UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres delivered a powerful speech following the recent release of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on mitigation. Guterres said: "Investing in new fossil fuels infrastructure is moral and economic madness." It should be on a billboard, or several.
It is economic madness because wind and solar are cheaper options than producing electricity through new coal, oil or gas projects. It is moral madness because the IPCC report says categorically that if we are to avoid catastrophic warming then we cannot have new infrastructure in fossil fuels.
Two degrees will be bad enough with the loss of coral reefs including the Great Barrier Reef. Three degrees will cause many places to be uninhabitable and crop losses may cause widespread hunger, with a possible billion climate refugees.
What is Australia doing? We subsidise the fossil fuel industry to the tune of $11.6 billion annually ($22,000 a minute); we are building new coal mines in central Queensland; we are massively subsidising gas exploration, particularly in the Beetaloo Bason, and we are building an unnecessary gas-fired power station in Kurri Kurri in NSW.
There's a federal election coming up. I urge all voters to ponder the UN Secretary-General's words when casting their vote.
Waiting times to have a migration matter heard at the AAT are at around the two-year mark. One of the reasons for the delay is the Liberal government previously appointed people who had close ties to the Liberal Party but who did not have relevant qualifications or experience.
The time it took to train unqualified members in the art of administrative decision making slowed down the work of the AAT.
It looks this is happening again.
Delays in getting a hearing date is great for shonky visa applicants who can game the system to gain further undeserved time in Australia. At the same time, delays for people who need a decision in a reasonable time frame to get on with their lives can be catastrophic. This includes partners and family members of Australian citizens.
The cost of a dubious appointment process is not just measured in terms of dollars and cents but in the grinding inefficiency of processes that impact on real people's lives.
There was a very easy way for Scott Morrison to stop the harangue about broken promises from the Hunter Valley pensioner. All he had to do was remind the man about the $250 extra pension payment which was promised in last week's budget.
But Scott Morrison didn't say anything about those promises at all. Why not? Well, since the promised immediate payment hasn't hit my bank account yet, you'd have to assume that it hasn't hit the Hunter Valley pensioner's account either.
Promises, promises, Scott. And then there is the Liberal Party's claim to be better financial managers. What have you done with the money, Scott?
Journalists and pundits seem to have either a short memory or are unable to think outside the box.
The LNP was accused of having a gigantic slush fund set aside to pay for its election promises. They cannot take it with them if they are defeated. That fund will still be there if Labor wins and it can then repurpose it to meet its own promises.
Perhaps a victorious Albanese can stage a presser to announce promises kept while holding a hose to wash away a car park.
Frank Bolton asserts that Labor Party claims that residents in aged care are "starving" are "blatantly untrue", based on his own positive experience in his facility (Letters, April 8).
The Aged Care Royal Commission, which based its opinion on much wider evidence and the "real life experience" of witnesses, thought very differently.
One quote from its 2021 final report is: "Unplanned weight loss is rife, because there is not enough money to buy and prepare nutritious food and not enough staff to help people who need assistance with eating".
The commission estimated that 68 per cent of residents were malnourished or at risk of malnutrition. It also said that families and care workers are reluctant to speak up about the quality and safety of care because of the fear of reprisal from providers or their staff members.
It may well be that Mr Bolton's home is well run, but it is obvious that poor nutrition occurs in more than a "couple of homes" and that there is a real crisis. The well-founded reports of malnutrition and understaffing should indeed worry the families of residents.
James Mahoney (Letters, April 8) objects to Pru Goward being appointed to the AAT, as yet another example of the Coalition's penchant for looking after old mates (just as they did en masse in 2019).
Years ago in Adelaide I worked with Pru for a short while as her executive producer on This Day Tonight. She was a good journalist and I formed the impression she was a person with a strong sense of ethics. I'd like to think she still holds those values and decides to decline this blatant example of purely politically motivated personal pork-barreling.
For Labor, it's a timely chance to pledge the establishment of genuinely independent oversight of such appointments should it win government.
The enabling legislation should also bar any minister from overriding nominations. Labor might also consider the US system where top-level nominations have to publicly face ratification by both houses of Congress (such as for appointment to the US Supreme Court).
