Chief Scientist Alan Finkel will today recommend that Australia develop a hydrogen energy industry at a crucial Council of Australian Governments (COAG) meeting. Here, in seperate news, the federal government will also seek in-principle approval from state and territory energy ministers on the National Energy Guarantee.
According to The Australian ($), Finkel will tell ministers that Australia is already in a global race for hydrogen products, as recently announced Japanese-Australian hydrogen projects in Queensland and Victoria demonstrate, and that brown coal with carbon capture is reportedly the cheapest production option.
Today’s COAG meeting also acts as the first of two deadlines on the NEG, with a second planned after/if the policy passes a federal Coalition partyroom meeting next Tuesday. It will face some last minute pressure from Victoria and (reportedly hyperbolic) federal warnings over blackouts. A coalition of business groups and the Clean Energy Council also reportedly urged state and territory ministers to pass the policy at a private stakeholders meeting ($) in Sydney last night.
UNIONS OPT OUT
Unions have sparked calls for yet another boycott of My Health Record over concerns that the system could allow employers to gain access to private health data and that the current laws are unclear.
The Sydney Morning Herald reports that the Australian Council of Trade Unions and affiliates have discussed concerns that, under the new scheme, employer doctors could access and pass on a workers’ entire medical history.
While comments from the federal government and the Australian Digital Health Agency conflict with advice from Maurice Blackburn Lawyers over the validity of these concerns, groups such as the Electrical Trades Union the Rail Tram and Bus Union have called on their members to opt-out of the system.
GOD SAVE THE MPS
Australian MPs have been inundated with calls for free portraits of Queen Elizabeth II following reports from a Vice report on a little-known “constituents’ request program”.
The ABC reports that Melbourne MP Tim Watts has reported dozens of “tongue in cheek” requests as part of Australians’ apparent right to “nationhood materials” such as flags, the national anthem and images of the Queen and Prince Philip.
Watts has taken the bizarre opportunity to chuck in some “nationhood material of my own from Melbourne’s west”, including portraits of Julia Gillard and former Bulldogs captain Bob Murphy, while Terri Butler has tweeted about having to be talked out of giving photos of Beyoncé “to constituents whose correspondence does not adequately particularise their request for a picture of the Queen”.
THEY REALLY SAID THAT?
Well as I indicated in my comments this morning the advice I had was that it had been screened, you obviously have gone and done a lot of checking on this afternoon, and I will go check the advice that you have.
In one of the cringiest interviews of the year ($), the Victorian Transport Minister learns direct from Sky News’ David Speers and Laura Jayes that the channel’s Nazi interview may not have been actually aired at train stations.
CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY
“Recent revelations of sexual misconduct allegations against members and representatives of the Greens are regrettably and devastatingly unremarkable. Sexual violence happens inside the Greens, just as it likely happens inside most organisations. What is remarkable, however, is that the Greens so egregiously failed — and continue to fail — to properly respond to allegations of sexual violence, including my own, against members of the party.”
“But all of that nuance was rejected by many on Twitter who savaged BuzzFeed’s Alice Workman for her journalism, with accusations it was some anti-Labor campaign. If you went back in the Twitter timelines of many such people, you would almost certainly find them gleefully retweeting and endorsing Workman’s work on the scandal around Michaelia Cash’s office’s role in tipping off the media about union raids. Workman had gone from hero to enemy because she had applied the same journalistic skills to a Labor figure.”
“This week, international provider CNN asks the world: ‘is Australia becoming a more racist country?’ This, in my view, is a crucial question. After CNN got to it, though, it’s one that remains without answer. To assess the racism of this nation-state, CNN does not look to relative measures of poverty, poor health or criminalisation. CNN does not look closely to the racist policies and presentations of the Australian state. It its precis for a global audience, CNN looks largely to the telly and other popular media.”
READ ALL ABOUT IT
WHAT’S ON TODAY
State and territory energy ministers will meet with Federal Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg for a COAG discussion on the National Energy Guarantee.
An internal investigation into Labor MP Emma Husar will be released to the party’s administration committee.
