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Bushfires may crimp living standards long term as insurance costs hit $2b

The insurance bill for this season's bushfires and hail storms has risen above $2.1 billion as economists warn the country will pay for the disasters with lower living standards long term. Economists believe the full impact of the fires will be felt over the next six months, particularly in areas directly reliant on tourists and household consumption, before a rebound by year's end and into 2021. The Insurance Council of Australia said ..

‘Doesn’t know what’s going on’: PM savages NSW Environment Minister

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has widened the split with the NSW government in issuing a savage rebuke to the state's Environment Minister over claims senior Coalition members are privately pushing for more ambitious emission reduction targets. Speaking on ABC's AM program, Mr Morrison said Environment Minister Matt Kean "doesn't know what he's talking about" and that "most of the federal cabinet wouldn't even know who Ma..

Morrison government set to announce NDIS overhaul

Participants in the National Disability Insurance Scheme have suffered lengthy delays on decisions and uncertainty and distress caused by a lack of information, prompting a fresh federal government pledge to fix the system. An independent review into the scheme, to be released by the Morrison government on Monday, includes 29 recommendations to cut wait times, improve services and to make plans amendable. NDIS Minister Stuart Robert.Credit:Alex E..

PM to announce bushfire support package for small businesses

Small businesses hit by Australia's bushfires will have access to new grants, interest-free loans and financial counselling under a multimillion-dollar support package to be unveiled by the Morrison government. Prime Minister Scott Morrison will announce on Monday the immediate support for small businesses that have been affected by fires across the country, saying it is critical to get them back on their feet. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said..

Parents and volunteer firefighters to get extra, faster payments

Bushfire-affected parents will get an extra $400 one-off payment for each child while volunteer firefighters will get at least $200 a day from the federal government's $2 billion bushfire recovery fund. Prime Minister Scott Morrison hasn't put a limit on how much the government will spend on the payments, promising it will be "as much as it takes". "I've said we will make the payments where we need to make the payments," he told re..

Defence force stands ready for horror fire days

Australian soldiers, sailors and pilots are on alert to help in Friday's horror fire conditions, in particular to make sure communities that get cut off will have supplies they need. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says Australian Defence Force personnel have pro-actively prepared plans to get necessary supplies to towns cut off by bushfires, after thousands of people were stranded in coastal towns on recent extreme bushfire days. The Australi..

Iran plane shooting not intentional: Morrison

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the downing of a Ukrainian plane over Iran was not an intentional act. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he believed an Iranian missile brought the plane down, killing 176 people, including 63 Canadian citizens. Mr Morrison said Australia had received similar intelligence to Canada and the United States about what happened to Ukraine International Airlines flight PS752. "The intelligence that we have i..

‘For God’s sake’: Rudd says PM unfit for job after Liberal Party bushfire ad

Kevin Rudd says Scott Morrison is unfit to occupy Australia's highest office after the Prime Minister released a promotional Liberal Party video spruiking his response to the bushfire crisis, which has been the subject of fierce criticism. The Prime Minister released the video on social media on Saturday evening as catastrophic conditions again hit New South Wales and Victoria and the mercury neared 50 degrees celsius in Penrith, western Syd..

‘Disappointing’: RFS boss says he heard of defence deployment from media, not PM

NSW Rural Fire Service Commissioner Shane Fitzsimmons says Prime Minister Scott Morrison did not inform him he was deploying 3000 army reservists to help with the bushfire crisis and the timing of the announcement hampered the response effort on a catastrophic day. Commissioner Fitzsimmons said it was "disappointing" to hear about the announcement via media reports amid a horror day for the state, adding it had tied up resources. "All I can say i..

The strangest of thought experiments: What would prime minister Tony Abbott have done during...

January 5, 2020 — 12.00amOn Thursday I walked into the building at 1 Bligh Street, Sydney, where the Commonwealth Parliament has its Sydney offices, to attend a press conference Prime Minister Scott Morrison was giving in response to the fires. As I approached reception I spotted a familiar figure loping, in his peculiarly muscular way, across the foyer. It was Tony Abbott, who has his office in the building. I asked him if he would like to talk ..

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