Michael Daley NSW Labor
Michael Daley (Image: AAP/Dean Lewins)

Help the aged Just how badly is the Commonwealth’s vaccination rollout to aged and disability care facilities going? Bearing in mind that on the government’s revised timetable both sectors were supposed to have been completed by the end of March, yesterday the minister in charge of the vaccishambles, Greg Hunt, revealed just 12,000 doses had been delivered to people in disability care and staff — or less than half of the target population — two months late, while a new outbreak threatens lives in Victoria.

And don’t expect that situation to be resolved any time soon. Last week was the worst week for the aged/disability residential care rollout program since the government began releasing numbers. Fewer than 20,000 people in the combined sector were vaccinated last week compared with nearly 30,000 the previous week and more than 32,000 the week before that.

The rollout to those sectors is the one part directly controlled by the Morrison government. The GP rollout, presumably driven by increased interest in Victoria, surged last week to record three days of well over 60,000 doses. And the states have dramatically lifted their work rate: where once the Commonwealth’s GP and residential rollouts provided 75% to 80% of all vaccinations, by late last week that was down to about 56%.

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Everyone else is lifting our vaccination rate, but Hunt and his bureaucrats are, seemingly, twiddling their thumbs when it comes to our most vulnerable.

Paying the troll We finally did it, guys. After years of brands jumping on the social justice bandwagon, we’ve now got, thanks to Harvey Norman, a move in the opposite direction: the first dedicated troll corporate Twitter account.

The account’s bio says it is no longer a customer service channel and is “unmanned”. So what’s it for? Apparently sending angry people dismissive emoji’s like a mean teenager from eight years ago. Which is an odd thing for a whitegoods company to do at the best of times, but is particularly vile when responding to a Twitter user who claimed six months of working for the company left them feeling suicidal.

So now the entire Harvey Norman AU Twitter feed is just that, as well as a lot of retweets of sporting results. The overriding focus on surfing championships is possibly an attempt to drown out all the people using this incident to remind people that Gerry Harvey kept $22 million in JobKeeper payments despite the company’s profits doubling during the pandemic — a period during which the company also tried to get people to work as volunteers.

Daley news What does it say about New South Wales Labor that Michael Daley is able to say, in public and not as a joke, that he’s going to have another crack at leading the party? Is part of his pitch that, unlike, say, Luke Foley or … himself last time, we know the dirt that’s going to be used against him before he starts? In March 2019 footage from the previous September emerged of Daley telling constituents in the Blue Mountains: “Our young children will flee and who are they being replaced with? They are being replaced by young people from typically Asia with PhDs … Our kids are moving out and foreigners are moving in and taking their jobs.”

His leadership tilt has, unsurprisingly, been opposed by Asian-Australian members of the ALP.

A bit rich Here’s our best way of illustrating what an offensive parade of excess The Australian Financial Review‘s Rich List really is — a collection of billionaires who, while many Australians had to drain their superannuation to get by, managed to actually get richer during the pandemic: compare them to nominal annual GDP of various countries, according to the International Monetary Fund.

Gina Reinhart, with $31 billion, is richer than Bosnia and Herzegovina, whose nominal annual GDP is a bit over $28 billion. She’s made $3 billion since the last list. Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest, having added $4 billion to his coffers, has just under $2 billion more than Afghanistan (just over $25 billion). Kerry Stokes’ wealth exceeds the annual GDP of Somalia ($6.96 billion to Stokes’s $7.18 billion) and Lachlan Murdoch just shades Liberia ($4.43 billion to $4.37 billion).

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Australia has spoken. We want more from the people in power and deserve a media that keeps them on their toes. And thank you, because it’s been made abundantly clear that at Crikey we’re on the right track.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief
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