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 to The Australian. As indicated last week, it is not expected to include a Clean Energy Target.
Energy will again dominate Parliament as MPs return to Canberra and Treasurer Scott Morrison releases a report by the ACCC showing energy bills have increased in real terms by 30% over the past eight years. While the ACCC identifies the growing cost of renewables as part of the reason for rising prices, the surge was mostly fuelled by network costs and a lack of competition.
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 Fisher told 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.
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WHAT’S ON TODAY
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.
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