Rumours Will Hodgman would resign as Tasmanian premier had been circling, but it still came as a surprise


Rumours Will Hodgman would resign as Tasmanian premier had been circling, but it still came as a surprise

By state political reporter Alexandra Humphries

Updated 15 January 2020

HOTO: Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman called a surprise press conference to announce his resignation on Tuesday afternoon. (ABC News: Mitchell Woolnough )

PHOTO: Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman called a surprise press conference to announce his resignation on Tuesday afternoon. (ABC News: Mitchell Woolnough )

RELATED STORY: ‘I’ve given this job everything’: Will Hodgman resigns as Tasmanian Premier

With his family seated in the front row, Tasmanian Premier Will Hodgman faced the cameras on Tuesday afternoon to drop a bombshell — but not one that was entirely unexpected.Who will be Tasmania’s next premier?
Will Hodgman ruled out endorsing a successor during his resignation speech, but there are three names being thrown around as being in the mix, Alexandra Humphries writes.

After nearly two decades as a member of the state’s Parliament, and after serving as the Liberal Party’s leader for 14 years and premier for almost six, Mr Hodgman announced his intention to resign.

Having grown up in the spotlight, with his father Michael also a member of parliament, Mr Hodgman has a unique insight into the toll that politics can take on family.

His resignation speech made clear that toll was on his mind.

“It’s undeniable that it’s had an impact on my family,” he said.

He made mention that his 17 and a half years in Parliament encompassed his and wife Nicky’s “children’s whole lives”.

“It does have an impact on my family, and I cannot deny that I’m conscious of that — what they read in the paper and what they see on the news can affect them,” he said.

Surprise all in the timing

But even before Tuesday’s hastily announced press conference, there was plenty of speculation that Mr Hodgman would not stay on for his Government’s full second term — not due to end until 2022.Rhiana Whitson@rhianawhitson

I reckon most #politas observers would agree it seemed like his heart hadn’t been in it for a while. His tired lib state council address last year being one example. … via

@abcnewsTasmanian Premier Will Hodgman announces resignationTasmanian Premier Will Hodgman is resigning after almost two decades in politics, saying he believes it is the right time to allow for new

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What was unexpected about Mr Hodgman’s announcement was the timing.

His resignation puts to rest speculation that Mr Hodgman would stay on until surpassing Robin Gray’s seven years in the top job to become the state’s longest-serving Liberal Premier.

The Premier’s decision would undoubtedly have come as a shock to Cabinet Ministers when they were informed earlier in the day.

It also appeared to come as somewhat of a surprise to Mr Hodgman himself, after publicly stating as recently as December that he planned to stay on in the job.

(Though despite the short notice given to reporters ahead of the Tuesday afternoon press conference, Mr Hodgman had prepared a speech for the occasion.)

Space to play or pause, M to mute, left and right arrows to seek, up and down arrows for volume.VIDEO: Tasmanian Premier announces shock resignation (ABC News)

He went as far as to stress to the media and everyone listening at home that he “honestly didn’t finally arrive at [the decision to resign] until the last day or so”.

“I’ve always said I’d give this job 100 per cent every single day I do it, and I believed that I would continue to do so in this role, but I’ve taken time to reflect with my family over the Christmas period,” he said.

“It’s unlikely and indeed would not be the case that I would contest the next election, so this gives new leadership an opportunity at this point in time.”

Leaving Tasmania ‘in a better place than when we started’

Mr Hodgman said it was unclear what his next move would be once he was replaced by the Liberal partyroom — expected to occur next week — and officially resigns.

PHOTO: Mr Hodgman’s wife Nicky supported him at his press conference. (ABC News: Mitchell Woolnough)

Political analysts say the move will be a significant blow for the Liberal Party in the southern Tasmanian seat of Franklin at the next election, where Mr Hodgman is their most popular vote-getter.

Mr Hodgman received more than 27,000 first-preference votes at the last election, out of a total 71,173 formal votes cast.

But despite the sombre mood on Tuesday, the outgoing Premier did not miss the opportunity for humour.

“I’ve got no job to go to,” he said, following up with a nod to Prince Harry and his wife Meghan’s exit from the senior Royal ranks by adding:

“But I’m looking forward to becoming financially independent.”

