Michael Pascoe: Look who helped sports grant corruption get the go-ahead

WHO makes up the Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee?

Michael Pascoe: Look who helped sports grant corruption get the go-ahead

Scott Morrison Bridget McKenzie

Michael Pascoe wonders who helped the sports grant scandal go ahead. Photo: Getty/TND

Michael Pascoe Contributing Editor

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So Senator Bridget McKenzie, the most senior members of the coalition government and their sundry ministerial office staff are fine with corrupting community sport grants.

What about Sport Australia?

According to Sport Australia’s annual report, the board and CEO had no problems with McKenzie & Co spitting on community volunteers either.

The annual report is the formal opportunity to spell out standards, to scratch a mark in the historical record.

It’s the place to look for transparency and accountability – or at least a meek hint about the relevant minister hijacking the Australian Sports Commission’s work, traducing the sense of a fair go that Australians would like to think we embrace with our community sport.

Such a line in the annual report would cover the board and bureaucrats’ collective backside should the stink escape the political sewer, as it has.

From chairman John Wylie then: Nada. Nothing. A complete air swing.

If I remember my high school study of a A Man For All Seasons, silence is to be taken as consent. Something about the standard you walk by being the standard you accept.

Of course the chairman and directors are political appointments. What about the supposedly apolitical executive?

Kate Palmer
Outgoing Sport Australia CEO Kate Palmer.

Well CEO Kate Palmer did mention the program – glowingly.

“The Community Sport Infrastructure grants program is delivering more than $100m to enhance more than 680 grassroots facilities across Australia. This is an investment in building stronger, healthier communities,” writes Ms Palmer.

Maybe someone edited out what should have completed that sentence: “… though overwhelmingly only those in marginal seats or ones the coalition thinks it might lose or could win by splashing taxpayers’ cash around at the expense of more deserving communities elsewhere”.

Ms Palmer could then have cited the $500,000 gifted to the Mosman Rowing Club, with Tony Abbott’s smiling face as a prime example of her commission’s work.

Tony Abbott
A $500,000 gift to the Mosman Rowing Club failed to help Tony Abbott resurrect his political career. Photo: AAP

Even when the McKenzie hit the fan, thanks to the absolutely excessive behaviour of the Liberal political machine trying to get Georgina Downer up in her father’s old seat of Mayo, Sport Australia is careful not to give a hint of unease about being shamelessly used and abused.

Instead, the chairman, board and CEO appear to support the rorted program, defending the indefensible.

Here is Sport Australia’s response on Wednesday to Auditor-General Grant Hehir’s bombshell: “Sport Australia acknowledges the report prepared by the Australian National Audit Office: Award of Funding under the Community Sport Infrastructure Program.

“We accept the Auditor-General’s three recommendations in the report that relate specifically to Sport Australia and have already taken significant steps to implement them, including additional measures. We seek to continually improve the administration of our grants programs for the sport sector, and there are lessons from this for the future.

“The Community Sport Infrastructure Grant Program has been delivering positive outcomes for hundreds of grassroots sporting organisations and local communities around the country, supporting construction and upgrades at sporting facilities to help increase participation and get more Australians moving.

“We remain committed to delivering the very best for sport and ensuring all Australians are able to access safe, inclusive and quality community sporting facilities.”

Je ne regrette rien.

No hint of the need to stand on principle. No suggestion that the commission might have a duty to blow the whistle when the minister steals money from the most deserving community organisations in order to keep said minister’s nose in the trough. No indication that the board might regard principles more highly than their jobs.

There’s been an unsubstantiated claim on Twitter that Sport Australia troops further down the line were less insouciant, that they were outraged by their work being trashed by political hacks, that they absolutely welcomed the Auditor-General’s investigation and were, shall we say, extremely helpful in that investigation.

That claim doesn’t really need substantiating – the Sport Australia staff who worked on the program would be less than human if they didn’t feel and act that way.

Ms Palmer announced in October she would not be seeking a new contract when her three-year term expires at the end of this month. That was considered a shock at the time of the announcement.

Sydney Morning Herald sports writer Roy Masters reported she is returning to Melbourne, where her mother is seriously ill. He also noted Ms Palmer has learned government-speak during her time in Canberra:

Asked to comment whether she had earlier expressed concerns on the way Senator McKenzie’s Department of Sport distributed the grants, Palmer said: ‘I’m not prepared to comment on that’.’’

It leaves the board to defend its lack of action or protest, which it has not.

Since 2013, the coalition has made an art form out of stacking commonwealth bodies and boards with mates.

Remember that one of the very first decisions of the Abbott government, via Julie Bishop, was to pull Steve Bracks off a plane to New York where he was to be our Consul-General, instead giving that perk to climate change denier Nick Minchin.

Such is the stacking that all such boards and positions have a whiff about them. Like the community sports grants, are they there on merit or the opposite?

That means it’s incumbent on commonwealth bodies to be seen to act above the political trough. Thus far, the Australian Sports Commission, alias Sport Australia, has not.

This dispiriting situation is not without humour, if your sense of humour is dark enough. Elsewhere in the annual report, Ms Palmer wrote: “Sport volunteers are the lifeblood of our industry and we acknowledge the difficulty for grassroots community clubs to raise funds. (Especially when they are being played for mugs by corrupt politicians.)

“That is why Sport Australia has worked very hard with the Australian Sports Foundation and the 50-50 Foundation to launch the Play for Purpose charity raffle. It is an alternative funding source for sports and we intend to see it grow.” (Because at least in a raffle, you have an equal chance of winning – unless maybe it’s being run out of Bridget McKenzie’s office. The community sports grant roulette wheel was totally fixed.)

OK, the parentheses and italics are mine. It’s still pretty funny though – having remained mute while “the lifeblood of our industry” was shat on from a great height, Sport Australia thinks it’s great for volunteers to hit the streets selling raffle tickets.

The compliant board could start by spending all its collective remuneration on those raffle tickets.

And the annual report did include an example of a community grant that was not in a marginal seat – Scott Morrison holds Cook very comfortably. Records Sport Australia (and this time the italics are not mine): One grant recipient under the Community Sport Infrastructure grant was the San Souci Football Club.

During a visit to the San Souci Football Club to open their new facilities, Prime Minister Scott Morrison discussed our Move It AUS grants programs and explained why keeping active is important for all Australians. Prime Minister Morrison says the Community Sport Infrastructure grants are not just an investment in bricks and mortar, but an investment in local communities.

