Monday, March 27, 2023

Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carroll says Gabba just needs a ‘coat of paint’ to host 2032 Games

Some sense at last

The Gabba just needs “a coat of paint” to be able to host the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, Australia’s Olympic boss has sensationally declared.

The Gabba Stadium just needs “a coat of paint” to be able to host the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the head of the Australian Olympic Committee Matt Carroll sensationally declared.

Speaking at the National Press Club, Mr Carroll made an appeal to the Federal Government for a $2 billion investment in sport over the next 10 years, saying, “the Brisbane Games will not be a success if the Australian teams are not successful”.

But Mr Carroll also declared the $2.7 billion investment in the Gabba Stadium redevelopment was not about the Olympics.

It comes after Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced in April 2021 that the redevelopment would cost $1bn, a figure Queensland Auditor-General Brendan Worrall told a parliamentary committee came “from a press release”.

Last month Ms Palaszczuk announced, alongside Prime Minister Anthony Albanese, that the Gabba would be demolished and rebuilt for $2.7bn – 170 per cent more – with the state government set to foot the bill.

“Let’s be honest. The infrastructure of the Gabba is for the AFL and cricket,” Mr Carroll told the National Press Club.

“The Olympics and Paralympics will use it for a month. They could just give it a coat of paint.

“Those sports will be the beneficiaries of a rebuild of the Gabba.”

He said the Games being hosted in Australia meant it could “turbo charge” investment in sport and sporting facilities, including for the community.

“The other facility which is they’re building in Queensland, particularly the indoor sport facilities in various suburbs across southeast Queensland, Australia’s fastest-growing population, are needed for the people,” Mr Carroll said.

“This investment in infrastructure is not just for the Olympic Games. We’re going to use them but they are there for the community.

“Without those infrastructure builds, particularly in the community sports, we won’t get what we’re looking for – more kids playing sport. They’ve gotta be able to play somewhere.”

Mr Carroll said without the $2 billion investment in sport, increased funding for the Australian Institute of Sport, a federal department of sport and the Sports Minister promoted into Cabinet, the success of the Brisbane Games was at risk.

“Unless the situation is rectified, Australia will be staring failure in the face of the 2026 Commonwealth Games and the Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, because our home teams will have been undermined by inaction. The time starts now,” he said.

“The Brisbane Games will not be a success if the Australian teams are not successful.

“The Olympic flame is going to be lit in July 2032. That date will not shift, you can’t put it off, it will not go away.

“Ready or not, you’ve got to be there.”


Union boss Ian Leavers rejects claim shooting victim was unarmed

The only reason why this incident is controversial is that the offender was Aboriqinal

Aubrey Donohue was shot by police after a four-hour siege at a Mareeba address on Saturday, after he allegedly approached officers with a knife.

Queensland Police Union president Ian Leavers said because the matter was before the coroner he was limited in what he could say but that he must “correct the misinformation” stated by some people.

“Despite reports to the contrary, I can confirm the violent offender was definitely brandishing a knife and threatening the hostage,” he said.

“I can confirm the offender had an extensive history of highly violent domestic violence incidents.

“All police involved in this matter performed professionally, responsibly and with great restraint.

“Police only acted when it was clear that the life of an innocent hostage was in jeopardy.”

Mr Leavers said police were called specifically about a serious domestic violence incident and not a mental health issue.

“All police involved should be commended for their actions and it was pleasing to see that the new domestic violence situations assessment tool brought in as a result of the recent Commission of Inquiry into domestic violence was utilised and it demonstrated that the offender was identified as “extreme” in every single assessment category,” he said.

“We are very lucky that police were able to prevent the murder of an innocent domestic violence victim.”

Dozens of protesters have rallied outside the Mareeba police station, holding "black lives matter" and "jail killer cops" signs, after the shooting death of 27-year-old Aubrey Donahue.

Dozens of protesters have rallied outside the Mareeba police station, holding "black lives matter" and "jail killer cops" signs, after the shooting death of 27-year-old Aubrey Donahue.
A police spokesman said CPR was performed but Mr Donahue could not be revived.

Police attended following reports Mr Donahue threatened self-harm and allege Mr Donahue was not allowing another occupant of the house, a woman, to leave.

