WHY are Young Aussies Relying on the Bank of Mum and Dad?

AUSTRALIA needs to talk!

With the Australian property bubble back in full swing, the ‘bank of mum and dad’ is again on the rise. How did this happen?

HOW come the property bubble was in a Slump … to return full swing in late 2019 to now in January 2020?

WE suggest this explains how come … It’s not only RAY WHITE … but they’re all onto it!

This flyer ‘Showcase Your Home to local and OVERSEAS Clients like no other agency’ … turned up in our letterbox a few days ago!


-dedicated CHINA Desk services in Australia interest

-property listings on Juwai.com, the largest international property portal in CHINA

THIS has been enabled by:

-the FIRB Ruling allowing developers to sell 100% of ‘new homes’ overseas

Scomo Government exempted Real Estate Gatekeepers from Anti-Money Laundering Laws in October 2018

.that’s real estate agents, lawyers and accountants

CAAN has shared reports from Macro Business, other Economists and experts that disprove much misinformation circulating … they can be found on our Website. See link below!

No photo description available.

OBVIOUSLY … this marketing in China is the causation of the BOOM for more ‘Hot Money’ awash in our Real Estate … the Chinese can splash the cash and outbid Aussies … it’s all part of Xi’s Plan …

-there’s 1.4 Billion of them

-they want what we have!

AND keen sellers are readily found …

THAT’s why where we live is being OVERDEVELOPED … and we have no rights!

MEANWHILE … in Australia we have

-high unemployment at 19.7% not a mere 5.2% reported by Scomo Govt

high youth unemployment and underemployment due to high competition for jobs from Visa workers accepting low wages with a view to gaining a ‘Permanent Resident Visa’

lowest wages growth for 60 years; insecure contract work

-the first home buyers deposit scheme has been described as a scab grab


AUSTRALIA … that’s why we need to talk!


AND gather together in your street and make your objections to your local MPs!

‘Bank of mum and dad’: Aussie adults relying on parents for housing costs and everyday expenses, survey finds

More than half of Australian parents are providing financial support for their adult children.

‘Bank of mum and dad’: Aussie adults relying on parents for housing costs and everyday expenses, survey finds


The “bank of mum and dad” is helping adult children with not only housing costs but everything from fuel and phone bills to holidays, a new survey shows.

More than half of Australian parents surveyed subsidise the lifestyles of their adult children, with almost 40 per cent letting them live rent-free and about the same proportion paying for their groceries.

About one in three parents help pay for mobile phones, internet or other bills, according to a survey by comparison platform Finder, while one in five pay for some or all of their children’s holidays.

*Another 15 per cent lent or gifted money for a home deposit, 15 per cent charged lower rents, 5 per cent went guarantor on a home loan and 4 per cent helped with mortgage payments.

About a third of parents are helping their adult children pay for their mobile phones or other bills.
About a third of parents are helping their adult children pay for their mobile phones or other bills. Photo: Getty Images

Rising property prices, particularly the return to price growth seen in Sydney and Melbourne after their market slumps, have raised fresh worries about how aspiring home owners can afford to get onto the property ladder.

“As a parent myself, it does concern me that we are seeing a future generation that relies on their parents for everything,” said Kate Browne, a personal finance expert at Finder.

“We know that a lot of younger people do rely on the family to help bolster them when trying to scrape enough money together for a home deposit … but we were surprised [by how many are helping with] day-to-day costs.”

The survey of 1020 adults included 419 parents who all had children over 18, and found about 16 per cent paid for or subsidised tertiary studies. Some 22 per cent paid for car-related costs such as registration and petrol, while similar numbers (21 per cent) paid for transport and part or all of their child’s car.

While this may suggest they had very young adult children, Ms Browne said, a quarter surveyed were also providing free childcare for grandchildren.

“We’re looking at a generation of ageing Australians providing an awful lot of childcare, and ageing parents potentially putting themselves at financial risk to support their adult children,” Ms Browne said.