In his speech he took what may have been his final opportunity to outline what he believed were the Hodgman Government’s most significant achievements.

The Premier pointed to changes in the education sector, Tasmania’s economic improvement and tourism gains.

“I leave this job with Tasmania in a better place than when we started. We have turned Tasmania around,” he said.

“For the first time ever our economy is the strongest performing in the country. Tasmanian businesses are the most confident in the country.”

Mr Hodgman will also leave behind lengthy waiting lists for elective surgery and housing, with the Government having struggled to manage population growth.

In stepping aside, Mr Hodgman makes way for the next Tasmanian premier — whomever that may be — to take the reins of the “turnaround state”.




TOPLACEs Jean Nassif revives 46 TOWER Plan for CHERRYBROOK

Image result for cherrybrook photos

IN the lead-up to the Christmas holiday season the deviloper, TOPLACE rezoning review was lodged to the NSW Government on December 3, 2019

THIS is what ‘they do’ … when people are not looking

HOW come this proposal was returned to NSW Planning when the outcome of the NSW Parliamentary Inquiry into building standards only went as far as calling for the establishment of a sufficiently resourced commissionwhere are the protections for residential apartment home buyers?

HOW come Nassif can ‘jump the gun’?

IT appears that again NSW INC only serves the likes of Toplace, their foreign buyers and this proposal happens to coincide with the HONG KONG MTR Consortium SYDNEY METRO … for the money laundering demand … and … Ji Xingping’s plan … the Metro lines all link to Chatswood … built by Chinese Communist Party money … view article and audio from David Lee GeoPolitical Strategist on our website!

IT appears the Cherrybrook residents are being bulldozed to get out of the way for more ‘Hot Money’ … enabled by A NSW INC ‘GATEWAY DETERMINATION’ for 46 SH.TTERBOX Residential Apartment Developments!


SEARCH CAAN WEBSITE for more reports about Jean Nassif and Toplace.

Toplace’s Jean Nassif revives 46-tower plan for Cherrybrook

Multimillion-dollar plans by property mogul Jean Nassif for 46 high-rise towers to be built in Sydney’s northwest have been revived after a council objected to the plans for being “overcooked”.

Jake McCallum, Urban Affairs Reporter, Hills Shire Times

|January 14, 2020

Toplace proposal for 46 high-rise towers at Cherrybrook.
Toplace proposal for 46 high-rise towers at Cherrybrook.

Colossal plans to transform humble homes into 46 high-rise towers ranging from two to 16 storeys in height — which were shot down by a northwest Sydney council last year — have been revived.

Property developer Toplace was met with a barrage of objections from The Hill Shire Council over its plans for 3200 homes at the Cherrybrook Metro Station when councillors voted to reject the proposal on October 22.

Toplace artist impressions of the 46 high rise residential towers proposed for Cherrybrook Village. Which could stretch from Highs Rd, West Pennant Hills to Cherrybrook Station.
Toplace artist impressions of the 46 high rise residential towers proposed for Cherrybrook Village. Which could stretch from Highs Rd, West Pennant Hills to Cherrybrook Station.

However, the multimillion-dollar proposal that would see dozens of towers stretch along Castle Hill Rd from Highs Rd to Coonara Ave, Cherrybrook has been revived by Toplace with a rezoning review submitted to NSW Planning.

*A Toplace planner called on a NSW Planning Department director to provide a strategic and site specific merit assessment for the plans.

“The planning proposal seeks Gateway Determination to commence amendment of the (Hills) Local Environment Plans to change the zoning, height of building and FSR provisions.

The Toplace proposal, which was rejected by council for being “inconsistent with infrastructure an liveability priorities” and being considered as “an overdeveloplment of the site” also offered a range of open spaces, as well as business, retail, community and recreational spaces.

CAAN: Probably the usual range put forward by developers but how adequate will they be in view of the high density?

Toplace developer Jean Nassif.
Toplace developer Jean Nassif.

The Hills Shire Council also argued Toplace developer Jean Nassif’s proposal

“precedes the completion of detailed and holistic precinct planning and infrastructure analysis for the Cherrybrook Station Precinct”

and did not adequately consider the capacity of the local and regional road network.

