heat wave heatwave 2019
(Image: AAP/David Crosling)

50.7 DEGREES

Australia could this week experience the hottest day on record, with Perth preparing to endure an unprecedented heatwave, the ABC reports.

Perth city is expected to hover around the 40-degree mark for four consecutive days, but the Bureau of Meteorology says it wouldn’t be surprising if Australia’s highest recorded temperature of 50.7 degrees is broken.

Perth set its hottest day record last year, at 41.6 degrees, but to date, the city has never had two days in December over 40 degrees. As a cool change moves in at the start of next week, the heat will travel interstate.

SHOW ME THE MONEY

The Morrison government will implement new rules ($) requiring big superannuation funds to hand over lost super to the Australian Taxation Office, The Australian reports. As it stands, super funds have been able to shift funds from inactive accounts into a related fund, despite recently introduced legislation that empowers the ATO to retrieve lost super.

The Australian estimates money from more than half-a-million workers has been transferred to an ‘eligible rollover fund’ and charged fees. The new policy will require funds from inactive accounts (that is, accounts that haven’t received any contribution for 16 months) to be handed over to the ATO by June 2021.

NEW DISCOVERIES

A team of Australian and Indonesian researchers believe cave paintings on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi is the earliest known pictorial record of storytelling. The paintings were uncovered back in 2017 and dated to nearly 44,000 years ago, out-dating 40,000-year-old rock art previously found in an ivory cave in Germany.

In an article published in Nature journal, Adam Brumm said the paintings also show some of the earliest evidence of human spirituality.

“The portrayal of multiple hunters confronting at least two separate prey species possibly suggests a game drive — a communal hunt in which animals are indiscriminately flushed from cover and directed towards waiting hunters,” the researchers said.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Greta must work on her Anger Management problem, then go to a good old fashioned movie with a friend! Chill Greta, Chill!!

Donald Trump

The US President congratulates climate activist Greta Thunberg on becoming TIME’s Person of the Year in his own unique way.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Western Power fleet executive Rodney Pearson charged over $1.5 million corruption

Record-breaking heatwave hits hard in the Top End

Daring mission to recover bodies from White Island ‘at first light’

From skipping school to Time’s person of the year: The making of Greta Thunberg

Homicide squad will investigate mysterious death of young model

ICAC hears $100,000 cash withdrawn from The Star casino days before same amount banked by NSW Labor

Breakthrough DNA test reveals cause of deafness ($)

Global stocks test record highs

North Korea: US has nothing to offer on nukes

Record-breaking heatwave hits hard in the Top End

Queensland Government won’t appeal flood ruling

Thousands of Queenslanders have blood tests mislabelled

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

What will Morrison’s bushfire moment be?

“Instead of addressing the catastrophe literally outside, with Comical Ali-like denial, Morrison was pursuing a culture war in which, somehow, he has managed to find himself in the middle of the battlefield getting shot at by both sides, as he tries to find ways to enable religious organisations and health professionals to discriminate against people based on their religion, their lack thereof or their personal morality.”


Kevin Rudd is not registered as an agent of foreign influence in Australia… yet

“Kevin Rudd, once a firm China sceptic, has become Australia’s first (former) prime minister to openly consort with the ruling Communist Party’s United Front Work Department (UFWD). The UFWD is responsible for spreading Chinese government interests in offshore nations — including Australia. What happened to the Rudd who described the country as a potential military threat in a 2009 defence white paper?”


Confessions of a whistleblower: ‘I had no option … lives were going to be lost’

“[Whistleblower #1] was the one who was marched out of the [ACCC’s] head office in November last year, never to return, his career up in flames. It was four days after internal emails potentially embarrassing to the ACCC had been published in a 60 Minutes investigation into Australia’s Takata air bag safety recall. ‘It was the brutality of it, the suddenness of it,’ recalls Whistleblower #1. ‘It seems to have been done deliberately to humiliate me as a warning to others about what happens to whistleblowers.’” 

THE COMMENTARIAT

Australia can’t afford to underfund mental health ($) – Patrick McGorry (The Australian): “Mental illness is the major cause of premature death in young people up to the age of 40, and across the lifespan the largest contributor to disability and productivity loss. Yet, despite two decades of awareness campaigns, countless reviews and plans, our approach to mental healthcare has been mostly ad hoc and fragmented. The disconnect between unprecedented awareness and the poor access and quality of care actually provided must be overcome with reform and investment. For this to succeed, hard-won scientific evidence must form the bedrock of a modern mental health system, as it is in physical healthcare. And we must invest in mental health research and innovation.”

Contrite Westpac board deserves no credit for surviving torrid meeting Elizabeth Knight (The Sydney Morning Herald): “A significant portion of those voting against [Westpac’s] remuneration report were projecting their anger and disappointment at the lack of governance and the board’s failure to understand or appreciate the importance of laws around anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing. Banks are supposed to understand risk – financial and non-financial. It is at the heart of what they do, and Westpac failed miserably. At an emotional level shareholders were appalled that the bank, in which they are part owners, could have potentially enabled child sexual exploitation.”

Matt Kean and Gladys Berejiklian must explain how 35pc emissions reduction plan will work ($) – Anna Caldwell (The Daily Telegraph): While Kean has previously declared his support for coal, neither he nor the Premier took steps yesterday to ­explain how coal and coal jobs would be protected in the face of this new target. It all echoes Bill Shorten’s details-phobic federal election campaign. And now, in many ways, the Berejiklian government appears to be making the same mistakes in office. What will be the cost to the economy of a 35 per cent reduction in emissions by 2030? How will it be achieved? How will they ensure the security of coal jobs and mining towns? If the government wants to set lofty targets it must be prepared to explain them to the electorate.

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

National

  • Jetstar baggage handlers and ground crew will strike for two-hour periods across Melbourne, Avalon, Sydney, Brisbane, Cairns and Adelaide airports.

Melbourne

  • The inquest continues into the 2017 Bourke Street killings, with up to 70 witnesses expected to give evidence.

Sydney

  • Former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull will host the opening of The Melt, Australia’s first integrated industrial prototyping lab.

  • Leighton Drury, NSW state secretary of the Fire Brigade Employee’s Union, will call for government action and greater resourcing.

Brisbane

  • Climate activist group Extinction Rebellion will blockade the Go Between Bridge during peak hour.

  • Federal opposition leader Anthony Albanese will continue his tour of regional Queensland.

  • A 36-year-old man will face court charged with murdering Queensland woman Kardell Lomas.

Adelaide

  • Chad Rolf Vinzelberg, who posted comments in support of the Christchurch shootings, will appear in court.

New Zealand

  • A mission will be launched to recover up to eight bodies from White Island, where the deadly volcanic eruption occurred. Most of the bodies are expected to be Australian.

United Kingdom

  • Julian Assange will appear in Westminster Magistrates Court to confirm remand ahead of his 2020 extradition trial.