Pay for groceries39%
Free rent38%
Paying for bills (broadband, mobile phone, energy)35%
Provide free childcare25%
Paying for car-related costs (rego, petrol, car insurance)22%
Paid for part or all of car21%
Paying for transport21%
Paying for some or all of holidays20%
Paying for/subsidising tertiary education16%
Charging low rent15%
Loan/money for a home deposit15%
Helped with wedding costs13%
Going/went guarantor for their home loan5%
Help them pay their mortgage4%
Source: Finder. Note: Survey was conducted in December 2019.

Rising property prices meant relying on the bank of mum and dad for help with a home deposit had become “a fact of life” for many, Ms Browne said. However she noted such help made it even harder for other first-home buyers, who couldn’t get funds from their parents, to get onto the property ladder.

While some would be able to get assistance under the recently launched federal government First Home Loan Deposit Scheme, only 10,000 of the 100,000 or so first-home buyers who enter the market each financial year will be able to get assistance. All 3000 spaces released so far have already been reserved.

The great disparity between wage growth and property prices growth in recent years had made it more common for younger generations to rely on the bank of mum and dad, said social researcher Ashley Fell from McCrindle Research.

“They’re living at home for longer to alleviate some of the costs that they face,” she said. “The stigma of living at home into your late 20s has been removed, everyone knows the housing market is tough.”

Millennials and small homes. A young woman makes pancakes for breakfast.
Almost 40 per cent of parents are helping pay for their adult children’s groceries. Photo: iStock

Younger generations are also more likely to study at university, enter the workforce later and are delaying traditional life markers such as having children and getting married, Ms Fell says. Even some Millennials who had children were moving back to the parental nest, she noted.

“They’re starting earning years later in life and stating with a greater debt,” she said. “We also know they have a great desire to travel, so they’ve got competing priorities in terms of savings.”

While giving financial help for other expenses had become more acceptable, even expected by some, Ms Browne urged parents to choose wisely.

“Helping your kids in any way you can is how many see the job of a parent, but mum and dad need to make sure they aren’t hurting themselves in the process,” she said.

Ms Fell said: “A negative impact of this next generation staying at home longer is parents need to and already are working longer.”

Ms Browne added it was also important for adults to become financially responsible.

Urging your kids to learn the fundamentals of finance and money is really important, experts say. Photo: Stocksy

“When learning to look after yourself financially, you learn through experience … until you’ve moved out of home, blown all your money and can’t afford your groceries, you don’t really learn the importance of budgeting,” she said.

“[And] if you’re going to keep getting bailed out by mum and dad, it’ s probably not a lesson you’re going to learn.”

Weighing up how to financially support adult children is a situation faced by many parents, according to wealth coach Jackson Millan, chief executive of Aureus Financial, who believes it is important to enforce good money management habits early.

“A bank wouldn’t continue to lend money without a clear strategy … without an end in mind, the bank of mum and dad should be the same,” he said. “If kids are employed but they still need help with bills, rent and their car, you may not be setting a good long-term behaviour pattern if you help them.”

Parents will always look to support children in times of hardship if they can, Mr Millan says, and try help them take the very difficult first step onto the property ladder. But, he said, paying for negotiable expenses and “nice to haves” such as holidays could set a bad precedent and encourage children to live beyond their means.

Mr Millan said it was best to treat the root cause, rather than treating money shortfalls with a Band-Aid solution.

“Financial literacy is not taught as it should be at schools,” he added. “So urging your kids to learn the fundamentals of finance and money is really important.”

SOURCE: https://www.domain.com.au/news/bank-of-mum-and-dad-aussie-adults-relying-parents-for-housing-costs-and-everyday-expenses-survey-finds-920638/





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


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


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





80% of BLUE MOUNTAINS and 50% of GONDWANA Rainforests burn in Bushfires!

IT would appear government focus has been in all the wrong places … of GROWTH … and ever more ECONOMIC GROWTH …

‘It’s heart-wrenching’: 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of Gondwana rainforests burn in bushfires

Guardian Australia analysis reveals the frightening amount of world heritage area burned in Australia’s ongoing fire crisis

Supported by About this content

Lisa Cox and Nick Evershed



The Grose Valley fire in the Blue Mountains area of Lithgow and Blackheath, New South Wales
 The unprecedented bushfires could affect the diversity of eucalypts for which the Blue Mountains is recognised. Photograph: CPOA Brett Kennedy/Commonwealth of Australia/PA

At least 80% of the Blue Mountains world heritage area and more than 50% of the Gondwana world heritage rainforests have burned in Australia’s ongoing bushfire crisis.

The scale of the disaster is such that it could affect the diversity of eucalypts for which the Blue Mountains world heritage area is recognised, said John Merson, the executive director of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute.

The data is based on a Guardian Australia analysis of areas burned in New South Wales and Queensland and was confirmed by the NSW government.

Guardian Australia reported in December that 20% of the Blue Mountains world heritage area had been affected by fire in the early months of the crisis.

Four times that amount has now burned in what Merson said were fires of a scale that “has never happened before”.

“This is totally, totally unique. As everybody keeps saying, it’s unprecedented,” he said.

How big are the fires burning in Australia? Interactive map

 Read more

The Blue Mountains world heritage area covers one million hectares of national park and bushland and is dominated by temperate eucalypt forest.

The area is renowned for the diversity of its vegetation and is home to about a third of the world’s eucalypt species.

While most are fire-adapted and can regenerate, many of the species depend on long intervals between fires, Merson said.

“We had a very large fire in 2013. It’s only six years after that,” he said.

“The eucalypts can be very badly reduced in diversity if fires come through in too short and intense intervals. Their numbers will virtually collapse.”

He said the full impact on tree species and wildlife would not be known until more assessments were done as fire grounds became accessible.

But there are concerns about the effect on breeding and feeding habitats for species including the spotted-tail quoll and the brush-tailed rock-wallaby.

The fires have also burnt swamp communities that release water slowly and are important water resources. They flow into streams that feed into Sydney’s water supply and provide water for wildlife.

It was revealed this week that a rescue mission by NSW fire crews was able to save the only known natural grove of Wollemi pines, so-called “dinosaur trees” that fossil records show existed up to 200m years ago.

Merson said the fires had entered areas that had not burnt previously and the need for the rescue mission was indicative of the intensity of the fires in the region.

Play Video0:55 Prehistoric Wollemi pines saved by firefighters from Australia’s bushfires – video

“This is climate change in its most fundamental form,” he said.

“This is right in our face. We’re living it.”

Further north, the fires have devastated parts of the Gondwana rainforest world heritage area, a collection of reserves of subtropical rainforest that span 366,500 hectares across NSW and Queensland.

Guardian Australia used newly released data which combines all burned areas in NSW and Queensland since 1 July 2019, and calculated the area of overlap with world heritage areas.

This analysis shows 53% of the Gondwana rainforest area has burned.

Guardian Australia spoke to Mark Graham, an ecologist with the Nature Conservation Council of NSW, in December.

Graham is based in the Bellinger Valley near some of these fires.

He said since December there had been “significant, additional fire in areas that hadn’t burned” in Barrington Tops.

“The Tweed Valley is the only significant area of Gondwana that hasn’t experienced any fire,” Graham said.

“Everywhere else has. It’s taken a massive hit.

“It’s heart-wrenching. It’s disturbing. It’s frightening.”

Graham said his area had experienced some rain in recent weeks but there were now concerns that sediment washed into the Bellinger River has affected the food sources for the critically endangered Bellinger River snapping turtle.

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment said understanding the impact of the fires on both world heritage areas was a priority.

Record-breaking 4.9m hectares of land burned in NSW this bushfire season

 Read more

“Analysis will improve as the forests becomes safe to enter and the smoke clears, enabling accurate satellite and aerial imagery to help guide our assessment and on work on ground,” he said.

He said both regions contained a mixture of forest types, some of which was adapted for fire, but others that were more sensitive to fire, such as dense rainforest.

Jess Abrahams, the nature campaigner for the Australian Conservation Foundation, said climate change was hitting Australia’s world heritage areas “very hard”.

“We have witnessed consecutive years of devastating coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef, while global heating has been described as a catastrophic risk to the Wet Tropics and Shark Bay world heritage areas,” he said.

“It’s really upsetting to see how much of the Blue Mountains world heritage area has been burnt.

“This is a place many Australians know and love. It has significant Indigenous cultural values and is home to a number of rare and threatened species.


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Environmental investigations

Environmental investigations reporting supported by the Limb Family Foundation

A firefighter is lowered from a helicopter hovering above the Wollemi stand.

PHOTO: SMH: A firefighter is lowered from a helicopter hovering above the Wollemi stand.





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





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





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)


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






Kylie Minogue sits on a chair in a red swimsuit on Sandringham Beach.

PHOTO: Sandringham Beach is used as part of a joke about the Queen’s Christmas speech. (Supplied)

NOT only will many tourists steer clear of bushfire smokin Austraya … but the World-wide media has been very critical of the Scomo Government handling of this disaster … and of the Scomo/Australian Government stance on CLIMATE CHANGE …

THIS is not going away …

Tourism industry king hit by bushfires

By Leith van Onselen in Australian Economy

10 JANUARY 2020


Australia’s tourism industry is Australia’s fifth biggest export, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade:

Export revenues have also roughly doubled since 2013:

However, there are widespread concerns that the bushfire crisis will stop international tourists from visiting Australia, smashing the industry alongside export revenue.

Overnight, the US Department of State urged American tourists not to visit those parts of Australia affected by bushfires until the risk of fire has passed, noting that the fires might continue until April.

A woman sits in a shop filled with hats and scarves

PHOTO: Fiona Mutton is the fourth generation owner of Len Mutton & Co, a small dress and homewares store in Braidwood. (ABC News: Andrew Kennedy) … this is horrific for small businesses in our country towns relying on passing tourist trade!

US tourists are also being advised that smoke is causing poor air quality in areas not directly impacted by the fires.

Around 800,000 US tourists visit Australia each year, ranking behind China and New Zealand as Australia’s biggest source of tourists.

With Australia’s bushfires garnering a huge amount of global media attention, we risk a widespread global boycott of Australia by foreign tourists.

When added to lower tourism flows by domestic travellers, the economic impact could be profound. And this comes at a time when the private sector is already in recession:

Leith Van Onselen

Leith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs.

Kylie Minogue fronts the Matesong campaign in the biggest Tourism Australia investment in the UK for more than a decade.

Kylie Minogue fronts the Matesong campaign in the biggest Tourism Australia investment in the UK for more than a decade.

SOURCE: https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2020/01/tourism-industry-king-hit-by-bushfires/#comments





How Rupert Murdoch is influencing Australia’s bushfire debate

READ … it is self-evident … bleedin’ obvious that the ‘Limited News’ message is making headway … with what it has also done in the United States and Britain shift blame to the left, protect conservative leaders and divert attention from climate change.

-once those seeds of doubt are planted it stops an important conversation from taking place

-with Murdoch outlets condemning protestors; editorials arguing against radical climate change policy; emphasising the need for more back-burning

echoing between officialdom and Murdoch media that has many people so concerned


Australia would be a better country without News. Of course it would be. Either it changes, or we do.


How Rupert Murdoch is influencing Australia’s bushfire debate

Rupert Murdoch bushfires

The New York Times believes there is a specific bushfire agenda in the Murdoch owned mediaPhoto: New York Times/Matthew Abbott


Damien Cave


Deep in the burning forests south of Sydney this week, volunteer firefighters were clearing a track through the woods, hoping to hold back a nearby blaze, when one of them shouted over the crunching of bulldozers.

