Scott Morrison car vehicle hydrogen
(Image: AAP/Pool, William West)

CAMPAIGN SCOMODE

What a difference three years makes. After spending the 2019 election campaign yelling about how Labor’s plan to make half of all new car sales electric would “end the weekend,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison is now a believer in electric vehicles, the ABC reports.

It’s all absurdly cynical, as was Morrison’s claim that journalists pointing out the hypocrisy of his supposed Damascene conversion were repeating a “Labor lie”. He denied he’d ever attacked EVs during the 2019 campaign, a lie straight out of the Morrison playbook. Here’s a good little thread explaining just why it’s such a falsehood.

Of course, we should expect more of this since Morrison is now in full-on campaign mode (SMH). Tellingly, the announcement was delivered in the leafy Melbourne seat of Higgins, where many residents, including local Liberal MP Katie Allen can afford to own EVs. The rest of the day was classic Morrison, plenty of grinning at cameras, zooming around in one of those newly-beloved EVs, making spring rolls and gnocchi, and getting a haircut.

Meanwhile, the prime minister has unveiled a $1 billion fund for new low emissions technologies, including widely-panned carbon capture and storage. It’s unclear whether it will work to get Australia to net zero emissions, given the lack of detailing and modelling around Morrison’s plan (he’s still insisting that will be released “soon”), but, as The Australian reports, it is a bid to wedge Labor ahead of the election. That’s what really matters. Oh meanwhile, a survey of 60 countries taken at COP26 in Glasgow ranked Australia last for policy responses to the climate crisis, The Guardian reports.

YOU WIN SOMYUREK, YOU LOSE SOMYUREK

Disgraced former Victorian Labor minister Adem Somyurek admitted some of his actions could be categorised as corruption, The Age reports, at his second day before the state’s Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission, It all came amid hours of waffly answers from Somyurek, who repeatedly copped it from Commissioner Robert Redlich QC.

“I have had great difficulty in following your answers because they are so lengthy, convoluted, and around the point that at the end of an answer, I’ve no idea what you’re actually saying,” Redlich said,

Eventually, Somyurek conceded he’d lost all perspective in his factional warring with Labor’s Socialist Left. Earlier, Somyurek had tried to deflect by claiming his corruption wasn’t nearly as bad as the red shirts scandal in 2014, which he said Premier Daniel Andrews knew about. Andrews refused to comment when asked if he knew about the scandal, the ABC reports.

Of course, just when things are looking dicey for Victorian Labor, there’s always the state’s brain genius opposition helping put things in perspective. They’re still dealing with the fallout from former shadow attorney-general and Crikey content fodder Tim Smith crashing his Jaguar while drunk. According to the AFRSmith’s eventual decision to quit politics was a result of internal pressure from rival Liberal MPs. The Age reports Liberals were divided about what to do about Smith, with many at a federal level wanting him to stay. Given the kind of behaviour the Coalition government is comfortable with, it’s little surprise.

GIVING IT A GOOD SHOT

NSW has now fully vaccinated over 90% of its population aged over 16, the SMH reports. It puts NSW within touching distance of its final target of 95% at which point restrictions will also be removed for the unvaccinated. It’s a remarkable achievement given the sluggish, bungled start to the vaccine rollout. With case numbers yet to spike after the state’s reopening, despite many alarmist predictions to the contrary, it’s another sign vaccines work. But cases are going up in parts of the state, including Moree, a regional town facing an outbreak, where 90% of COVID patients are Indigenous (per SMH).

Elsewhere on the COVID front, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced unvaccinated people will be banned from bars, restaurants and stadiums from December 17, when the state opens its borders to the rest of the country.

“This is an important move, Queensland, about keeping our freedoms,” Palaszczuk said.

It’s part of a concerted push to drive up vaccination in Queensland, the only state where less than 80% of the over 16 population has received even a first dose. Meanwhile, in highly-vaccinated Canberra, restrictions will finally ease further from Friday, with limits removed on home visits, and dancing now legal, The Canberra Times reports.

And in the Northern Territory, where the lockout in Darwin is set to end, Chief Minister Michael Gunner was forced to apologise for falsely claiming the woman at the centre of the COVID cluster was a sex worker, according to The ABC

SAY WHAT?

Follow Singapore and legislate no medical or hospital expenses to be reimbursed to people who are not vaccinated without medical justification and then contract COVID. You ignored warnings and got the disease. You pay for your wilful stupidity, not the rest of us.

Bob Carr

Former NSW premier and Gillard-era foreign minister Bob Carr calls for Australia to follow the lead of authoritarian Singapore and deprive the unvaccinated of free medical care, even though that is not how Medicare or public health works.

