Survivors of a devastating earthquake and tsunami in the Sulawesi city of Palu are growing increasingly desperate as food and water supplies dwindle. Relief trucks carrying supplies into the city have been blocked and stripped of their contents by crowds, while Indonesian police have fired warning shots and tear gas at crowds taking supplies from abandoned shops. Thousands of people have gathered at Mutiara Sis Al Jufri airport in the city’s southeast to await evacuation flights off the island, with people reportedly blocking runways and attempting to force their way onto military relief aircraft. National Disaster Mitigation Agency spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho noted that a network of 22 tsunami early detection buoys, which would have provided Palu residents with advance warning of the tsunami, had not been active for six years due to a lack of funding.
Federal Labor has increased pressure on directors of the ABC, with opposition leader Bill Shorten criticising the board’s failure to intervene in the war between former chair Justin Milne and then-managing director Michelle Guthrie. “What did they know and when did they know it?” Shorten asked on Tuesday. Several board members were appointed by the current government over the advice of the nominations panel designed to ensure political independence. Former deputy Liberal leader and panel member Neil Brown told Fairfax the board should resign, claiming that communications minister Mitch Fifield was “grossly misleading people, actively misleading the public” over the government’s hand in the appointments process.
Casual workers who have worked regular shifts for at least a year will be able to ask their employers for permanent positions from today. The Fair Work Commission ruled in August that casual staff could request their position be converted to a permanent full-time job. Employers must provide “reasonable grounds for refusal”, including the likelihood that the position would not exist in 12 months or would require a substantial change in the worker’s hours. Last week the FWC also ruled that Saturday penalty rates for retail workers be increased from 10 per cent to 25 per cent from November.
And prime minister Scott Morrison will meet his Indigenous advisory council for the first time on Thursday. Members of the council include New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council chair Roy Ah-See, Winun Ngari Aboriginal Corporation chief executive Susan Murphy and Torres Strait Island Regional Council representative Ted Fraser Nai, who demanded in September that Morrison explain his decision to appoint former prime minister Tony Abbott as special envoy for Indigenous affairs. Abbott’s first visit to a remote Indigenous community in the role went badly, with residents of the Northern Territory community of Borroloola criticising his approach as “arrogant” and “out of touch”.