QUEENSLAND ON FIRE
Multiple communities are under threat as bushfires burn across Queensland ($), with around 73 fires burning in the state last night, The Courier-Mail reports. The fires, the worst in 130 years, are being labelled an “historic event”, with an out of control fire around Binna Burra expected to have a “life-threatening impact”. Twenty one properties, including the historic Binna Burra Lodge, have been lost since Thursday ($).
Queenslanders are bracing for the most catastrophic bushfire season in recorded history, with dry conditions and little chance of rainfall over the next four months. Acting premier Jackie Trad said the severe conditions could be attributed to climate change, the ABC reports. A full list of bushfire warnings can be found here.
LAMBIE’S CROSSBENCH CONDITIONS
Independent senator and crucial crossbench vote Jacqui Lambie says she will block the government’s industrial relations bill if union boss John Setka agrees to quit the CFMMEU, and has confirmed her support for the Coalition’s cashless welfare and drug tests ($).
The Nine papers are reporting that Lambie will move to stop the union-busting bill immediately if Setka stops being a “bloody meathead” and stands down as secretary, telling the papers, “he’s going to go down anyway”. The Australian, meanwhile, reports that Lambie is “happy” ($) to support the drug testing of welfare recipients and the expansion of the cashless welfare card, joining Pauline Hanson in giving the government the necessary votes. Social services have slammed cashless welfare, with ACOSS director of policy Jacqueline Phillips telling The New Daily they are “unnecessary, expensive, stigmatising and impractical”.
HOUSING DRIVING INEQUALITY
Grattan Institute analysis has revealed that the cost of housing is driving inequality, widening the gap between rich and poor despite income inequality remaining mostly steady.
The report finds household disposable income has grown by twice as much for the richest Australians than it has for the poorest, with the poorest households spending more of their income on housing than ever before. The think-tank also savaged the National Rental Affordability Scheme, a Rudd government scheme to create affordable rental accommodation, arguing it actually handed developers and landlords more than $1 billion.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
If I was him I’d bloody smarten up for once in his goddamned life and stand down immediately.
Lambie had some colourful things to say about CFMMEU secretary John Setka as she revealed her willingness to block the union-busting bill immediately if he resigns.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“The PM’s rush to be a platinum-grade iteration of the ordinary Australian bloke PM hasn’t actually helped him stand out from all the other middle-aged white guys having a go. But this morning, and the weeks to come, present Morrison with a chance to pitch us an upgraded product: ScoMo Version 2 (this time with updated compassion). This morning Home Affairs lawyers have unexpectedly requested an adjournment in the case of Tharunicaa, the two-year-old Australian-born toddler of Priya and Nades. The Biloela family are currently the only asylum seekers on Christmas Island after a stymied deportation effort last week. The judge has now granted an adjournment until September 18.”
“Bishop and Pyne not only didn’t bother to show up for the hearings — surely their new employers would have stumped up the cost of airfares — but they also didn’t try to hide their contempt for the process. Sounding as if they were having their much-deserved entitlement interrupted by people they regarded as their juniors — members of the House of Representatives frequently refer to the Upper House as the ‘B Team’ — Bishop and Pyne emphasised how little they were being remunerated, saying in almost unison, it was much less than the $207,000 base salary for a Senator.”
“In the letter they specifically ask for an independent commission not run by the IPCC. It’s hardly surprising given the IPCC’s history. It is also perhaps not as independent as its name would suggest — CAPO is the branch of the police that oversees complaints, and IPCC is the civilian group that oversees them. Who decides who is on the IPCC though? The chief executive. There’s a moment of hope at the end of Lam’s eight-minute statement. ‘Fellow citizens,’ she says, ‘lingering violence is damaging the very foundations of our society…’ For a second I think she is finally going to acknowledge the reality of the situation — the disproportionate response of the police; the use of tear gas in MTR stations, affecting people not involved in the protests; the woman who almost lost an eye. Then, she finishes her sentence: ‘… Especially the rule of law.’”
Young people with disabilities are trapped in nursing homes – Bronwyn Morkham (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “Many young people have acquired disabilities and with the right rehabilitation and support could avoid aged care or move out if they have been unlucky enough to go in. But every day we hear stories of young people being treated as if they are in the last, helpless days of their life, rather than the prime of it. Staff simply do not have the training, the skills or the time to maintain their physical and cognitive function and behaviours – let alone improve them.”
Swan still pushing failed Labor policies ($) – Josh Frydenberg (The Australian): “Imagine if Labor won the election, the damage that would have been done to the economy as it sought to impose $387bn of higher taxes at the same time the economy was weathering the impacts of the devastating floods and drought at home and trade tensions abroad. Jobs would have been lost, aspiration squashed, the housing market hurt and big government the order of the day. In contrast, the Coalition is providing consistency and certainty in economic policy settings, passing against Labor’s will the largest tax cuts in more than two decades, investing in a record 10-year, $100bn pipeline of infrastructure, and driving a new skills agenda with 80,000 more apprenticeships.”
Biloela showing community spirit – Father Rod Bower (The Saturday Paper): “Interestingly, though unsurprisingly, several newspapers this week revealed that a number of Sri Lankan boats had been turned back by Operation Sovereign Borders. The usual secrecy surrounding “on-water matters” to avoid giving people smugglers “tactical advantage” and to “protect our people in the conduct of their duties” was deemed redundant as, according to the prime minister, “We followed a practice that we have in the past and I think that keeps the issue of the ever-present threat of illegal arrivals to Australia foremost in the public’s mind.” One is left to wonder if this startling and disturbingly honest admission is merely some kind of Freudian revelation, or perhaps, even more ominously, evidence Scott Morrison no longer feels the moral constraints that once dictated unethical behaviour be camouflaged in a veil of spin and doublespeak. Could this be the new Australia? Maybe it is simply the old one being honest with itself.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
A directions hearing will be held into the deaths of six people killed in Bourke Street attack in January 2017.
Reason Leader Fiona Patten will make an announcement about her anti-hate speech bill at a press conference outside parliament.
The Aged Care Royal Commission will hold public hearing into younger people in residential aged care.
The Fine Food Australia festival will begin, running until Thursday.
The NSW Inquest into music festival drug-related deaths will resume six days of hearings with witnesses from ACT Health, Pill Testing Australia and Wise Project WA.
ANU Indonesia Update will discuss the state of democracy in Indonesia and the challenges ahead in Joko Widodo’s second term.
The Supreme Court will determine damages in Wagners v Nine Network, after the Wagners were found to have been defamed.
The Gold Coast
Shadow Minister for Employment and Small Business/Training and Skills Development Fiona Simpson will speak at a lunch hosted by fellow MP Rob Molhoek.
Disability royal commission will hold a community forum.
Adelaide Lord Mayor Sandy Verschoor will unveil a 180-year-old painting of Adelaide made by the city’s planner Colonel William Light.
Nobel Prize winner Barry Marshall, who discovered that bacteria causes stomach ulcers, will appear in court on criminal damage charges, over an incident involving boom gates.
The Legislative Council Select Committee Inquiry into AFL will hold public hearings, hearing from Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO Luke Martin and AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires.