Crikey Worm: government set to announce new energy plan
Good morning, early birds. The government will finally -- finally -- reveal its energy plan this week as a report from the ACCC reveals the true cause of energy bill price increases, and the US demands a "please explain" from Australia after last week's defence contractor hack. It's the news you need to know, with Max Chalmers.
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THE PRICE OF POWER
The government’s protracted response to the energy review authored by Chief Scientist Dr Alan Finkel is set to conclude this week, with a new energy plan expected in the coming days. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will meet with cabinet today and likely emerge with a plan that reduces subsidies for renewable energy and pushes investment in new power generators, according toThe Australian. As indicated last week, it is not expected to include a Clean Energy Target.
In today’s Newspoll, voters express mixed feelings on the energy debate: 63% say subsidies for renewables should continue while 58% say they are not prepared to pay any more on top of current bills in order to meet a Clean Energy Target. Unfortunately for Turnbull, the overall polling is less mixed. Labor has won its 21st consecutive Newspoll, leading the Coalition 54-46.
AUSTRALIA QUESTIONED OVER HACK
US officials have asked Australian counterparts to explain the hack of a defence subcontractor, revealed last week. According to a Fairfax scoop, Australian figures have been asked about the incident, with concerns about leakage of US intellectual property tied to the Joint Strike Fighter project.
As questions about the security of Australian defence contractors linger, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has assured Australians the country is not a primary target of North Korea. The comments came after Bishop was attacked by North Korean state media, which warned Australia would “not be able to avoid disaster” if it continued to back perceived provocations by the US.
Confusingly, the row played out as Bishop offered a rare rebuke of the US, calling on the country to retain its anti-nuclear deal with Iran, which President Donald Trump has declined to re-certify.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT
“The state has no business telling us who we should love and how, sexually or otherwise,” Sydney’s Catholic Archbishop Anthony Fishertold attendees at Mass on Sunday, as he encouraged a no vote in the marriage postal survey. Same-sex couples currently barred from marriage by the state may well agree.
NSW: Year 12 students begin their final Higher School Certificate examinations.
Canberra: Both houses of Parliament sit.
Canberra: Speakers including Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and Shadow Minister Penny Wong address the 2017 Australian Institute of International Affairs Conference.
Brisbane: The man who allegedly assaulted Kevin Rudd’s godson over his support for marriage equality faces court.
Jacqui Lambie’s plan to fix the lobbying racket in Canberra — Jacqui Lambie (Sydney Morning Herald): “Unions like the CFMEU are exempt. Industry groups like the Minerals Council of Australia are exempt. In-house lobbyists for tobacco companies are exempt from the rules. Tony Abbott could resign tomorrow, take up a job working as a third-party lobbyist, and he’d be completely within the rules.”
Real challenge to set out clear energy policy — David Crowe (The Australian $): “The government has a real challenge in setting out an energy policy that scales back subsidies for renewables when voters clearly believe these are worthwhile. The obvious risk is voters will respond to Bill Shorten when he sticks to his 50 per cent renewable target.”
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF FRIDAY
What next for the Citizenship Seven? — Sally Whyte: “Canavan has told reporters it’s up to his ‘boss’ — his wife — to decide if he quits politics or not if the Court doesn’t rule in his favour.”
When banks stopped educating and started manipulating Australian kids — Douglas Ross: “The key skill children seem to acquire is earning tokens to be redeemed for rewards, much like those rewards we receive by using our credit cards. What seems likely as being fostered is not financial literacy in young Australians but a relationship with debt.”
Trump-backing US Congressman in hot water over Aussie company — Glenn Dyer: “A US Congressional ethics oversight body says New York Republican House of Representatives member Chris Collins may have broken US federal law when he took actions to help listed Australian biotech Innate Immunotherapeutics, in which Collins holds a big stake.”
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