Bridget McKenzie sports rorts
Senator Bridget McKenzie (Image: AAP/Peter Rae)

GUNNING FOR A WIN

Embattled minister Bridget McKenzie reportedly approved a $36,000 grant for a clay-target shooting club as part of her sports rort that, despite delivering the funding announcement personally, she had not disclosed her membership to, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

Funds also went to Liberal-linked tennis and golf clubs, The Guardian revealed yesterday, with a Perth tennis club boasting “million-dollar views” receiving $500,000 and an Adelaide Hills golf club bagging $190,000.

Meanwhile, the former sports minister has been handballing questions from The Australian ($) about the scheme’s approval process, eligibility guidelines and committee makeup to her successor Richard Colbeck.

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TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

An online poll by Ipsos Australia has seen “the environment” surge past “cost of living”, “healthcare” and “the economy” to become participants’ biggest worry, The Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The results are perhaps unsurprising. The ABC reports that rain has only slowed, not stopped, bushfires in NSW, and that total fire bans apply across most of Victoria ahead of extreme weather threats today. Further north, more than 16,000 customers in southeast Queensland experienced power outages last night following thunderstorms, according to The New Daily.

TWEET AND CHEAT

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann addressed the World Economic Forum this morning with the Coalition’s “meet and beat” our 2030 emissions projections line ⁠— despite the government’s own projections showing a ~50% fail, sans any kind of accounting trick.

Meanwhile, Scott Morrison has called for a national standard for hazard ­reduction, reports The Australian ($) — and in turn, openly downplayed the need for emissions reduction. However, ecologists told The Sydney Morning Herald that decades of underspending on research weakens the government’s assessment abilities, let alone recovery plans.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

He [Bernie Sanders] was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It’s all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it.

Hillary Clinton

The former secretary of state doesn’t hold back when talking about her former Democratic rival (and subsequent campaigner).

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

The government ditched its own grants website to hide sports rorting

“In order to rort the Community Sport Infrastructure Program, the government abandoned its own, bespoke, $100 million online grants platform meant to enable access to all Commonwealth grants.”


Righting the wrong: could a class action against the sports rort deliver justice?

“Well, as Crikey predicted, Agricultural Minister Bridget McKenzie isn’t likely to face consequences from within her party for doling out $100 million worth of sports community grants to organisations in seats likely to swing Liberal. She has Scott Morrison’s support and has rejected calls to resign.”


Blowback: after the fires, will the politics of climate change actually change?

“The last embers will still be cooling somewhere in some patch of ground in eastern NSW or Victoria. The first big fire of the 2019-2020 fire season is over.

“It may be the last, since so much of the most high-risk areas have been burnt out. On the other hand, there’s a lot left to burn, if it all starts again: northern NSW, the forest areas around Melbourne, more of southern WA.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

‘Pay the rent’: Invasion Day protesters urged to hand over cash at march

What is a coronavirus and why is a new virus strain making people in China so sick?

Waste-to-energy plant in Laverton North gets green light

North Korea walks away from nuclear talks with United States, blaming ‘brutal and inhumane’ sanctions

Former Labor minister and convicted paedophile Milton Orkopoulos could have parole revoked

Gas bans ‘will lead to higher energy prices’, warns Productivity Commission ($)

Historic Christian Brothers sexual abuse case receives letter admitting repeated rape of orphan

Water Corporation chairman Michael Hollett quits two months after contract renewed by Dave Kelly

Chinese court jails former Interpol boss Meng Hongwei for 13 years over bribery charges

Sri Lanka civil war: Rajapaksa says thousands missing are dead

THE COMMENTARIAT

It’s hard for people with severe mental illness to get in the NDIS – and the problems don’t stop thereNicola Hancock and Jennifer Smith-Merry (The Conversation): “People with a mental illness were the last group to be included in the NDIS. Initial planning focused on physical and intellectual disability, failing to recognise the unique needs and challenges of people with psychosocial disabilities.”

Easing of trade tensions will help the Australian economy ($) — Josh Frydenberg (The Australian): “The phase one trade deal between the US and China is good news. No one benefits when these two economic giants are in conflict. The International Monetary Fund predicted that, if left unresolved, the trade dispute would reduce the level of global GDP by 0.8 per cent — $US700bn by this year.”

Our first peoples already have a blueprint to remake the fire-ravaged land, it’s in our country’s bonesJack Pascoe (The Guardian): “Perhaps what we lack is not a program of land clearing and ramped up fuel reduction burning. Perhaps what we lack, and desperately need, is a vision for our environment, for the species and ecosystems it will support, and how our communities will sit within these environments.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney

  • Journalist Wendy Bacon will chair a “Doctors for Julian Assange” MEAA event with doctors from Australia, UK & Bolivia, demanding the government intervenes to ensure he receives adequate medical treatment.

Melbourne

  • More than 30 years after writing the first-ever warning linking climate change with bushfires, Dr Tom Beer will join with other climate scientists at a press conference urging Australia’s government to take credible climate action.

Brisbane

  • The Department of Home Affairs will hold forums as part of Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy at the Brisbane Joint Cyber Security Centre.

Hobart

  • The Tasmania Law Reform Institute is expected to release a report on the use of social media and internet by jurors during criminal trials.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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