Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Defence eyes on Antarctic operations

Briefing documents for a senior Defence official reveal the Australian Defence Force’s wishes to install civil and military technology in Antarctica despite the Antarctic Treaty which bans military activity. The speaking notes intended for a “future strategic leaders’ congress” describe “valuable opportunities to enhance military capability by implementing certain technologies in the Antarctic”. The Antarctic Treaty advocates for the continent to be a scientific preserve only, and deters militarisation of the continent. The documents that reveal Defence’s intentions, obtained under freedom of information laws, did not explain which technologies would be used. Currently, the United States, China and Russia have “dual-use” satellite navigation technology on Antarctic territory.

Analysis of cost of living figures since 2013 by the Reserve Bank of Australia shows the cost of government services is outpacing inflation. Government-controlled costs such as healthcare, childcare, property rates and education jumped by about a quarter, while the consumer price index has increased only 10.4 per cent since 2013. Wage growth in this time increased by 13.4 per cent. 

The fallout from Alan Jones’ comments on New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern continues, with a growing number of brands ($) pulling advertising with Macquarie Radio, the home of Sydney radio station 2GB.  where shock jock Jones is a broadcaster. Overnight Media Watch identified another soundbite from his radio show, in which Jones said he hoped Scott Morrison would get “tough” with Arden “with a few backhanders”, contradicting the broadcaster’s claims that the comments about shoving a sock down the throat of the New Zealand PM were a slip of the tongue. “Climate change is real, violence against women starts with words and the bloke has had too many chances ... @2GB873 time to wake up," said one advertiser. 

A man who has been on the run since the murder of his brother two years ago has been arrested and charged following an assault in Melbourne’s Hosier Lane, near Flinders Street. Jonathan Dick, 41, has been wanted by police since January 2017, when his brother David Dick, 36, was killed with a sword at Doncaster Shopping Centre. Police say Jonathan Dick was recognised by someone he knew in the lane was held until police arrived. 

Is China a threat?
As Xi Jinping increases his power and ambition, there is tension over the influence China has in Australia. Progressive critics finds themselves aligned with right-wing voices.


“It is heartbreaking that these deeply intimate cultural sites, which literally contain the blood of Aboriginal women, giving these trees nutrients to grow for so long, are going to be destroyed to widen a road. With the destruction of these sites, the spiritual tapestry that connects our culture and language with our natural environment is further severed and cannot be retrieved, except in the memories and stories of our old people.” 


“A ruthless demonstration of what it means to keep going, Sleater-Kinney’s ninth full-length record, The Center Won’t Hold, is a force of strength, a storming of the gates. It’s cocksure proof that the women who formed a band as college students in Olympia, Washington, in 1994 have lasted longer, burned brighter and said more than most other punk gods could hope for.”


“Transgender inclusion is still a polarising topic for many. It garners less traction with mainstream Australians than same-sex marriage. It is often difficult for the trans community, lacking that public momentum, to defend against political and social movements that seek to encroach on their rights and safety.”


“The prime minister of Tuvalu is considering pulling his country out of Australia’s seasonal worker program, after comments by Australia’s deputy prime minister that Pacific islanders threatened by climate change would survive because ‘many of their workers come here and pick our fruit.’”


“Job insecurity is no longer confined to low-skilled workers, but is emerging in highly skilled professions including law and computer programming, a leading US employment expert has warned.”


“[Emily] Meade asked HBO to hire a crew member whose job, specifically, would be to oversee the planning, preparation, and performance of sex scenes, much like a stunt coordinator. Her request had a ripple effect.”


Your chance to win a double pass to Extended Play | City Recital Hall

The Saturday Paper invites readers to enter the draw for a chance to win one of 10 double passes to Extended Play at City Recital Hall, with 20 concerts of new music from noon to midnight. The event will take place on Saturday, August 31. For more information on the program, please click here. Entries close at 11.59pm AEST on Thursday, August 22, and the winners will be notified on Friday, August 23.

Anna Horan
is a Melbourne-based editor and writer.