NSW Labor leader Luke Foley and Monovithya Kem, the Cambodia National Rescue Party’s deputy director-general of public affairs and daughter of imprisoned Cambodian opposition leader Kem Sokha, will again call for the Australian government to reject the result of the Hun Sen regime’s “sham re-election”.
Sydney charity Animal Works will celebrate World Lion Day, held in honour of Christian the Lion’s birthday, with an exhibition this weekend raising money for wildlife conservation.
A parliamentary inquiry into Australia’s aid program in the Indo-Pacific region will hold a public hearing, with expected speakers set to include Oxfam, Save the Children and the Refugee Council of Australia.
IOOF witnesses, including managing director Christopher Kelaher, are set to appear at a banking royal commission hearing into superannuation. Energy Super chair Scott Wilson is also on witness list.
An Australian War Memorial touring exhibition exploring Indigenous Australians’ military service, For Country, For Nation, will launch today.
Day one of the two-day Victorian dental show.
The Boy From Oz, starring Rohan Browne as Peter Allen, will hold a dress rehearsal ahead of its opening in Melbourne.
The Vumero Institute will host the Australia Sports Analytics Conference 2018.
A Senate committee will hold its first inquiry into electric vehicles in Australia. Another committee will continue an inquiry into stillbirth research and education.
SA Treasurer Rob Lucas will discuss the new state Productivity Commission as part of an AIUS SA event.
A House committee will continue an inquiry into the growing presence of inauthentic Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-style art and craft products and merchandise for sale across Australia.
The National Film and Sound Archive will launch the new Heath Ledger: A Life in Pictures exhibition, with actress Abbie Cornish expected to attend.
Speakers will discuss “Mixed Use and recent developments across the ACT Strata Industry” as part of the latest Strata in Conversation ACT panel event.
The ANU College of Asia & the Pacific will launch the ANU Indonesia Institute.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is expected to attend a Liberal fundraiser ahead of the WA Liberals state conference tomorrow.
Day one of the three-day 2018 Perth Home Show.
White Ribbon Australia will host “Putting words into action: practical tools for challenging violent attitudes and creating respectful workplaces and communities”, an event set to include speeches from TV presenter Andrew O’Keefe, AFL Tasmania CEO Trisha Squires and Fuji Xerox Tasmania’s Keirran Downham amongst others.
Multimedia artist Judy Watson will appear for the State Library of Queensland’s “Portrait of an Artist” interview series.
ABC science journalist Robyn Williams will facilitate an expert panel discussion for an IFE Great Barrier Reef Challenge Lecture.
NowInfinity will host the 2018 Estate Planning Roadshow.
Phillip Island, Victoria
A memorial service will be held in memory of Samantha Fraser.
Bribie Island, Queensland
One Nation spokesman Steve Dickson will hold a press conference calling on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to act on correspondence from federal HealthMinister Greg Hunt over the medical care of Kaitlyn Spraggon, whose mother has been giving her medicinal cannabis to provide relief from seizures.
A press conference will be held to announce 46 road safety upgrades across Victoria as part of the federal black spot program.
Foreign Affairs Minister Julia Bishop and International Development Minister Concetta Fierravanti-Wells will today attend the Pacific Islands Forum Foreign Ministers Meeting.
How to end gang scourge: force and engagement ($) — John Pesutto (The Australian): “There are solutions to this crisis, but they won’t come from the Andrews government. The tough measures needed will come only with a change of government in November. If elected, we will fix bail, toughen sentencing and break up the gangs. We will not be daunted or deterred by political correctness or hysterical and shrill claims that aim to silence common sense and consign community safety to the periphery.”
Big little lies: the rotten core that could kill the NEG — Giles Parkinson (RenewEconomy): “Fast forward a few years and we now have the Turnbull government trying to engineer much the same thing, by introducing a new policy, the National Energy Guarantee underpinned by an emissions target so weak it will virtually be met before it comes into effect. The result, made clear by the Energy Security Board, is this: Don’t expect any new investment in large-scale wind or solar, or indeed large-scale battery storage, or anything else for that matter, bar Snowy 2.0, after 2022.”