WOOD A REAL MULTICULTURAL AFFAIRS MINISTER SAY THAT?
Amid a spike in coronavirus-related racism across Australia, The New Daily reports that Assistant Minister for Multicultural Affairs Jason Wood has only helped matters by slamming the “disgusting Asian wildlife markets” cited as potential carriers in a report by The Australian ($).
It comes just days after the Hindu Council of Australia and Universal Society of Hinduism condemned Treasurer Josh Frydenberg for invoking Ashrams, yoga and other religious objects in mocking Labor’s wellbeing budget, The Guardian reports.
FIRST CORONAVIRUS-INFECTED AUSTRALIAN DIES
An elderly Perth evacuee of the Diamond Princess cruise ship is the first Australian to die after contracting the COVID-19 coronavirus, according to the ABC’s daily wrap, and, the US and Thailand have reported their first deaths. AMA WA president Andrew Miller has, while reiterating calls for Australians not to panic, likened the virus to the “Spanish Flu” ahead of an expected influx of patients.
Meanwhile, AFR ($) reports of a collaboration between the government and financial regulators on an emergency economic response to the crisis, with the RBA possibly set to announce another rate cut tomorrow.
ALINTA: PRIVACY DEVIL
Alinta Energy has endangered its 1.1 million retail gas and electricity customers’ privacy — and possibly breached privacy laws — with “reckless” cyber security and data protection systems, a joint investigation by The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age and 7.30 has found.
Three years after being purchased by Chinese conglomerate Chow Tai Fook, a whistleblower at Alinta has released a series of damning internal documents, confidential reports and emails, including a June 2019 audit by EY assigning the energy company a “red” risk rating for privacy oversight.
NETANYAHU PLEDGES FURTHER ANNEXATION
As Israel today heads to the polls for the third time in one year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has pledged “immediate” annexation of greater areas of the West Bank and Jordan Valley if he is re-elected, The Japan Times reports, citing work done by the joint US-Israeli mapping committee just last week.
TALKING POINT: According to the BBC, Netanyahu was indicted on bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges in three separate cases in January, while Haaretz reports he sent an implicit threat over the weekend to what he called “left wing” judges.
NEW RECYCLING PLAN
Scott Morrison will announce a new recycling policy at today’s National Plastics Summit, The Age and The Australian ($) report, focusing on greater infrastructure, technology, and government purchases of recycled content, ahead of a looming export ban.
FUN FACT: Following a massive backlog of recycling in Victoria, the news follows the announcement of a fourth purple bin for glass — along with a container scheme for the state, the ABC reported — that received some typically hilarious libertarian responses from the IPA.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Earlier tonight, three people were removed from the Mardi Gras parade, following unauthorised entry. NSW Police are disappointed with their actions, which did not comply with the conditions of the event or the spirit of the celebrations.
NSW Police Force
“What will it take to get this do-nothing government to show some economic leadership?
“Maybe, after two thoroughly rotten sets of economic data this week, and Scott Morrison’s “please stop talking about my government’s corruption” coronavirus pandemic announcement yesterday, the penny is dropping that something serious in the way of fiscal stimulus is desperately needed for an economy that is not so much punch-drunk as out on its feet.”
“The coronavirus is predicted to have a devastating impact on the world economy — though not all sectors are operating at a loss. Let’s take a look at some of the winners and losers of the outbreak.”
“January 3, 2020: Craig Kelly and Tony Abbott go on a speaking roadshow around marginal electorates to deliver their PowerPoint address The great coronavirus conspiracy: How scientists are getting rich by making the rest of us scared. Alan Jones acts as MC.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Albanese is still leaving the heavy lifting for later — Shaun Carney (The Sydney Morning Herald): “Although Albanese is pursuing what he would see as a patient, steady, even conservative, course as leader – delivering headland speeches, speaking in generalities and waiting to unveil full-bodied policies much closer to the next election – it’s arguably quite a gamble.”
The Chinese as world leaders? That notion just died ($) — Jennifer Oriel (The Australian): “The Chinese Communist Party has done more damage to China’s prospects of becoming a global superpower than its most ardent detractors. As president of the one-party state, Xi Jinping is responsible for political decisions that have facilitated the spread of a novel coronavirus from mainland China to countries around the world.”
Cops and corporations don’t care about queer people, so why do they pretend to? — Joshua Badge (Junkee): “Last week, ANZ released an ad to coincide with Sydney’s Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras where people stare into the camera and say gay slurs for around a minute. They also produced a browser extension which replaces gay slurs with rainbow emojis (yes, really).”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
Senate estimates will begin hearings into environment and communications; finance and public administration; legal and constitutional affairs; and rural and regional affairs and transport. Expected topics include the bushfire crisis and sports rorts scandal.
The Canberra Institute of Technology will host the first ‘hackathon’ aimed at addressing challenges in the trades.
Day one of the two-day Australian Governance Summit, focusing on the future of science and technology leadership, with speakers to include Australian Space Agency’s Dr Megan Clark and former Obama advisor Michael Froman.
The Marie Bashir Institute at the University of Sydney will launch “AMR Social Science”, a new initiative dedicated to antimicrobial resistance.
The Australian Directors’ Guild will hold an in-conversation event with American indie director Desiree Akhavan at RMIT.
Chief economist at HSBC Australia & New Zealand Paul Bloxham will present a “2020 Economic Outlook Briefing” to the French-Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
TasNetworks will hold a public consultation session on the proposed Bass Strait ‘Marinus Link’ electricity interconnector, following the release of its draft project assessment.
Labour Day (Western Australia only).
Los Angeles, USA
The Writers Guild of America will announce its 2020 award winners.