JOBS SCHEME SLAMMED
The National Audit Office has “savaged” the administration of the government’s $220 million regional jobs scheme, finding it suffers from conflicts of interest and intervention by ministers, Nine reports.
A scathing inquiry of the program, introduced to boost jobs and growth in 10 regions, found it failed to meet audit standards, with funding decisions often skewed in favour of Coalition seats. Decisions often failed to line up with advice provided by bureaucrats, with ministers declining to fund 28% of grants recommended by officials, while approving 17% that had not been recommended to them, The Guardian reports. Infrastructure Minister Michael McCormack is defending the scheme, saying it has helped create thousands of jobs.
TELLING IT LIKE IT IS
Eleven thousand scientists from around the world have “unequivocally” declared a climate emergency, calling for “major transformations” in the ways society functions, in a rare international collaboration for BioScience journal.
The statement — signed by scientists from 153 different countries, including more than 350 Australians — warns of “untold suffering” if the climate crisis is not addressed soon, noting it is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. The report suggests six critical steps be taken, including curbing growing population and leaving fossil fuels in the ground, with scientists arguing they have a “moral obligation” to warn humanity and “tell it like it is”.
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‘PREPAREDNESS’ IS THE BEST CURE
The government is putting the final touches on its new drought strategy, which is expected to put a new focus on “preparedness”, The New Daily reports.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is due to discuss the plan with cabinet today, with the strategy due to be released within days. The plan is believed to be based on a report by Major-General Stephen Day, the PM’s drought coordinator-general, calling for drought policy to be aimed at preparedness rather than response and to significantly increase funding. Dubbo, meanwhile, is copping a spray ($), with neighbouring councils labelling the town “reckless” after it voted to downgrade its level-four restrictions.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
This issue will be remedied by upskilling the personnel to increase the common sense.
The attorney-general plans to upskill his department rather than amend transparency laws.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“‘1080’ is a notoriously noxious poison for rabbit bait that has now been abandoned because of the collateral damage it caused to other wildlife. After yesterday’s retail sales figures for September, it’s clear a different kind of poison by the same name has claimed some new victims: what’s left of the Morrison government’s economic credibility, and the Reserve Bank’s reading of the economy. ”
“The difficulty is that progressives have spent so much time advocating for bespoke laws limiting peoples’ right to speak on a whole range of other topics that they are hobbled in attacking right-wing laws that have an opposite content but take the same form. Whenever one raises this, one gets some snivelling response about imbalance of power myah myah myah etc. But that is precisely why we need a firm and simple commitment from the left to the most free speech possible, the most freedom of assembly, etc. Otherwise on what grounds, other than personal preference, can one object to such targeted repression?”
“Who was the last Australian politician to inspire so many in such a palpably urgent way? Bob Hawke? As the light on the hill grows dimmer and dimmer every time the ALP kowtow to the radical right-wing politics of Morrison, Dutton, and the Murdoch press, it becomes all but impossible to imagine a Bernie succeeding in Australia. And an AOC type? If a 28-year-old POC tried to stir up such ideals in Australia, she’d be run out of the country. We’ve done it before to people way less radical than her.”
Standing beside our frail elderly, in the centre of life – Elizabeth Oliver (The Age/Sydney Morning Herald): “What if we valued our elderly enough to care for them in the centre of social interaction, novelty, commerce and usefulness? Aged care homes should be routinely located in central hubs, pleasantly, easily and habitually visited, an integrated part of our communal life. What if transplanting a popular cafe into the spacious and empty courtyard of a nursing home was a good business decision? Could primary schools and aged care facilities share the same grounds? We need more funding, better training, and more accountability, but we also need to look at ourselves. Our vulnerable would be less likely to fall if our society considered it a privilege to stand beside them.”
No daffy crank, Jeremy Corbyn is bad ($) – Michael Danby (The Australian): “Imagine if the bungling fanatics mocked in Monty Python’s Life of Brian had taken over a serious political party in a democracy. It has happened with Britain’s Labour Party. And it’s why Jeremy Corbyn’s defeat is both likely and desirable at next month’s general election. It’s necessary for the future of Britain and the revival of Labour, a party once led by titans such as Harold Wilson, Hugh Gaitskell and Tony Blair. Not even Brexit is as important as his defeat.”
We have to at least have caps on political spending by parties to stop the eternal thirst for more cash ($) –Tory Shepherd (The Adelaide Advertiser): “We have to at least have caps on political spending by parties to stop the eternal thirst for more cash, and therefore more donors, who always want something out of it. And caps on political spending by third parties, whether they’re spending for a higher cause or whether they’re just trying to protect their business interests (not mentioning any names). And a cap on donations themselves. It’s also hard to see why, when you can tune into happenings on the International Space Station, we can’t have real-time revelations of donations. The brilliant upshot of having less spending all ’round, of course, is you’d probably see a whole lot less of politicians, not to mention Clive Palmer.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
A hearing will be held on the adequacy of Newstart and related payments, to determine the level of income support payments in Australia.
Mandurah, West Australia
The Confluence Festival of Indian Arts will host a literary cruise.
South Australian winners in the Australian of the Year awards will be named.
Premier Steven Marshall will visit SUEZ ResourceCo to mark production of one million tonnes of alternative fuel.
Warooka, South Australia
Great Southern Ark’s 23km predator management fence will be launched to protect native animals from feral predators on the Yorke Peninsula.
The Environment and Communications Legislation Committee will hold a public hearing on the Coal-Fired Power Funding Prohibition Bill 2017 and the Competition and Consumer Amendment (Prevention of Exploitation of Indigenous Cultural Expressions) Bill 2019.
Heinz and Kraft will appeal a Federal Court decision allowing Bega to continue using the trademark yellow lid and label on its peanut butter.
A full court hearing will be held in the legal challenges against the election of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and his Liberal colleague Gladys Liu.
Prevention of Family Violence Minister Gabrielle Williams will inspect The Orange Door and meet new senior staff.
Actor John Travolta will give a speech at The Star.
An inquiry into growing Australian agriculture to $100 billion by 2030 will look into the opportunities and impediments to the primary production sectors.
The Select Committee into Jobs for the Future in Regional Areas will hold a public hearing.
A select committee on the effectiveness of the Australian government’s northern Australia agenda will hold a public hearing.
The Cooperative Research Centre for Developing Northern Australia will launch $4.1 million research collaboration focused on developing the Tropical Rock Oyster industry.
Northern Territory Aboriginal Affairs Minister Selena Jane Malijarri Uibo will visit Numbulwar to mark 10 years of the Families as First Teachers program.
The disability royal commission will hold its first public hearing in Townsville.