“Don’t take photos of any trees coming down,” he said. “The greenies will get a hold of it, and it’ll all be over.”

*The idea that “greenies” or environmentalists would oppose measures to prevent fires from ravaging homes and lives is simply false.

*But the comment reflects a narrative that’s been promoted for months by conservative Australian media outlets, especially the influential newspapers and television stations owned by Rupert Murdoch.

*And it’s far from the only Murdoch-fueled claim making the rounds. His standard-bearing national newspaper, The Australian, has also repeatedly argued that this year’s fires are no worse than those of the past – not true, scientists say, noting that 12 million acres have burned so far, with 2019 alone scorching more of New South Wales than the previous 15 years combined.

*And on Wednesday, Murdoch’s News Corp, the largest media company in Australia, was found to be part of another wave of misinformation. An independent study found online bots and trolls exaggerating the role of arson in the fires, at the same time that an article in The Australian making similar assertions became the most popular offering on the newspaper’s website.

*It’s all part of what critics see as a relentless effort led by the powerful media outlet to do what it has also done in the United States and Britain shift blame to the left, protect conservative leaders and divert attention from climate change.

*“It’s really reckless and extremely harmful,” said Joëlle Gergis, an award-winning climate scientist at the Australian National University.“It’s insidious because it grows. Once you plant those seeds of doubt, it stops an important conversation from taking place.” *

Rupert Murdoch bushfires
Critics accuse the Murdoch media protecting conservative leaders and diverting attention from climate changePhoto: Getty

News Corp denied playing such a role.

“Our coverage has recognised Australia is having a conversation about climate change and how to respond to it,” the company said in an email. “The role of arsonists and policies that may have contributed to the spread of fire are, however, legitimate stories to report in the public interest.”

*Yet, for many critics, the Murdoch approach suddenly looks dangerous. They are increasingly connecting News Corp to the spread of misinformation and the government’s lacklustre response to the fires.

*They argue that the company and the Coalition led by Prime Minister Scott Morrison are responsible – together, as a team – for the failure to protect a country that scientists say is more vulnerable to climate change than any other developed nation.

Editors and columnists for News Corp were among the loudest defenders of Mr Morrison after he faced blowback for vacationing in Hawaii as the worst of the fire season kicked off in December.

In late December, ‘the Oz’, as the News Corp-owned paper is known in Australia, heavily promoted an interview with the government’s energy minister, Angus Taylor, warning that “top-down” pressure from the United Nations to address climate change would fail — followed by an opinion piece from Mr Taylor on New Year’s Eve.

Other News Corp outlets followed a similar playbook. Melbourne’s Herald Sun, for example, pushed news of the bushfires to Page four on New Year’s Eve, even as they threatened to devastate towns nearby and push thick smoke into the city.

Days later, residents in a town nearly flattened by the fires heckled and snubbed Mr Morrison during a visit to assess the damage. A new hire for Murdoch’s Sky News channel, Chris Smith, branded them “ferals”.

The PM left fire-ravaged Cobargo amid a deluge of jeers.: Photo Channel Nine

As is often the case at Murdoch outlets around the world, there have been exceptions to the company line — an article about Australian golfer Greg Norman’s declaration that “there is climate change taking place”; an interview with an international expert who explained why this year’s fires are unique.

*The Australian Greens party has made clear that it supports such hazardreduction burns, issuing a statement online saying so.

*Climate scientists do acknowledge that there is room for improvement when it comes to burning the branches and dead trees on the ground that can fuel fires. But they also say that no amount of preventive burning will offset the impact of rising temperatures that accelerate evaporation, dry out land and make already-arid Australia a tinderbox.

Even fire officials report that most of the offseason burns they want to do are hindered not by land-use laws but by weather — including the lengthier fire season and more extreme precipitation in winter that scientists attribute to climate change.

Still, the Murdoch outlets continue to resist. “On a dry continent prone to deadly bushfires for centuries, fuel reduction through controlled burning is vital,” said an editorial published Thursday in The Australian.