CRIKEY RECAP

The Coalition is still hounding Bernard Collaery. Is this in the public interest?

“The Morrison government never misses an opportunity to delay and draw out its persecution of Bernard Collaery, now into its third year without the specific charges against the Canberra lawyer being tested in court.

“Attorney-General Michaelia Cash has inherited the malicious and cruel approach of her predecessor Christian Porter to the pursuit of a man who helped expose the crimes of the Howard government.

“That’s why, tomorrow morning, Cash will again attempt to use secret, judge-only evidence against Collaery in an effort to sway the trial judge in his prosecution, despite the ACT Court of Appeal overturning the trial judge’s decision to keep secret other evidence offered by Porter. If the judge accepts the additional secret evidence, it will necessitate another appeal against the decision.”


Extent of Australia’s involvement in the Pinochet coup remains secret

“Documents detailing the potential role of Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) agents in the 1973 Chilean coup will remain largely secret after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT) held that revealing them would prejudice the ‘security, defence or international relations of the Commonwealth’.

“It follows a four-year campaign by former military intelligence officer and UNSW Canberra Professor Clinton Fernandes to get the material declassified. And it means the extent of Australia’s involvement in the rise to power of Augusto Pinochet’s brutal military dictatorship might never be revealed.

“The AAT’s decision was reached with reference to largely secret evidence provided by a series of intelligence officers under pseudonyms.”


Consultants are rarely independent — and now we have proof

Brendan Lyon said the quiet part out loud.

“When called to give testimony to the powerful NSW public accountability committee yesterday, the former KPMG partner blew the lid on how consultants really operate — telling a client what it wants to hear, not necessarily the truth.

“Lyon told the inquiry he had been pressured to subvert his independent analysis of the state’s troubled rail assets by senior members of the state government.

“The bombshell claims were backed up by equally explosive emails that laid out clear interference of KPMG’s work by department officials, including Treasury secretary Michael Pratt.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Indigenous man shot dead by police in Sydney’s west (Guardian Australia)

Push for inquiry into gay hate crimes to investigate claims police turned a blind eye (ABC)

Australian corporations’ treatment of Indigenous customers to be investigated by Senate inquiry (Guardian Australia)

Indonesia suspends joint patrol with Australia after fishing boats burnt (SMH)

Premier rejects calls for compulsory vaccination (The Advertiser)

India eased its COVID-19 disaster. Fears of complacency remain (The New York Times)

The 8 people who died at Astroworld included teenagers as young as 14 (Buzzfeed News)

Family prays for miracle to halt execution of man with low IQ (BBC)

House Jan. 6 panel issues subpoenas to 6 top Trump advisors (The Washington Post)

Ethiopia ‘descending into widening civil war’: UN (Al Jazeera)

THE COMMENTARIAT

The AFR gets it grotesquely wrong on ICACAnthony Whealy and Stephen Charles (The Australian Financial Review): “It is regrettable that The Australian Financial Review’s editorial — Voters, not ICAC, should judge the business of politics — of November 3 should have taken a narrow view of the need for proper integrity oversight of the political process in NSW.

“This is a grotesque view. Voters are in no position to investigate at close quarters the minutiae of events surrounding any particular grant decision.”

Consider the detail of the Auditor-General’s report into the Sport Rorts scandal. Consider also the months of inquiry, the call for and collection of documents, the interviewing of witnesses, the compulsory examinations in connection with the Maguire/Berejiklian investigation.”

Calls for former Australian PMs to stay silent are hypocritical examples of conservative cancel cultureKevin Rudd (Guardian Australia): “In the wake of Malcolm Turnbull’s witheringly accurate assessment of Scott Morrison’s character last week, conservative political operatives have become increasingly aggressive in demanding that former prime ministers observe ‘dignified’ silence about the current government’s myriad failures.

“This, of course, is a transparent effort to shield Morrison from pointed criticism, particularly from his own side, ahead of the next federal election.

“It is also breathtaking in its hypocrisy. Mysteriously these political attacks by the Murdoch media and government ministers, present and former, only seem to apply to former prime ministers who dare to criticise Morrison.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Canberra

  • Former Prime Minister Paul Keating will address the National Press Club.

  • A Parliamentary inquiry into housing affordability and supply will hold a public hearing.

Melbourne

  • IBAC will recommence a public hearing into allegations of serious corrupt conduct involving Victorian public officers, including members of Parliament.

Perth

  • WA’s Community Development and Justice Standing Committee will hold two hearings as part of its inquiry into sexual harassment against woman in the FIFO mining industry.

Australia

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison will meet virtually with leaders for the annual APEC summit.

  • Newcrest mining will hold its annual general meeting.