Two people have died after a train derailed north of Melbourne overnight, with the ABC reporting other minor injuries among the roughly 160 passengers. Five passenger cars derailed, with the train locomotive on its side, when the Sydney-bound XPT service was near the town of Wallan, just before 7.45pm.
Both the Labor Victorian and Coalition NSW governments have accused the Morrison government of withholding $1.7 billion in reserve funds for the National Disability Insurance Scheme to prop-up its — now bushfire and coronavirus wrecked — budget surplus.
The Age reports that disabilities ministers from both states have written to the federal government demanding the funding — agreed upon in May 2019 — be released immediately.
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PUTTING THE ‘US’ IN AUSTRALIA
In other federal funding news, Scott Morrison will today announce a $1.1 billion upgrade to RAAF Base Tindal in the Northern Territory in order to fast-track jet fighter rollouts and support US aircrafts, The Australian ($) reports.
GREENS FOR FREE PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Greens leader Adam Bandt will today call for public school fees to be scrapped entirely, The New Daily reports, pointing to reports that families face up to $5000 a year in creeping “voluntary fees” for books, stationery, uniforms, sports programs and more.
Meanwhile, Labor leader Anthony Albanese will commit to a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, oppose taxpayer funds for new coal-fired power plants, and oppose using the Kyoto carryover credits, The Guardian reports. Oh, how the goalposts have shifted.
NINE DEAD IN GERMANY FOLLOWING ANTI-MUSLIM MASSACRE
A 43-year-old German gunman has killed nine people in racially motivated shootings, including people of Turkish origin at two different shisha bars, before killing his mother and ultimately himself. Chancellor Angela Merkel said the massacre exposes the “poison” of racism in German society, The Guardian reports.
The BCC reports the massacre comes just days after 12 members of a far-right group were arrested in Germany for planning attacks on mosques, politicians and asylum seekers, while The Daily Sabah reports a Dutch court has convicted a man for anti-Muslim threats directly inspired by the Christchurch massacre.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horsey-faced lesbians’. And no I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.
The US Democrat lands the first blow in a debate that really ought to make a certain
oligarch late contender question whether the $400 million buy-in was worth it.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Of all the battles the Pharmacy Guild of Australia fights, none is greater than its negotiations over the Community Pharmacy Agreement.”
“Quarter by quarter, Australia is locking in a low-growth future in which households are too worried about their incomes to spend and policymakers rely on the most dysfunctional part of the Australian economy — property prices — to drive domestic economic growth.”
“An eye-watering amount of donations have come pouring in from around the world — though it hasn’t come without controversy. Crikey takes a quick look at what’s been pledged so far, and where it’s going.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Tindal base upgrade a boon for Indo-Pacific security ($) — Greg Sheridan (The Australian): “The upgrade to the Australian air force base at Tindal in the Northern Territory is about much more than an extended runway and extra engineering and fuel storage facilities.”
Criminal penalties for corporate wage theft are appealing, but won’t fix the problem on their own — Tess Hardy (The Conversation): “Australian supermarket giant Coles and discount chain Target this week joined an ignominious list of large corporations caught up in ‘wage theft’ scandals.”
Why the dash for gas – and cash – is not an option — Greg Bourne (The Sydney Morning Herald): “A paper published on Thursday in the scientific journal Nature by Benjamin Hmiel and colleagues shows that the proportion of methane emissions made by man is 25 to 40 per cent greater than previously estimated.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
A documentary about Bob Brown‘s anti-Adani trip to Queensland, Convoy, will screen at the Transitions Film Festival.
The Refugee Advocacy Network will host live-streamed symposium event “BEHIND CLOSED DOORS: The Crisis in Australian Immigration Detention” at Melbourne Law School, featuring former refugees, human rights commissioner Edward Santow and human rights lawyer David Manne.
The Mulloon Institute will help launch the Clean Energy Regulator’s new handbook for farmers wanting to join the Climate Solutions Fund with soil-carbon projects.
ESEM Projects co-director Dr Sarah Barns will launch her new book, Platform Urbanism: Negotiating Platform Ecosystems in Connected Cities, at a UNSW panel event.
A “Mapping March” event will be held for WheelEasy, a new app designed to create access information for people with mobility impairments.
Wagga Wagga, NSW
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack will release a report into the Inland Rail, claiming regional communities across Victoria, NSW and Queensland will benefit up to $13.3 billion in GPD over the next 50 years following its completion.
The inquest findings into the deaths of four people at Dreamworld will be handed down.
The State Library of Queensland will host forum event “Minya Birrañ: what now for Indigenous languages?” It will be headlined by performer Emily Wurramara, to coincide with International Mother Language Day.
Liberal Senator Eric Abetz will open Riversdale Estate’s new, $7 million state-of-the-art winery, which is reportedly sustainably designed to reuse ‘wasted’ energy.