*It went on to add: “Changes to climate change policy, however, would have no immediate impact on bushfires” a stance that fits hand in glove with government officials’ frequent dismissals of the “bogey man of climate change.”

*It’s that echoing between officialdom and Murdoch media that has many people so concerned.*

NSW bushfire
*NSW RFS boss Shane Fitzsimmons has dismissed the cure-all of fuel reduction: Photo: AAP *

“Leaders should be held to account and they should be held to account by the media,” said Penny Sackett, a physicist, astronomer and former chief scientist for Australia.

Of course, it is often hard to know just how much influence any media company has.

Gerard Henderson, a columnist for The Australian, said he didn’t think there was much need to address climate change because it was already a focal point across the rest of the media.

“It’s hard to distract from climate change because it’s spoken about constantly,” he said.

*But there are signs that the Murdoch message is making headway – at least in terms of what people make a priority.

*Many firefighters working the smoky hills south of Sydney hesitated to state their views on climate change this week (some said senior leaders had told them to avoid the issue). But they were quick to argue for more back-burning.

Similarly, in Bairnsdale, Tina Moon, whose farm was devastated by the fires, said she was mostly furious about the government’s failure to clear the land around her property.

“I don’t think it’s climate change,” she said.

-New York Times

SOURCE: https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/01/09/rupert-murdoch-bushfire-debate/





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.





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

Ross Garnaut's climate change prophecy is coming true and it's going to cost Australia billions, experts warn

Professor Garnaut

“Any quantitative estimates just scratch the surface.”

“And most Australians would feel that even greater than economic losses, are the loss of beautiful places of Australian historical significance.”

Ross Garnaut’s climate change prophecy is coming true and it’s going to cost Australia billions, experts warn

By business reporter Nassim Khadem

Updated  8 JANUARY 2020

Professor Ross Garnaut addresses the National Press Club in Canberra on March 17, 2011.

PHOTO: Professor Garnaut says quantitative estimates on the latest bushfires “just scratch the surface”. (AAP: Samuel Cardwell)

RELATED STORY: Missing man found as latest NSW fire destruction figures revealed

RELATED STORY: Military in seven-day race to bury hundreds of thousands of dead animals

RELATED STORY: Searching for injured animals in Victoria’s fire zone has left this carer ‘shattered’

RELATED STORY: Cost of bushfires in NSW, ACT ‘to double by 2050’

Twelve years ago, economist Ross Garnaut made a prophecy that has devastatingly come true.

Key points:

  • The insurance damage bill from the bushfires that began in September has risen to $700 million
  • Conservative estimates put the final cost well into the billions of dollars
  • Australia’s tourism industry could suffer, health costs could spike and there are warnings about more climate-related litigation

In the 2008 Garnaut Climate Change Review, which examined the impacts of climate change on the Australian economy, he predicted that without adequate action, the nation would face a more frequent and intense fire season by 2020.

Speaking to the ABC about the latest bushfires and the potential economic fallout, Professor Garnaut refrained from taking a direct shot at policymakers who ignored many of the review’s calls for action.

But he noted: “If you ignore the science when you build a bridge, the bridge falls down.”

“If you ignore the science when you build a plane, the plane crashes.”

The initial damage bill from Australian bushfires that began in September has risen to $700 million, according to Insurance Council of Australia estimates, and is likely to grow.

ICA’s Campbell Fuller told ABC News that 1,838 homes have been destroyed across Australia since September and there have been 8,985 insurance claims for fire-related damage and destruction.

But insured losses are just a small part of wider economic losses.

The total cost of the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires was estimated at $4.4 billion.

Conservative estimates put the final cost of the current Australian bushfires well into billions of dollars, while some analysts say it could cost the economy $20 billion in lost output.

Economist says cost could hit $3.5 billion

The head of economic analysis at SGS Economics and Planning, Terry Rawnsley, has done some early estimates on the economic cost of the bushfires.

