1. Red Kezza moves on
Kerry O’Brien is moving on from Four Corners after 40 years of working for the ABC. He says he is not retiring from journalism, just moving on to other things.
He’s being replaced by the redoubtable Sarah Ferguson. Amanda Meade at The Guardian backgrounds Sarah Ferguson and her making of the series on domestic violence Hitting Home.
I think Sarah Ferguson is in a class of her own.
It seems we have Tony Jones to thank for her presence in Australia. The two met in France, got married in Essex and she came to Australia with him.
Alluvial gully erosion is reckoned to be the largest land-use driven contributor of fine sediment to the reef.
- the Burdekin River catchment alone sends enough sediment towards the reef lagoon each year to fill a line of dump trucks extending from Perth to Sydney and back again.
This is a sample of what it looks like:
Remediation can reduce soil runoff by 75% but costs $25,000 to $30,000 per hectare. Only $5.5 million is currently earmarked to address the problem – a fraction of the $100 million needed to make a real difference.
The NSW government has sold the backbone of the nation’s electricity network, Transgrid, to a consortium of local and offshore buyers for $10,26 billion.
- It will now move to sell half of Ausgrid and Endeavour Energy, which distributes electricity to households and businesses in Sydney, Newcastle and Wollongong. The Ausgrid sale is expected to be concluded by mid-2016.
All up the NSW power network assets are expected to fetch more than $20 billion over the next 18 months.
Competition is supposed to be good for everyone, but sometimes the workers get screwed.
- Over the past five years, Pizza Hut has faced fierce competition from rival chains, particularly from the fast-growing Domino’s chain and premium pizza chains. The increased competition has led to Pizza Hut closing some of its restaurant stores to focus on home delivery and introducing steep discounts to win customers.
Franchisees have been ordered to slash prices by 50% to take market share of rivals, according to Fairfax. Drivers are being offered a variety of contracts, which leave them earning as little as $12 per hour without super or WorkCover.
SDA national secretary Gerard Dwyer says the current agreement with Pizza Hut does not allow for contractors. A new agreement is being negotiated, but
- under the current EBA delivery drivers at Pizza Hut are to be paid $20.35 per hour if employed as a full-time worker or $25.44 per hour if employed as a casual worker. Drivers also receive $2.13 per delivery on top of the hourly rate to cover vehicle costs.
At the same time Pizza Hut is fighting its franchisees in the Federal Court after they launched a class action against head office alleging unconscionable conduct under the franchising code.
5. Mali attack
Nineteen people were killed plus two Islamist militants in an attack on the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, the capital of Mali.
Back in 2012 al-Qaida-linked militant Islamists had taken over a large swathe of northern Mali. Early in 2013 France deployed 3,700 troops to help the faltering efforts of Mali’s military. In 23 days they retook the territory.
- Al-Mourabitoun – which claimed it carried out the hotel attack – is a more recent incarnation of militant Islamism. Based in northern Mali it is made up mostly of Tuaregs and Arabs and was formed about two years ago.
Introduction to Saturday salon
Because of the way the blog currently presents posts on the home page I think it’s better to remove the introductory material to a different place. For new readers, here’s the rationale for this space.
An open thread where, at your leisure, you can discuss anything you like, well, within reason and the Comments Policy. Include here news and views, plus any notable personal experiences from the week and the weekend.
For climate topics please use the most recent Climate clippings.
The gentleman in the image is Voltaire, who for a time graced the court of Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great. King Fred loved to talk about the universe and everything at the end of a day’s work. He also used the salons of Berlin to get feedback in the development of public policy.
Fred would only talk in French; he regarded German as barbaric. Here we’ll use English.
The thread will be a stoush-free zone. The Comments Policy says:
The aim [of this site] is to provide a venue for people to contribute and to engage in a civil and respectful manner.