*However, in its submission for rezoning review, a Toplace planner argued that with the Cherrybrook Metro Station already in operation “the delivery of housing supply is already significantly out of sequence with infrastructure investment and should not be further delayed”.

Toplace artist impressions of the 46 high rise residential towers proposed for Cherrybrook Village.
Toplace artist impressions of the 46 high rise residential towers proposed for Cherrybrook Village.

“The masterplan involves the creation a vibrant new transit-oriented precinct within walking distance of the recently opened Cherrybrook Metro Station, which provides less than 30 minute access to the wide range of jobs available within Castle Hill, Norwest, Macquarie Park, Chatswood and St Leonards,” the planner said.

“Upon completion of the Metro City and South West in 2024 (the proposal) will provide 30 minute access to the jobs available in North Sydney and the Sydney CBD.”

The rezoning review was lodged to the NSW Government on December 3, 2019.

Image result for cherrybrook

Daily Telegraph: What Cherrybrook could look like in 2037




Human Rights Watch: China censoring world

Human Rights Watch: China censoring world

By David Llewellyn-Smith in China American Cold War

15 JANUARY 2020

Via ABC:

Beijing’s “crushing” oppression at home and its moves to spread its censorship to the rest of the world are threatening decades of progress made on global human rights, according to a new Human Rights Watch (HRW) report.

HRW executive director Kenneth Roth was due to launch the World Report 2020 at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club in Hong Kong today, but was denied entry at Hong Kong International Airport on Monday for “immigration reasons”.

Mr Roth, who has entered the semi-autonomous city freely in the past, said on Twitter the episode was “just the latest evidence that the Chinese Government is doing everything it can to undermine the enforcement of international human rights standards”.

The 652-page annual report was instead released during a press conference at the United Nations headquarters in New York today.

This year’s report opens with Mr Roth’s damning essay on China’s “global threat” to human rights, which he says, if it remains unchallenged, could “portend a dystopian future in which no-one is beyond the reach of Chinese censors, and an international human rights system so weakened that it no longer serves as a check on government repression”.

The report also surveys human rights practices in nearly 100 countries, including in war-torn Syria and Yemen, where warring parties are accused of “blatantly disregarding the international rules designed to spare civilians the hazards of war”, such as a ban on chemical weapons and bombing hospitals.

It said while other governments had also committed serious human rights violations — including Australia with its treatment of asylum seekers and refugees — no other government “flexes its political muscles with such vigour and determination to undermine the international human rights standards and institutions that could hold it to account”

The HRW reportcited a slew of violations ranging from the mass detention of Uyghur Muslims in the far-western autonomous region of Xinjiang, to increased censorship, to the use of technologies for mass surveillance and social control.

It said while a number of governments and international institutions publicly condemned Beijing, few took concrete actions such as imposing sanctions.

“To protect everyone’s future, governments need to act together to resist Beijing’s assault on the international human rights system.”

Mr Roth’s refused entry to Hong Kong came after Beijing last year slapped sanctions on several US non-government organisations, including Human Rights Watch, for allegedly encouraging anti-government protesters in the city to commit violent acts.

Asked about Mr Roth’s case on Monday, China’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters it was China’s “sovereign right” to decide who should be granted entry and who should be denied.

“I also want to point out that abundant facts and evidence have shown that relevant NGOs have been supporting anti-China plotters who messed up Hong Kong through various means, inciting violence and inflaming separatist activities for ‘Hong Kong independence’,” Mr Geng said

An editorial published in Chinese tabloid newspaper Global Times accused Mr Roth of deliberately seeking media attention, adding “he should have known that he and his organisation are unwelcome in China”.

“China-related reports and statements released by the group are full of prejudice, distorted facts and hostility toward China.”

However, human rights violations in China, including its oppression of Uyghurs, are well documented around the world, including by UN monitors.

The UN estimates at least 1 million Uyghurs — a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority — have been detained in mass internment camps, a claim Beijing has repeatedly rejected as fake news.

Beijing describes the camps as “vocational training” centres aimed at educating and transforming people influenced by extremism, and that many have now “graduated”.

HRW also pointed to the country’s controversial social credit system, designed to monitor and engineer better individual and business behaviour by rewarding the trustworthy and punishing the disobedient.