Based on previous modelling of the Tathra fires in 2018, and taking account of $700 million worth of insured losses, the economic fallout from the latest fires could be as high as $3.5 billion, he said.

Between $2 billion to $3 billion includes the direct costs to fire-affected regions such as the loss of tourism and retail income, and the impact on agricultural production.

He predicts that some of the worst-affected communities will never fully recover.

And smoke haze in major capital cities could be an additional $500 million drag on the economy.

“These are places not directly impacted by bushfires, but people aren’t out and about, and people are calling in sick with respiratory and asthma illnesses,” he said.

The Yarra River and Melbourne skyline which is shrouded in a thick haze.

PHOTO: Smoke haze in major capital cities including Melbourne could be an additional $500 million drag on the economy, says SGS Economics. (ABC News: Cathy Jacobs)

Mr Rawnsley said while SGS Economics had modelled the loss of income from livestock such as sheep and cattle being destroyed, it had not modelled the actual loss of the assets (the loss of the sheep and cattle itself).

Professor Tom Kompas, one of three chief investigators in the Centre of Excellence for Biosecurity Risk Analysis (CEBRA) at the University of Melbourne, said the economic cost of the bushfires would be “massive”.

He said he intended to do precise modelling on the impact later this month.

Other bushfire insurance losses (normalised to 2017 dollars):

  • Black Saturday (2009): $1.76 billion
  • Ash Wednesday 1983 (Vic, SA, NSW): $2.46 billion
  • Canberra 2003 bushfires: $839.4 million
  • Victorian Alpine Bushfires 1985: $854 million

(Source: Insurance Council of Australia)

His earlier research on economic impacts of climate change had predicted $1.2 trillion in cumulative damages from now to 2050 assuming a global temperature increase of 3.8-4C by 2100.

But the $1.2 trillion in losses looks at infrastructure lost due to sea-level rise, losses in agricultural and labour productivity and limited human health and biodiversity impacts.

*“It does not include the cost of bushfires on infrastructure and resulting increases in insurance premiums,” he said.

“It also does not include damages from human health effects due to pollution and smoke-related illnesses, losses in tourism, losses to major environmental assets … or the costs of emergency management, recovery and relocation.”

Estimated $20 billion could be wiped off GDP

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver estimated a reduction of between 0.25 and 1 per cent in the level of national economic output as a result of the fires, which he forecast would show up mostly in the March quarter.

Based on Australia’s gross domestic product (GDP) of about $2 trillion, a 1 per cent drag could equate to about $20 billion.

Still, even a lesser 0.25 per cent hit would be a major drag on economic growth, in an already slowing economy.

“The economic costs will clearly run into billions of dollars,” Dr Oliver said.

Everyone would pay to some degree via higher premiums as insurance claims spiked, he said.

Fires reached Buchan in Victoria.

PHOTO: AMP’s Shane Oliver says growth from rebuilding efforts will not become apparent until the June quarter or even later in the year. (Facebook: Buchan Caves Hotel)

And while the Federal Government’s $2 billion cash injection was helpful and would assist rebuilding efforts, he said this lift in growth would not become apparent until the June quarter or even later in the year.

Economists at JP Morgan said in a research note that the immediate impacts on GDP remained hard to identify, but there would be a cost based on disruption to infrastructure and productive capital.

It said the Grattan Institute estimated that 80 per cent of Australia’s GDP comes from 0.2 per cent of its land mass (generally its most densely populated areas), while major bushfires mostly occur “in non-productive, non-residential, and non-cleared land”.

JP Morgan said there also could be “temporary offsetting positives to GDP”, for example, excess hours worked by public servants, increased outlays by charitable organisations and government transfers.

Domestic and international tourism to take a big hit

Tourism Australia was reluctant to provide early economic estimates, with a spokesman saying the organisation was still gathering feedback from industry and monitoring impacts on future bookings.

But he said based on past severe weather events and natural disasters, “tourism is an extremely resilient sector”.

Australian Tourism Industry Council (ATIC) executive director Simon Westaway estimated the cost to the tourism industry could be hundreds of millions of dollars.

