A BIT OF SOFT CORRUPTION
Attorney-General Christian Porter will lead a review into the community sports grants scandal despite the program netting his own electorate nearly one million dollars.
Porter’s announcement follows revelations by the ABC that Scott Morrison‘s local soccer club boasted about essential funding for a project weeks before the grants were announced. Morrison, whose office was involved in the rort itself, continues to stand by Bridget McKenzie.
Elsewhere, Energy Minister Angus Taylor’s office has largely refused an FOI over the City of Sydney scandal; Brendan Nelson has been appointed president of Boeing Australia, just weeks after making headlines for stepping down as controversial Australian War Memorial director; and George Christensen has paid back $2,100 after an audit found he misused travel expenses on trips to the Philippines. Peter Slipper is yet to comment.
A WEALTH CHASM
New Oxfam research has found the richest 250,000 Australians have more than double the wealth of the bottom 12.5 million combined.
Ahead of today’s World Economic Forum in Switzerland — and over 25 years since Newstart was meaningfully raised — Oxfam attributes the wealth gap to “greater financial return placed on money and assets (capital) than on work”, as well as corporate tax avoidance, tax breaks for asset owners, stagnant wages, insufficient public spending and a winding back of Australia’s progressive taxation system.
Notably, a new Bank of International Settlements report argues climate change could trigger the next global financial crisis and that the RBA may need to buy up coal mines and power stations to save the economy.
AID GROUPS JOIN FORCES
Oxfam, World Vision, Plan International and Save the Children will today join forces to highlight the impact of climate change on human rights. The group will shine a spotlight on fire-ravaged Australia, flash flood-prone Indonesia and drought-stricken southern Africa.
The group’s campaign for stronger domestic emissions targets comes as Scott Morrison insists the Coalition is perfectly happy with his climate policy. We’re “getting the job done,” he said.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
See what is action on climate change? Building dams. What is action on climate change? Hazard reduction in these areas. It’s native vegetation management. It’s land clearing laws.
The Prime Minister tells his good friend Ray Hadley that the only way Australia can prevent tragic environmental destruction is with good, industry-friendly environmental destruction.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Why was outgoing Australian ambassador to the United States Joe Hockey so happy about pulling such a powerful Trump-friendly crowd to his farewell party on Friday night? The 400 or so guests at the Washington event included billionaire Anthony Pratt, former PM Tony Abbott, golfer Greg Norman, Bret Baier from Fox News, and the president’s acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.”
“The movement has more than 370,000 people formally signed up worldwide, which made Crikey wonder: just what would happen to Australia’s economy if every resident suddenly gave up meat, eggs and dairy? Exactly how much would it benefit the climate, and how much would it hurt the collective hip pocket?”
“Both the Oz and the Hun include, verbatim, the same quote about Nadal’s involvement with the campaign. And, despite sounding suspiciously like something written by a PR flack, it’s presented as something Nadal said during the interview.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Davos to Dubbo spells climate trouble ($) — Jennifer Hewett (Australian Financial Review): “It’s not only the Morrison government lagging behind the attempts of big business to demonstrate a commitment to taking greater action on climate change. Despite the extraordinary international attention – including scathing criticism of Scott Morrison – stirred up by our summer of fire, this gap between politics and business is far from just an Australian phenomenon.”
Bushfires: News Corp pledges support as special editions raise $1.5m ($) — Michael Miller (The Australian): “Going forward, there will be many debates for our nation. The climate is changing and this will form part of a significant discussion. As all trusted media must do, we will report many views and opinions, we will canvas these many debates and we will give a voice to many people.”
As the Liberals rest on their climate laurels, Labor must bite the coal bullet — David Shearman (The New Daily): “As the smoke from our bushfires circles the Earth and other developed countries admonish our indolence on climate change, we are deluding ourselves if we hope for government action on emissions.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Governor Linda Dessau will host an Australia Day reception for more than 700 guests at Victoria’s Government House.
Rail, Tram and Bus Union branch secretary Luba Grigorovitch will make an announcement regarding V/Line enterprise bargaining.
Founder of the social media campaign #buyfromthebush Grace Brennan will present the 2020 Australia Day address.
The Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority will begin hearings as part of an inquiry into Crown Casino’s Melco changes and suitability to hold a restricted gaming licence.
The Senate trial for Donald Trump‘s impeachment is expected to begin.