“At home, the Chinese Communist Party, worried that permitting political freedom would jeopardise its grasp on power, has constructed an Orwellian high-tech surveillance state and a sophisticated internet censorship system to monitor and suppress public criticism,” Mr Roth wrote in his essay.

“Abroad, it uses its growing economic clout to silence critics and to carry out the most intense attack on the global system for enforcing human rights since that system began to emerge in the mid-20th century.”

International organisations and companies that publicly oppose Beijing’s oppression also face being denied access to China’s lucrative market.

After the Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morey irked the Chinese Government by tweeting his support for Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters last October, all 11 of the National Basketball Association’s official Chinese business partners suspended ties with the league.

NBA commissioner Adam Silver defended Mr Morey’s “freedom of speech”, but Chinese state television CCTV said “any remarks that challenged national sovereignty and social stability are not within the scope of freedom of speech”.

Mr Roth said several countries that once could have been counted on to defend human rights were also missing in action, including the US and the European Union whose attention had been diverted by Brexit and division over migration.

While US House of Representatives last month passed a bill that would require the Trump administration to toughen its response to China’s crackdown on its Muslim minority, the report said the strong rhetoric from US officials condemning the human rights violations was undercut by President Donald Trump’s praise of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The United States itself “also continued to move backwards on rights”, the report said, citing the forced separation of children from their parents at the US-Mexican border as just one of many examples.

Mr Roth said while individual governments faced a choice between China’s economic opportunities and speaking out against Beijing’s oppression, the “balance of power” could shift if the governments banded together to protest against the treatment of Uyghurs.

“For example, if the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation were to protest against the Chinese Government’s repression of Turkic Muslims in Xinjiang, Beijing would need to retaliate against 57 countries,” he said.

The report also urged governments and international financial institutions to offer “compelling, rights-respecting alternatives to China’s ‘no strings’ loans and development aid”, which has been slammed by critics as a form of “debt-trap” diplomacy.

“Unless we want to return to an era in which people are pawns to be manipulated or discarded according to the whims of their overlords, we must resist Beijing’s assault on our rights,” Mr Roth said.

“Decades of progress on rights, and our future, are at stake.”

The ABC has approached China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment.

Here it is: Human Rights Watch is racist.

David Llewellyn-Smith

David Llewellyn-Smith is Chief Strategist at the MB Fund and MB Super. David is the founding publisher and editor of MacroBusiness and was the founding publisher and global economy editor of The Diplomat, the Asia Pacific’s leading geo-politics and economics portal.

He is also a former gold trader and economic commentator at The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, the ABC and Business Spectator. He is the co-author of The Great Crash of 2008 with Ross Garnaut and was the editor of the second Garnaut Climate Change Review.




CHINA pans unbalanced report claiming it is a threat to the World: their View!

China pans ‘unbalanced’ report claiming it is a threat to the world

Eryk Bagshaw
By Eryk Bagshaw

View all comments

Boeing mocked Lion Air calls for more 737 MAX training before crash

The Chinese government’s use of the social credit system, repression of Uighur muslims and crackdown on Hong Kong protesters presents an “existential threat” to the world, the US-based Human Rights Watch organisation has warned, as it heaps pressure on the United Nations to publicly condemn Beijing.

In a 652 page global report heavily focussed on the Chinese government, the advocacy group said, if not challenged, Beijing’s actions “portend a dystopian future in which no one is beyond the reach of Chinese censors” and “an international human rights system so weakened that it no longer serves as a check on government repression”.

The Chinese mission to the UN interrupted the press conference in New York on Wednesday morning to condemn the findings. “The report is full of prejudices and fabrications and ignores the factual information provided by my government,” spokesman Ji Shing told the media briefing.

The Chinese flag flutters in the breeze outside China's liaison office building in Hong Kong.
The Chinese flag flutters in the breeze outside China’s liaison office building in Hong Kong.CREDIT:AP

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth had originally planned to present the report in Hong Kong but was barred from entering by authorities on Sunday. In a tense exchange, Mr Roth was told by Mr Ji, the report “made it clear” why he was denied entry.Advertisement

“We have been making every effort to advance human rights,” said Mr Ji. “[China’s] human rights story has been one of the most successful, including lifting up to 750 million people out of poverty. Any report that fails to mention this fails to be balanced and neutral.”

