Australian Politics

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End of China travel ban one week away

So says The Australian: New health advice to the federal government has raised the hopes of nearly 100,000 Chinese students stranded outside of Australia that the coronavirus travel ban will soon be relaxed. The official expert health advisory group has told the government it can consider easing the travel ban on Chinese students in one

13

Magellan legend demands Canberra kowtow to Beijing

At The Australian: Magellan Financial Group chairman and chief investment officer Hamish Douglass has accused the nation’s parliamentarians of whipping up “xenophobic” sentiment about China and playing “national security out as a political issue”, undermining Australia’s most important economic relationship. …”I don’t see the coronavirus issue being in any way tied in the geopolitical and economic

38

Scotty from Marketing rebrands live testing virus on Aussie kids

Via the ABC: The Federal Government has extended its coronavirus travel ban for another week until Saturday February 29. The Government first implemented strict new border-control measures in an effort to halt what it dubbed an “escalating threat” of the coronavirus. The ban means foreign nationals who have been in mainland China are not allowed into Australia

21

Scotty from Marketing rebrands bushfires

Via the AFR: A national royal commission into Australia’s unprecedented summer bushfire crisis will consider natural disaster preparedness and coordination between state and federal governments. Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the establishment of the landmark probe on Thursday, to be led by former Defence Force boss Air Chief Marshall Mark Binskin. After consultation with state

11

ScoMo to keep border shut as chaos engulfs COVID-19 numbers

Via ZH: Yes, in the sixth edition of its diagnostic criteria released Wednesday for covid-19, the National Health Commission has undone what it did just one week earlier, and has eliminated the distinction between how cases would be classified in Hubei province and other regions. Cases will now be reported under two categories: “suspected cases” and “confirmed

39

Target joins the wage theives

Ahem…or, is confused by complex industrial relations laws: Major retail group Wesfarmers has added to the humiliation of the sector’s “endemic problem” of wage theft, with target staff being ripped off by $9 million. The Perth-based conglomerate admitted to the underpayment this morning when reporting the company’s half-year earnings. “Payroll errors” at Wesfarmers now equates

41

Australia’s Chief Doc ready to throw open borders to China?

I’ve just found this from six days ago: Chief Medical Officer on Radio National Breakfast about novel coronavirus FRAN KELLY: Well 10 Australians are currently being treated in this country for the virus; five have now recovered. Despite the low numbers, prejudice against Chinese Australians is spreading and the Government and health authorities are warning

17

SmoCo, coal smashed in new poll

Via The Guardian: Australia’s bushfire crisis has caused a spike in concern about the environment, a hit to the popularity of the Coalition and Scott Morrison and a drop in support for new coalmines, even among Coalition voters. Those are the conclusions of a poll of 3,249 Australians conducted by the Australian National University’s Centre for Social Research and

41

Sydney cruise locked down on virus fear (updated)

Throw open the borders! Or not: A passenger aboard a cruise ship docked in Sydney Harbour is being tested for possible coronavirus. The Australian understands that NSW Health are assessing a Singaporean woman who fell ill with respiratory illness. The cruise ship arrived in Sydney this morning having believed to be at other Australian ports

27

Sports rorts affair escalates as Audit Office takes stand

Brian Boyd from the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) has given evidence on the first day of a parliamentary inquiry into the so-called sports rort affair. Boyd said that around 43% of clubs that received grants under the Community Sport Infrastructure program were ineligible to do so by the time the funding agreements were signed.

47

Labor’s “racism” virus is the real problem

We are all racist according to the Australian Labor Party: The coronavirus outbreak has refocused attention on racist attitudes in Australia and the federal opposition and experts are renewing calls for fresh anti-racism measures as a result. The federal opposition has again called for a new national anti-racism campaign, following the rise in race-based attacks

13

What was George doing in the Philippines?

We’re about to find out, via Domain: Malcolm Turnbull is set to divulge what he knew about a federal police probe into Nationals MP George Christensen’s frequent travel to south-east Asia. The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and Nine News can reveal the former prime minister’s memoir A Bigger Picture, due to be released in

46

China ramps pressure to throw open the borders

Not mucking around, via Reuters: China’s aviation regulator said on Wednesday that it hopes countries will lift virus-related travel restrictions as soon as possible, in line with guidance from the World Health Organization and International Civil Aviation Organization. The Civil Aviation Administration of China will continue to lobby authorities to subsidize airlines hurt by travel

7

Will population ponzi swallow another Victorian Government?

