Scott Morrison has now declared the floods a national emergency.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has today declared a national emergency in response to the floods crisis in Northern New South Wales and Southeast Queensland.
Just like with the 2019-2020 summer bushfires, the national emergency declaration gives the Federal Government the power to deploy money and resources faster where necessary. The emergency status relates to both NSW and Queensland.
"I have made this decision today, in consultation with the Premiers … and it will ensure our Ministers and agencies don't face any unnecessary bureaucracy as they roll out what communities need," Morrison said.
It comes as the Prime Minister travels to Lismore today to see for himself the aftermath of the floods.
Twitter has been full of people sharing images of Northern Rivers locals holding climate action signs and wishing to express their frustrations.
The consensus among many is why did it take so long for the government to declare a national emergency, when resources were desperately needed?
This is what's waiting for Morrison at his first press event, at the local emergency operations centre. One protester says:— Christopher Knaus (@knausc) March 9, 2022
"Every person that is hurt, that is what climate change looks like. It's not abstract. And we need our prime minister to show up and... talk about it." pic.twitter.com/wUfaqhRs5h
'It’s an absolute joke': Locals in Lismore have reacted to the arrival of Prime Minister Scott Morrison to their flood-hit suburbs. Some say his arrival is 'too late'. Others want to see government action. pic.twitter.com/pFwePNX8xK— SBS News (@SBSNews) March 9, 2022
Just how much damage will sanctions do to Russia?
Multiple countries have hit Russia with sanctions amid Putin’s decision to invade Ukraine, leading Russia to become the most sanctioned-country in the world. Most of the sanctions so far have been targeted to individuals and Russian financial institutions, but the impact they will potentially have is major.
Today it was also announced that McDonald's, Starbucks, Coca-Cola and Pepsi are temporarily closing hundreds of stores in Russia. The closure of McDonald's 847 restaurants also carry symbolic importance in Russia, where the first location to open, in central Moscow's Pushkin Square in 1990, became a symbol of flourishing American capitalism as the Soviet Union fell.
As trivial as it is, McDonalds closing down in Russia is very symbolic. When the first restaurant opened in Moscow in 1990, my parents joined a line of 30,000 people to get in. For most Russians it was the first glimpse of what eating out could be like over the Iron Curtain. pic.twitter.com/CYSlVXTGAu— Varia Bortsova 🎪 (@variainayurt) March 8, 2022
It also affects the world of sport, with Russian and Belarusian gymnasts and officials banned from international competition indefinitely and Russia now appealing their suspension from international soccer.
So how much damage will these sanctions do to the Russian economy?
The country's financial markets have been thrown into turmoil and the uncertainty over prices is prompting Russian civilians to stock up on essentials. Visa and Mastercard have also blocked the sanctioned Russian financial institutions from their payment networks.
What this all means is not just financial pressure on Russia’s power players, but ultimately the impact will be felt the most by everyday people too.
- With AAP.
Scott Morrison expected to meet "frosty reception" in Lismore today.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is currently on his way to Lismore and lets just say... he's not expected to receive a very warm welcome.
In fact, some are suggesting we could see a repeat of his infamous trip to Cobargo during the 2019-20 bushfires when he was faced with upset locals.
Shadow Minister for Natural Disaster and Emergency Management, Murray Watt, said Morrison, who left COVID-19 isolation last night, is on for a "frosty reception" from locals in the flood-ravaged town.
"This is my third day in Lismore ... and every single person I speak to, the first thing they say to me is, where is the government?" he told ABC’s RN Breakfast.
"They have felt completely abandoned during the crisis itself. And now they feel completely abandoned in the job of cleaning up and recovering. I haven’t seen a single federal minister on the ground while I’ve been here. I haven’t seen a single federal official on the ground to coordinate things."
Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, also said he would be "incredibly surprised" if locals were happy to see the prime minister today.
"I would be incredibly surprised [if people gave] a happy reception. They’re not happy. They’re not in a happy place," he told Sky News this morning.
"This is an issue that we completely understand. But every natural disaster, you try your best to mitigate the effects on the people [but] you can’t completely fix. It’s just not financially possible."
Morrison is expected to announce a national emergency in response to northern New South Wales floods today, which will give allow the government to deploy more resources.
We'll be sure to keep you updated when the prime minister arrives.
The pop culture stories you missed.
Two words: Josh Hartnett.
If you watched absolutely any movies in the early 2000s, Hartnett's name and face will be familiar. You may have even had them plastered on your bedroom wall (guilty).
After a few years of completely dominating Hollywood film, Hartnett seemed to disappear out of the spotlight. Where the heck did he go? You know I read every single word of this deep dive to find out: A wedding and a return to our screens: Josh Hartnett's life after disappearing from the spotlight.
Speaking of things from the past, this story from my colleague Charlie about famous relationships we collectively forgot ever happened is so good: "It was pretty hot and heavy." Just 17 celebrity couples we completely forgot existed.
I personally have never forgotten about Hiddleswift - that weird time in 2016 gave us the song 'Getaway Car', which is juicy pop perfection. I had however scrubbed Ryan Reynolds and Alanis Morissette's relationship from my memory, and I bloody enjoyed the reminder.
Morrison on his way to flood impact zones, and all the news you need to know this morning.
Morning pals, in case you missed it, some important news out of International Women's Day yesterday.
In a new poll surveying Australian GPs, more than half said longer consultations are the most 'pressing change' they want to see to better help Aussie women. While over in Victoria, Premier Daniel Andrews announced the government will help parents get back into the workforce by giving businesses to $20,000 for hiring an unemployed or underemployed single parent.
You can read all about it in yesterday's blog here.
But first, lets get you up to speed with the biggest news stories women are talking about this morning, Wednesday March 9.