The report noted an estimated one million Muslims are being indefinitely held in “political education” camps in the northwestern Xinjiang region where they are forced to disavow their identity and swear loyalty to the Communist Party. In Hong Kong authorities have arrested nearly 7000 people and denied at least 17 applications for pro-democracy protests since June.

“This is the most severe repression that we have seen in decades in China, going back to the cultural revolution,” Mr Roth said in New York.ReplayMuteCurrent Time 1:42/Duration 1:42Loaded: 100.00% Fullscreen

China’s ambassador has delivered a veiled threat to Australia to keep quiet about human rights abuses or risk losing billions in Chinese investment.Python Bowl 2020 kicks off

Human Rights Watch director denied entry to Hong Kong

Human Rights Watch director denied entry to Hong Kong

Human Rights Watch director denied entry to Hong Kong

China’s ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye strongly rejected allegations in December about the treatment of Uighurs, maintaining the reports of mass detention in Xinjiang were “utterly fake news” and that the camps were used for vocational education training and to reduce the threat of terrorism. He urged Australia and other western powers to stop meddling in China’s internal affairs and to have a better “understanding of China’s achievements so far”.

Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth
Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth RothCREDIT:AP

The Human Rights Watch report said the “social credit system” which the Chinese government has instituted in some areas to reward good conduct and punish bad behaviour such as jaywalking and failure to pay court fees, had now become an “off the shelf” product available to other countries – opening the door to a proliferation of surveillance states.

Mr Roth said global leaders “should stop pretending that quiet diplomacy suffices” and strongly criticised UN secretary general António Guterres for a lack of public advocacy on human rights issues.

“Unless we want to return to an era where people are pawns to be discarded according to the whims of their overlords the Chinese government’s attacks on human rights must be resisted,” he said.

“If you make some private representation in the back room of a foreign ministry it doesn’t change anything.”

Mr Roth also urged US President Donald Trump to maintain human rights pressure on China’s President Xi Jinping as the two countries move closer to signing a trade deal after a dispute that has roiled markets for more than two years.

The first phase of the deal is expected to be signed on Wednesday, US time.

Eryk Bagshaw

Eryk Bagshaw is an economics correspondent for The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, based at Parliament House in Canberra


A Group of Overseas born migrants have biggest carbon footprints: Swinburne University Study

Box Hill Central

HERE’s why!

AND from the commentators offering explanations …

IF the developed world stopped allowing people from third world countries to immigrate at will, then those countries might be incentivized to tackle their over population problem. Currently all they do is export it.

-if crushing living standards of locals isn’t a strong enough argument to get immigration reduced

-nothing matters except feeding the machine and maximizing profits for the Top End

-how can having migrants from the Third World living First World lifestyles in Australia not be worse for our Environment?

-how is frequent flying sustainable?

-there are three Golden Weeks per year

THIS SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY STUDY compared the carbon footprints of Chinese living in Box Hill against Australian born Box Hill residents … to understand the urban consumption behaviour of China-born C21st migrants (as measured by their ecological footprint) in Box Hill.

BOX HILL is a middle-class middle ring suburb of Melbourne with the greatest concentration of China-born residents

Box Hill is known as the ‘Chatswood’ of Melbourne or a mini Shanghai!

In Melbourne, Box Hill, Glen Waverley, Mount Waverley is where modest houses were demolished to make way for gigantic McMansions.

Go to Chadstone and rabid consumerism is on full display.

The same could be said for Sydney in Chatswood, Lindfield, Roseville … across Ryde in North Ryde …

Also, a higher proportion of Chinese live in apartments … and as raised by Jago Dodson in his report in fact high-rise urbanism exacts a high carbon price … it cannot be said to be more environmentally friendly!

How can the Chinese be the second lowest paid diaspora when the majority operate in the ‘cash economy’? In cafes, markets with signs displayed of ‘Cash Only’?

Chinese born migrants have biggest carbon footprints

By Leith van Onselen in Carbon EconomyImmigration

January 15, 2020


Australia can only control what happens within its own borders.