Despite this, family members have been vocal at a meeting on Sunday and again at a protest on Monday, alleging that the police shot him when he was unarmed and that domestic violence was not the reason for police to attend.

One person in the crowd called for the officer who fired the bullets to be stood down, another wanted the officer publicly named.

On Sunday, a man claiming to be a brother-in-law disputed Mr Donahue was armed. “He was walking out the door to give himself up. He said to them he only had a phone in his hand,” he said.

Mr Donahue’s mother, Desley, told the tense, 100-strong crowd at a community meeting on Sunday that she was at a loss to understand why her son had died. “My son has got bullet holes in his body. I’m his mother, and they (police) aren’t telling me anything,” she said.

Officers were verbally abused and had objects thrown at their cars when they left the community meeting.

At a media conference held on Sunday afternoon, Far North regional crime co-ordinator Detective Acting Superintendent Sonia Smith said an “extensive investigation” into the circumstances surrounding Mr Donahue’s death was underway. The incident is being investigated by the Ethical Standards Command on behalf of the State Coroner


Kochie smashes Baby Boomer housing ‘myth’

He is right. I remember paying 19% mortgage interest in the '80s. But houses were much cheaper then. The flood of amost free money unleashed by governments in response to the pandemic is the problem. It shot the cost of buying to unprecedented levels

Sunrise host David Koch has unleashed on Baby Boomers with a brutal message aimed at smashing the myth that young Aussies are simply too lazy to save for a home.

While it remains a persistent talking point among older Australians that younger generations are bad savers, the breakfast TV host analysed the issue to determine exactly why home ownership seems increasingly out of reach.

Koch, commonly referred to as Kochie, compared the financial burdens weighing on those trying to buy a home in the late 1980s versus now — and he found it had nothing to do with avocado toast.

“Back in my day, I was paying 17 per cent on my home loan. Now that was tough,” Koch began.

“All right, now hands up who has said that or been told that at a family get together recently. Is that grumpy oldie right or wrong? These are the facts.”

While it is true that the interest rate in 1989 and 1990 was at a staggering 17 per cent, compared to the six per cent rate today, Koch said exceptionally cheap house prices meant Boomers still had the better deal.

House prices have skyrocketed in Australia in recent years, while wages have struggled to keep pace. In fact, wages essentially did not move in the entire decade to 2023.

“Back in the 80s, the average cost of an Aussie house was $70,000. Now it’s $700,000 — ten times more expensive,” Koch told Channel 7’s Sunrise on Monday.

“A 20 per cent deposit has gone from $14,000 to $140,000, but wages have not kept pace.”

The TV host and financial expert explained how, in the 1980s, the average salary was $19,000. In 2023, it’s about $90,000.

“So in the 80s, the price of a house was four times the average person’s income,” he said.

“In 2023, it’s eight times the average Aussie salary.”

The situation is even worse in the most densely populated parts of the country. A 20 per cent deposit on the median dwelling in Sydney, for instance, is a staggering $220,000.

Contrary to the boomer myth, a recent study from the University of Sydney found the majority of young Australians already had a robust savings plan in place.

The study, which tracked a group of 25-35-year-old prospective first home buyers in Sydney and Perth, found that most had implemented standard budgeting strategies like cutting back on discretionary spending. One of the households surveyed only ate two-minute noodles for weeks at a time in their attempts to buy a home.

Still, the study found that 95 per cent of the group didn’t even come close to having enough savings for a home deposit. Three-quarters had less than $5000 in savings, and 40 per cent planned to call upon the bank of mum and dad when it came time to buy.

Koch’s tirade comes after a Finder survey revealed that one in three young Australians have missed their mortgage repayments in recent months.

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s 10 consecutive rate hikes since May are biting, as the financial comparison website’s monthly cost of living report showed 31 per cent of Gen Z borrowers (born 1995 onwards) had missed a mortgage repayment in the past six months.

By comparison, 11 per cent of Gen Y — also known as Millennials — had missed a repayment, and eight per cent of Gen X.

“Increases in housing costs are having a higher impact on Australian households than any other metric,” the report said.

“Younger generations were far more likely to report financial difficulty in managing their mortgage repayment.”


Climate deal struck after Labor and the Greens reach safeguard mechanism agreement

Keeping the lights on to be a bigger and bigger challenge

The federal government has secured the support it needs to implement its central climate change commitment, after reaching a deal with the Greens following months of safeguard mechanism negotiations.