“‘It’s the discussions you have around the BBQ or the tuckshop on the weekend when you’re working with other parents or along the sidelines. That’s where communities come together and that’s why you’ve got to make these investments and we’re just so pleased to do it, and to have the partnership with Sport Australia who are delivering this, I think is just tremendous.”’

The San Souci Football Club received a Move It AUS Community Sport Infrastructure grant of $50,000, which was used to build new facilities, including a new clubhouse.

Melissa Robertson, the San Souci Football Club president said: “To get a grant is just amazing. Before, we had the canteen, one little change room and a store room. It was extremely old and rundown. Now we have the clubhouse to rival the Taj Mahal.”

I’m guessing the discussions around the barbecue or the tuckshop on the weekend for most people who made grant applications is that the government defrauded them and that Scott Morrison’s stated reason for spending taxpayers’ money was, er, economical with the truth.

Who knew the truth?

Well, the Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee thought Bridget McKenzie was doing such a great job with the grants, her budget was increased from $70 million to $100 million. Those marginal seats weren’t going to buy themselves.

The Cabinet Expenditure Review Committee consists of the “Prime Minister, Treasurer, the Minister for Finance, along with other selected portfolio ministers”.

That’s Scott Morrison, Josh Frydenberg and Mathias Cormann – the who’s who of the Liberal Party, its leader, deputy leader and leader in the Senate.

No wonder Bridget McKenzie is not being forced to resign.

Look who she could name as co-conspirators.

Scott Morrison Bridget McKenzie

SOURCE: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/politics/australian-politics/2020/01/20/bridget-mckenzie-sports-grant-scott-morrison/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning%20News%20-%2020200120

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CALL for SYDNEY Residents to act over Review of SYDNEY Harbour Federation Trust

THIS … IF anything should RING the Alarm Bells! Be very concerned in view of the Federal Coalition Agenda of Privatisation, and the NSW Government track record!

-NSW sell-off of $BILLIONS of public assets including Public Housing

OUR magnificent Sydney Harbour Historic Sites … are they up for a Sell-Out … or the very least … commercialization? Cough … cough …

Manly’s North Head and Mosman’s Georges Heights

Middle Head, Chowder Bay, Cockatoo Island, Sub Base Platypus, Woolwich Dock and Parklands, the former Marine Biological Station at Watson’s Bay and the Macquarie Lightstation in Vaucluse

AUSTRALIA NEEDS TO TALK … and not be Silenced!

WHAT CAAN wants you to do … COPY AND PASTE THIS into an Email for your Contacts … EVERYONE needs to know … in Sydney, New South Wales … across Australia ... we all need to be talking about this!

The recipients can then forward the email onto their contacts …

FOLLOWING this why not ask the people in your street, club, community to write to The Editor of all the papers … of your Objections!

DEMANDING that our Governments … act in the interests of Australian Heritage and ensure the protection of our Historic Sites from sell-off or commercialization!

BE AWARE that pretty much to date oodles of submissions have been written to be ignored … by all means write submissions but do let others know by sharing and following through as outlined above!

EXTRACT: Wikipedia: Sussan Ley

‘ … In January 2017, an examination of Ley’s expenditure claims and travel entitlements revealed she had purchased an apartment on the Gold Coast, close to the business premises of her partner, for $795,000 whilst on official business in Queensland. Ley defended the purchase, saying her work in the Gold Coast was legitimate, that all travel had been within the rules for entitlements, and that the purchase of the apartment “was not planned nor anticipated”[20] (a claim which was widely derided).[21] On 8 January, Ley released a statement acknowledging that the purchase had changed the context of her travel, and undertaking to repay the government for the cost of the trip in question as well as three others.[22] The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Ley had made 27 taxpayer-funded trips to the Gold Coast in recent years.[23]

On 9 January 2017, Ley announced that she would stand aside from her ministerial portfolios until an investigation into her travel expenses was completed by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She announced that she would not be making her diaries public.[24] On 13 January 2017, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Ley had resigned from the ministry.[25] Greg Hunt was appointed as Ley’s replacement as the Minister for Health and Sport, and Ken Wyatt was appointed Assistant Minister for Health and Minister for Indigenous Health and Aged Care,[26] both with effect from 24 January 2017.[27]

In May 2018 Ley introduced a private member’s bill to ban the live export of sheep.[28][29]

During the second Liberal Party of Australia leadership spill of 2018, Ley signed the petition requesting to hold a party meeting to determine the leadership of the Liberal party.[30]

On 26 August 2018, Ley was appointed Assistant Minister for Regional Development and Territories[31] in the Morrison Government.

On 26 May 2019, Ley was announced as Minister for the Environment,[32] to replace Melissa Price.’

MP Zali Steggall with Middle Harbour behind. Picture: Julian Andrews.
MP Zali Steggall with Middle Harbour behind. Picture: Julian Andrews.

Zali Steggall calls for residents to act over review of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

Zali Steggall calls for residents to act over review of Sydney Harbour Federation Trust

The future of some of Sydney Harbour’s historic sites including North Head and Georges Heights could be at risk of development, says MP Zali Steggall.

Julie Cross, Manly Daily

January 19, 2020

Subscriber only|January 19, 2020 12:00am

North Head and Manly from the air during a Sydney Seaplanes scenic flight. Picture: Troy Snook.
North Head and Manly from the air during a Sydney Seaplanes scenic flight. Picture: Troy Snook.

Warringah MP Zali Steggall is calling for the public to have their say on the future of Manly’s North Head and Mosman’s Georges Heights if they don’t want another “Barangaroo on their doorstep”.

She said the State Government has set up‘an independent review of the Sydney Harbour Federation Trust’ which currently manages the two iconic spots.

It also ‘manages’ other historic foreshore locations including Middle Head, Chowder Bay, Cockatoo Island, Sub Base Platypus, Woolwich Dock and Parklands, the former Marine Biological Station at Watson’s Bay and the Macquarie Lightstation in Vaucluse.

MP Zali Steggall with Middle Harbour behind. Picture: Julian Andrews.
MP Zali Steggall with Middle Harbour behind. Picture: Julian Andrews.

The review announced by the Minister for Environment Sussan Ley, will consider the trust’s “legislative, financial and governance arrangements” and identify pathways to maximise public access to its sites on Sydney Harbour.