And growing the population so fast is unambiguously negative for Australia’s environment, water security, liveability, housing affordability, as well as meeting our emissions reduction targets. So why go down this path?

While climate change is a global problem, most commentators (myself included) believe that Australia should act locally. The only difference is that, unlike me, many of these same commentators do not believe that Australia should act locally on population growth, even though it too is a global problem. Spot the contradiction?

There is another problem with their view that it doesn’t matter where people live. The fact is that when migrants from developing nations come to Australia, their carbon footprints grow significantly.

A case in point is China, which is now Australia’s second largest migrant group, as well as one of the fastest growing:

recent Swinburn University study showed that Chinese-born migrants have giant ecological footprints that dwarfs the Australian-born population:

In 2010, China overtook the United Kingdom as Australia’s largest source of permanent migrants (a position now held by India). Since then, China-born migrants have averaged around 15% of the annual intake

Our findings are based on an extensive face-to-face survey of 61 China-born and 72 Australia-born residents. The main findings were as follows.

Within a decade of arrival in Melbourne, China-born urban consumption patterns were more than three times their consumption before their migration…

It is apparent that consumer acculturation is the major process by which Chinese migrants have come to mirror the host society in Australia. Cultural integration is less evident – it lags consumer acculturation. This was clear from a comparison of scores on a Cultural and Linguistic Difference (CALD) Index.

The index incorporated measures of birthplace, English proficiency, religion, food preferences, participation in entertainment and festivals, avenues of social interaction and engagement with neighbourhood communities.

The gap between the China-born and Australia-born groups’ scores on the CALD Index was significant (see Figure 1). This suggests a strong cultural influence on the China-born group’s urban consumption behaviours is likely…

A comparison of the different components of the ecological footprints of China-born and Australia-born residents was also revealing.

*Housing footprints measuring the size and type of dwelling occupied by the China-born residents were 18% larger overall.

This may be due to the role housing plays in reflecting an attained status (mien-tzu, or “to save face”) within the host society.

*Consumption levels that outstrip those of Australia-born residents indicate the potential danger of housing consumption being used to indicate “successful” settlement in Australia.

*Food footprints of the China-born were 16% larger than the Australia-born. This reflected higher consumption of meat and dairy products and lower consumption of home-grown vegetables. Carbon footprints of the China-born were 37% bigger, mainly as a result of more frequent overseas travel.

Thus, while Australia’s mass immigration program is unambiguously hampering its ability to meet the Paris Agreement emissions reduction targets, it could also be raising Australia’s per capita emissions (other things equal).

*As an aside, the glutenous consumption and high carbon footprint of Chinese-born migrants comes despite them being the second lowest paid diaspora, earning considerably less than the Australian-born population, according to the ABS:

In any event, it is a bad result for Australia and the world.

a group of people walking down a street in front of a store: Some people say the streets in Box Hill are comparable to those in cities like Shanghai. (ABC News: Kai Feng)

Photo: ABC: © Provided by Australian Broadcasting Corporation Some people say the streets in Box Hill are comparable to those in cities like Shanghai. (ABC News: Kai Feng)


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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.




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.


LISTEN 4m 22s Volume 87%00:0000:00 Image: 

Reuters: Neil Hall

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

More Information


Jim Rutenberg, New York Times journalist
Tony Koch, retired journalist





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 …


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.




HEATWAVES … add Thermal Mass from Overdevelopment … Heat Island Effect and Mortality … e.g. Penrith …

Photo: Penrith farmlands in December 2009: From Farmlands to Suburbia in 10 Years

TEMPERATURES rise dramatically in urban environments during heat waves from the west.

Compounded by thermal mass and poor city design.

PENRITH has become hotter because of the thermal mass from overdevelopment … the “heat island effect”.

Collecting not only pollution but all the heat from the entire city of Sydney in a basin bounded to the east by the Pacific Ocean and to the south, west and north by elevated terrain.

AND … it is evident that Penrith is becoming a thermal mass wasteland due to the higher density rezoning, motorways, airport construction along with the removal of trees (less than 6% of the Cumberland Plain Woodland remains!), and loss of farmlands …. vegetation!