It's not perfect, but at least the people get to learn more about the nominees.
Armed drones have proved vital for the defence of Ukraine. So the Australian government has just cancelled the purchase of Sky Guardian long range, armed drones.
Russian tanks have proved to be death traps when attacked by antitank missiles So the Australian government is purchasing lots of new tanks. Antitank missiles won't fit in the turret of Australia's new 8x8 armoured vehicles. Did Defence forget to specify that capability or did they cancel it to prevent the vehicles from falling over?
The President of Ukraine is brave and straight talking and won't run away from a brutal invasion. The Prime Minister of Australia tells porkies and runs away from pensioners. He seems to be cancelling himself
I'm sitting in front of telly listening to journalists say that the aged care sector can barely pay the grossly inadequate wages of staff now, and that taxpayers will need to top up those wages.
If you can't meet the costs of your business, including wages which are not an insult and a disincentive; and you need the public teat in order to operate, then you do not have a viable product or service.
The aged care sector is not a suitable area for private operation. Only ideologically driven zealots could maintain that it is.
For those of us who have watched the teflon PM in action there is little doubt that he is a bully. Like all bullies he is never in the wrong, conveniently blaming anyone else for his inadequacies.
The spectacle of various Liberal MPs defending his indefensible behaviour, smacks of a rallying of the troops to prevent schisms in the party so close to the election.
What is also worrying is the fact that several dyed-in-the-wool LNP voters won't change their vote despite their disenchantment. So they are prepared to put up with more hypocrisy, dishonesty and rorting.
If the moral arc of the universe does bend toward justice Australia is on the right side of history in calling for a war crimes investigation into the massacre in Ukraine. The person who should stand trial is Vladimir Putin.
After watching the 1961 trial of Nazi SS officer Adolf Eichmann, Jewish political theorist Hannah Arendt famously coined the phrase "the banality of evil" to explain that such evil acts are not necessarily perpetrated by evil people, but by ordinary people who have been perversely conditioned to follow orders.
So given Putin's relentless demonising of the Ukrainian people as the modern-day successors of Hitler's Nazi Germany, should he not be held ultimately responsible for these war crimes in the International Court of Justice?
Could fortnightly bin collections be a Machiavellian Greens plot to force Canberrans to have smaller families?
Everything we try to teach children is not reflected by many members of the government. They are bullies, liars and cheats who are not prepared to own up to their dubious actions. Enough is enough. We need to restore honesty and integrity to government so Australians can trust their elected representatives again.
The Morrison government has shown yet again it can't be trusted. Morrison's broken ICAC promise and zero dollar commitment to it in the recent budget is deplorable. So, too, are the "jobs for the boys (and girls)" just announced. The Morrison government doesn't deserve to be re-elected in May.
Bob Salmond's recommendations for reforming the Senate (Letters, April 6) would require substantial changes to sections 7 and 13 of the Constitution. I suspect they would have a snowflake's chance in hell of ever being put to a referendum, let alone being passed.
The federal government is guilty of hypocrisy when it berates the Solomon Islands for allowing China to get a strategic foothold in their nation. They seem to forget faceless Australian bureaucrats and politicians probably got a promotion for permitting the same country to purchase Port Darwin.
It's interesting to hear comparisons between Howard and Morrison as leaders of longish term Coalition governments. The clear distinction between the two leaders is that Howard was cunning enough to get others to lie for him.
When will this disgusting government offer justice to the Biloela family? They are trying to neutralise the stains of their illegal treatment of refugees who have arrived by boat by throwing them out a few at a time, hoping that no-one will notice, onto the streets with virtually no support.
As in Australia, so in the UK, where a Conservative prime minister (Churchill) began with a low opinion of his Labour successor (Attlee): "A modest man with much to be modest about". But later Attlee could write of himself: "Few thought he was even a starter; There were many who thought they were smarter; But he ended PM, CH and OM, An Earl, and a Knight of the Garter."
It's timely to recall Bob Hope's definition of inflation as when prices go from being reasonable to expensive and then to "how much have you got with you?".
Clive Palmer was the press club guest this week. There were actually some people in the audience. I am flabbergasted.
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