Planet America hosts Chas Licciardello and John Barron (Image: ABC iView)

Redress scheme no barrier to JobKeeper While the major parties wrangle the details of the next phase of JobKeeper, we got curious: what about institutions who didn’t sign up to the national redress scheme formed in response to the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse. Are they still eligible?

Turns out that while the government considers ways to cut their future federal funding and cancel their charitable status, JobKeeper applications from those institutions — Jehovah’s Witnesses, Kenja Communication, Lakes Entrance Pony Club, and the Fairbridge Society — are unaffected.

Treasury told Crikey: “While the JobKeeper payment has a broad range of eligibility criteria, eligibility is not dependent on signing up to the national child abuse redress scheme.”

The Australian Taxation Office would not confirm whether any of them had signed up to JobKeeper.

What’s in a name? The Coal21 Fund, the Minerals Council initiative intended to demonstrate that coal capture and storage can work in Australia, has rebranded. The fund is intended to “invest in reducing fossil fuel emissions”, produce ads about what an “amazing little black rock” coal is and do studies arguing the government should build a low-emissions coal-fired power station instead of investing in renewables (which dutifully get plonked on the front page of The Australian).

It now goes by the fabulously euphemistic Low Emission Technology Australia (LETA):

Full credit to the Minerals Council for taking only a little over 15 years to realise that it might want to take “coal” out of the name of its reputation-laundering project.

A mere Spectator Do you ever suspect that people who bang on about cancel culture are just desperate to keep using slurs? How else to explain the Spectator‘s gratuitous pun on a recently renamed cheese brand?

ABC watch Why is ABC’s Planet America — a news show about American politics — listed as an official partner of the United States Studies Centre in its annual review?

Both the centre and the ABC say there’s no financial relationship between them, so what does “partnership” mean? The centre says it means the pair “occasionally work together on joint events such as our mid-terms special in 2018”.

The ABC rejected the term, telling Crikey: “Planet America and the [centre] are not partners and the centre has no editorial input into the program.”

Whatever their official status, the two undoubtedly share connections. The show’s co-host, John Barron, is an honorary (and unpaid) associate with the United States Study Centre, and its senior lecturer in American politics and foreign policy, David Smith, is a regular guest.

Crikey asked the ABC whether the relationship should be disclosed on the program. It assured us that all events go through the ABC’s approvals process.

Having a good pandemic? A little follow-up on yesterday’s docked doc who fell foul of the City of Melbourne’s parking regulations. The council — in a response that will be in PR textbooks for decades with a big cross through it — said she had, indeed, parked illegally. All that was missing was an “um, actually” at the beginning.

That response lasted four agonising hours before someone realised it was winning no fans and it publicly withdrew the fine and promised to issue more permits to frontline workers.

Trump cards While the left cleaves itself to splinters over Kamala Harris, Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s pick for running mate, it’s worth noting one party whose not always had such qualms: the Trumps.

According to state records, Donald and Ivanka collectively donated thousands of dollars to Harris’s attorney-general reelection campaign between 2011 and 2013.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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