Catley Slams Berejiklian Hospital Cladding Cover UP
4 OCTOBER 2019
The NSW Labor Opposition has slammed the Berejiklian Government for keeping secret the extent of the state’s flammable cladding crisis.
This follows media revelations today that staff at Sydney Adventist Hospital in Wahroonga were only informed on September 23 of flammable cladding risks known for at least 18 months.
Gladys Berejiklian and hapless Minister for Better Regulation Kevin Anderson have been completely missing in action.
This compares with Premier Daniel Andrews in Victoria who has announced a comprehensive $600 million scheme to rectify dangerous cladding in apartments and public and commercial buildings around the state.
“The Berejiklian Government identified flammable cladding at this hospital back in February last year,” Ms Catley said.
PM takes thinly veiled swipe at UN over climate and refugees
The prime minister has taken a thinly veiled swipe at the United Nations, in a bold foreign policy address in Sydney. Scott Morrison suggested unelected international institutions should not be setting the global agenda on issues like climate change and refugees. In a major foreign policy address to the Lowy Institute, Mr Morrison said Australia will lead by example in asserting the sovereignty and self-determination of nation-states over unelected international institutions like the United Nations. He also doubled down on his call for China to shoulder greater responsibility on the international stage.
Joe Hockey rejects Downer claims on US probe
Australia's ambassador to the United States has publicly rejected suggestions former diplomat Alexander Downer schemed to help initiate the FBI's Russia investigation. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham has written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison and has suggested Mr Downer had ulterior motives when he organised a meeting with a former Trump campaign advisor. He also urged Mr Morrison to continue assisting their investigation into what triggered the probe. Joe Hockey has responded on Twitter saying, "I can assure you that the Australian Government is cooperating with Attorney General (William) Barr's inquiry."
Three police officers among four killed in Paris knife attack
Three police officers and a support staff member have been killed by a fellow employee in a knife attack at a police headquarters in Paris. The 45-year-old attacker, who was said to have worked for the police for 20 years, was shot dead at the scene. It happened at about 1pm local time at the large police building located just across from Notre Dame Cathedral. Initial reports stated four police officers were killed, but it has since been confirmed one victim was an administrator. The motive isn't yet known, but officers have ruled out terrorism for now.
Armed man shot dead in front of horrified witnesses in Sydney's west
An armed man has been shot dead and several police officers injured outside a police station in Sydney’s west overnight. The suspect turned up to Penrith Police Station shortly after 9.30pm on Wednesday with a pump-action shot gun before opening fire on officers on duty. One bullet narrowly missed the face of a police officer, instead grazing the back of his head. The officer received emergency medical treatment and is recovering in a stable condition. Police returned fire on the gunman, shooting him dead as witnesses watched in horror. The suspect's identity has not yet been revealed. Officers are investigating whether the incident was related to two other shootings in Sydney's west on Wednesday night.
Federal MPs meet drought-stricken farmers
Government ministers are meeting farmers and business owners living through one of the worst-droughts in recorded history as they tour northern New South Wales and southern Queensland this week. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Water Resources Minister David Littleproud visited the dry regional town of Inverell on Wednesday, meeting with those hit hardest by the dry conditions. Rainfall in the region is the lowest on record, and the main dam has fallen to 8.5 per cent of its capacity, causing locals to give up on crops and reduce livestock numbers. Mr Frydenberg and Mr Littleproud will visit Stanthorpe in southern Qld on Thursday and Warwick on Friday.
Aiia Maasarwe’s killer did not suffer from schizophrenia, court hears
A Melbourne court has heard a homeless man who brutally raped and murdered a foreign student does not suffer from schizophrenia. A forensic psychiatrist who assessed Codey Herrmann took to the stand and told the court he did not suffer from schizophrenia but rather a severe personality disorder. The psychiatrist said Herrmann showed some level of regret but his remorse was limited. Herrmann, 21, pleaded guilty to the rape and murder of Israeli exchange student Aiia Maasarwe, who was living in Melbourne and studying at La Trobe University when she was killed.
Australia must declare 'national disaster zones'
Labor Leader Anthony Albanese has backed farmers' calls to declare some of the country's most drought-stricken regions 'national disaster zones'. During a visit to drought-affected properties in Stanthorpe, Queensland's south east on Wednesday, Mr Albanese said the government needed to offer struggling farmers immediate help. Meanwhile, Drought Minister David Littleproud and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will travel to Inverell, Warwick and Stanthorpe this week where they will meet local farmers and business owners. Some communities are demanding the drought be declared a 'national disaster' and financial relief be delivered to keep their communities up and running.
Tony Abbott appointed to Australian War Memorial board
Former prime minister Tony Abbott has been appointed to the board of the Australian War Memorial, filling the vacancy left following the death of author Les Carlyon in March.
Children 'should have power to undergo transgender surgery against parents' wishes'
The nation's peak body representing psychologists believes children aged under 16 should be allowed to undergo irreversible transgender surgery, even if their parents disagree. In an unpublished law reform submission, the Australian Psychological Association also dismissed mandatory counseling before surgery as an "unnecessary burden".
NSW Government Delivering an Affordable, Reliable and Clean Energy Future
30 September 2019
Minister for Energy Matt Kean has today announced the next stage in the $75 million NSW Emerging Energy Program, which encourages private sector investment in cutting edge large-scale electricity and storage projects through feasibility and capital grants.
Feasibility grants worth a total of $7.1 million have been awarded to 10 electricity projects to help get them shovel ready so that we can meet the States future energy needs. These projects are spread across seven locations in NSW, including Broken Hill, Yass and Armidale.
