SUPPORT ARTISTS BUT KILL THE ABC
According to the ABC, Scott Morrison has outlined a $250 million arts package set to include $75 million in festival and event grants, $90 million in production loans, a $50 million fund to help film and television producers to secure financing, and $35 million in direct financing for “struggling Commonwealth-funded organisations”, including theatre, dance, music and circus.
The news comes after the ABC announced 250 jobs will go under the Coalition’s $84 million cut — which, combined with previous attacks, has cost almost a quarter of the organisation’s staff since 2013 — with casualties to include the 7.45am bulletin; ABC Comedy; Australian Story and Foreign Correspondent staff; the Ultimo office; entertainment, factual and children’s programs; and that eternal enemy of conservative media, ABC Life, which will lose up to half their staff and be rebranded as “ABC Local”.
PS: According to both The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian ($), chief economics correspondent Emma Alberici has been named as a potential redundancy in a list sent to staff by news director Gaven Morris. This comes roughly two years after former ABC chairman Justin Milne pressured former managing director Michelle Guthrie to fire Alberici because the Coalition “hated” her.
THAT’S A COAL LOT OF JOBS
According to The Guardian, analysis from the University of Technology Sydney has found up to 11,000 renewable energy jobs — equivalent to Australia’s entire coal industry — could be lost over the next two years if the Morrison government does not renew the 2020 renewable energy target.
Thankfully, while the news comes after funding cuts to the CSIRO cost Australia 40 world-class research jobs, an “exclusive” at The Australian ($) reports that the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association has, graciously, called on the Coalition’s technology investment road map panel to commit to gas. Not sure if they needed to waste the ink, to be honest.
PS: In a reminder that maybe a recession isn’t the best time for governments to be cutting jobs, The Guardian reports that the International Monetary Fund has warned against cutting COVID-19 fiscal support ahead of a looming, deeper global downturn.
THE BEST DEFENCE IS A GOOD ADF DEPLOYMENT
The Age and the ABC report that up to 1000 Australian Defence Force personnel will be deployed in Melbourne for logistical support across hotel quarantine and hotspot areas, while other states have made health officials available for contact tracing.
The news comes as at least 33 contractors were infected working across hotels such as the Stamford Plaza and Swanston Rydges, while Herald Sun reports that the state government will today outline specific information over hotspot suburbs following complaints about local government classifications.
Over in NSW, The Sydney Morning Herald reports that Lane Cove West Public School in Sydney’s lower north shore will close today after a second grade student tested positive.
JUDGES KNEW OF HEYDON ALLEGATIONS
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, the independent investigation into Dyson Heydon also revealed that two other former High Court judges, Justice Michael McHugh and then-Chief Justice Murray Gleeson, were made aware of the allegations of sexual harassment.
Elsewhere, the AFR ($) reports that the High Court has contacted more than 100 former associates, male and female, as part of a fresh inquiry into the extent of sexual harassment in its ranks.
Both stories come after The Guardian revealed that ACT’s director of public prosecutions Shane Drumgold has written to the AFP recommending an investigation “to determine whether or not criminal charges should result” from the inquiry’s findings.
SHAKING UP THE DEMOCRAT ESTABLISHMENT
Although the reliance on postal votes means that some results will not be finalised for days, progressive incumbent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been returned in a blow-out and The Intercept reports that — in something of a repeat of AOC’s 2018 surprise victory — 44-year-old progressive and former middle school principal Jamaal Bowman has declared victory against Eliot Engel, a 16-term establishment-backed representative who chairs the America’s powerful House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
STATE VIRUS WATCH: TAS MOVES FORWARD
- Following 39 days without an active case, the Tasmanian government yesterday announced plans to bring forward eased restrictions from midday tomorrow, Friday June 26, to, amongst other measures, allow crowds “of 500 (outdoor) and 250 (per undivided indoor space)”
- Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced an additional $5 million in grants for wild dog fencing in Western Queensland, under the state’s COVID-19 Unite and Recover plan
- In the latest of the federal government’s state-by-state “JobMaker” announcements, South Australia announced $145 million in federal-state infrastructure funds
- Finally, the ACT government announced an additional $1.07 million for Canberra’s arts organisations.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Particularly since the protests, many Victorians and many Australians have said, ‘if it is OK for 10,000 people to congregate and huddle together, surely it would be OK for 10 and my family’.
Following what must have been a thorough inquiry, Crikey understands that “many Australians” would like the health minister to present even a shred of evidence that national, overwhelmingly-masked protests somehow broke Victoria’s — and Victoria alone’s — collective psyche.
“After the second hottest year on record globally, the hottest year on record in Australia, our second hottest summer ever after 2018-19, an unprecedentedly catastrophic summer of bushfires and record-breaking Arctic and Antarctic temperatures, Labor has opted to, in effect, surrender on climate to the denialists of the Coalition.”
“Billionaire Andrew Liveris is one well-connected man. He’s apparently so key to Australia’s post-COVID economy that he’s on not one but two advisory commissions, tasked with shaping the economy for years to come.
“Yet his potential conflicts of interest are still not clear.”
“The proposals for a new form of university funding announced by Education Minister Dan Tehan last week have been described as many things, but they are, above all, very, very curious.
“They are a market-oriented attempt to restructure course demand and supply, which goes against all of the standard research on how prospective students choose courses, and how universities make decisions on what to offer.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Why Australia needs to join global condemnation of Israel’s annexation plans — Ben Saul (The Sydney Morning Herald): “As early as next week, Israel proposes to forcibly annex up to a third of the Palestinian West Bank, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling it ‘another glorious chapter in the history of Zionism’. Israel’s incendiary move, paved by US President Donald Trump’s ‘peace’ plan, has provoked near-universal condemnation.”
Albanese’s offer one Morrison must refuse ($) — Paul Kelly (The Australian): “As a realist, Albanese knew Morrison was never likely to sit down and negotiate a new ‘bipartisan energy policy framework’ as his letter requested. That would reopen too many internal Coalition battle scars from the Abbott-Turnbull era. More important, Morrison sees no pressing need to negotiate a new policy because he rejects Labor’s argument that it is essential.”
Latest $84 million cuts rip the heart out of the ABC, and our democracy — Alexandra Wake and Michael Ward (The Conversation): “ABC Life is a particular loss. It has built an extremely diverse reporting team, reaching new audiences, and winning over many ABC supporters and others who were initially sceptical. The work they produced certainly wasn’t the type commercial operators would create.”
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE
WHAT’S ON TODAY
The federal government will begin industrial reform roundtables with union and business leaders.
A final report into the CCCs oversight of police misconduct investigations will be tabled in parliament, to include allegations of excessive use of force.
A panel of Aboriginal health professionals — Lesley Nelson, Francine Eades, Prof Sandra Eades and Dan McAullay — will speak on “The success of the Aboriginal-led health response to the pandemic” for the Australia Institute’s latest Economics of a Pandemic webinar.