The Greens have long demanded Labor commit to no new coal and gas projects, but the government has repeatedly ruled this out.

Greens leader Adam Bandt said the deal included a hard cap on emissions, which would impact new or expanded high-polluting projects.

He predicted the hard emissions cap would make it unviable for 116 new coal and gas projects in the pipeline because they would be unable to get their emissions below the limit.

"The Greens have stopped about half of them [in the pipeline] but Labor still wants to open the rest," Mr Bandt said.

"And, so, now there is going to be a fight for every new project that the government wants to open."

The safeguard mechanism bill before the parliament seeks to impose emissions limits on the 215 largest-polluting facilities in the country.

It requires those companies to cut, or pay offsets, to reduce their emissions by 4.9 per cent each year to 2030.

Climate Change Minister Chris Bowen has led the safeguard negotiations with the Greens since Labor won power last year. He said Labor only accepted amendments that were in keeping with Labor's election commitments and policy agenda.

"They do two things, strengthen accountability, transparency and integrity of the scheme and, secondly, provide extra support for those strategic manufacturing industries that are so important for our economy and transition as well," Mr Bowen said.

Extra support for some sectors

The deal will see the government offer extra money to support "Australia's sovereign capability" in the steel, aluminium and cement sectors.

There had been fears that those sectors would be forced offshore without additional support to cut emissions.

Mr Bandt said that, while the negotiations had been in good faith, he was critical of Labor's approach to coal and gas. "Negotiating with Labor is like negotiating with the political wing of the coal and gas corporations," he said. "Labor seems more afraid of the coal and gas corporations than the climate collapse."

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese thanked the Greens and the crossbench for engaging constructively in negotiations but took aim at the opposition.

"It says a lot about the state of the Liberal and National parties in 2023 that, in spite of the election result, they have excluded themselves from any participation," he said.

The Greens' support means Labor now has the numbers to pass the bill through the Senate, allowing it to take force from July 1.

Shadow Climate Change Minister Ted O'Brien said the cap agreed to as part of the deal would hurt Australian industry.

"In order for Australia to decarbonise our economy, we have to get the balance right between cutting emissions and allowing the economy to grow," he said.

"What we see today is a deal between Labor and the Greens that throws that balance out of whack."

But the Business Council of Australia said it was still supportive of the government's policy. "Additional support for trade-exposed businesses and workers, as well as critical sovereign capabilities, is a crucial step that will help save jobs and ensure Australian businesses are competing on the global stage," BCA chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.

"As designed, the safeguard mechanism and its baseline targets are tough but achievable, so we'll be working with members to assess the full impact of proposed changes."

Mega projects into doubt

The agreement has thrown two major gas projects in the Northern Territory into doubt, according to the Greens and environmentalists.

Gas companies have been wanting to open up hydraulic fracturing in the Beetaloo Basin while gas giant Santos has been seeking to open up the Barossa Gas Field, located off the coast of the NT.

The Nurrdalinji Native Title Aboriginal Corporation, which represents traditional owners of the Beetaloo Basin region, released a statement today expressing optimism the amendments to the Safeguards Mechanism Bill would make it harder for gas companies to get their projects approved.

"Our country is in the hands of these big gas companies and I feel very grateful that we may one day not have to fight to protect our land, sacred sites, culture and water," said the corporation's chair, Johnny Wilson.

"No one has seen the jobs and economic benefits which have long been promised by the fracking companies, and we do not believe they will ever come."

Beetaloo fracking decision looms

The oil and gas industry's peak body says Beetaloo fracking licences could be issued in a month, as critics say the government's promise to implement a key inquiry is "impossible".

Mr Bowen said the agreement would require "scope one" emissions from the Beetaloo to be offset. Scope one and two emissions are emissions that are directly controlled or owned by companies, while scope three emissions are emissions not directly controlled by a company.

Mr Bowen said new gas fields would be required to have "zero reservoir carbon" during development. "That's a condition which is international best practice and has been Australian best practice for many years," Mr Bowen said.

Mr Bandt said the agreement had effectively "derailed" both projects by imposing a limit on carbon emissions that prevented new coal and gas projects from being approved.




No comments: