MORRISON’S PLANS FOR CHRISTMAS
Scott Morrison will expand the healthcare operations at Christmas Island Detention Centre to reportedly cater for more than 500 possible Manus and Nauru detainees as part of his $1.4 billion response to the medivac legislation.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Morrison, speaking from the island yesterday, claimed that onshore centres are “full”. He justified the reopening of Christmas Island — which has inadequate medical facilities and a comparable history to Manus and Nauru — as necessary to house 57 people with adverse character assessments, stop detainees “getting their hooks into the Australian legal system”, and ensure people coming for “vexatious reasons” are detained in a “very hardened facility”.
COAL FIRED FURY
Six Queensland National Party MPs have written to Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack calling on the Coalition to reintroduce “big stick” energy laws and fast-track underwriting for a new coal-fired power plant.
According to The Australian ($), Michelle Landry, George Christensen, and Barry O’Sullivan are amongst the MPs still bidding for forced divestment powers and a new state-based “cleaner” coal plant. The legislation, however, was only pulled because Greens MP Adam Bandt had the numbers to ban the underwriting for coal.
Get Crikey FREE to your inbox every weekday morning with the Crikey Worm.
Further south, The Guardian reports that state-owned China Energy and Parramatta businessman Frank Cavasinni have signed a proposal for twin 1000MW coal plants in the failed Hunter economic zone, which would require months’ worth of assessments and over which Bandt has already threatened a “veritable army” of protesters.
New Treasury figures in the Northern Territory have found that investment crashed by 45.6% over 2018.
The NT News ($) reports that year-on-year data shows Territory State Final Demand fell by 12% to $26.9 billion while private sector investment fell by a whopping 41.8% to $5.9 billion. The news caps off a generally sad day in finance, in which new ABS data put Australia in its first “per-capita” recession in 13 years and new OECD forecasts for 2019 cut global growth by 0.2 percentage points to 3.3%.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Notify the schools not to ask the priests to provide their working-with-children check.
The bishop of Armidale does a terrific job reading the room and asks Catholic schools to butt out of background checks.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The Australian industrial superannuation system is one of the great models of industrial relations cooperation in the world. In 38 industry super funds, every day, union-nominated and employer-nominated directors put their day jobs aside and meet to oversee the business of making money for their members. In doing so, they’ve managed to significantly out-perform the market-based super fund model run by the big banks — while investing in asset classes like major infrastructure projects that politicians want supported but that the retail funds won’t touch.”
“Well, there was never any likelihood that the conviction of (still) Cardinal George Pell wouldn’t be a major moment in the culture wars. Even so, it’s a helluva thing to watch the right commentariat throw itself into the defence of Pell with utter abandon. The full court press by Bolt, Henderson, Akerman, Devine et al has marked them off pretty decisively from the parliamentary wing of the right (with the rule-proving exception of Craig Kelly), who were quick to ring-fence Pell from what remains of their politics.”
“At a time when clarity on climate change and energy has never been more important, efforts to muddy the water are escalating in the media. Just look at the latest episode of Insiders this past weekend, when Energy Minister Angus Taylor claimed that as a result of the Coalition government ‘there’s less carbon in the atmosphere’ while Barry Cassidy countered with carbon emissions ‘are up over the last five years. Indeed the facts are clear: Australia’s climate pollution is rising.’”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
More reasons to be angry, as if we needed them — Wendy Tuohy (Daily Life/The Age): “On the eve of International Women’s Day, radio news bulletins featured the following, horrific stories about violence against women. The body of 32 year-old dentist, Dr Preethi Reddy, was found in a suitcase near Sydney after she went missing on Sunday night; she had been stabbed multiple times.”
Build a better future — or grind to a halt ($) — Dominic Perrottet (Daily Telegraph): “In recent days NSW Labor leader Michael Daley has shown he is more than willing to scare voters with his own alternative set of facts. His on-air threat to sack the SCG Trustees, several of whom were appointed by Labor, only confirmed Mr Daley’s inability to control his temper, and his tendency to lash out when under pressure, a failure of temperament that Mr Daley’s parliamentary colleagues know only too well.”
Christmas Island tropical tour a waste of taxpayer cash — David Crowe (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Australians just paid about $2000 a minute for a press conference on Christmas Island that told them nothing new. Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his entourage spoke at the event for less than 30 minutes after landing on the island in a Royal Australian Air Force jet.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The Victorian Auditor-General is expected to release a report on local government performance.
Climate Council CEO Amanda McKenzie will launch council report “Australia’s Angriest Summer”. Another launch event will be held in Sydney.
The Victorian Local Governance Association will launch campaign resource “Local Women Leading Change” for a vision of 50% women councillors by 2020.
2018 Victorian of the Year Susan Alberti will present at Brighton Town Hall’s 2019 International Women’s Day sport event.
Special Olympics Team Australia will depart for the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi.
Heads of the UK Rail Industry Association and the Australasian Railways Association will sign an MOU delivering greater collaboration between Australian and UK rail companies.
CBA Chairwoman Catherine Livingstone, Austrade CEO Dr Stephanie Fahey, Junkee editor Rae Johnston and more will present at a George Institute for Global Health International Women’s Day event.
John Podesta, a chief of staff to Bill Clinton and political consultant to Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, will speak on “The path to progress” at the University of Sydney.
Andrew Barr will present the 2019 Chief Minister Student Welcome.
Former Chief Minister Jon Stanhope and social economist Peter Phibbs will present on ACT’s new housing affordability strategy at an Institute Of Governance and Policy Analysis event.
Brisbane Lord Mayor Graham Quirk will present a keynote on “A new chapter for Australian international education and Brazil” at the Australia Brazil Chamber of Commerce.
Paralympic swimmer Karni Liddell will present at a Brigidine College IWD event.
The Australian Federal Police, Tasmanian Acquired Brain Injury Services and Tasmania Police will launch an online safety resource for people with cognitive disabilities.
Assistant Minister for International Development and the Pacific Senator Anne Ruston will present a keynote on Australia’s role in the Pacific at the University of Adelaide.
NT Supreme Court Justice Judith Kelly, NT Local Court Deputy Chief Judge Elizabeth Morris and more will speak at an NT Women Lawyers Association IWD event.
The legal and constitutional affairs references committee will begin investigating the effectiveness of the current temporary skilled visa system in targeting genuine skills shortages.
Labor MP Dr Anne Aly and Greens Senator Rachel Siewert will speak at a Ruah Community Services’ roundtable on domestic violence.