Friday, November 30, 2018

Adani self-funds Carmichael mine

Mining company Adani has announced it would self-finance its Carmichael mine project, with construction to begin imminently. Speaking on Thursday, Adani Mining chief executive Lucas Dow said the mine would be much smaller than the original $16.5 billion proposal, and would be “comparable to many other Queensland coal mines”. Adani had struggled to fund the mine, with major domestic and international banks turning down loan requests on financial and environmental grounds. Protest movement Stop Adani vowed to continue opposition to the mine, saying “we will not back down until our leaders get out of bed with the coal lobby and will fight every step of the way to stop this dangerous project”.

Au pairs working in Australia are routinely underpaid and exploited, according to a new report. Released on Wednesday by the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative, the Cultural Exchange or Cheap Housekeeper? report found “the majority of au pairs in Australia are paid as babysitters but work like housekeepers,” that “almost 60 per cent found themselves working for around 36 hours a week,” and that “a majority of participants were paid less than the national minimum wage”. Respondents also reported verbal abuse, psychological harm, not being able to freely contact family and friends, as well as sexual harm.

Unsuccessful Victorian Liberal candidate Andrew Bond has excoriated the leadership of former state opposition leader Matthew Guy and the state party’s organisational structure in a review of the Liberals’ drubbing at the state election. In an election review leaked to Herald Sun political  editor James Campbell, Bond said “it soon became worryingly obvious that Matthew Guy was unelectable” while speaking to voters on the campaign trail, described the party’s campaign headquarters as “a disaster” headed by “a 21-year-old with no campaign experience” and called the party’s how-to-vote cards “awful”. Bond, who stood as the Liberal candidate for Albert Park, also criticised the party’s absence of policy detail in key areas, saying “many of our policies were woeful or non-existent” in areas such as “environment, housing and homelessness, and metropolitan public transport”.

Details about an internal investigation launched by News Corp Australia into the leaking of personal salary details of prominent employees have also been leaked to the press. Fairfax reported on Wednesday that an unnamed News Corp employee accidentally sent details of highly paid staff salaries to 157 people, revealing that The Australian’s contributing economics editor, Judith Sloan, earned $357,000 a year. In a freshly leaked email, News Corp chief transformation officer Derrick Crowley said the original “error was compounded by another staff member's action in sharing the email contents externally”. Describing the leak as “an unacceptable breach of their employment contract,” Crowley said “we are conducting an internal investigation to determine how the information was leaked and we will be dealing with this serious matter accordingly”. News Corp announced several rounds of editorial redundancies earlier this year.



“Lily D’Ambrosio likes to joke about how many federal energy ministers she’s seen come and go during her time as Victoria’s minister for energy, environment and climate change. Her latest federal counterpart, Angus Taylor, is – of course – solely minister for energy. Environment, and with it any talk of climate change, was hived off to Melissa Price in the ashes of the latest Liberal leadership coup.”


“If you are not with me by the end of this, I understand. Some of you may not make it to the close of the paragraph, and that’s fine. We can meet later, when and if you have forgiven me for a belief that is not just a lapse in taste, but probably a failure of moral judgement as well. Here it is: I think the most exciting contemporary painter working in America today is former president George W Bush.”


“On Manus, during the years that followed, I have had the opportunity to work closely with some of the most successful and most well-known photographers and journalists in the world. However, in some cases, the oppressive power dynamic still conditions our interactions and has given me a strong sense of grievance. Within these relationships, the camera is weaponised and aimed at the subject in an attempt to capture an image of a refugee that evokes the most heightened sense of compassion possible.”


“I am so proud of the Labor Party that you are now actually going to support this, because you can see some common sense. Don’t take notice of the Greens or anyone else in this place calling you racist because these are migrants coming from another country. It’s nothing to do with racism.”


“The Greens have lashed Labor for supporting the coalition government’s move to force migrants to wait up to four years to access some welfare benefits ... Labor claims it took the ‘rough edges’ off a bill to save it from being left to One Nation to negotiate. But with independents Tim Storer and Derryn Hinch and Centre Alliance’s two senators opposed, Labor could have teamed up with the Greens to block the legislation.”



Do you look at him, the big cow?

- Yes.

- I am not ready to look.

- I am forbidden to look at the greatcow by the farmer and the farmer’s bloodlaw.”

Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.