1. Three first nations people in Queensland parliament
Lance McCallum, newly elected Labor MP for Bundamba now joins Cynthia Lui, Labor Member for Cook and Leeanne Enoch, Member for Algester and Minister for Environment and the Great Barrier Reef, Minister for Science and Minister for the Arts in the Queensland parliament:
Tuesday 26 May was National Sorry Day, commemorating the Bringing Them Home report. National Sorry Day is on the eve of National Reconciliation Week (27 May to 3 June). The Qld Government marked the week with:
- “The $250,000 Celebrating Reconciliation Small Grants Program is our biggest round yet and will support up to 48 Queensland events by councils, community groups and non-profit organisations to be held during or around National Reconciliation Week 2021,” he said.
The Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships-funded program has supported more than 100 reconciliation events since launching in 2018.
“He” was the Minister for Fire and Emergency Services and Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships, Craig Crawford.
Professor Megan Davis, Pro Vice-Chancellor Indigenous and Professor of Law at UNSW Sydney, has been named the Balnaves Chair in Constitutional Law. Prof Davis had much to do with the formulation of the Uluru Statement from the Heart and continues working on promoting its acceptance. Now funded by the Balnaves Foundation she doesn’t have to worry about university cuts.
2. Remembering and honouring Jack Mundey
As Wendy Bacon says, communists don’t usually get to become Australian heroes.
Mundey was said to be the first to weaponise the word green in politics. Those who enjoy the heritage buildings and green spaces of Sydney can thank him, but he did more than that. As Wikipedia says:
- During the 1960s, Mundey was a crusading unionist and an advocate on a wide range of issues from safety reforms on building sites to wider issues such as feminism, gay rights and international politics. Mundey considered all these matters appropriate targets for union activism.
Mundey was born and raised in Malanda in the Atherton Tableland as the son of a poor Irish Catholic dairy farmer. He ran away from St Augustine’s in Cairns, because of its “authoritarian methods” of discipline. At 19 he became a metal worker, later a builder’s labourer in Sydney.
In 2003 he joined the Greens, at the time of the Iraq War, and remained a member until he died.
Vale Jack Mundey. His life made a difference.
3. Target shrinks its footprint
We’ve known for ages that the department store chain Target has been struggling, so it was no surprise that Wesfarmers has announced that some stores will close and some will convert to K-Mart, which is a stronger brand.
I’m surprised at how many are being kept open. Here’s the Full list of Target stores that will close or be converted to Kmarts.
Agriculture Minister David Littleproud blasted Wesfarmers, suggesting a boycott of their stores including Bunnings and Officeworks. How that would help employment or the public is not at all clear. He says that the closure was immoral and showed the company “don’t give a rat’s about us”.
Not sure how that would help, but it shows what a buffoon we have as an agriculture minister. Companies trading in the bush are not charities or public services. They need to make profits and modernise to respond to changes in the industry and buying habits of customers.
A broking firm whose advice I have access to says the change is going to cost Wesfarmers over half a billion. Their revenue runs at about $30 billion and EBIT (earnings before interest and tax) about $3 billion. Littleproud is suggesting we kill a company that pays about a billion in tax, unlike companies such as Amazon. Or are we just meant to regard what he says as blather?
The broking firm says K-Mart is probably best in class, and is building its online business, which trades as Catch. I’m surprised that K-Mart will still have a presence in places as small as Chinchilla and Goondiwindi, both in Littleproud’s electorate of Maranoa.
The broking house is forecasting that Wesfarmers shareholders will take a hit of 51% in dividends from last year. Yes, I’m one of them and without us there would be no Australian-owned companies. Littleproud doesn’t give a rats about us.
4. Happy birthday to Scott Morrison
Is he worth feeding? He thinks 1.1 million visa holders are not worth feeding. Settlement Services International found:
- In the survey of nearly 500 people on temporary visas carried out by SSI over the past eight weeks, 62% indicated they have gone without meals, 76% could not pay the rent or a mortgage on time, and 52% could not buy the medicines they required.
To be fair, I think the 500 was made up of people who contacted SSI for help.
Katharine Murphy in A year after his ‘miracle’ win, this is what we’ve learned about Scott Morrison says with Covid 19 we’ve learned that Morrison can learn.
Did you notice the link in the margin to The sports rorts questions that Scott Morrison still hasn’t answered?
Peter Brent in Happy anniversary? says:
- Last year Morrison enjoyed seven months of sunshine before an unwise holiday in the Pacific followed by several blundered attempts to reset his public persona.
But that’s all forgotten now. He’s riding high, as are the state and territory leaders. It’s a respite from a long, steady depletion of trust in political parties and governments, assisted by sluggish economies. But while the coronavirus will linger, our leaders’ heightened stature can’t.
By rights Labor should win in 2022, he says, but Morrison’s mob are seen as the better economic managers.
He says that with Covid 19 Morrison’s biggest problem is within. A substantial number of members are grumpy
- partly because they have internalised the propaganda about the Rudd government’s response to the global financial crisis: you can’t spend your way out of trouble. Now this centre-right government is doing the same, but on steroids. There’s also the related backlash against the health restrictions, which often veers into voodoo analysis, mixing up cause and effect (namely, “all these restrictions and for what, just a few deaths?”)