WA AND ACT BURN
As much of Australia prepares for another heatwave, the ABC reports that fire authorities have called for residents to evacuate rural communities in Perth’s south, with a Mundijong fire expected to burn for days and a smoke alert issued for parts of the city. Elsewhere, Canberra’s “most serious fire since 2003” has been downgraded to ‘watch and act’, after burning through more than 8,000 hectares of the Orroral Valley, The Daily Telegraph ($) reports.
Meanwhile, the Productivity Commission will today release annual costings of state fire services spending — which The Age reports Victoria tops at $1.8 billion — and Scott Morrison will use his first National Press Club address of the year to flag stronger federal powers to call in the defence force for national disasters, The Australian ($) reports.
A SMOKING GUN?
An ABC report published yesterday has revealed new sports rort details: namely, Sports Australia’s direct complaint of political interference to Bridget McKenzie; the rankings of failed clubs; and her office’s colour-coded grant applications spreadsheet, along with metadata implicating Liberal operative and future director of the National Party, Jonathan Hawkes.
Today, The New Daily has revealed McKenzie charged taxpayers thousands of dollars for an unscheduled and undeclared private jet charter from Adelaide to Perth for a shooters expo in October 2018; and The Age reports McKenzie personally chipped in $1 to round up a $199,999 federal grant to a marginal Queensland seat’s football club less than two months before the election.
Notably, before the ABC’s latest coverage, The Australian ($) reported party ally Michael McCormack was refusing to guarantee McKenzie’s current position.
BETTINA’S QUALIFICATIONS ARDNT UP TO SNUFF
An investigation by New Matilda has found News Corp columnist, men’s rights advocate and controversial recipient of an Order of Australia Bettina Arndt isn’t a doctor or a psychologist… despite being consistently referred to as such by the media and politicians, and dubbed a “clinical psychologist” on the back cover of her book The Sex Diaries.
Arndt, whose OAM for “services to gender equity through advocacy for men” has been slammed by Rosie Batty and sexual abuse survivors, says she is not “remotely interested” in presenting as a psychologist and has come out clean from multiple investigations by authorities. However, New Matilda has extensively chronicled uncorrected misidentifications, which range from in The Australian and the ABC, to at Senate Estimates in October 2018.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I have today asked the Secretary of the Department of Health and the CEO of Sport Australia to provide me with an assurance that documents provided to the media today relating to the assessment of Community Sport Infrastructure Grants did not come out of their agencies.
Faced with revelations by the ABC that his predecessor literally colour-coded grant applications by political utility, Australia’s sports minister investigates the real villains:
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Climate change will bite in a number of ways. Sea level rise combined with intense storms pose the greatest erosion and damage risk. Sea level rise increases the height of waves while storms generate powerful waves and winds that produce storm tides and as a result, erosion.”
“I wonder what people around the world answer when asked what defines ‘Australia’ or ‘Australian culture’. Perhaps it’s a few distinctive food items: lamingtons, Tim Tams and meat pies; or instead it’s climate-denial, racism and an over-reliance on the Murdoch press. Maybe some people, when considering what defines us, imagine Western Desert dot painting, the music and bark-painting of the Yolngu people and, sadly, fake art boomerangs.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Sports rorts: Why PM Scott Morrison hasn’t sacked Bridget McKenzie ($) — Peter van Onselen (The Australian): “The PM wants a clean and crisp excuse for getting rid of her which won’t feed back into who else might have been involved in the sports rorts scandal. The pathway to that is the investigation his head of department (and Morrison’s former chief of staff) is doing. That is, looking into if she breached the ministerial code of conduct in one narrow respect: not declaring a membership of an organisation a grant went to.”
Desalination plants are a critical part of our future — Emma Johnson (The Sydney Morning Herald): “The Sydney Desalination Plant (SDP) is already running at full capacity, yet it supplies just 15 per cent of Sydney’s water needs. It was originally designed with the capacity to produce double the amount of water it is currently producing. Key agencies and institutions have been advising the NSW government to expand the plant for some time, a decision which has finally been fast-tracked.”
How contagious is the Wuhan coronavirus and can you spread it before symptoms start? — C Raina MacIntyre (The Conversation): “Cases of the Wuhan coronavirus have increased dramatically over the past week, prompting concerns about how contagious the virus is and how it spreads. According to the World Health Organisation, 16-21% of people with the virus in China became severely ill and 2-3% of those infected have died.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Discrimination and sexual harassment lawyer Aimee Cooper will present her Churchill Fellowship report “Bringing Equality Laws to Life” at the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission.
Bioscientist Debora de Freitas will present “Climate Adaptation Efforts in Santos Coastline, Brazil” at the Centre for Policy Futures.
Alleged Darwin gunman Benjamin Glenn Hoffmann is set to be committed to the Supreme Court for trial over the deaths of four men in June 2019.
Steve Kaless, former senior media adviser to WA Treasurer Ben Wyatt, will meet for a hearing over an alleged indecent assault on December 13 at a ministerial Christmas party.
The Senate inquiry into management of the Inland Rail project will hold a public hearing.
The Productivity Commission will release annual reports on emergency management, police, courts and corrective services.
Jacinda Ardern is expected to make a major infrastructure announcement.
Australian financial trader Jionsheng Zhao will be sentenced for “spoofing”, where he bought stock and sold them within seconds to inflate their price.