Joseph Carrozzi, the chairman of the Harbour Trust, said it is an opportunity for the agency to “take stock of our achievements and ensure arrangements for our places are fit for the future”.

Ms Steggall said if the state government decides to take back responsibility for the land many fear some of the spots could be commercialised.

“These precious parcels of land are iconic,” Ms Steggall said.

“Being on the harbour they speak to all Australians, especially to us as local residents who are very concerned about what might happen.

“If we don’t want a Barangaroo development on our doorstep people should be interested in this issue.”

Buildings on the 10 Terminal site which are in need of renovation. Picture: Monique Harmer.
Buildings on the 10 Terminal site which are in need of renovation. Picture: Monique Harmer.

She said the land should be preserved and the trust should be properly funded, citing the poor state of some of the army buildings at North Head and the naval heritage buildings of 10 Terminal in Mosman.

“These places should remain available to the community not become commercialised, that’s the biggest concern,” Ms Steggall said.

Ms Jean Hay, former Mayor of Manly and Deputy Chairman of the Harbour Trust, said the board welcomed the independent review and believed there was no “ulterior motive” behind it.

She said the organisation which was mainly self-funded hoped that the findings would support the trust’s work and lead to more funds.

Ms Hay also said she did not believe that the state government intended to commercialise the land.

Ms Steggall said volunteers have been doing letterbox drops to alert residents of the review.

And she encouraged people to send in submissions.

She also encouraged should also attend the review panel’s public forum on February 18 from 6pm to 8pm at Pullman Sydney Hyde Park, 36 College St, Sydney.

To book a place go to eventbrite.com.au.

Photo: Middle Head Sydney. Visit Sydney Australia.

SOURCE: https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/newslocal/manly-daily/zali-steggall-calls-for-residents-to-act-over-review-of-sydney-harbour-federation-trust/news-story/0d8823b96860ae1456aadb68548339a3

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Minister McKenzie spits in the face of decency, ethics and every decent Australian

A good comment …

‘Government has become an abstract concept and the general populace rarely makes the link between Government incompetence or malfeasance and themselves, unless they are directly impacted by an event.

Thank you for pointing out the impact of this apalling betrayal of public trust Mr. Pascoe. All of us need to be reminded that the Government is our Government, and that Government employees work for us, the people, not the other way around. We all need to take a more active role, as you have done.’

Minister McKenzie spits in the face of decency, ethics and every decent Australian

Bridget McKenzie's sports grants scandal shows her lack of respect.

Senator Bridget McKenzie showed a complete lack of respect for the public in her handling of sports grants. Photo: The New Daily

Michael PascoeContributing Editor

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COMMENT

There is no news in this column. You’ll learn nothing more of the $100 million Bridget McKenzie sports grants scandal than has already graced the headlines.

This is merely an attempt to humanise the loss, to push through the protective skin of cynicism that has formed about the Australian heart when confronted with another example of political malfeasance.

They all do it,” we mutter with passing disgust and turn the page.

Come the next election we acquiesce to giving them the chance to do it again. !!!!!!

And it’s not as if Senator McKenzie’s effective theft of money from deserving community sporting organisations was a matter of life or death, or at least not obviously.

nationals leadership bridget mckenzie
Senator Bridget McKenzie raided the public purse to buy votes. Photo: AAP

It’s not as if she was underfunding rural fire services or failing to acquire an adequate aerial firefighting force or resisting carbon emissions reductions.

But the deputy leader of the National Party, next-in-line to a sometimes-acting Prime Minister, and her hack ministerial advisers did trample people to use your money to keep their snouts and that of their colleagues in the public trough.

There are the obvious people used and abused in the process – the community sports volunteers and Sport Australia staff Senator McKenzie teased and misled with the supposed availability of grants, the people she encouraged to diligently work for a sound cause, the people she lied to and discarded.

Then there are the less obvious souls – the people who were more deserving of government assistance than those who were targeted for their votes in marginal seats.

These people represent the opportunity cost of base political bribery – what greater good could have been achieved with the better use of public money, with the ethical, rather than unethical, use of your money?

It’s been a while since I was involved in community sport, quite a while, but it left me with a conviction about the general nobility of the cause.

Taking your turn with the sausages and the BBQ, helping set up and dismantle, coaching, washing the jerseys, sitting through the annual meeting, it’s all good stuff.

And, when done well, it’s brilliant. In particular when young people are encouraged to play in good spirit, to understand and grow to love teamwork, to broaden their experiences and challenge themselves, it can be a very fine thing indeed.

There are the usual claimed health benefits of sport, of course, but there is more than that at stake. Hand on heart, I think over the years I’ve seen lives positively influenced by community sport, young lives maybe moulded a little for the better by the experience of people taking care of each other.

Community sport is a good thing.
Community sport does a world of good for young Aussies. Photo: Getty

Team sport as we generally know it is not for everyone, for some it is nothing at all or worse, but there are others for whom it has been very important indeed, kids who might not otherwise have been touched by a sense of beneficial community.

Senator McKenzie spat on those people.

She decided they weren’t important, that buying a few votes was more important than honourably discharging her elected duty.

Nothing displays a politician’s treason – putting personal interests before the nation’s best interests – than a willingness to raid the public purse for partisan gain.

Then there are those volunteers who carefully read the grants’ guidelines, who jumped through the hoops and spent the hours, the many hours working up a deserving application. There would have been meetings – meetings! – to agree on what was needed and what might be sought.

The volunteers are generally true believers in their community and sport, in the fellowship and help it provides, in that quaint old idea of “society”.

Senator McKenzie and her hacks toyed with those good people, played with their hopes and betrayed them.

The game was rigged. The ref was corrupt. They never had a chance.

The volunteers preparing those deserving submissions were amateurs playing against seasoned cynical political pros. They weren’t even playing the same game – the volunteers playing community, the political hacks playing pure political self-interest.

And what about the good people at Sport Australia who tried to run an honest contest? If you want your soul destroyed, try being honest in an overwhelmingly corrupt system.

Do your work, put in the hours, maybe find some little community gems that you’d like to think you could help shine, take some pride as a bureaucrat in a good outcome from a professional process  – only to have loathsome political advisors in the minister’s office rip up your work and bury those gems.

The first recommendation of the ex-Telstra chief David Thodey’s public service review to be dismissed out of hand by the government was that political advisers should have a code of conduct. You can guess why.