21 projects have also been shortlisted to receive capital funding to assist with the construction of on-demand electricity. The shortlisted projects include over 700 megawatts of on-demand electricity capacity across six technologies, including pumped hydro, gas, biogas, solar thermal, virtual power plants and batteries. The successful recipients will be announced in the first half of 2020.
“The NSW Government is committed to delivering affordable, reliable and cleaner power for NSW. The Emerging Energy Program does just that,” Mr Kean said.
“AEMO’s latest report identified that NSW is well placed to handle the summers up until Liddell’s retirement in 2023 but we’re planning for the future, looking at how we can harness tomorrow’s technology today by encouraging private capital to build the 21st century grid,” Mr Kean said.
LABOR Welcomes Report Into Sydney Night Time Economy
NSW Labor has welcomed today’s release of the Joint Select Committee report into Sydney’s Night Time Economy. New research put to the Inquiry has provided the most detailed information yet regarding the impact of the 2014 laws.
Labor believes that actions taken in 2014 were justified. The extent of binge drinking and violence in Kings Cross and the CBD was unacceptable and drastic action was required.
“Now it is time for a more measured approach,” said John Graham, Shadow Minister for Music and the Night Time Economy. “While ensuring the level of alcohol fuelled violence does not return to pre-2014 levels, there is an opportunity to reshape and revitalise the nightlife in Sydney.”
Labor will consider the right mix of regulation for Kings Cross. This potentially includes the 1.30am lockout provision, utilising the extensive powers of the Liquor Act and a new cumulative ‘high-impact’ venue assessment tool which should be trialled immediately in that precinct.
Trump 'pressured Morrison to gather information on Russia probe'
Donald Trump reportedly pressured Scott Morrison to help gather information for his Attorney General over the Russia probe into election interference. The New York Times reports the US President recently made the call to the Australian Prime Minister in the hope of discrediting the Mueller investigation. Prime Minister Scott Morrison's office on Tuesday confirmed President Trump's call. It centres around what information Australia's former Ambassador to the UK - Alexander Downer - passed onto the FBI following a chance meeting with former Trump aid George Papadopoulos in 2016. Mr Downer confirmed he did pass on details of the conversation, which included finding dirt on Hillary Clinton. But Mr Downer said he had no information about a call between Donald Trump and Scott Morrison.
Australia confirms Donald Trump phone call
October 1, 2019
Australia has confirmed Donald Trump called Scott Morrison to ask for help in the US Attorney General's investigation of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's Russia probe.
An Australian government spokesman confirmed the conversation took place.
"The Australian government has always been ready to assist and co-operate with efforts that help shed further light on the matters under investigation," the spokesman told AAP on Tuesday.
"The PM confirmed this readiness once again in conversation with the president."
The New York Times reports the White House restricted access to the call's transcript to a small group of presidential aides, according to one of two US officials with knowledge of the call.
Australia 'depends on China for economic success': Chinese ambassador
China’s ambassador to Australia Cheng Jingye says Australia must remember it depends on China for its economic success. Mr Cheng told The Australian bilateral ties needed to be strengthened between Australia and China. He also called for greater mutual respect and a reduction in "prejudices and suspicions". China has grown into the world's second largest economy accounting for 16 per cent of the world's GDP - and is the largest trader in goods. After a recent Newspoll found the majority of voters favoured the US, Mr Cheng said Australia's relationship with the United States should not come at the expense of relations with China.
Australia could 'play the middle man' between China and the U.S.
6PR's Oliver Peterson says Prime Minister Scott Morrison could 'play the middle man' between both China and the United States in the future. His comments came after The Australian reported a front page article which stated that Chinese Ambassador, Cheng Jingye, 'urged Australia to remember it had a dependence on China for its economic success'. "Maybe we can be playing the middle man here... Maybe Scott Morrison can head off to China and broker some sort of a deal and really position Australia within that triangular relationship,"said Mr Peterson. "Yes they are such an important economic trading partner... but I think that really we need further discussions between our countries, we need further discussions between the United States and China and to resole that particular trade issue," he said.
Superannuation debate 'should be up to the worker'
The Australian’s Adam Creighton says it should be up to the worker how much of their superannuation payments can be ‘accessed now rather than in the future.’ Speaking with Sky News host Paul Murray, Mr Creighton said, “it should be the right of the worker,” if they wish to seek some portion of the 9.5% superannuation contribution from their employer. “I think that should be the default, in fact for everyone,” he said. His comments came after Labor had accused the Coalition of attempting to undermine Australia's compulsory superannuation scheme.
Agriculture Minister issues frank advice to drought-stricken farmers
Agriculture Minister Bridget McKenzie has issued some frank advice to farmers grappling with the drought, warning them to consider "selling up" if they still need government support after four years. More details have been released about changes to the Farm Household Allowance, which are designed to streamline the system. The payments will now be made available to farmers for four years every decade rather than four years once in their lifetime. Farmers receiving the allowance will also face targeted financial audits instead of reporting their earnings to Centrelink.
Australian Livestock Exporters CEO calls for another inquiry into live exports
Australian Livestock Exporters' Council CEO Mark Harvey-Sutton is calling for another inquiry into the live export industry. Animal rights campaigners accused the government of back-flipping on its promise to put animal rights ahead of live exports following the release of a policy discussion paper on Friday. Of the four proposals put forward to govern live sheep exports to the Middle East, only one included adopting new heat stress guidelines which were developed after disturbing footage of animals dying in transit was leaked last year. “We do think that there is a place for regulation in the industry, but it must be science-based and it must put animal welfare at the fore”, Mr Harvey-Sutton said.