THE COST OF INACTION
The bushfire crisis has cost $2 billion in lost business revenue, forward sales and the physical destruction of tourism facilities, and could cost an additional $4.5 billion by season’s end, The Australian ($) reports.
Tourism Australia will today unveil the first part of its $76 million federal government tourism package: a $20 million bump for its domestic, multimedia, regional-focused “Holiday Here This Year’’ ad campaign.
Meanwhile, energy companies will attend a roundtable with Energy Minister Angus Taylor to discuss damaged infrastructure, where AI Group will push him to put climate policy on the political agenda, Nine reports.
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A SECOND FOX TO INVESTIGATE THE HENHOUSE
Scott Morrison has appointed Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet head Philip Gaetjens to lead an inquiry into whether Bridget McKenzie breached ministerial standards over the sports rort.
Gaetjens — who is Morrison’s former chief of staff — will examine both McKenzie’s general administration of the $100 million slush fund and her specific $35,980 grant to a Wangaratta clay target club, where she held an undisclosed, gifted membership, The New Daily reports.
Between this PM&C-led inquiry and Christian Porter‘s inquiries — and despite Morrison, Porter, Greg Hunt, Josh Frydenberg and a handful of other Coalition MP’s links to the rort — Crikey has every faith that justice will prevail.
“THE COMPLETE RENAISSANCE COMEDIAN”
Founding Monty Python member and director Terry Jones has died aged 77.
In 2016, Jones revealed he had a year earlier been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, before going on to advocate openly for awareness-raising, The Guardian reports. A prominent director, screenwriter, critic of the “war on terror” and children’s book writer, Jones will always be remembered fondly for berating his Jesus-substitute son in Life of Brian.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
[On Scott Morrison’s handling of the bushfire crisis:] Rather than doing what a leader should do and preparing people for that, he downplayed it, and at times discounted the influence of climate change, which is just nonsense from a scientific point of view. So that’s misleading people.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Rupert Murdoch and his influence on climate politics are front and centre of debate right now but there is a second, less well-known Australian billionaire operating from afar who has used his money and access to back conservative political causes. His name is Michael Hintze.”
“Australia needs to do more than engage in ‘quiet diplomacy’ to secure Melbourne University academic Dr Kylie Moore-Gilbert’s release from Iran’s notorious Evin Prison, journalist Peter Greste has told Crikey.”
“When former South Australian Liberal Cory Bernardi launched his far-right party in late 2016, some of us thought he’d struggle in what was already a crowded marketplace for the reactionary vote. One Nation was riding high, especially in Queensland, after its resurrection at the 2016 election. In NSW, the Shooters Fishers and Farmers Party were exploiting the weaknesses of the Nationals.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Dear Australia, elegy for a summer of loss — Amy Coopes (Croakey): “For months leading into this bleakest of summers, all anyone out this way could talk about was the dry. It crunched underfoot, was carried on the furnace-blast of a breeze, dust and dry leaves rattling down the wide avenues and riverbanks of the one-mighty Murray River like a premonition of loss.”
Forget climate politics, this brutal bushfire season showed our fighting spirit ($) — Tony Abbott (The Australian): “Australia is on track to meet its Paris emissions reduction targets, unlike many of the countries that most righteously proclaim that climate change is the biggest issue facing the planet. Despite this, Scott Morrison was actually snubbed by some bushfire victims, although it was lightning strikes and arson — not climate change — that had ignited many of these fires.”
$5 trillion? For a business daily, the AFR has a lousy grip on energy numbers — Giles Parkinson (RenewEconomy): “Five trillion dollars. ($5 trillion). That’s the cost, the Australian Financial Review would have you believe, of decarbonising Australia’s economy if we were to do it through renewables and storage, and saddle every Australian home with a “green loan” of some $100,000.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Former Australians of the Year, 2020 finalists and dignitaries will mark the 60th anniversary of the awards at Old Parliament House.
The Centre for Independent Studies will host a “Changing the Date” panel with director of the CIS Indigenous Program Jacinta Nampijinpa Price, Nyunggai Warren Mundine, Dr Anthony Dillon and moderator Chris Kenny.
The Department of Home Affairs will hold follow-up consultations on Australia’s 2020 Cyber Security Strategy.
Astrophysicist and executive director of the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research Peter Quinn will present “The Square Kilometre Array: Project status, Australian developments and future data challenges” at the University of Wollongong.
Chair in Criminology at Liverpool University Professor Fiona Measham will present “Festivals, nightclubs, injecting rooms… churches? Thinking about drug checking outside the box” as part of RMIT’s HASH network.
Interventions and New Edition Bookshop will launch a new edition of Radical Perth, Militant Fremantle with editors Bobbie Oliver and Alexis Vassiley.
DADAA Gallery will host a panel on the changing landscapes of Fremantle’s East End, with speakers including sociologists, architects and social workers.
Northern Territory Library’s 2019 creative in resident Alicia Scobie will launch her Tennant Creek Truths EP.
Queensland Fire and Emergency bosses will address the media about preparedness for the coming cyclone season.
New South Wales
NSW fire crews are bracing for the return of hot and windy weather forecast across much of the state.
Julian Assange is due to appear in Westminster Magistrates Court via video link from Belmarsh prison ahead of his February extradition trial.