The erosion of the Australian Public Service by successive governments’ white-anting has reached its peak with the political hacks in ministers’ offices riding roughshod over departments and bodies such as Sport Australia. No care and less responsibility.

There may have been an occasion when the Auditor General has been blunter about the structural corruption of a minister’s office, but I can’t at this moment recall it. Says the ANOA report:

The award of funding reflected the approach documented by the Minister’s Office of focusing on ‘marginal’ electorates held by the Coalition as well as those electorates held by other parties or independent members that were to be ‘targeted’ by the Coalition at the 2019 Election.

There is some irony in the initial impetus for the audit coming from Georgina Downer’s stunt at a bowling club in the family ancestral seat she failed to win.

It was tacky and obviously dodgy at the time for the Liberal candidate – not even an incumbent MP – to be proffering $127,373 of our money in a Liberal-branded mega-cheque, barrel girl style. 

As it turned out, the good folk of Mayo were not so easily bought.

I don’t know if the Yankalilla Bowling Club was one of the more deserving applicants for a grant, scoring close to 100 on the Sport Australia system, or one of the rubbish efforts.

It might or might not have been the application that scored just 39 point but was plucked from the Sport Australia bin by Senator McKenzie for purely political purposes.

But her office stealing millions from the most deserving community sports clubs to buy votes has ended up staining the whole process.

The decency deficit

Did your club win a grant in Bridget’s rigged game? Did you deserve it – or are you the recipient of stolen goods? Does the Yankalilla Bowling Club and others like it in marginal seats feel a little bit soiled by association now or doesn’t it care how it came by the taxpayers’ dosh?

And finally, there’s Sport Australia.

Where was the protest? Where was the mass resignation? What does it say about the integrity of the board that it stood by mute while its staff’s honest work was trashed and the Sport Australia name was traduced as a fig leaf for political corruption?

Maybe Sport Australia’s chiefs, like Bridget McKenzie, her staff and her fellow ministers and their staff, are only in it for themselves and are not interested in promoting and protecting best practice with public funds.

We need a real Federal ICAC yesterday. There’s no way this government will allow one.

Bridget McKenzie's sports grants scandal shows her lack of respect.

SOURCE: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/16/bridget-mckenzie-sports-grants/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Sunday%20Best%20-%2020200119

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An Aussie invention could soon cut five per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions

AUSTRALIAs position as a global leader in renewables installation is uncertain because the Renewable Energy Target, which was achieved in 2019, has not been extended. *

WITH supportive policy … and less idiocy

https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2017/feb/09/scott-morrison-brings-coal-to-question-time-what-fresh-idiocy-is-this

scott morrison coal climate change

Solar energy is vast, ubiquitous and indefinitely sustainable.

An Aussie invention could soon cut five per cent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions

australian energy challenges

An Australian invention could transform the energy industry. Photo: Getty

Andrew Blakers

COMMENT

In the 1980s, a global race was underway to find a more efficient way of converting energy from the sun into electricity.

Some 30 years ago, our research team at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) came up with a breakthrough, called the PERC silicon solar cell. The cells have become the most widely deployed electricity generation technology in terms of capacity added globally each year – comfortably exceeding wind, coal, gas, hydro and others.

PERC stands for Passivated Emitter and Rear Cell. By the end of this year, PERC technology will be mitigating about 1% of global greenhouse gas emissions by displacing coal burning.

Assuming that its rapid growth continues, it should be reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5% by the mid-2020s and possibly much more in later years.

The terrible bushfires in Australia this summer, enhanced by the hottest and driest year on record in 2019, underline the need for urgent reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. By far the most effective way is driving coal out of electricity systems through very rapid deployment of solar and wind.

Soon, our Aussie invention will be generating half the world’s solar power. It is a pertinent reminder of Australia’s capacity for finding transformative technical solutions to address climate change. * But we need the right government support.*

An Aussie invention

Solar cells convert sunlight directly into electricity without moving parts. More efficient solar cells generally produce cheaper electricity because fewer solar cells, glass covers, transport, land and support structures are needed for a given solar power output.

By the early 1980s, the best laboratory cells around the world had reached 17% efficiency. This means that 17% of the sunlight was converted to electricity, and the rest (83%) of the solar energy was lost (as heat).

During the 1980s, our research team at UNSW led by Martin Green and myself created a series of world-record-efficient silicon solar cells. We reported 18% efficiency in 1984, 19% efficiency also in 1984, and the important milestone of 20% efficiency in 1986.

In 1989 our group reported new solar cell design called “PERC”, with a record efficiency of 22-23%.

This new, more efficient cell was better than the old ones because we eliminated some defects in the silicon crystal surface, which led to lower electronic losses. The PERC design also enabled us to capture the sunlight more effectively.

In the 1990s, further improvements to laboratory PERC cells were made at UNSW, leading to cells in the 24-25% efficiency range. The global silicon solar cell efficiency record remained at UNSW until recently.

There was a 25-year gap between development of the PERC cell and its rapid commercial adoption, which began in 2013. During this time, many people worked to adapt the PERC design to commercial production.

solar power
An Aussie invention could be generating half the world’s solar power

PERC cells are more efficient than previous commercial cells. Strong incentives for more efficient cells have recently arisen due to the continually falling share of cell costs as a proportion of total solar power system costs (including transport, land and mounting systems).

The big benefits of solar

Currently, solar power constitutes more than 40% of net new electricity generation capacity additions, with fossil, nuclear, wind, hydro and other renewables making up the balance.

Solar is growing faster than the other electricity generation technologies. Over time, as fossil-fuelled power stations are retired, solar (and wind) will dominate electricity production, with consequent large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

solar power
Solar power has experienced rapid growth over decades, while other technologies are experiencing static or falling sales. Source: irena.org

This year, enough PERC solar modules will be sold to generate 60-70 gigawatts of power. According to projections, PERC will reach three quarters of annual solar module sales in the mid-2020s, enough to match the generation capacity additions from all other technologies combined.

About A$50 billion worth of PERC modules have been sold to date. This is expected to reach several hundred billion Australian dollars later this decade.

Just imagine

Australian emissions (excluding those from bushfiresare falling because we are installing solar and wind four times faster per capita than the EU, US, Japan and China.

*Our position as a global leader in renewables installation is uncertain because the Renewable Energy Target, which was achieved in 2019, has not been extended. *

*With supportive policy, such as facilitating more transmission to bring solar and wind power to the cities, Australia could greatly increase the speed at which wind and solar are deployed, yielding rapid and deep cuts at about zero-net cost.