In 2014, former federal Labor MP, Kelvin Thomson, penned a thought provoking piece arguing that the high population policies pursued by Australia’s governments are the primary cause of political volatility, which has seen numerous leaders lose their jobs and governments from both sides thrown out of office: I have become convinced that rapid population growth

17

Centre Alliance must block supply on broken gas contract

As best as they can. Center Alliance has been betrayed by the Prime Minister on the most important reform in the Australian economy today: gas reservation. Let’s recall where it began. Previously at The Australian: Centre Alliance senator Rex Patrick wanted the government’s intention on gas in writing before he offered his party’s support for

5

Essential: SmoCo and Albotross neck and neck

Via The Guardian: Scott Morrison is battling rolling ructions inside his government and sustained opprobrium from voters after a summer of catastrophic fires, and now floods, with the latest Guardian Essential poll confirming the prime minister remains in the political doldrums. Morrison’s approval stood at 45% at the end of 2019, but slumped five points in January as

3

ScoMo blocks anti-corruption measure

The NSW Government is attempting to block developers from running for local councils. However, the motion has reportedly been blocked by Alex Hawke, who is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s representative: As revealed by The Sauce last week, a motion backed by both the moderates and Right faction members was put to the NSW Liberal State

46

400 million locked down in China to fight coronavirus

First the latest update from Beijing: At 04:00 on February 8th, 31 provinces (autonomous regions, municipalities) and the Xinjiang Production and Construction Corps reported that 2656 confirmed cases (2147 cases in Hubei) were newly added, 87 severe cases (52 cases in Hubei) were newly added, and There were 89 deaths (81 in Hubei, 2 in

7

Senate inquiry to investigate sports rorts scandal

.The Senate has passed Labor’s motion to hold an inquiry into the sports rorts scandal. Amongst other things, the probe will seek the release of a report into the saga by chief bureaucrat Phil Gaetjens. Gaetjens’ report controversially cleared former cabinet minister Bridget McKenzie of any wrongdoing over the allocation of sports grants, but found

17

ScoMo goes all-in on virus

One wonders what this signifies. Via Domain: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged Australians in China to get on the last commercial Qantas flights out of the country and warned the government may not be able to rescue them if they become stranded during a growing coronavirus lockdown. The virus has gone nuts today at

32

Angry China demands Australia share coronavirus

Yes. You must get ill, barbarian. At The Australian comes Deputy Head of Mission Wang Xining: China has blasted Australia’s treatment of Chinese students caught up in the coronavirus travel ban and suggested the Morrison government succumbed to “panic and over-action” in stopping flights to China. Deputy Chinese Ambassador to Australia Wang Xining said China

6

Labor guns for Phil Gaetjens’ head

Two years ago, MB vigorously attacked the appointment of Phil Gaetjens – the former Chief of Staff of both Treasurer Scott Morrison and former Treasurer Peter Costello – to secretary of the Australian Treasury, claiming that it would make the once august department even more politicised. Gaetjens then subsequently followed Prime Minister Scott Morrison to

15

Time to quarantine Canberra…permanently

Via Crikey come the day’s big links. First the Nats: NATS PUT THEIR HATS IN THE RING Barnaby Joyce will challenge Michael McCormack for Nationals leadership at a party room spill this morning, while Drought Minister David Littleproud and Queensland MP Keith Pitt set their sights on deputy leadership. As The Guardian details, Matt Canavan has already stepped down as resources minister in order to back

9

ALP: Senior public servants should declare all their interests

Labor federal member for Perth, Patrick Gorman, wants all senior public servants to be forced to declare their financial and personal interests, in a bid to improve transparency and confidence in our public institutions: The Morrison government now requires senior public servants to reveal gifts or benefits worth more than $100… But Mr Gorman, who

6

Asian gas price hits record low as Canavan rorts Australia

It is carnage in Asian gas markets, via Platts: The outbreak of coronavirus in China has dampened market sentiment, with market sources hearing Chinese buyers delaying spot cargoes, re-selling some February and March cargoes and potentially delaying their term off-take. “Everyone is taking a wait and see approach as we do not know yet how