climate denialism
Then treasurer Scott Morrison brandishing coal in the House of Representatives in 2017 (Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

A VERDICT ON COAL?

Research by progressive think tank The Australia Institute has found national concern over climate change has surged and roughly half of Australians want a ban on new coal mines.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the research, to be officially released later today, found 73% of Australians are concerned about climate change, up from 66% last year, and 49% support banning new coal mines with just 20% opposing. This comes days after Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the government would abandon emissions targets, and is at odds with the actions of new Energy Minister Angus Taylor as he explores extending the life of coal power.

In other news, a new agricultural forecast report has found that NSW winter crops will be down 46% from last year due to the eastern drought, while the Victorian government yesterday announced three new solar and three wind farms, to a combined 928 megawatts, as a result of its first reverse auction.

“CASH MONEY” CALLS

The banking royal commission has heard that trips to Bali, Vespa scooters and “cash money” were among prizes used to incentivise insurance call centres staff to exceed sales targets. The ABC reports that day two of the inquiry found that incentives fuelled an aggressive sales culture in the accidental death and injury insurance company Freedom Insurance.

In one of the more shocking examples, a sales agent sold several insurance policies to a 26-year-old man with Down syndrome after an unsolicited sales call which left him “distressed”. Freedom Insurance chief operating officer Craig Orton described the calls as “deeply troubling” and said they “do not make for comfortable listening”.

JOBS FOR INSPIRERS

The Department of Home Affairs has reportedly spent tens of thousands of dollars on motivational speeches from celebrities such as singer Casey Donovan, surfer Layne Beachley and Shark Tank judge Naomi Simson.

The Daily Telegraph ($) reports that in 2018 alone the department spent more than $63,000 on just five speakers, including $11,250 for a National Reconciliation Week address from Donovan and $13,200 for an “innovation month” speech from celebrity scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki.

The news drops as an incredible war of words between Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and former Border Force chief Roman Quaedvlieg continues to escalate, with Quaedvlieg last night complaining to speaker Tony Smith over Dutton’s use of parliamentary privilege to accuse the former colleague of “grooming” a younger woman.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Open a history book motherfucker and then go fuck yourself @TheCalebBond.

Kathy Griffin

The American comedian dunks on Adelaide teen columnist Caleb Bond for defending a racist cartoon.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

“As Scott Morrison explained last week, mateship is crucial to his conception of government. ‘Remember, my value is: we look after our mates’. And not really ‘mates’ in the more modern, graciously inclusive, non-gendered sense; this is a boys’ club government, with Scott and Josh, and Mathias and Birmo in the Senate, all top blokes, of course, with Julie Bishop gone to the backbench and complainers like Julia Banks told to harden up and ‘roll with the punches’. Morrison is less Prime Minister than First Mate, Primus Inter Amicis.”

“The wires that once linked human traffic to the busiest city intersections were cut, but not by an authoritarian state. We walkers of the world were stripped of our will by maths. And, a good thing, too. A system of traffic must not concede its flow to me, or to anyone running late for a haircut. If we want fair and virtuous systems, we can’t rely on us. We automate the virtue into the systems we inhabit. We build that virtue in.”

“In just under three years, Myanmar’s 1991 Nobel Prize Laureate, Aung San Suu Kyi has gone from triumphant former political prisoner — feted around the globe as Southeast Asia’s Nelson Mandela — to her country’s de-facto leader (or is she?) and a spectacular disappointment to those same supporters.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Two Aboriginal teens drown in inner city police chase

Tony Abbott set for the long-term as he cements his hold on seat

Bid to strip rort doctors’ cars, houses ($)

Moreton Bay council secretly helped mayor’s donor win $20 million deal

Four-year-old girl from East Devonport is eighth case of meningococcal in Tasmania ($)

Short-stay accommodation boom yet to reach peak in Tasmania, inquiry hears

Four years on, William Tyrrell disappearance referred to State Coroner

WaveStone’s Catherine Allfrey on the day the GFC arrived in Australia ($)

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved to lift aged care standards to prevent another Oakden tragedy ($)

Bob Woodward: ‘People need to wake up’ to what’s happening under Trump

THE COMMENTARIAT

‘Easy-peasy, smash 400 lives by lunchtime’: cold-call victims didn’t stand a chance — Adele Ferguson (Sydney Morning Herald): “It is hard to know what is more distressing, listening to a Freedom Insurance sales representative relentlessly flogging funeral, accidental death and accidental injury insurance to a 26-year-old with Down syndrome, or reading emails bribing sales agents to ‘smash 400 lives’ by lunchtime.”