Such policy would entail stronger and sustained government support for renewables deployment, and research and development of new technologies.

Looking ahead

Solar energy is vast, ubiquitous and indefinitely sustainable.

Simple calculations show that less than 1% of the world’s land area would be required to provide all of the world’s energy from solar power – much of it on building roofs, in deserts and floating on water bodies.

Solar systems use only very common materials (we could never run out), have minimal need for mining (about 1% of that needed for equivalent fossil or nuclear fuels), have minimal security and military risks (we will never go to war over solar access), cannot have significant accidents (unlike nuclear), and have minimal environmental impact over unlimited time scales.

Australia is making major contributions to mitigating climate change both through rapid deployment of wind and solar and technology development such as our PERC cells.

But with better government support, much more can be done – quickly and at low cost.

Andrew Blakers is Professor of Engineering at the Australian National University. His research interests are in the area of solar energy systems.This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

australian energy challenges

SOURCE: https://thenewdaily.com.au/finance/consumer/2020/01/16/solar-power-invention/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning%20News%20-%2020200117

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Morrison Govt targeted Marginal Seats in potentially illegal sports grants scheme … auditor general reports!

THIS is how it’s done … How good’s this?

IT really looks Crook!

Labor sport spokesperson Senator Don Farrell said the report revealed “industrial-scale pork barrelling”.

“I think it’s very clear that the Government did not expect to win the last election,” he said.

“They thought they could get away with all this pork barrelling, save a few extra seats, and it’s come back to bite them in a very big way.”

Federal government targeted marginal seats in potentially illegal sports grants scheme, auditor-general reports

By political reporter Jack Snape

Updated 16 JANUARY 2020

Bridget McKenzie holds her fists up during senate estimates.

PHOTO: Bridget McKenzie was sport minister at the time of the program. (ABC News: Toby Hunt)

RELATED STORY: $100m sport grant scheme ‘illegal’ according to former senior government lawyer

RELATED STORY: Teams in marginal seats scored big with government grants. Emma’s wasn’t one of them, so she gets changed outside

RELATED STORY: Recommended sports clubs shunned as new details emerge in Georgina Downer cheque scandal

A contentious $100 million pre-election cash splash by the Federal Government was focused on marginal and target seats.

Key points:

  • The Government spent $100 million on grants for the Community Sport Infrastructure Program in the months leading up to the election
  • The office of then-sports minister Bridget McKenzie identified target electorates as part of assessing grant applicants
  • The auditor-general found a bias of funding towards marginal and target seats

*The findings from the auditor-general, released on Wednesday, also raise the prospect that the entire scheme was illegal, noting there did not appear to be any legal authority for then-sports minister Bridget McKenzie to have picked recipients.

The report into the Community Sports Infrastructure Grant program discovered “evidence of distribution bias in the award of grant funding”.

Labor sport spokesperson Senator Don Farrell said the report revealed “industrial-scale pork barrelling”.

“I think it’s very clear that the Government did not expect to win the last election,” he said.

“They thought they could get away with all this pork barrelling, save a few extra seats, and it’s come back to bite them in a very big way.”

Hundreds of grants were recommended for funding by Sport Australia but were rejected by the minister, whose office earmarked some seats as “marginal” and “targeted”, and funnelled money towards those.

Projects in these electorates applied for 36 per cent of the funding, and received 47 per cent of the amount approved in the first round.

“The award of funding reflected the approach documented by the minister’s office of focusing on ‘marginal’ electorates held by the Coalition as well as those electorates held by other parties or independent members that were to be ‘targeted’ by the Coalition at the 2019 election,” the report stated.

“Applications from projects located in those electorates were more successful in being awarded funding than if funding was allocated on the basis of merit assessed against the published program guidelines.”

In the third round of the program, 73 per cent of projects given funding were not recommended by Sport Australia.

A spokesperson for Senator McKenzie said the program was “very popular” and all recipients were eligible.

“The ANAO [Australian National Audit Office] report is clear that no rules were broken.”

Sport Minister Richard Colbeck echoed his colleague, noting “as the ANAO report found, no applications assessed as ineligible were awarded grant funding.”

Decisions inconsistent with guidelines

The report notes testimony from the minister’s office included the argument that the guidelines included a reference to “other factors” being taken into consideration.

The minister’s former chief of staff, quoted in the report, also argued “the success of the program relied on the support across Parliament so needed to make sure the spread of projects reflected the statistics and could be seen as fair”.

Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer hands over a novelty cheque to the Yankalilla Bowling Club.

PHOTO: Former Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer — not the local sitting independent member — handed over a cheque as part of the scheme. (Facebook: Georgina Downer — Liberal for Mayo)

However the report declared advice about assessing the applications was inconsistent with the guidelines.

“The minister’s office drew upon considerations other than those identified in the program guidelines, such as the location of projects, and also applied considerations that were inconsistent with the published guidelines,” it stated.

“It was this assessment process that predominantly informed the minister’s funding decisions, rather than Sport Australia’s process.”

The report also suggests the entire scheme may have been illegal, with no apparent legal authority for the minister to make these decisions.

“It is not evident to the ANAO what the legal authority was,” it said.

Former government lawyer Ian Cunliffe believes the scheme is open to legal challenge by unsuccessful applicants.

“If it was [an application worth] half a million dollars and I was on the board of one of the sports bodies involved I would be pushing very strongly that it be done,” Mr Cunliffe said last year.

Deserving projects missed out

The report highlighted decisions where positively assessed applications missed out on funding.

In the then Labor-held Tasmanian electorate of Braddon — identified as a ‘targeted’ electorate by the minister — the fourth and fifth-ranked applications were approved in round one, but the highest-ranked application (with a score of 93) was not approved for funding in any round.

The auditor-general found reasons for funding decisions were not clearly documented.

The approach caused problems for Sport Australia, which was unable to provide feedback to unsuccessful applicants.

“Sport Australia was unable to communicate the full and actual reasons for the rejection of their application, or otherwise provide those applicants with advice on the reasons for their application being unsuccessful,” the report stated.

Kate Palmer alongside Mike Baird and Stuart Ayers

PHOTO: Sport Australia chief executive Kate Palmer (centre) during her period in charge of Netball Australia. (AAP: Paul Miller)

The auditor-general also recommended Sport Australia address problems of conflict of interest, noting an “undeclared and unmanaged conflict of interest involving a senior Sport Australia employee” with responsibility for the program.

