MINE YOUR OWN BUSINESS

Energy companies are rebuffing the government’s efforts to have them extend the life of ageing coal plants. According to The Australian, Energy Australia’s managing director Catherine Tanna has written to Nationals MP Andrew Gee, responding to concerns about energy supply by rejecting the idea of extending the company’s Mount Piper station. Not only has the station struggled to acquire enough coal to keep it going, Tanna wrote: “Investors and financiers view coal as a legacy technology, one which will be replaced — it is only a matter of when.”

The government’s push for a sale of AGL’s Liddell power station also appears to be floundering, with a spokesperson for the sole company linked to a takeover, Delta Electricity, telling Fairfax: “It’s not for sale. There’s nothing to buy — that ends the speculation.” A poll by left-wing think-tank the Australia Institute has found keeping coal burning at Liddell is less popular with locals than some might have thought, with 61% of Hunter locals expressing a preference for renewables over coal.

Chief Scientist Alan Finkel wants the government to get on with legislating his Clean Energy Target, assuring an energy forum that, “The government is working avidly to try to come up with a way of perhaps varying our core recommendation in a way that will be acceptable in parliament or certainly in the party.”

DYNASTY LOSES LEADING LADY

Lady Mary Fairfax, once a central figure in one of Australia’s greatest media ownership struggles, has died at the age of 95.

Born Marie Wein in Poland, Lady Fairfax rose to prominence after marrying Warwick Fairfax in 1959. A socialite and one-time television host, she encouraged her son, also named Warwick, to return to Australia after her husband’s death in 1987 and take control of the family’s company.

That’s what 26-year-old Warwick did, borrowing $2.5 billion and wrestling control from other family members in a disastrous move that threatened to wreck the company and the super-rich family behind it. While Fairfax arguably never recovered, Lady Fairfax lived on in luxury, continuing her philanthropic work.

KIDMAN WINS

Aussie actress Nicole Kidman has won an Emmy for her role in the hit series Big Little Lies. Kidman used the award to draw attention to the prevalence of domestic violence, a theme the program dealt with. Donald Glover became the first African-American to take home the award for comedy director, while former press secretary to US President Donald TrumpSean Spicer made an appearance.

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Australian warships sent to South China Sea for military exercises

Flu outbreak claims life of Rosie Andersen, 8

Meals, apartment and income support: Ex-RSL president’s expenses revealed

Tracks divide locals, outrage experts

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Sydney: Ten Network’s creditors meet.

Muswellbrook: AGL opens up the Liddell power station for a media tour.

Brisbane: Anti-Adani protest outside Labor’s state HQ.

Canberra: Australian War Memorial chief Brendan Nelson speaks at the National Press Club.

Darwin: Memorial for globally renowned Australian musician Dr G Yunupingu.

THE COMMENTARIAT

Onus on SSM No campaigners to spell out safeguards they want — David Crowe (The Australian $): “Shelton cannot explain how the protections he demands will avoid the outcome he says he does not want.”

Irrepressible Lady Mary Fairfax — Neil Chenoweth (Australian Financial Review $): “The parties that she hosted at Fairwater were the stuff of legend. She drew names like Rex Harrison, Rudolf Nureyev, Liberace and Imelda Marcos to the ball she hosted for 1000 people to celebrate the opening of the Sydney Opera House in 1973.”

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

The No. 1 person keeping Malcolm Turnbull in The Lodge is … Bill Shorten — William Bowe: “These results suggest Shorten’s problem is not so much that he is viewed with hostility, as that he fails to rouse much passion one way or the other.”

Xenophon‘s spare change helps (a) Crikey, (b), Nick Xenophon, (c) basically no one else — Christopher Warren: “Two-thirds of the fund (about $11 million a year) is preserved for regional media. The problem with this restriction is that it’s difficult to see which existing companies will benefit. Almost all regional publishers are owned by Fairfax Media, followed by News Corp and Seven West Media. Television stations are part of networks, as is a lot of radio. So most of the potential beneficiaries are too large and/or too foreign to qualify.”

Court crushes Bruce Gordon and Lachlan Murdoch‘s Ten dreams — for now — Glenn Dyer: “Unless Gordon or Murdoch can find another Supreme Court judge to appeal to, or the court of appeal to issue an injunction, the second creditors’ meeting for the Ten Network will proceed in Sydney [today], with CBS expected to prevail.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

Peter Fray

Save up to 50% on a year of Crikey.

This extraordinary year is almost at an end. But we know that time waits for no one, and we won’t either. This is the time to get on board with Crikey.

For a limited time only, choose what you pay for a year of Crikey.

Save up to 50% or dig deeper so we can dig deeper.

See you in 2021.

Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

SAVE 50%