Friday, May 03, 2019

Entire Queensland council sacked

The Queensland state government has sacked the entire council and appointed an administrator to run Logan, a city council between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. Eight Logan City councillors, including mayor Luke Smith, were charged with fraud by the state Crime and Corruption Commission last week over an alleged plot to sack the council’s former chief executive, Sharon Kelsey, for co-operating with a CCC probe into the council. Speaking in state parliament, local government minister Stirling Hinchliffe said he had “no other choice at this point in time under the Local Government Act”. Smith, who was suspended last year after being charged with corruption and perjury, was arrested on drink-driving charges on Thursday after allegedly crashing into a tree while on a KFC run.

Bundjalung man and Liberal candidate for Gilmore, Warren Mundine, has responded angrily to comments from his Labor opponent Fiona Phillips, who said he should “go back where you came from”. Speaking on Thursday, Mundine said “my maternal side is from this country and goes back thousands of years, so I am returning to my ancestral home”, and that “to tell an Aboriginal person to go back to where they come from is one of those right-wing crazy things”. Phillips, who made the comments in a television interview, has refused to apologise, saying “Mundine has rolled into town from Sydney's leafy north shore”. Mundine’s campaign for the NSW south coast seat has been marked by controversy and missteps, including dissatisfaction from local Liberal members over him being parachuted into the candidacy and a pledge on his campaign bus falsely promising to raise the age pension.

In the United Kingdom, parliament has declared an “environment and climate emergency” at the urging of teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg. Introducing the motion, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn said “we are living in a climate crisis that will spiral dangerously out of control unless we take rapid and dramatic action now”. The motion was passed a week after Thunberg, a 16-year-old Swedish student who rose to international prominence as the creator of the global students’ climate strike movement, addressed both Houses of Parliament, warning that “we probably don’t even have a future any more because that future was sold so that a small number of people could make unimaginable amounts of money”.

And the finalists of the 2019 Archibald, Wynne and Sulman prizes have been announced. Portraits of broadcasters Leigh Sales and Annabel Crabb, author Benjamin Law, rugby league player Greg Inglis and dancer Li Cunxin were among the high-profile subjects, while activist Mariam Veiszadeh, Bidjigal woman and artist Aunty Esme Timbery and Warakurna woman and elder Daisy Tjuparntarri Ward were also painted. A portrait of actor David Wenham by Perth painter Tessa MacKay won the Archibald Packing Room prize.



“Relatives of the Australian servicemen who went missing in action in the Korean War almost 70 years ago are hopeful the mystery of what happened to them could soon be solved. Authorities in the United States are testing human remains exhumed from a military cemetery in Hawaii, where they were buried without identification after being transferred from North and South Korea in the 1950s and ’60s.”


Special’s creator Ryan O’Connell plays a version of himself who is also named Ryan, also gay, and also has cerebral palsy. When the fictional Ryan is knocked over by a car prior to starting an internship he lets his sympathetic new co-workers believe that his disordered movements are simply effects of the accident. This new perspective allows the character, who is far from perfect but authentically engaging, to look at ableism and the codes of gay relationships with a curious and frank eye.”


“The Studio School is based on a two-way learning model in which Aboriginal and visiting Melbourne-based students learn with and from each other, Drennen says. The two-way learning continues when the Aboriginal students pack up and relocate to Melbourne to experience mainstream education in terms one and four – when the rains arrive in the Kimberley and the heat is searing across northern Australia.”


“The dire new warning from economist Brian Fisher, which is hotly disputed by Labor and countered by other experts, marks a dramatic escalation in the political fight over the cost of taking action on climate change compared to the cost of inaction. Dr Fisher concludes the Labor emissions target would subtract at least $264 billion from gross national product by 2030 and as much as $542 billion depending on the rules for big companies to buy international carbon permits to meet their targets.”


“Fossil fuel industry consultant Brian Fisher has released so-called ‘independent’ modelling looking at the economic cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but his research is deeply flawed ... Brian Fisher is the fossil fuel industry’s go-to consultant. The industry has paid for much of Fisher’s so-called ‘research’.”


“To show the Queensland senator what he was actually thinking, Briggs created his own billboard to be placed on the back of a One Nation billboard in Frankston, Melbourne. The billboard depicts the back of Pauline Hanson's head alongside Briggs with his own message, ‘I’m thinking I can’t wait to see the back of Pauline Hanson’.”


Alex McKinnon
is Schwartz Media's morning editor.