“There is a risk that the sport linked to this organisation was provided with a competitive advantage compared to other sports and potential applicants by that Sport Australia employee,” the report said.

“Sport Australia advised the ANAO that it took action in relation to this issue.”

Sport Australia chief executive Kate Palmer is stepping down this month.

Ms Palmer is not the senior Sport Australia employee referenced in the report in relation to the conflict of interest.

Liberal candidate for Mayo Georgina Downer hands over a novelty cheque to the Yankalilla Bowling Club.

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-15/government-sport-grants-targeted-marginal-seats-audit-office/11870292

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JAMES MURDOCH Attacks NEWS CORPs Climate Change Coverage

In Australia, News Corp has been criticised by some politicians, scientists and members of the public in recent years for airing the views of commentators who deny that humans are contributing to the warming of the planet.

The World Today

with Eleanor Hall, Sarah Dingle

James Murdoch and his wife Kathryn arrive for a wedding reception.

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James Murdoch attacks News Corp’s climate change coverage

By David Sparkes on The World Today

Download James Murdoch attacks News Corp’s climate change coverage (2.00 MB) Download 2.00 MB

They are the most powerful media dynasty in the world and now a very public division is opening up in the Murdoch family over how their companies cover climate change.

In Australia, News Corp has been criticised by some politicians, scientists and members of the public in recent years for airing the views of commentators who deny that humans are contributing to the warming of the planet.

And this morning, Rupert Murdoch’s son, James, has attacked the company’s reporting on the issue in light of Australia’s bushfire crisis.

Duration: 4min 22secBroadcast: Wed 15 Jan 2020, 12:22pm

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SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/worldtoday/james-murdoch-attacks-news-corps-climate-change-coverage/11869854

James Murdoch slams News Corp for denying climate facts

‘ … The majority of people who work here agree with James. We are hoping this may be the tipping point.’ Comment from an Executive …

AUDIO FROM THE ABC THE WORLD TODAY: https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.com/2020/01/15/james-murdoch-attacks-news-corps-climate-change-coverage/

James Murdoch slams News Corp for denying climate facts

James Murdoch and his climate activist wife Kathryn slammed News Corp for perpetuating climate myths. Photo: Getty/ TND

As his country of origin burns, Rupert Murdoch is being slammed for how his businesses promote coverage and commentary that ignores – or totally contradicts – facts about man-made climate change’s role in the bushfire catastrophe.

Now, in what is perhaps a sign the smoky winds of change are blowing within the powerful media empire, Murdoch’s youngest son has broken ranks to call out the untruths.

James Murdoch, 47, joined his climate activist wife Kathryn in publicly shaming media giants News Corp and Fox News for their coverage on Australia’s bushfire crisis.

James and Kathryn Murdoch at Rupert Murdoch’s 2016 marriage to Jerry Hall. Photo: Getty

In a rare public statement, the couple expressed their deep disappointment with the Murdoch media empire.

“Kathryn and James’ views on climate are well established and their frustration with some of the News Corp and Fox coverage of the topic is also well known,” a spokesperson told The Daily Beast.

“They are particularly disappointed with the ongoing denial among the news outlets in Australia given obvious evidence to the contrary.”

There has been a growing chorus of voices calling out Murdoch-owned mastheads for reporting and commentary that downplays manmade climate change’s role in the ferocious fires burning across Australia’s eastern seaboard.

Commentary in Murdoch-owned mastheads – The Australian, the Herald Sun, and The Daily Telegraph – as well as Sky News, has repeatedly included references to climate concerns being “alarmist”.

The Australian has repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past – a claim which scientists have slammed as untrue.

Rupert Murdoch said at last year’s annual general meeting there were no climate change deniers in the News Corp ranks. But the words of high-profile commentators printed in the pages of the Murdoch mastheads and spouting denialist views oSky tell a different story.

And Australians, and audiences overseas, are increasingly connecting dots between the rhetoric and misinformation in the Murdoch press and the federal government’s response to the bushfires.

Not everyone on the News Corp payroll is denying climate change, of course. Just the loudest voices, the well paid who are put up in lights.

Staff have told The New Daily about a deep discomfort with the way bushfire stories are being covered.

Just last week, News Corp finance manager Emily Townsend hit out at News Corp executive chairman Michael Miller after he sent a company-wide email spruiking how much the company had been helping bushfire-affected communities.

So far the bushfires have claimed 28 lives, destroyed more than 2000 homes and burnt through more than ten million hectares of land. (12 million Hectares: search for report.)

Ms Townsend had been so “severely impacted by the coverage of News Corp publications in relation to the fires” that she found it “unconscionable to continue working for this company”, she wrote.

Rupert Murdoch with his sons James (right) and Lachlan (left) at a wedding in 2016. Photo: Getty

While the public statement was a rare move by James Murdoch, he has previously distanced himself from the views presented on Fox News.

“There are views I really disagree with on Fox (News),” he told the New Yorker in September last year.

Daily Beast claimed the $9 million in donations by Lachlan Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch and News Corp to Australian bushfire relief efforts were only made after the news site contacted them for a response to James’ statement.

An unnamed News Corp executive was quoted as saying the couple was deliberately out to attack the Murdoch family, especially considering James’ older brother, Lachlan, is currently in charge of overseeing the Fox News Channel.

“They are pissing inside the tent and that’s unusual. It’s evidence of how high tensions are within the family over climate change. The majority of people who work here agree with James. We are hoping this may be the tipping point,” the executive said in a statement to The Daily Beast.

SOURCE: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/15/james-murdoch-wife-kathryn-climate-change/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Morning%20News%20-%2020200115

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In the face of a bushfire catastrophe, our national conversation is still run by politics

A firefighter walks along a road with flames in front of him. Smoke is everywhere.

PHOTO: The Eyre Highway reopened on Friday after being closed for 12 days because of bushfires. (DFES: Evan Collis)

It is apparently OK to canvas the misleading idea that the fires have been primarily caused by arson, or deliberately insufficient hazard reductionwhich experts including NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons have rejected. *

But it apparently isn’t OK to simply say that clearly the climate has changed (even to say that without saying because it’s due to, you know, CLIMATE CHANGE)

ANALYSIS

In the face of a bushfire catastrophe, our national conversation is still run by politics

7.30 By Laura Tingle

Updated Sat

11 JANUARY 2020

RELATED STORY: Bushfires could kickstart a new crisis for Australia’s rivers

RELATED STORY: ‘The world is utterly perplexed’: As Australia burns, is our reputation at risk?

