Australian Politics


Mass school closures loom

Xmas holiday’s nearly killed me but now there’ll be more! At The Australian: Mass school closures remain a possibility in the event of a coronavirus pandemic, with the nation’s top education bureaucrat revealing that any decision would be governed by expert medical advice. Department of Education secretary Michelle Bruniges has told a senate hearing in


Treasury Secretary Kennedy: Virus must be secret to protect confidence

I like Treasury Secretary Stephen Kennedy. He’s a sensible bloke. But this is a bit dubious in parliament today: “Given the high degree of uncertainty surrounding the economic impacts of COVID-19 Treasury is assessing the situation on an ongoing basis.” “At this stage we expect the virus to detract at least a half of a


NSW Government hands reins to High-rise Harry

In 2017, NSW Planning Minister, Rob Stokes, pushed-back against the federal government’s blind march towards a ‘Big Australia’, claiming it is leaving Sydney forever struggling to keep pace: Rob Stokes said the state government was left trying to retrofit the NSW’s infrastructure and services to an expanding population, without a clear, transparent trajectory of NSW’s


Hooocoodanode? Chinese student ban dodger has virus

Via Domain: An international student living in Brisbane has become the seventh person to test positive for coronavirus in Queensland. The 20-year-old man from China is in a stable condition in isolation in the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital. Brisbane Times understands the student has not attended any university classes and his room-mate is undergoing


As Morrison unleashes virus, Australia prepares for shut down

Never waste a good crisis. The great Australian virus scab grab has begun with business. At the AFR: Peak business groups have demanded the government use the economic downturn being caused by the coronavirus outbreak to unveil a “significant ” investment incentive in the May budget. The groups elevated their demands for a business investment


Morrison steps back from suicidal border opening…for a week

Via the AFR: Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved to get ahead of the coronavirus outbreak being declared a global pandemic and has activated the government’s emergency response plan. The declaration triggered goverment preparations for a more severe virus outbreak and planning to shore up medical stockpiles, supply chains and health resources. The health crisis


80% of Australians agree Chinese travel ban must remain

The softening up for the rollback of virus-related border protections rolls on, via AFR: The Morrison government will consider Thursday whether to start easing the travel ban on Chinese students amid warnings by health authorities that the crisis will run for several months more, prompting fears of a recession. …Ahead of Thursday’s meeting of the


McCrann: Keep borders shut

Via Terry McCrann today: One thing should be clear cut — especially at this point of peak uncertainty. Think very carefully about the range of possible consequences of decisions; they could so easily and dramatically backfire. Letting in Chinese students and/or tourists too quickly could end up damaging the very people and businesses that are


Morrison on track to murder elderly for budget

From a deeply awry Scott Morrion at the AFR yesterday: Scott Morrison has ruled out a fiscal stimulus package as the government announced that the economic effect of the coronavirus would be worse than that of the bushfires and all but conceded the forecast budget surplus had gone. At the same time, Mr Morrison hinted


Kouk slammed for celebrating “excellent” border decision

This may capture the Labor attitude to the border opening: Excellent decision. It was a massive over reaction — Stephen Koukoulas (@TheKouk) February 22, 2020 Kouk’s followers are incensed: And on it reads… No doubt Labor will kick the Government if the border opening goes ahead and results in infections. Until then expect them


Newspoll: Labor lead narrows

Via The UnAustralian: An exclusive Newspoll ­conducted for The Australian shows no movement in the ­Coalition’s primary vote, which remains stuck at 38 per cent and three points down on its election result. Popular support for Labor, however, has dropped a point for the second consecutive poll — down to 34 per cent. The result


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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