big ben

CLIMATE DISCUSSION HEATS UP

The UK Parliament has become the first to pass a national declaration of an Environment and Climate Emergency, a move The Conversation notes follows 11 days of disruptive Extinction Rebellion protests and the BBC reports is akin to putting the country on a “war footing” for global warming.

But while School Strike 4 Climate prepares for yet another national day of action and Labor has announced nationwide plans for “Renewable Energy Zones”, both RenewEconomy and Crikey report how Australia’s “climate election” has been curtailed by costings of Labor policies. Simultaneously, The Guardian has revealed that Scott Morrison defied Treasury advice on the Coalition’s underwriting program to shortlist party donor Trevor St Baker’s Vales Point coal plant.

FRESH PROMISES, FRESH CONTROVERSIES

Bill Shorten will enter tonight’s leaders’ debate in Brisbane with a fresh $15.6 billion pledge for Queensland roads and rail projects ($), up from the Coalition’s existing $1.3 billion in state promises, and a proposed NDIS “locked box” Future Fund aimed at ensuring the $22 billion scheme avoids a repeat of this year’s (deeply-contested) $1.6 billion underspend.

Both parties also face fresh controversies including: The Daily Telegraph’s ($) report that Labor’s $200 million pathology pledge, while slammed as unnecessary by a GP body, would benefit party donor Australian Clinical Labs; The Mercury’s ($) report on anti-Muslim comments found on Tasmanian Liberal candidate Jessica Whelan’s Facebook account; reports by The Australian that Labor would delay rollouts to both its promised doubled foreign aid budget ($) and multi-employer bargaining reforms ($); and Nationals MP Michelle Landry declaring that, regardless of the election result, a revamped party room could reinstall Barnaby Joyce.

LESSEN PLAN

The Labor NT government has allegedly told teachers in Katherine that they will be stripped of rent allowances as part of its budget repair plan, a move that has already sparked fears of a mass exodus across the remote town.

The NT News ($) reports that after the cut was announced during a meeting between teachers and education officials, without the roughly $24,000 subsidy, one teacher has already announced that she intends to leave next year. State Education Minister Selena Uibo has since announced that the meeting was the first of three “engagement sessions” aimed at providing advice on known announcements, to seek feedback and identify areas for future work.

THEY REALLY SAID THAT?

Look, I think frankly that we subcontract out too much to experts already.

Tony Abbott

Challenged by Independent rival Zali Steggall on claims the Coalition would meet Paris emission targets, the former Prime Minister voices his opposition.

CRIKEY QUICKIE: THE BEST OF YESTERDAY

Google Australia is unprecedented in how it will impact tax and media

“It’s well known by now that Google Australia pays scant tax. It collected $4.32 billion in cash from customers in 2018, and declared only $1.07 billion in revenue. Of that revenue, Google Australia says, around $900 million went to costs, leaving $155 million in profit. It then dutifully pays company tax at the 30% rate, giving it a tax bill of $49 million.”


Media protocols for Christchurch trial are unprecedented, but are they practical?

“Yesterday New Zealand news organisations issued a statement saying they had agreed to protocols for covering the trial of the person charged for the Christchurch mosque attacks. The protocols are essentially a moral and ethical statement ahead of the trial of Australian Brenton Tarrant, who faces 50 counts of murder and 39 counts of attempted murder.”


The appeal of Tony Abbott

“For all the perception of Abbott as a gaffe-prone, onion munching, three-word sloganeer, there is a large section of discourse dedicated to Abbott as a man of ideas and action, who does good work — something even his critics tend to admire about him — in his local community and who has made a huge contribution as a conservative thinker.”

READ ALL ABOUT IT

Black-throated finch flies again to stall Adani ($)

Julian Assange begins fight against extradition to United States

Increasing compulsory superannuation will leave workers poorer, Grattan Institute says

Victorian Liberals warned of post-election factional ‘bloodbath’

SA deal to attract skilled migrants to the regions would allow bosses to pay them 10% less ($)

NSW Police Force ordered to apologise for ‘vilifying’ Arabs in counter-terror exercise

AgForce deletes decade’s worth of data from government-funded barrier reef program

12k Australian vehicles with Takata airbags need ‘critical repair’

Venezuela: Maduro thanks military and denounces ‘senseless coup-mongers and traitors’

India evacuates 800,000 ahead of Cyclone Fani

THE COMMENTARIAT

Federal ICAC: Hard lessons from state wrongs ($) — Chris Merritt (The Australian): “The Validation Act neutralised the legal rights of the victims of ICAC’s unlawful actions and prevented them obtaining declarations based on the High Court’s ruling. To placate this agency and save its blushes, the parliament of NSW put itself on the wrong side of the rule of law. It will remain there until the Validation Act is repealed and the normal law, as expounded by the High Court, again prevails.”

Shorten’s climate policy and why we don’t need to fear the Coalition’s ‘big scary numbers’Katharine Murphy (The Guardian): “Instead of beginning at the logical starting point, looking at what the climate science tells us, and understanding the risks associated with failing to take action (which is the conventional conversation), the Australian campaign conversation is wedged in a cul-de-sac about the (alleged) costs of acting to avoid the worst-case scenario.”

Making a killing: The Uber IPO is a moral stain on Silicon Valley — Farhad Manjoo (The New York Times/The Sydney Morning Herald): “In the years since, Uber skirted laws and cut corners to trample over regulators and competitors. It accelerated the startup industry’s misogynistic and reckless hustle culture. And it pushed a frightening new picture of labour — one in which everyone is a contractor, toiling without protection, our hours and our lives ruled by uncaring algorithms in the cloud.”

HOLD THE FRONT PAGE

The Latest Headlines

WHAT’S ON TODAY

Brisbane

  • Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten will again go head-to-head in front of 100 undecided voters as part of a Sky News/Courier-Mail People’s Forum.

  • Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp will present IFE Grand Challenge Lecture ‘The global imperative’, a discussion of the World Economic Forum’s prediction on circular economy and future industries, at QUT.

Melbourne

  • Bill Shorten will attend a rally as part of a national day of action for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, with ‘NDIS Make it Work’ forums also expected across all other capital cities.

  • Seed Indigenous Youth Climate Network will begin weekly protests against Origin Energy’s plans to begin fracking across the Northern Territory.

Sydney

  • A rally for Julian Assange will be held to mark World Press Freedom Day, with Assange’s father John Shipton, case lead Australian barrister and Crikey contributor Greg Barns, and a range of journalists expected to speak.

  • The Australian Road Safety Foundation will launch annual event Fatality Free Friday.

  • Greens leader Richard Di Natale will hold a doorstop with Warringah and Mackellar candidates at Northern Beaches Hospital.

Adelaide

  • SA Family Law Pathways Network will hold its 2019 annual forum event ‘Considering the Needs of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People Accessing the Family Law System’.

Perth

  • The Swan Chamber of Commerce will host a ‘Breakfast Club’ event with Cabinet Ministers Ken Wyatt and Kelly O’Dwyer, Chairperson of Mandjah Boodjah Aboriginal Corporation Rishelle Hume, and state Liberal MLA and moderator Alyssa Hayden.