THERE’S NO I IN KOALA
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has given Deputy Premier John Barilaro and his Nationals cabinet colleagues until 9am this morning to either withdraw their threat to move to the crossbench — while, paradoxically, intending to maintain their cabinet responsibilities — or she will swear in a new ministry.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, a Nationals meeting late yesterday resulted in no resolution and deliberations were expected to last throughout the night. The schism, the paper explains, was created by the Nat’s opposition to koala protection laws that won’t particularly impact many farmers proposing significant developments.
PS: A reminder that, for anyone else out for koala blood, a key line from the NSW parliamentary inquiry into koala habitats and populations: “with at least 5000 koalas lost in the fires, potentially many more, it was deeply distressing but extremely important for committee members to agree to the finding that koalas will become extinct in NSW before 2050 without urgent government intervention”.
Further north, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk faces her very own political personnel dramas as Tourism and State Development Minister Kate Jones and Energy and Mines Minister Anthony Lynham join Disability Services Minister Coralee O’Rourke in announcing their decision to quit politics ahead of the October state election.
InQueensland explains that none of the ministers spoke of anything other than personal reasons for retiring, however their announcements come during both speculation of factional ructions — the Australian Workers’ Union put out a statement denying they wanted Lynham gone just hours before his announcement — and on a final sitting day dominated by the story of a woman denied a quarantine exemption to attend her father’s funeral.
WAXIT TIME: For some prospective west coast political drama, Perth MP Patrick Gorman has written an op-ed at The Australian ($) warning that separatist sentiments in Western Australia could result in a political movement that becomes as formidable and destructive as One Nation.
According to the Herald Sun ($), a new MediaReach poll of more than 3000 voters in five marginal Victorian Labor seats suggests the government would lose an election if it was held this week.
While polls obviously need to be taken with a grain of salt, it follows another rough day for the Andrews government; The Age reports that the hotel quarantine inquiry heard that health bureaucrats stopped Victorian Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton from taking control of the government’s response, a move that both contravened his wishes and the state’s pandemic plan, while key crossbencher Fiona Patten has called for the curfew to be scrapped “if there are no health benefits“.
As debate over the curfew continues, the ABC reports that Dan Andrews defended the rule after the state’s police commissioner announced they weren’t consulted about it nor suggested it.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
I just can’t understand why the [Queensland] government would put someone through that extra grief. This young lady, tragically, will be scarred for life.
There is no health reason … it’s all for political reasons.
Speaking with good friend Ray Hadley, the Home Affairs Minister gets riled up after punitive, vaguely-utilitarian border measures create heartbreaking consequences for an (Australian) family.
“Pauline Hanson has built a lucrative career on being a grubby troll, frequently with the help of commercial media who happily disseminate her appalling views while professing to abhor them.
“In June, though, the racist anti-vaxxer went too far even for the Nine Network, which dumped her from its breakfast television show after she described public housing tenants in lockdown in Victoria as ‘drug addicts’ and ‘alcoholics’ who didn’t speak English and didn’t follow social distancing guidelines.”
“If Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg really want to pressure Dan Andrews to lift Victoria’s lockdown early, they’ve got a very big card they could play: financial support.
“The Victorian budget and balance sheet is in more strife than any other Australian government because the pandemic has forced it to spend like never before as its revenues have plummeted.”
“Donald Trump isn’t even trying to cover up the lies anymore. In a phone call with veteran journalist Bob ‘Watergate’ Woodward back in February, Trump admitted coronavirus was deadly and way more serious than the flu. Then he spent months saying the exact opposite, promising thousands of dying Americans that COVID-19 would be wished away.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
Two dozen Starbucks patrons caught COVID but four mask-wearing staff didn’t: the case for masks — Dr Alex Fois (The Sydney Morning Herald): “To lock down or not to lock down? This is the question dominating public debate as Australia tries to find its way through the COVID-19 pandemic. The pros and cons are laid out daily in the media: surging unemployment, falling GDP, and vocal protesters aggrieved by the limitation of freedoms on the one hand, but on the other we have the spectre of mass deaths internationally (almost 900,000 to date) and local outbreaks to remind us of the consequences of losing control of this virus.”
Talented ministers fall victim to factional system ($) — Steven Wardill (The Courier-Mail): “Unlike a lot of their aloof contemporaries, Jones and Lynham were successful ministers because they managed to maintain close relationships with the stakeholders in their portfolios. Both their decisions can be traced back to the rigid tribalism that has infected Labor’s faction system, which these days prizes blind obedience over pragmatism.”
Trump reportedly played down the risk of COVID-19 to avoid ‘panic’. How much should leaders say, and when? — Mark Kenny (The Conversation): “That this president is strategic to the point of deceit will come as no surprise to his critics within America and beyond. But some may be surprised to learn that, contrary to his ill-informed ramblings about COVID-19 simply disappearing, or being treatable with bright lights and injections of disinfectant, Trump actually did comprehend the medical advice regarding the virus well before it tore a deadly swathe through the American population and overwhelmed its hospitals.”
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Australia Post, ANAO, ACIC, AFP, ACLEI, Home Affairs, and the Agriculture Department will give evidence at the parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s border arrangements.
Melbourne-born Oxford senior research fellow Dr Toby Ord will present Victorian Parliamentary Library’s first ever webinar, “Could future pandemics pose a threat to humanity’s entire future?”.
Day one of the 10-day festival “Parrtjima, A Festival in Light”, to illuminate the MacDonnell Ranges across Alice Springs Desert Park and Todd Mall.