrupting the sturm und drang of our absorbing domestic dramas, but a development of the greatest importance occurred this week in our nearest, biggest neighbour, and it’s one we should pay attention to.”

The missing element in Emma Husar’s decision — Jane Gilmore (The Sydney Morning Herald/Daily Life): “She’s been cleared of allegations of sexual misconduct and while the investigation found merit in complaints about the treatment of her staff, it did not find any requirement for her to leave parliament. So why did she, when so many others before her have not?”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

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Peter Fray

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