Inside the system

Santos admits business plan based on 4oC warming

Australia-based oil and gas giant Santos has admitted that its business plan is based on a 4oC rise in global temperatures. Global warming this high by the year 2100 is considered to be catastrophic—even by the World Bank. Such a trajectory of warming would lay waste to global food production, result in a ten metre rise in sea level and trigger apocalyptic droughts and storms.

Santos Chairman Peter Coates made the admission when questioned at the company’s AGM in Adelaide in early May. Coates was asked whether the company’s plans were based on the 2oC target set in the Paris climate agreement. This is the target endorsed by most governments as the maximum safe limit of warming, although many scientists say even this is a dangerous level.
He replied that the company had adopted a 4oC “pathway” as part of its strategy then went on to describe this as “sensible” and “consistent with good value” for shareholders.

Catholics direct funds to rich schools

Private Catholic schools are channelling government money towards rich schools in elite suburbs at the expense of their needier schools. Catholic schools are allowed to re-distribute government money within the Catholic system–supposedly according to need. This is far from the reality.

Data from the government’s new school funding estimator shows schools in rich areas of Sydney receive more money than those in Western Sydney and rural areas. St Brigid’s Primary School in Coogee got $7411 per student in 2015 and McAuley Primary School in the exclusive harbour-side suburb of Rose Bay got $8180. Meanwhile Mr Pritchard in Bonnyrigg in the far west of Sydney got $6490 per student in the same period and St Brigid’s Primary in Raymond Terrace on the outskirts of Newcastle got $6779.

Aboriginal man tasered to death

Cops tasered a black man to death outside an Officeworks store in Perth in May. Police were called to the store over a completely separate incident and came across the 40-year-old, Chad Riley, incidentally. According to shoppers the father of six was distressed and banging his head against a wall before police arrived.

Police approached him and became involved in an altercation that ended with Riley being tasered repeatedly by multiple officers. Already with a heart condition, he died after being rushed to Perth hospital.

Media reports have claimed he was suffering mental distress yet he had been discharged from medical care that morning.
The man’s family is demanding justice. His sister Cassandra told Nine News she believes the tasering caused his death, saying, “The adrenaline, the heart pumping, stress… and then the tasers would’ve just triggered it off”. Currently only an internal police investigation is taking place.

US company in Iraq hides smuggling, theft and sex trafficking

A US company with a $700 million government contract to secure an Iraqi airbase has been exposed as covering up organised criminal activity. An AAP investigation found that the company, Sallyport Global, turned a blind eye to theft, smuggling and possibly even sex trafficking.

The company’s job at the Iraqi government base was to run operations, train the Iraqis and maintain security. The base housed the first squadron of F-16 fighter jets delivered from the US to the Iraqi army. But when Sallyport took over it appears to have struck a deal with powerful Shiite militias there.

The company fired internal investigators who uncovered the wrongdoing. Two of them, Robert Cole and Kristie King, say they uncovered evidence the company’s employees were involved in prostitution and human trafficking. They reportedly smuggled so much alcohol onto the base that in some cases planes visibly see-sawed under the weight. A militia stole two generators with a crane which they drove straight past Sallyport security. While investigating alcohol smuggling Cole and King uncovered a prostitution ring in Baghdad with Sallyport employees as customers. Ethiopians had been infiltrated into the base as housekeepers but were working as prostitutes. Unmoved, Sallyport Chief Operating Officer Matt Stuckart said, “It is absurd to suggest that the company would shut down an inquiry into a matter of such gravity”.

Fairfax pays CEO $7.2 million as it cuts jobs

As Fairfax announced it was cutting 125 editorial jobs at its newspapers, it emerged that CEO Greg Hywood was paid as much as $7.2 million last year. The company claims it has to cut jobs to save $30 million. But it’s clear they could save plenty by cutting executive salaries.

The true size of his pay packet was masked by undervaluing share options. Stock analysts believe he has already been paid out in cash for the options, for a tidy sum of $5.6 million. His “incentive package” was delivered based on making 15 per cent cost cuts at the company.

Keating says the rich are over-taxed

Former Labor PM Paul Keating has come out hard against the ALP’s proposed 49.5 per cent tax rate for top earners on over $180,000. He described the tax as “too punitive” and suggested it be 39 per cent “at the most”.

His impassioned intervention on behalf of the rich came in response to Bill Shorten’s post-budget proposal to make the existing 2 per cent temporary deficit levy permanent. Keating pointed out that as part of the Hawke and Keating Labor governments he had personally reduced the top marginal income tax rate from 67 to 47 per cent. Wayne Swan recently took to The Guardian to defend this record as “a guiding light”.

Macquarie not taxed by massive CEO pay

While the banks complain about paying more tax, it has emerged that Macquarie group CEO Nicholas Moore was Australia’s highest paid boss last year. In the 12 months to May he was paid an astounding $18.71 million. This is 239 times the average annual wage. His annual pay rise alone was $700,000.


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