climate change drought

DROUGHT DRIVE

Angry Nationals will push the Morrison government for a new drought plan, as the NSW town of Armidale nears day zero for dam water, Nine reports.

Backbenchers are demanding a new 10-point plan amid growing unrest over the drought response, which some worry will leave them open to attack from One Nation and other minor parties. A policy document, which passed in a “tense” party room meeting, seeks to establish community drought committees in drought-affected areas, allocating them $10 million jointly funded by federal and state governments. Armidale, meanwhile, has just 400 days worth of dam water left and is looking at the prospect of carting in water on trucks every day if it does not find ground water soon.

DEAL APPROVED, TIMELINE REJECTED

The UK parliament has “put brakes” on Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal bill, voting to reject the rushed timetable for passage in a major defeat for the PM, The Guardian reports.

MPs have this morning voted 329-299 to allow the withdrawal agreement bill to pass to the next stage of the parliamentary process, but rejected Johnson’s program motion, which set out just three days to debate the 110-page bill. Johnson said earlier today that he would withdraw his bill and seek a general election if he lost the vote.

The EU has indicated it is likely to grant the extension Johnson unwillingly requested.

‘AUSTRALIA STREET’

Nine has reported from “Australia Street”, the small group of tents occupied by ISIS-linked Australian families at the al-Hawl refugee camp in Syria.

Women in the group told Nine that they are scared and want to go home, and are hoping to build enough public sympathy that the Australian government must act. The women say they have not heard back from the government, despite Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s claim that the government is assessing the situation case by case.

Camp coordinator Layla Rezgar told Nine of the danger within in the camp as hard-core ideologues remain, preaching ISIS doctrine and punishing backsliders by killing them or torching tents.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

All Republicans must remember what they are witnessing here — a lynching.

Donald Trump 

The president of the United States compares the Democrat’s impeachment inquiry to a “lynching”.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Corruption investigations on the rise as Morrison fends off press freedom calls

#MeToo founder says Australia’s defamation laws silence victims

Oslo police shoot as man steals ambulance, drives into pedestrians

‘Extinction of the tradie’: Education ‘shortchanged’ hundreds of millions

Labor MPs split over decision to oppose ‘right to farm’ bill

Bush crisis: locals shun GP careers ($)

Army’s reports kept secret to avoid flak on social media ($)

Ken Wyatt hits back at ‘influencers’ ($)

‘Deeply distressed’: Man waits years for hepatitis C medication after immigration detention transfer

Press freedom: Media companies use Scott Morrison’s words to argue against criminalising journalism

Senior Defence bureaucrat accused of nepotism over lucrative contract

Organic farming produces higher greenhouse gas emissions, research finds

‘There will be job losses’: ABC boss confirms staff to go following budget freeze

‘Make up your own mind’: PM accuses asylum seekers of faking illness under Medevac laws

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Are politicians hypocrites or just deeply confused?

“Labor’s role in enabling the establishment of a police state in Australia of course reflects its calculation — quite correct — that there is no political benefit in standing up for press freedom in national security debates. Indeed, when the party has done so, the government’s handmaidens at News Corp — currently masquerading as an advocate of freedom — have savaged the party. There’s plenty of hypocrisy to go round in all this. But unless Labor intends to revise its joined-at-the-hip approach to extending national security laws, maybe it should keep the embarrassing #righttoknow tweets to a minimum.”


On Succession and the brutal truth about digital media

“There’s a long-running joke that journalists hate seeing themselves on screen. Not because the depictions are bad, but because they’re good. Sex and the City, The Bold Type, Gossip Girl, and Gilmore Girls show dream careers where you have endless budgets, support, and time to write one masturbatory personal essay a week. But, in reality, being in the media is kind of horrible. The pleasure of Succession isn’t only that it shows that, but that it illuminates who is to blame. Succession’s horror show reaches beyond the recent waves of redundancies and closures to examine a more insidious sickness that’s been metastasising in digital media for years. The show doesn’t just vilify the suits who come to ruin the party, but also points to the publishers, systems, and greed that welcomed them in.”


Mark Zuckerberg broke politics. Now he refuses to fix it. 

“Because any existential threat to Facebook can only come from US regulators, most reporting and analysis on these events has focused on what it means in a solely American context. But, its impact is just as great in Australia. Take the “death taxes” lie, which was so influential in the recent federal election. This could not have occurred without the distribution that social media provided — enabling the targeting of demographics least likely to doubt, and most likely to spread misinformation through shares.”

THE COMMENTARIAT

Roll out water recycling in drought assistance packages Lisa McLean (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “In Sydney alone, 1.8 Sydney Harbours a year, or 1,000 Olympic swimming pools a day, are flushed into the ocean through outlets including North Head, Bondi, and Malabar. Every drop could be reused to meet all our non-drinking water needs, including toilet flushing, clothes washing, water features, irrigation, and cooling systems. Critically it will provide water for environmental flows: a new water supply to maintain healthy rivers, fish, biodiversity and agriculture. To ensure all wastewater is kept locally and reused, we need new policies and infrastructure investment.”

GST reform needs to favour fiscally responsible states ($) – Dominic Perrottet (The Australian): “Almost 40c in every dollar of our revenue is derived from the commonwealth — primarily through GST payments, which totalled $18.7bn (about 22 per cent of revenue), and a complex web of national agreements, which totalled $10.4bn (about 13 per cent of revenue), and ­national partnerships of $2.9bn (about 4 per cent of revenue). This money is not some sort of fiscal manna from heaven ­bestowed on NSW by a benevolent commonwealth. It is derived directly from tax paid by ordinary people — it’s your money. But are the states and their taxpayers receiving value for this contribution? And does this system create incentives for growth, reform and productivity?”

Blinded by romance, we lack vision for our brown countryGarry Linnell (The New Daily): Few modern leaders have been prepared to take a view about the long-term sustainability of our agricultural sector. The reasons are obvious. Modern Australia’s ties with its brown land are steeped in the mythology of the 19th century and the stories and poems of men like Henry Lawson and Banjo Paterson, who gave us a world filled with nuggety and courageously pragmatic characters forever living in hardship while stoically defying nature and disease. But that world has long gone. When a devastating seven-year drought assaulted the country in the lead up to Federation, more than 30 per cent of Australians worked on the land. Now, fewer than 400,000 people work in the agriculture, aquaculture and fishing industries out of a workforce that numbers close to 12 million.”

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The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Labor will use a Senate estimates hearing to grill education officials on why they haven’t spent hundreds of millions of dollars available to them for TAFE and training.

Brisbane

  • Queensland Parliament will debate proposed anti-protest laws that protesters and unionists say go too far but which the resources sector wants the government to take further.

Sydney

  • The winner of the Australian Fashion Laureate will be announced, awarded to persons who have made a significant contribution to the growth and development of the Australian fashion industry.

Melbourne

  • Waste Expo Australia will explore the future of waste management and resource recovery, featuring over 100 speakers.

  • Family violence campaigner Rosie Batty will join women’s legal services to call on the federal government to reform the family law system to keep women and children safe.

Hobart

  • NASA will launch its Operation IceBridge mission to map ice along East Antarctica’s coastline.

Adelaide

  • CEDA will host “Women and Leadership: advancing women’s economic empowerment”, discussing women’s economic security in the workforce and retirement.