RELATED STORY: Can Morrison live down his George W Bush moment?RELATED STORY: This has not been Morrison’s finest moment, to put it mildly

The Eyre Highway reopened on Friday after being closed for 12 days because of bushfires.

You might not have driven on the Eyre Highway. But unless you want to take the long route north via Kununurra, it is the only sealed highway linking eastern Australia with Western Australia.

The Kings Highway is expected to be closed for most of January. That’s the highway that links Canberra with the south coast.

Parts of that road are said to have just melted down the steep sides of Clyde Mountain in fires that have burnt virtually all of the bush from Braidwood to Batemans Bay.

Many communities across the country have been told to boil their drinking water because of contamination linked to bushfires — either by ash, such as in Tenterfield, or by the mixing of water supplies during firefighting, as has happened on the NSW south coast.

Dirty water runoff after bushfires in Tenterfield.

PHOTO: Bushfire ash contaminated the runoff after much-needed rain in Tenterfield. (Image supplied; Julie King)

And that’s the case for the communities that have not simply just run out of water.

There are concerns that Sydney’s water supply could be severely affected in months to come if the ash from huge areas of burnt out bush around Warragamba Dam, which provides 80 per cent of Sydney’s water, runs into the dam after heavy rainfall.

The bizarre state of our national conversation

It’s hard to take pictures of closed highways, or compromised water supplies.

But these examples give just some idea of the knock-on effects of fires like those we have seen this catastrophic summer.Can Morrison live down his George W Bush moment?
Scott Morrison has had some perplexing failures of political and policy judgement in recent weeks, writes Laura Tingle.

We are leaving aside, for a moment, the human trauma and loss in fire grounds, and the latest estimate from Australian Academy of Science Fellow, Professor Chris Dickman, that 1 billion animals have now been killed in the bushfires — a figure that includes mammals, birds and reptiles, but not bats, frogs, insects or other invertebrates.

Our political leaders are, so often, so much more comfortable framing crises in economic or national security terms, particularly when traumatised people don’t want to shake their hands.

If it was sabotage that had closed our major arterial highways — like the Eyre or even the Princes Highway down the east coast (as it was in multiple locations for many days) — you can imagine the sort of political rhetoric and hysteria that would have been going on at the moment.

But instead, we continue to have this bizarre situation continuing where a few belligerent types in politics — and very noisy ones in the mediaseem to set the limits of our conversation.

*It is apparently OK to canvas the misleading idea that the fires have been primarily caused by arson, or deliberately insufficient hazard reductionwhich experts including NSW Rural Fire Services Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons have rejected. *

But it apparently isn’t OK to simply say that clearly the climate has changed (even to say that without saying because it’s due to, you know, climate change).

A single joey lost in burnt bushland

PHOTO: There are estimates that one billion animals have now been killed in the bushfires. (Supplied: Ryan Pollock)

When an issue is not an issue

Climate change as a possible linkage with the fires is sometimes referred to as “issues”, or even “issues contributing to the event”.

Sometimes the bushfires are boldly linked to the drought (which of course, may just also be linked to “issues”).

10 years of climate policy inertia
Ten years ago one man’s plan blew apart Australia’s two great parties irrevocably just as they teetered toward consensus on climate change, the most divisive issue of the Australian political century.

The Prime Minister hit the airwaves on Thursday night and Friday morning, talking about the various measures the Government has put in place in the last week or so, including calling out Defence Force reservists and $2 billion of funding (various) for bushfire relief.

It’s hard not to listen to these interviews though, and get the sense that he is rattling off an alibi; that he remains on the defensive.

On Melbourne radio on Friday, for example, he was asked whether this might be the new normal — very long fire seasons, affecting many different parts of the country — which might require a new permanent mechanism to deal with it

These were obviously issues to be considered, Scott Morrison said.

“I mean, we stood this [the ADF reservists] up last Saturday,” he responded.

VIDEO: Scott Morrison defends the Government’s response to the bushfires (7.30)

“We had it moving several days before. We’d actually run a trial process for the call out back in November to ensure that we were in a position to be able to roll that out should that become necessary. And it did become necessary.

“I mean, the scale of these fires going across two very large jurisdictions reached an unprecedented level and that required an unprecedented response at that time and one was delivered and delivered very quickly.”

Shockwaves keep going wider

The economic impact of these fires has not been limited this time around to people who have lost homes or businesses, or even small communities.

Vast swathes of coastal NSW and Victoria have lost their most lucrative trading seasons. They have often also been cut for days, by road, telecommunications and power.

Morrison’s fires response has put his political judgement in question
Within the Government, there is widespread acknowledgement that Scott Morrison’s Midas touch has gone missing, writes David Speers.

Businesses in towns like Braidwood and Bungendore, which have long prospered on the holiday traffic from Canberra to the coast, say their streets are like ghost towns.

The newly appointed recovery coordinator for southern NSW, retired deputy police commissioner Dick Adams, told a local paper this week: “Eden has lost their mill, Mt Selwyn has lost their whole resort, softwood plantations in Tumut, dairy in Bega, apple orchards in Batlow…

“What we’ve found, is when bushfire is impacting these areas and people are evacuated out, some may not return. We need to work to get people back.”

There is some emergency financial assistance from the Federal Government for people who have lost everything, and grants to local governments who have to repair roads. And state governments provide some low interest loans for small businesses in trouble.

But the shockwaves keep going wider.

Even in Canberra, where luckily fires haven’t yet hit, hotels are reporting that around 15 per cent of bookings for January have been cut because the national capital has become infamous for literally having the worst air quality in the world thanks to bushfire smoke.

Chairlift destroyed by fire

PHOTO: Mt Selwyn’s slopes were barely recognisable after being gutted by fire. (Facebook: Andrew Newton)

A royal commission is pretty convenient

The point here is to simply document how these fires are affecting all sorts of aspects of our lives way beyond the terror they represent up close.

And that means they are also changing our political conversation, on everything from the environment to the role of government.

How climate change has impacted the world since your childhood
Global warming is already changing the world before our eyes — let’s see what has happened in your lifetime, and what’s in store for your future.

The Prime Minister has suggested there might be royal commission into all we can learn from these fires, including their causes, though of course he has not actually locked into calling one.