The Herald Sun’s Serena Williams cartoon draws on a long and damaging history of racist caricature — Clare Corbould (The Conversation): “In the United States, the tradition of racist caricature began as slavery came to end. This was not a coincidence. The first place to outlaw slavery in the newly formed United States was Vermont in 1777. Over the next 50 years, northern states abolished slavery at different rates. Then, in 1861, the nation went to war over slavery, and with the Union’s victory four years later, this dark period of the nation’s history officially came to a close.”

Northern Australia can benefit from water development boom ($) — Michael McCormack (The NT News): “Water is the lifeblood which empowers regional communities throughout Australia to make a significant contribution to our nation. I’ve never shied away from the fact we should store more of our water and build more dams to use for irrigated agriculture, flood mitigation and to help drought proof our productive primary production regions.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Directions hearing for Australian spy-turned-whistleblower Witness K and his lawyer Bernard Collaery, who are facing criminal charges after revealing the 2004 spy operation on East Timor.

  • Sex Discrimination Commissioner Kate Jenkins will release the fourth sexual harassment report in Australian workplaces, plus an update on the national inquiry into sexual harassment, at the National Press Club.

  • Minister for Regional Services, Sport, Local Government and Decentralisation Senator Bridget McKenzie will speak at the release of two safety and drowning reports: The Royal Life Saving Society Australia’s “National Drowning Report 2018” and Surf Life Saving Australia’s “National Coastal Safety Report 2018”.

  • Politicians led by co-chairs of the Prostate Cancer Awareness Group, Labor MP Jason Clare and Liberal MP Warren Entsch will get prostate cancer tests in the Senate Alcove.

  • Federal press gallery’s annual mid-winter ball.

Brisbane

  • Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will deliver the annual “state of the state” economic address.

  • The Queensland Parliamentary committee considering the Palaszczuk government’s laws to decriminalise abortion will hold a public hearing.

  • Eddie Ayres will discuss his autobiography Danger Music in conversation with Frances Whiting at Brisbane Square Library.

Melbourne

  • The banking royal commission will finish hearing from Freedom Insurance chief operating officer Craig Orton, before managing director of CBA’s CommInsure Helen Troup gives evidence.

  • The Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry will hold a business election lunch with shadow treasurer Michael O’Brien as part of a series of events ahead of the November state election.

  • Housing Minister Martin Foley and campaign patron Paula Fox AO will participate in a fundraising event at Sacred Heart, intended to help raise $1 million in services and care.

Perth

  • The Joint Standing Committee on the CCC will hold a public hearing with Corrective Services Commissioner Tony Hassall to discuss recent CCC reports into issues in WA prisons.

  • A parliamentary inquiry into the car smash repair industry will hold a public hearing, with witnesses to include Suncorp executive manager for joint venture operations Rob Bartlett, IAG industry relations, risk and governance specialist Troy Johns and IAG executive general manager of short tail claims Steven Fitzpatrick.

  • Source Certain International & Flux will hold an industry panel event discussing “Medical Cannabis: The Real Deal or Smoke and Mirrors?”.

Hobart

  • Second day of public hearings before the Legislative Council Select Committee on short-stay accommodation in Tasmania.

Yatala, Queensland

  • Queensland Minister for State Development Cameron Dick will open a new Siemens facility, which will produce a product designed to manage sustained electricity outages on rural networks called Fusesaver.

Sydney

  • CEO of Lumi.media Karen Dewey will present “TV Production: There Must be a Better Way” as part of The Studio’s speaker series.

  • Daniel Hadley, the police officer son of Ray Hadley, will face court on drug charges.

Darwin

  • Immigration lawyer, advocate and 2018’s NT Young Australian of the Year Kevin Kadirgamar will present the annual Eric Johnston Lecture on “Multiculturalism and 40 years of self-government: why cities need cultural diversity to thrive”.

  • Day one of the NT Department of Education’s three-day annual performing arts showcase, The Beat Festival.

Adelaide

  • The Minister for Industry and Skills David Pisoni will launch the Prospect GigCity network and City of Prospect’s new investment attraction strategy.

  • The South Australian Museum will host “Tree of life: a night of science”, an event celebrating National Biodiversity Month with presentations on evolution, extinction and the changing face of our Earth.