1. NSW flood death toll rises as Morrison emerges from isolation and heads to the impact zones.
A woman and a man have been found dead in floodwaters in Sydney, as the NSW's death toll rises to eight.
Their bodies were found hundreds of metres from where their car had previously been found in a stormwater canal at Wentworthville in Sydney's west on Tuesday.
As flooding and heavy rain continues, conditions worse than 2021 floods were already occurring on Tuesday afternoon in western Sydney on the Upper Nepean River at Menangle, and the Hawkesbury River at Lower Portland and Wisemans Ferry.
"Rapid rises have been observed at Windsor where the river level has exceeded the March 2021 event and is likely to reach levels just below the March 1978 event on Wednesday," it said.
The Bureau of Meteorology warns the Hawkesbury River could reach 14.3 metres today.
Endeavour Energy said about 1700 homes and businesses near flooding rivers in Western Sydney were without power on Tuesday night, and a further 300 were expected to lose power.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison got out of COVID isolation last night, and is on his way up to the Northern Rivers today.
In Queensland, the state's southeast is bracing for more rain with severe thunderstorms forecast today.
More than 1200 defence force troops were cleaning up homes and businesses in Gympie, Gatton, St Lucia, Fairfield, Graceville, Rocklea, Esk, Gatton, Grantham and Goodna on Tuesday.
2. Australia listed as 'unfriendly country' by Russia.
The Russian government led by President Vladimir Putin has approved a list of "unfriendly states" that includes Australia, all European Union countries and the United States among others amid the war in Ukraine.
Apart from countries, the hostile list also includes foreign territories that, according to officials in Moscow, have committed hostile actions against the Russia, its companies and citizens.
According to Interfax, the list was signed by Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and is part of the Decree of the President of the Russian Federation issued on March 5 on the temporary procedure for fulfilling obligations with certain foreign creditors.
The Russian government has approved a list of 'unfriendly states', which names Australia among a number of other countries:https://t.co/l4rUnSpSm0— SBS News (@SBSNews) March 7, 2022
In practical terms, being on the list simply means that Russian citizens, companies, or the government itself can only pay debts to any individual or company in roubles.
3. Thousands stuck in Ukrainian city without water or power for a week.
Hundreds of thousands of people have been sheltering from bombardment without water or power for more than a week in the Ukrainian port city, Mariupol.
Residents tried to flee on Tuesday along a safe corridor but Ukraine said they came under Russian fire.
"Ceasefire violated! Russian forces are now shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol," Ukraine's foreign ministry spokesperson Oleg Nikolenko wrote on Twitter.
Ceasefire violated! Russian forces are now shelling the humanitarian corridor from Zaporizhzhia to Mariupol. 8 trucks + 30 buses ready to deliver humanitarian aid to Mariupol and to evac civilians to Zaporizhzhia. Pressure on Russia MUST step up to make it uphold its commitments.— Oleg Nikolenko (@OlegNikolenko_) March 8, 2022
Russia opened a separate corridor allowing residents out of the eastern city of Sumy on Tuesday, the first successful evacuation under such a safe route.
Buses left Sumy for Poltava further west, only hours after a Russian air strike which regional officials said had hit a residential area and killed 21 people. Reuters could not verify the incident..
The United Nations human rights office said it had verified 1335 civilian casualties in Ukraine, including 474 killed and 861 injured, since the invasion began on February 24.
4. Shane Warne to be farewelled on March 30.
The funeral for Aussie cricket legend Shane Warne is expected to take place at the MCG in front of 100,000 at the end of the month.
The funeral is expected to be held on Wednesday, March 30, after a private funeral is held as early as next week.
Warne’s body will be flown home to Melbourne from Bangkok by private jet on Wednesday or Thursday, after the 52-year-old died in his Thailand villa on Friday.
#ShaneWarne’s state funeral set to be held at the iconic MCG in front of an expected crowd of 100,000 to give a fitting farewell to the Australian spin king in the next two to three weeks.https://t.co/J3w2T7Bgwm— Circle of Cricket (@circleofcricket) March 8, 2022
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews announced Warne’s family accepted his offer of a state funeral earlier this week.
I've spoken with the Warne family again today and they have accepted my offer of a State Funeral to remember Shane.— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) March 6, 2022
It will be an opportunity for Victorians to pay tribute to his contribution to his sport, to our state and the country.
Details will be finalised in coming days.
5. Prince Andrew’s family paying his court settlement because “he has no money.”
There are reports Prince Charles and the Queen are loaning Prince Andrew, the money to pay an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Roberts Giuffre after she claimed he sexually abused her and raped her on three separate occasions when she was 17.
Prince Andrew has consistently denied the accusations, and was preparing to go to a civil trial later this year, but a financial deal (believed to be $AUD20 million) was reached in February.
The Sun reports, "He has no income or money to repay a bank loan, so the family is the only way to guarantee the payment,” with the publication reporting both Charles and the Queen are helping - but no public cash is being used.
It’s reported Andrew plans to pay his family back once he’s sold his ski chalet in Switzerland.
And that's it, you're all up to speed. We'll be back to bring you more of the biggest news stories throughout the day.
- With AAP.
What will it take to end the war in Ukraine?
It's been nearly two weeks since Russia invaded Ukraine, and already there are reports thousands of people have died, and numerous efforts to end the conflict peacefully through diplomatic talks between the two nations have failed.
Everyone witnessing the violence is desperate for the devastation to stop and the conflict to end once and for all, but how can peace be achieved when Russian President Vladimir Putin appears to be showing no mercy?
The Quicky speaks to an expert in international security to consider what the realistic options are for an end to the hostilities, and what impacts they may have on not only the people of Europe, but the entire world.
Feature Image: Getty/Twitter @knausc.