Excuse the cynicism, but doesn’t a possible royal commission — whatever its ultimate virtues — provide the perfect response in the short term for any question you don’t want to answer?

SmoCo sneaks home amid the ashes of his government

Photo: Macro Business

For example, “well that will be a matter for the royal commission to determine”.

A Government that has held on, at great cost to rational policy making, to a budget surplus now stuck together with sticky tape, will at least have an honourable reason to not meet its surplus target if it does actually start spending money because of our burning summer.

But the sort of ripple effects we are talking about here on the economy suggest very tough times ahead for the country as a whole — with the only really obvious positive a fire-led building boom.

The economy and national security are supposed to be the Coalition’s strong points.

Yet even in the face of a catastrophe that shows our infrastructure vulnerable, and the economy under threat, we are still overwhelmed with political management.

Laura Tingle is 7.30’s chief political correspondent.

Stay across our bushfire coverage:

A single joey lost in burnt bushland

SOURCE: https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-11/australia-bushfire-crisis-just-dont-mention-climate-change/11857590

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NEWS CORP Employee lashes MURDOCH reporting of Bushfires

News Corp's coverage of the Australian bushfire crisis has received attention from around the world.

News Corp’s coverage of the Australian bushfire crisis has received attention from around the world.CREDIT:NICK MOIR

HERE’s what some commentators had to say!

Paul

I’m surprised that state governments haven’t acted to curb News Corp i rresponsibility. Australian states are treated no better than South American countries by this American libertarian agency. Not only do they engage in character assassination of anyone leading positive change, we can now see they deliberately frustrate state governance, seed false arguments and destroy community wellbeing. This is an emergency, the planet and our capacity to transform human behaviour is at stake.

Mary-Anne Well said Paul. That self-entitled evil old man and his corrupt spawn should have the numbers 666 stamped on their foreheads. Australian citizens should demand the re-introduction of media concentration laws because no single person/organisation should ever be allowed to exert so much influence/manipulation over the national conversation. He has succeeded in stiffling important debate and dividing this nation by promoting tribalism rather than sensible rational discussion.

Brian You are forgetting how beholden our state and federal governments are to Rupert Murdoch and their dependence on him for re-election. We no longer have a free press in this country with the domination of News Corp.

Kate Thank you Emily Townsend. If only Murdoch journalists had your strength of character. They could join forces against their errant bosses. Surely they couldn’t all be sacked?

Belinda Maybe we should start a GoFundMe to financially liberate any News Corp reporters and staff who want to speak out. I think it would go nuts, imagine if even half the staff could quit and speak out without fear of losing their income. Imagine the truth that could come out. I think it would spread throughout other News Corp owned countries.

The email was highly critical of News Corp’s reporting.

Samantha Dick

Samantha Dick Reporter

COMMENT

A News Corp employee has slammed the organisation for spreading “climate change denial and lies” through “irresponsible” and “dangerous reporting” on Australia’s catastrophic bushfires.

In an email, obtained by The New Daily, Emily Townsend, a commercial finance manager at the company, hit out at executive chairman Michael Miller after he sent a company-wide email talking up all the ways News Corp is helping communities affected by the bushfire crisis.

In the email addressed to Mr Miller, which was was distributed to all News Corp Australia staff, Ms Townsend said she was grateful for the company’s fundraising efforts, but added that it did “not offset the impact News Corp reporting has had over the last few weeks”.

I have been severely impacted by the coverage of News Corp publications in relation to the fires, in particular the misinformation campaign that has tried to divert attention away from the real issue which is climate change to focus on arson (including misrepresenting facts),” Ms Townsend wrote.

I find it unconscionable to continue working for this company, knowing I am contributing to the spread of climate change denial and lies.”

The email was reportedly deleted from New Corp staff inboxes within an hour of it being sent.

A copy of Ms Townsend’s email obtained by The New Daily.

Four hours later on Friday afternoon, News Corp issued a statement to The New Daily on behalf of Mr Miller.

The statement claimed Ms Townsend had resigned in December and was due to leave News Corp shortly.

“We respect Ms Townsend’s right to hold her views, but we do not agree with them,” the statement reads.

“Our coverage has recognised that Australia is having a serious conversation about climate change and how to respond to it,” it said.

“However, it has also reflected there are a variety of views and opinions about the current fire crisis. The role of arsonists and policies that may have contributed to the spread of fire are, therefore, legitimate stories to report in the public interest.

“Contrary to what some critics have argued, News Corp does not deny climate change or the gravity of its threat. However, we – as is the traditional role of a publisher – do report a variety of views and opinions on the issue and many others that are important in the public discourse on the fires.”

Rupert Murdoch’s influential newspapers and television stations have been widely criticised in recent weeks for spreading misinformation about climate change during Australia’s out-of-control bushfires.

The Australian has repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past – a claim which scientists have slammed as untrue.

Ms Townsend’s decision to write a damning letter condemning News Corp’s coverage has been welcomed by some current and former employees of the company.

The New Daily is aware of a growing discomfort among News Corp employees with how reporting on the crisis is being handled.

While afraid to speak openly for fear of reprisals from the company, some News Corp employees were quietly cheering their colleague’s stance.

One current employee described it as “huge”, while another said it was “amazing”.

“We’re all pretty thrilled,” another current news reporter said.

So far, more than 12 million acres have burned, and more of New South Wales has been burned in 2019 alone than the previous 15 years combined.

This week, an independent study also found online bots and trolls had been exaggerating the role of arson in the fires, at the same time that an article in The Australian that made similar claims started trending on the newspaper’s website.

murdoch news corp bushfire

SOURCE: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/10/news-corp-employee-lashes-bushfire-reporting/?utm_source=Adestra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=News%20Alert%20-%202020110%20PM

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I'm Scotty the Marketing Man …

Image may contain: text

Mark David Cartoons: 5 January 2020

From a CAAN Contributor, JV …

I’m Scotty the Marketing man
I’m lying as hard as I can
I’ll say I’m terrific
But I’m never specific
I’m your useless, Narcissistic PM
Toot toot.

(sung to Popeye the Sailor Man )

There once was a PM called Scotty
Whose actions in Govt were….. spotty
When asked what he did
He said “I just fib!”
I’m Scotty the Marketing Wally.

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https://caanhousinginequalitywithaussieslockedout.wordpress…Mark David CartoonsJanuary 5 at 8:37 AM ·