He said it was too early to know the exact cost, as there could be a six to nine-month lag.

Rows of grapevines at Nicholson River Winery.

PHOTO: Tourism losses as a result of the fires are estimated to be in the hundreds of millions of dollars. (ABC News: Danny Tran)

The bushfires have impacted many parts of Australia during the peak of the holiday summer period, and could also hurt international inbound tourism due to global media coverage of the fires.

“We’re getting early indications people are cancelling their bookings,” Mr Westaway said.

“A number of our members are getting enquiries from Europe, with people asking whether it is safe to travel here [to Australia] three months down the track.”

According to data released by Tourism Research Australia in December, Australia welcomed more than 9 million overseas visitors in 2018-19, and the total spend by domestic tourists and international visitors was $146 billion.

Tourism is Australia’s fourth-largest export earner (behind iron ore, coal and natural gas), contributing $39.1 billion to Australia’s economy in 2018–19.

GDP from all tourism was $60.8 billion in 2018-19, an increase of 6 per cent on 2017–18.

“It [tourism] is a major industry and perception is really important,” Mr Westaway said.

More than 1 billion animals may be affected

Professor Chris Dickman at Sydney University has estimated more than 1 billion mammals, birds and reptiles may be affected by the bushfires.

He told the ABC that animals had been killed either directly by the flames, or could be killed indirectly by the lack of food, water and shelter resources in the burned environment, as well as predators such as feral cats and red foxes.

WWF-Australia chief executive Dermot O’Gorman said this heart-breaking loss included thousands of koalas on the mid-north coast of NSW, along with other iconic species such as kangaroos, wallabies, gliders, potoroos, cockatoos and honeyeaters.

The WWF also noted other losses including that of pollinators such as bees, moths and other insects, and the loss of trees.

A hand touching bees on the side of a beehive

PHOTO: A spokesman for WWF noted loss of pollinators such as bees would have a detrimental impact. (ABC News: Carl Saville)

“Many forests will take decades to recover and some species may have tipped over the brink of extinction,” Mr O’Gorman said.

There are also more emissions being released into the atmosphere from the bushfires themselves.

A spokeswoman for the CSIRO told the ABC: “As the fires are still burning across vast areas of Australia, an accurate analysis of the total carbon dioxide emissions released from the bushfires is not possible.”

Health impacts and climate-related litigation could rise

Dr John Iser from Doctors for the Environment, a group of medical professionals concerned about the health impacts of climate change, also said it was hard to predict the economic cost of the latest bushfires.

He said air pollution had risen above hazardous levels in many states, “but we really won’t know the outcome of all the recent pollution exposure for some months”.

“The particles in smoke get through to the bloodstream and there are other chemical compounds that are harmful for people who are prone to asthma and cardiovascular disease,” he said.

Dr Rebecca Patrick, co-lead of the Health Sustainability Research Group at Deakin University, predicted the start of a new decade could see the rise of climate litigation.

*She expected more human rights and environmental justice lawsuits to be filed against fossil fuel companies and high-emission sectors.

Morrison’s fires response has put his political judgement in question

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.

The risk of climate-related litigation is something Australia’s financial regulators have been warning about for a number of years now.

The Reserve Bank of Australia, the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission have also cited risks posed by climate change as a major concern for the economy and financial stability.

Professor Garnaut is reluctant to put a dollar figure on the latest bushfire catastrophe.

“Any quantitative estimates just scratch the surface,” he said.

“And most Australians would feel that even greater than economic losses, are the loss of beautiful places of Australian historical significance.”

Stay across our bushfire coverage:

Topics: business-economics-and-financeeconomic-trendsglobalisation—economyecologyclimate-changeclimate-change—disasterspollution-disasters-and-safetygovernment-and-politicsbushfirehousing-industryagriculturetourismaustralia

Contact Nassim Khadem

Ross Garnaut's climate change prophecy is coming true and it's 'going to cost the nation billions'

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