TURBULL TAKES FINKEL TARGET OFF HIS BACK
The Coalition government will walk away from the clean energy target outlined by Chief Scientist Alan Finkel. According to the Australian Financial Review, the government will instead deliver a plan that relies heavily on coal-fired power and a slower transition to renewables. The Fairfax papers also report the government is considering shifting the emissions baseline from 0.6 to 0.7 tonnes of carbon per megawatt hour, allowing high-efficiency coal plants to gain credits.
A group of backbench MPs including Tony Abbott is pushing against any clean energy target, with Abbott telling the party room a CET on top of the existing 23.5% renewable energy target would be “a difficult position to sustain”.
After the Liddell power plant fracas a new plant could be headed for the spotlight with The Australian splashing the case of the Mount Piper power plant today. The plant uses coal from the Springvale mine, which has had its operation extension blocked in court by green group 4nature over fears it will contaminate local water supply.
As a political storm rages around him, Australian Energy Market Operator chief executive Audrey Zibelman seems to be keeping her cool, saying yesterday the operator has a plan for the grid with or without Liddell.
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MEDIA REFORM DEAL CLOSE
Depending on who you believe, the government and Nick Xenophon are either very close to or already agreed on a deal that would alter Australia’s media ownership laws. Xenophon’s team has been haggling with Communications Minister Mitch Fifield, and the Australian Financial Review reports the South Australian senator is looking to secure funding for 200 cadet journalist positions in return for supporting deregulation. Other money will go to regional papers and towards innovation at an estimated cost of $20 million to $30 million a year.
A sticking point is whether foreign media outlets like The Guardian and The New York Times will get a cut, with The Australian indicating they will be excluded from the new funds. The support would instead flow to local outfits like The Saturday Paper and Crikey.
KOREA CLAMPS TIGHTEN
The United Nations Security Council has passed a new round of sanctions on Pyongyang, voting to limit oil and gas imports and halt textile exports. The US compromised with China and Russia on the sanctions, though there are concerns they may be ineffective because of a spike in illegal oil smuggling.
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
Lima: The International Olympic Committee will formally vote to confirm the hosts of the 2024 and 2028 games, which will go to Paris and Los Angeles respectively.
Sydney: Former NSW minister and Labor powerbroker Eddie Obeid will appeal his conviction and three-year jail term for misconduct in public office.
Canberra: The Coalition will introduce a “safeguard bill” that bans vilification and intimidation on the basis of sexual orientation, gender, or religious conviction. If passed, it will be in effect until results of the marriage survey are announced on November 15.
Canberra: The Australian War Memorial commemorates 70 years of peacekeeping missions, with director Brendan Nelson to speak.
Why Liddell represents the keys to the energy kingdom — Richard McIndoe (Australian Financial Review $): “The federal government would do well to devote more of its attention to efficiency and energy savings, rather than simply focusing on the supply side of the equation… This won’t please the generators, but it will lead to lower prices, lower emissions and massive reduction in the risk of national blackouts over the next few years.”
Tony Abbott on why same sex marriage would fundamentally change society — Tony Abbott (Sydney Morning Herald): “It’s a long time, thank God, since gay people have been discriminated against and just about everyone old enough to remember that time is invariably embarrassed at the intolerance that was once common.”
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
Nationalisation back on the agenda in politicians’ power panic — Bernard Keane: “It bears repeating something that has mysteriously been absent from most coverage of the Liddell issue: there is no need to keep this old, unreliable power station running beyond 2022. The Australian Energy Market Operator’s report was clear: the risk of unserved energy demand would be reduced to negligible levels if “additional renewable generation was to be developed to deliver a national renewable generation outcome”.”
‘A cautionary tale’: Cambodian government kills dissenting press — Mark Tilly: “Journalists who trained at The Cambodia Daily have gone on to write for wire services and publications such as The New York Times, AFP and The Washington Post, while former Daily editor Robin McDowell received a Pulitzer Prize last year.”
Media Files: Fuhrer fury at the ABC — Emily Watkins: “The ABC went for some cheap clicks yesterday by clipping and posting a talkback call that said Hitler had done a “good thing” by putting homosexual people in concentration camps, before later deleting it. A caller named ‘Don’ on Jon Faine’s morning program in Melbourne yesterday said, ‘Hitler had put all those kind of people in their own concentration camp. It’s one of the two good things he did.’ Faine was taking callers on the marriage equality survey with a guest, Victorian equal opportunity commissioner Kristen Hilton. After clarifying what the caller was saying (and repeating it), Faine said, ‘When people invoke Nazism for or against an argument, you pretty much know you’ve lost,’ and ended the call. The call stirred up some chatter on Twitter, and within a few hours, the call (without any other callers) had been clipped up, posted online and tweeted by the ABC Radio Melbourne account, but was later deleted.”
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