Over a three-year period, more than 1,200 Australians, including 65 children, died while waiting for an NDIS package.
Between July 2016 and September 2019, Australians waited an average of four months to receive support from the insurance scheme, according to The Courier Mail ($). In that time, 1,279 people on a waitlist died, including 270 Queenslanders and 170 South Australians.
South Australians had to wait 210 days on average — months longer than the national average of 121 days for children aged six and under and 152 days to Australians aged seven or older. Queenslanders’ wait times were shorter than the national average, at 90 days for those under six and 122 days for people aged seven or older.
SCIENTISTS TO THE FRONT
Minister for Science Karen Andrews is fed up with climate deniers and those skirting around the facts. “Every second we spend discussing if climate change is real is a second we don’t spend addressing these issues,” she told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Andrews will today convene a bushfire response roundtable, comprising leading scientists from CSIRO, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, the Bushfire Co-operative Research Centre and Science & Technology Australia.
This comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison pivots to a ‘resilience and adaptation’ strategy in the face of mounting pressure to do more.
IRAN ARRESTS ALLEGED PLANE-SHOOTERS
Iranian law enforcement has made an undisclosed number of arrests over the shooting down of a Ukranian passenger plane last week, the ABC reports. The arrests follow Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announcing a special court to investigate the tragedy.
The Iranian government initially denied allegations it was responsible for downing the 176-passenger flight, before revealing it was mistakenly shot down by the country’s Revolutionary Guard. In a televised speech yesterday, Rouhani said the special court will be made up of a ranking judge and dozens of experts.
Meanwhile, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is blaming the tragedy on growing diplomatic tensions between the US and Iran.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I was really scared that I would collapse… I just couldn’t breathe any more and I just fell on the floor.
The Slovenian tennis player was forced to retire from her Australian Open qualifying match after suffering a coughing fit from Melbourne’s poor air quality.
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CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Reporters have done a phenomenal job covering fires as the blazes tear through homes, towns and millions of hectares of bushland. They have worked long hours in scary and horrific conditions. They’ve brought news of tragic deaths, safe places, warnings, ever-growing fire grounds, and also stories of hope, heroism and community.
But the news publishers, broadcasters and editorial decision-makers in Australia belong to a bygone era when mainstream politicians and their parties followed an accepted code of behaviour.
Facts were once facts.”
“Fossil fuel companies and climate denialists have pumped at least $57 million into Australian politics in the last twenty years using our lax political donation laws, and the figure is likely significantly higher.
Other fossil fuel interests and climate denialists have handed over $21 million to the major parties since 1998, with over $16 million of that directed to the Liberal, Liberal National and National parties.”
“The world has responded [to the bushfires] with an outpouring of donations, support and relief efforts, with several notable individuals and businesses leading the charge and gaining much publicity along the way. Good on them. But is that the full picture?
Crikey runs the ruler over who is giving what, how much they’re worth (and how they made their money), and how they’re contributing to the climate crisis.”
This tragic bushfire crisis is our Pearl Harbor moment ($) — Eytan Lenko (The Australian): “The 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor marked the moment American citizens stopped seeing World War II as a distant threat and it became clear that not being involved was not enough to keep Americans safe. It hit home that, whether they previously believed it or not, the US was facing an existential threat that was coming for them. The devastation of lives, communities, animals and our economy caused by the climate-driven fires have now shown that climate change threatens our security and way of life. Summer in Australia will never be the same again.”
Is the summer of our economic growth over? — Peter Harris (Sydney Morning Herald): “A decade ago, The Economist editorialised about the Australian economic miracle, how we were at our best in a crisis but otherwise took less than full advantage of prosperity. This was due recognition for our past leaders, who created confidence less by media management and more by their ability to smell the smoke and act before damage became too great. Today, not so much.”
Few have achieved as much as Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman ($) – Matthew Denholm (The Australian): “Will Hodgman’s decision to quit was a genuine shock, not only to the public and press but also to his colleagues, who learned of it only hours beforehand. It is a most unusual political exit: no knives in the back, no rumours or speculation, no undermining. Instead, Tasmanians have seen a popular, successful premier leave on his own terms and for his own reasons.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
New South Wales
The NSW government will launch a scheme housing displaced bushfire victims in vacant holiday homes.
Firefighters will take advantage of milder weather conditions to tackle blazes throughout the state.