SUSTAINABILITY would be about adapting … following this disaster of overdevelopment … some might go as far to say that Sydney needs to be bulldozed … redesigned once the awfulizers, the mafia of developers are done with Sydney and run off with Billions in their pockets.

The image from April 2018 shows the completed construction with rows of identical homes. Photo:


Heatwaves are dangerous and have killed more people in Australia than all other climate related disasters combined.

Urban environments are considered especially vulnerable to heatwaves due to the Urban Heat Island effect. Increasing death rates from heatwaves are predicted to become one of Australia’s most detrimental impacts of climate change (IPPC 2014) with major implications for emergency services and public policy development.

The catastrophic dimensions of heatwave mortality are not spread evenly across society but are concentrated among specific population groups. Older people, especially women, are overrepresented in heatwave related excess mortality statistics internationally.

Using a critical perspective, this paper aims to present a literature review exploring current research on social vulnerability of older women during urban heatwaves. It will illustrate how heatwave vulnerability is largely socially constructed through the intersection of deeply entrenched gender inequality with systemic socio-economic disadvantage.

The review will highlight the need for heatwave intervention to be guided by a social justice perspective, to avoid older, poorer women becoming the shock absorbers of the climate crisis.

This paper is part of my PhD research project at Monash University:

‘Denaturalising heatwaves: gendered social vulnerabilities in urban heatwaves and the use of public cool spaces as a primary heat health measure’. The research has ethics approval.”


Denaturalising heatwaves: gendered social vulnerability in urban heatwaves, a review


Photo: From Farmland to Suburbia: Penrith 2018: A recent shot shows the suburb completely transformed into new homes



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




BOM CHART Shows how Temperatures have Soared in AUSTRALIA over the Past Century!

YES … AUSTRALIA is getting hotter. And Experts say it’s likely to continue!


Bureau of Meteorology chart shows how temperatures have soared in Australia over the past century

ABC News Breakfast By Patrick Wood

14 JANUARY 2020

Temperatures across Australia over the past 110 years.

INFOGRAPHIC: Temperatures across Australia over the past 110 years. (Supplied: Bureau Of Meteorology)

RELATED STORY: ‘Well-defined and clear trends’: Australia just faced down its hottest and driest year on record

RELATED STORY: Scientists explain why this summer is ‘smashing the extremes’

Australia just had its warmest and driest year on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology, continuing a long-running trend in the country.

Key points:

  • Australia’s climate has warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius since 1910
  • BOM says very warm years like 2019 are now more likely to occur
  • A rainfall chart shows drying out over the last couple of decades in southern Australia

A chart produced by the bureau and updated with 2019 figures (shown above) displays a stark transformation over the past century.

It shows the anomaly of mean temperature for each calendar year from 1910 to 2019, compared to the average over the standard reference period of 1961–1990.

The colours range from dark blue (more than 3 degrees Celsius below average), through blues and greens (below average), yellow and orange (above average), and then brown (more than 3C above average).

“Australia’s climate has warmed by more than a degree since 1910, which means very warm years like 2019 are now more likely to occur,” said Karl Braganza, the bureau’s head of climate monitoring.

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.

Dr Braganza said alongside warmer temperatures, we were also seeing a trend in recent decades towards drier winter and spring seasons in some parts of the country.

Andrew Watkins, manager of long-range forecasting at the bureau, said the hot 2019 — which had an average mean temperature 1.52C above average — was front of mind for many.

“It was the talking point of all last year,” he said.

“All the states and territories were in the top handfuls of temperature. Hot everywhere, pretty much.

“Almost by definition if they’re records they are unusual.”

The bureau has also produced another chart showing rainfall in each year since 1900.

120 years of Australian rainfall.

INFOGRAPHIC: 120 years of Australian rainfall. (Supplied: Bureau Of Meteorology)

The colours range from dark red (lowest on record) to white (average) and dark blue (highest on record).

“We’ve seen a warming up, and also a drying out, of southern Australia,” Dr Watkins said.

“About 10 to 15 per cent drying over the last couple of decades in southern Australia.

“Hopefully the year will head a bit more towards average rainfall and temperature pattern.

“Probably still a bit warmer than normal though, but gee, it shouldn’t be as bad as [2019].”